It is never too early to start searching for the right day care centre in Brisbane for your little one. If you know you will be needing care when you return to work, or you simply want a little time to yourself, then knowing your child has a place confirmed at the centre of your choice is vital. Some have MASSIVE waiting lists (you though Grammar was hard to get into, try a decent day care centre!).
Major Day Care Centres
Many of the day care centres in Brisbane belong to major chains that have been around for decades. Chances are, if you live in Brisbane, there are at least two of these chains located in your area.
Sesame Lane Care & Kindergarten –
These centres promote active participation by parents and provide innovative learning to help prepare your child for the transition to school. All of Sesame Lane’s centres are full service, so nappies, linen and all meals are provided. Read more about Sesame Lane here.
Chatterbox Child Development and Care Centres –
All Chatterbox centres offer full service day care, which includes nappies, sheets, meals, sunscreen and air-conditioning. They also offer a range of extra-curricular activities, such as Funtastics, Physi Kids and language lessons.
C & K The Crèche and Kindergarten Association –
C & K has been operating child care centres for over 100 years and pride themselves on being at the forefront of early childhood education. C & K centres offer a high staff/child ratio and large natural outdoor play areas. Meals and sunscreen are included in their fees. C & K have long been the hardest day care centres to get into. Some require booking at birth, just like the more exclusive private high schools!
Goodstart Early Learning –
Goodstart centres are operated by four Australian charities and are run as not-for-profit, so any surplus is invested back into their centres. Most of their centres provide nutritious meals and a nappy service.
Mother Duck –
Mother Duck centres are a family owned group of companies, where some of their directors have become partners. These centres like to provide a nurturing ‘home-like’ environment to help kids feel relaxed.
About ABC Child Care Centres –
After their financial problems a while back, many of the ABC centres were sold off to Goodstart.
Independent Day Care Centres
Brisbane has lots of privately owned or community based centres that could be the perfect option for your little one. As these centres are not required to pay franchising fees, they can direct their profits into improving the centre facilities. Many will provide good home cooked meals and a nappy service. Special guests will often be invited to provide extra entertainment and excitement for the children.
All day care centres in Australia have to operate to very strict guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of your child, regardless of whether they are part of a chain or operated independently. Choosing an independent day care centre means that, although they comply with government guidelines (be sure to check that they do!), they may have more freedom to choose the curriculum based on the individual needs of the kids in the group. This can be very important in those early years, as teachers will have the freedom to adapt their lesson plans to help “little Johnny stop hitting” or “Maria to catch up on her spoken English” or “Immi to come out of her shell” or to dedicate time to helping “Peter learn to manage his Autism”. Independent centres often choose staff with specific abilities and interests to set themselves apart from chain centres. This could mean that you get exactly what your child needs.
Of course, it may lead to none of that too! All centres, community or chain, can be fantastic or terrible – it pays to do your research and to get to know your child’s group leader and assistant before you make any decisions. That can be tough when there’s a year-long waiting list!
The day care centre you choose for your Brisbane Kid will be their home away from home. Make an appointment with a few centres that are conveniently located near to you and take a tour. Ask lots of questions and express any concerns about your child that you may have. When you have picked the centre that is the right fit for your family, complete the application forms and get on their waiting list – the sooner the better! There are a lot of day care centres to choose from in Brisbane – you will find one that is just right for your Brisbane kid – you just need to do your research.