Service Guide for Creches

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Crèches look after babies and children during the day while parents work & tend to other responsibilities. Crèches create safe and child friendly environments where children play, eat & learn. The focus is on creating stimulating environments to learn both practical and social skills. Crèche premises must adhere to health and safety measures. Crèches are managed by skilled staff, well versed in looking after children.

Popular Crèche Services Include:

Day care

For many South Africans their daily routine involves dropping children off at centres before going to work. While children are small—before going to primary school—they are taken to crèches where they receive stimulating care. Crèches may differ in the following ways:

  • Some provide food while others expect parents to bring snacks along
  • The size of classes

Parents pick half-day or full day care packages, according to what they need.

After school services

Some crèches extend their services to after care. This is a service rendered to school-going children. This after school service offers children a safe environment to stay in until parents are finished at work.

Extracurricular activities

South Africa offers many extracurricular activities for small kids. These activities stimulate their growth, co-ordination, sport skills and more. These activities can be presented at the crèche, but are usually not compulsory.

Special needs classes

Many South African families face the challenge of looking after a child and sibling with special needs. Some crèches are focused on looking after these children with physical or mental disabilities. Some general crèches offer customised services as long as it doesn’t interrupt with the crèche’s responsibilities towards other children.

5 Tips when you need a Crèche

1. What age group do they focus on?

Many crèches are skilled at looking after a certain age group. Some of them are experts at looking after babies, while others offer space and activities to look after toddlers. Employ a crèche where staff are experts at handling your child’s age group. This way you know your children get the best possible care when you’re not present.

2. Do they have an open door policy?

If you want to know whether a crèche can be trusted, ask if it has an open door policy. This approach allows parents to come to the centre unannounced whenever they deem fit. This means a crèche is not afraid to show parents what’s going on. With nothing to hide, you can be sure the crèche’s staff members are looking after your child to the best of their ability.

3. What curriculum do they follow?

Schools have such a high expectation of learners, even in lower grades. What your child learns during toddler years will have an impact on how well he or she performs in school. Make sure the crèche follows a curriculum that prepares children for school, so you know your child will be ready when the time comes.

4. What’s the ratio?

By law, a crèche must have enough staff to ensure proper and safe child supervision. Ask the crèche about their standard children-to-staff ratios. The legally required ratio differs for each age group. If the ratio isn’t up to standard, you should ask that more staff or helpers be hired.

5. Inspect safety and security measures

Security measures are highly important whenever children are present. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Are children kept from venturing out into the street?
  • Does the venue have burglar bars for protection and alarm systems to warn of intruders?
  • Are children supervised when outside so they don’t accidentally get hurt or venture into the street?
  • Does the crèche keep medical supplies on the premises?

Ask the crèche manager about safety measures that concern you. You may help the staff improve these measures to benefit everyone concerned.

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