Whilst playrooms, for your children at least, are a place of utter joy, filled with…
It can be said that childcare is evolving and that the changes being made are definitely for the best. If you’re the parent of young children and you’re searching for answers this blog will help you. We’re going to talk about some of the latest childcare trends and give you a little bit of advice that will hopefully guide you in your decision. The simple fact is, there are few choices that you will make for your young child that are more important than this one.
One of the most popular childcare trends is that childcare is finally starting to cater to budget minded families. Many of today’s families have dual incomes and budgets to be balanced. The decision a parent makes to reduce the hours that they work as opposed to pulling their child out of an organised care program is a tough one to make and as a result care providers have started to offer more flexible hours, competitive rates and even payment programs for struggling families so that they’ll continue to bring their children. In some cases, there are facilities that even reduce their rates so that lower income families can have access to their services.
It used to be that childcare, especially for toddlers and very young children, was seen more as babysitting than anything else. This may be one of the biggest changes that has occurred as today most childcare centres have transitioned into early education centres. This trend has been pushed to the forefront by parents who wants more than just a place to drop their children. It is also due to research that shows that even very young children are capable of learning and gaining skills. Many childcare centres now offer a formalised curriculum and staff members that have received extensive training that is geared towards helping pre-schoolers get a head start.
One of the latest trends is something called ‘drop-in’ childcare where a parent doesn’t bring their child every day but instead drops them off when they need to get something important done. Many childcare facilities are even beginning to focus on drop-in care and on providing fun activities for kids while they are there as well as nutritious food. Many places that are not usually associated with childcare are coming into the act as well including gyms, churches, schools and recreation centres.
Childcare at the office has also become very common as an ever-increasing number of companies are offering in-house childcare centres as one of the perks to attract the best employees and to keep them from looking for greener pastures. What some companies have done is partner with childcare and facilities to offer discounted rates for their employees as well as special hours.
The advent of powerful computers and streaming video has opened up the door to something very new with childcare, the ability for mum and dad to check in with their children during the day by video and see how they are doing. Video streaming directly from the class allows parents to see their kids whenever they like and some care providers have taken to sending photos, posting blogs and even exchanging emails and text messages to parents throughout the day. For parents who work long hours this trend has been very popular indeed.
Although not a trend per se, childcare is becoming safer. Many of the new safety procedures were born of horrible stories and occurrences that increased security concerns among both care providers and parents. Today background checks and screenings of childcare employees is the norm and video surveillance and monitoring keep parents and the police aware of exactly what is happening throughout the day.
If you are able to you may also want to consider an au pair.
Lastly there is the fact that childcare, something that used to be found mostly by word-of-mouth, is today quite easy to find using the Internet. There are a wide variety of websites that offer free listings for childcare in most states have their own childcare site. As with any service it is best to do some research and reference checks with any care facility that you’re thinking of using. Best of luck with your search for an excellent childcare facility.