It’s crazy to think that you may need to start considering who is going to care for your child before you have even cared for them, before you’ve even met them? Well this may be the case depending on where you live and how soon you think you will need to utilise child care. You may need to do some research regarding the state of child care in your preferred area to understand what the local market is like. You will also need to consider what your family’s needs are and gain an understanding of the centres that are available to you and what type of service they offer.

Starting childcare can be an anxious and exciting time. Be reassured there are many strategies to help during this adjustment period. Different centres will have different processes and routines. Hopefully you have chosen a quality centre such as Mission Australia Early Learning that prioritises your child and family, who have a deep understanding of how attachment works and provide the time, space, environments and programs that foster trusting relationships.

There are many online resources to help you navigate the search for childcare. I've included links to some of these but my aim is to provide you with an insider’s perspective of what to look for when selecting the best centre for your family. I will also explain some of the lesser known and perhaps less obvious practices that are trademark of high quality providers like Mission Australia Early Learning (MAEL).

The transition from early learning environments to 'big school' can be challenging, both on children and adults. The professionals that care for and educate your child (if they are in formal preschool or child care) are a great resource to get feedback on school readiness.

Learning about sustainability and sustainable practices allows children to broaden their view on the world around them. Through activities such as recycling, gardening and cultural investigations, children become aware of a world beyond themselves, compelling them to become participants in their local and global community.