What To Look For When Choosing a Crèche?

The time has come to look for a crèche for your child.

The selection process must include a number of factors to make certain that the crèche which is chosen will be able to provide top-notch care for your precious bundle.




When looking for a crèche, look for crèches which are:

  •   Registered. By law all crèches are required to be registered with the local municipality. Each crèche will need to subscribe to a set of regulations, like the child to caregiver ratio, etc. Health inspectors will frequently visit the facilities to ensure that the premises are kept clean and that there is no potential health or danger risks.
  •   Clean. When visiting the crèche, observe how staff interact and care for the kids! Are the children clean and is there constant supervision. Ask to look at the kitchen were the meals are prepared. Visit the bathrooms and make a point to inspect the play area, it is well kept and safe? Has equipment been well-maintained?
  •   Supervised. Make enquires about the crèche supervisor or the owner and find out if they will remain at the crèche throughout the day.
  •   Well organized. Are the babies kept separate in a nursery and are the older children separated by age?
  •   Well staffed. Are there enough staff members to provide proper care for the each and every child?


The other aspects that will form part of the crèche selection process include:

  •   Meals. Are meals provided? If so, what type of meals and do they offer meals for kids who are allergic to certain food groups.
  •   Cost. It is all very well choosing the best possible crèche for your child but it is pointless if parents will not be able to pay the fees. Look for a good quality crèche, which has affordable fees. The average cost of a crèche is about R1200 per month and this cost typically includes two meals per day (breakfast and lunch as well as two snacks). Certain crèches request that parents supply the mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
  •   Ask if any additional items need to be supplied. Over and above the monthly crèche fees, there are some crèches that ask parents to provide items such as boxes of tissues, toilets rolls, etc. Take these extra costs into account when working out your budget.
  •   Enquire as to the type of discipline methods which are used? Do you agree with them?
  •   Location – should the crèche be located close to work or close to home? Most parents opt for a crèche which is situated close to their home, however a crèche based close to work can have its advantages. In the event that a child falls ill, parents will not need to fight their way through traffic to get to the facility. A crèche which is close to home will allow both kids and parents the chance to interact with other families within their local community.
  •   Are there extramural activities offered at the crèche, such as pottery and art lessons, monkeynastics, swimming or dancing classes? Are these offered free of charge, or will they be an additional cost?
  •   Is the crèche able to assist with potty training?
  •   What security measures are in place? Is there a procedure to be followed when children are collected?
  •   Is there a swimming pool, and if so, is the pool securely enclosed and 100% safe?
  •   Will the crèche close over the school holidays?
  •   What time does the facility open in the mornings and will latecomers be fined?
  •   Formal classes for tots usually begin at the age of 3. In these classes teachers use fun lesson plans and children are taught to identify different colours and numbers through play, while at the same time their gross and fine motor skills are developed. Does the crèche offer formal classes?
  •   Does the crèche have a Grade 0 or Grade R class? This class will help preschoolers to become school-ready.

Do not be afraid to ask questions and speak to the other moms at the crèche. If your child is old enough, be sure to ask their opinion. You are entitled to, as a parent, ask questions and inspect the facilities and your aim is to make 100% sure that when you walk out of the facility doors each day that your child will be well cared for and will be happy.

A crèche which is well run and properly organized will have numerous benefits for both you and your child. If possible, try to visit a few crèches in your area and make a comparison of what each crèche is able to provide, the monthly fees charged by each care facility and what aspects of each crèche you particularly liked and which you felt were areas of concern!


 – Kathy Baron


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