My baby is going to the Crèche!
The first time you separate from your little one can be tough, sometimes as much for the toddler as for yourself. Getting used to this new situation is usually accompanied by mixed feelings. On one hand, we miss our little one, we wonder how he or she is getting on and sometimes we simply worry too much. On the other hand, sending your child to the Creche reminds you about the existence of forgotten luxuries such as a nap, a solitary shower or a breakfast eaten in silence. These unexpected gems usually allow you to quickly settle into a new situation. This article provides information that will make the transitioning easy for both of you.
Is every Crèche supervised by the government?
Yes, every Crèche or daycare in the Republic is registered and monitored by The Child and Family Agency on the regular basis and has to comply with numerous regulations to ensure the safety, and wellbeing of the children.
Reasons why Crèche is important to your child development
Children tend to learn things better when they interact with other kids. They might be alone with adults at home, but a crèche provides a group of kids with whom they can interact and learn through play.
- Crèche helps children to learn social skills as they interact with their young friends and staff. The children learn to interact with other people than their parents and relatives at home.
- It gives your child confidence. Your child starts spending less time with you and learns to be independent with the help of the staff at crèches. The independence nurtures their self-confidence as they discover more than the usual family environment.
- Crèches prepare your kids for school. If your child has been to crèche, they will have an easy time transition into preschool. As compared to children who have not been to any playgroups, they will experience less or no shock as they are already accustomed to the learning routine and environment.
- Establishes the sense of routine. A routine adds meaning to your little one’s life. They become more aware of what is expected of them and when they ought to do some activities or not, thus enabling them to engage in more active roles in their assigned tasks.
- Helps the kids forge new friendships. Playgroups and crèches are where your child begins to make new friends. Most kids around them are of the same age, and they might even transition into the same nursery schools. This establishes a connection enabling the children to enjoy participating in activities as they learn through play.
Now once we talked about the importance of your child starting crèche, let's delve into what should you prepare before. The items you need to bring depend on the age of your child and how independent they are with regards to subjects like toilet training. As we will discuss later, you can take your child to a crèche or a childminder at any age from 6 months however the requirements vary from one service provider to another.
Let’s take a look:
- Wipes, diapers, and creams
For the young babies yet to start potty training, a packet of diapers, wipes, and creams is necessary. The staff label your child's items to make sure they don't confuse other children's items. Be sure to bring cream and wipes of your choice. The staff is trained to not mix, so don't worry if your child is sensitive to other products.
Your child will need a backpack to carry some items. They can bring it with them daily, or they can leave it there. Most children get excited about carrying a backpack, so you can get a beautiful soft one to make it fun for them. Besides, they can use it to hold a snack or a drink. A bag mimicking their favourite toy or cartoon could be their best companion. A soft toddler backpack could be your child’s favourite companion.
- Comfort item
You could bring their favourite toy, snuggly blanket, or teddy. You can even get look-alike, one to use at home and the other for school. This will save you a lot of trouble and will surely help to ease them a little bit. If they are still using a soother it's important to pack it every day as we all know how cranky they could get if they don't have it.
- Extra sets of clothes and underwear
The main idea behind crèches is learning through play. Children will engage in play activities throughout the day. They get dirty and might need to have a clean set to wear when going home. Additionally, kids who are still toilet training might have accidents and need extra clean underwear and clothes. Parents who wish to give their kids consistency with toilet training, especially boys, can feel free to bring a portable potty training urinal.
This way, your son will have the same urinal everywhere, that when adjusted to his height, makes it easy for him to use and avoid accidents and messes in the bathroom.
- Feeding bowl
If you opt-out from provided lunch, you can get a food container. It’s important to use the one that can be used in a microwave as they secure your child's food, and the staff can warm the food in a microwave.
Crèche or Childminder?
Which of the two is better for your child? First, both are fine and recognized by the government. It's down to your choice. A childminder is limited to only 12 kids, but a crèche* has more staff, hence limits depend on the number of staff. If you prefer having flexible hours to drop off and pick up your kid, a childminder is the best option.
Remember, only the childminder gets trained to care for your child, thus the need to find out if there will be more adults in the household.
*please note that during the Covid-19 situation some of the crèches are not operating as usual due the new restrictions so please check the current situation with your local facility before signing in your child
How much are crèche fees?
Costs depend greatly on your location, every County has different pricing, and the national average is 181€ per week.
For example, in Sligo, you can expect to pay around 145€ per week, but Dublin6 has an average of 220€ per week. The best way is to simply shop around the places of your choice.
Your child is eligible for the ECCE scheme from the age of 2 years and 8 months. Your child can continue with preschool education as long as they are less than 5 years old. For special needs children, the upper limit can get extended.
You only get 3 free hours per day for five hours a week. You would have to cater for additional days and hours.