10 Questions to Ask About an Early Learning Centre Curriculum Before Enrolling Your Child

by: Michelle Smith

| March 10, 2023 |

Kid Molding Together From Plasticine

Enrolling your child in an early learning centre is a big one. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Knowing what questions to ask can help you find the right fit for your family and give you peace of mind that your child is getting the best care.

Before enrolling your child, here are ten questions you should ask your Early Learning Centre.

Questions to Ask Before Enrolling Your Child in an Early Learning Centre

Happy Children Enjoying Art And Craft Lesson

What Is Your Approach to Discipline?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand each early learning centre’s approach to discipline.

The early learning centre must have a consistent and effective system in place for discipline so that children are safe and know what is expected of them at all times. Does the school have a clear policy on teaching children expected behaviours and consequences? Are there any techniques or strategies to help children learn how to behave?

What Is the Daily Schedule Like?

It’s also important to understand the daily schedule at the early learning centre. What activities will your child participate in throughout the day? How much time will they spend outdoors, interacting with their peers, engaging in meaningful activities, or with technology?

A well-rounded program should include plenty of physical activity and opportunities for creative exploration, social interaction, and self-expression.

How Has the Staff Been Vetted?

Vetting staff members is an essential part of ensuring the safety of everyone involved. Ask about background checks and other measures they take when vetting staff members, as this will provide extra assurance that your child is in good hands during their time at the Early Learning Centre.

Are Children Divided Into Groups by Age?

Grouping children according to age helps ensure each group has activities tailored appropriately for their age. It also helps prevent younger children from being overwhelmed by older ones who might be better equipped intellectually or physically than they are. Ask how long each age group spends together and how many teachers/caretakers they have available while they’re together so that you can be sure your child is getting adequate supervision throughout their day at school.

How Do You Comfort Kids Who Are Upset?

Many young kids may feel overwhelmed when faced with a new situation or unfamiliar people. Understanding how teachers handle upset kids will help reassure parents that their child’s emotional well-being is taken seriously at this Early Learning Centre. Knowing what strategies they use, such as positive reinforcement, distraction techniques, deep breathing exercises etc., will ensure your child feels supported even during difficult times while attending this school.

Do The Children Get Time Outside?

Being outdoors allows children to explore nature, get fresh air, run around and develop gross motor skills like running and jumping—all necessary components of healthy development!

Ensure ample time is spent outside each day so your child can enjoy these benefits while attending an Early Learning Centre program!

What Kind Of Activities Are Offered In The Early Learning Centre?

This question gets into more specifics about what kind of environment your child will experience while attending this particular program, from art projects to science experiments, from physical education classes to music appreciation classes.

Understanding what kind of activities are offered (and if there is enough variety) helps parents decide if this Early Learning Centre is right for their family’s needs!

What Educational Materials Are Provided And How Often Are They Updated?

Asking about educational materials provided by an Early Learning Centre allows parents insight into what kind of resources students use during class time, from books and workbooks; to interactive games and puzzles, digital tools and apps.

Understanding which materials are available (and how often they’re updated!) provides valuable information on whether this program meets high educational standards!

How Do You Ensure A Safe Environment In The Early Learning Centre?

Safety should always be paramount when considering any childcare facility.

Do they have security systems in place, such as locked doors and gates and cameras monitoring the inside and outside areas? What processes do they follow regarding drop-offs and pick-ups?

Clarifying these details ensures families feel comfortable entrusting their little ones with this facility!

Final Thoughts

Children Playing In Playroom In Daycare

When finding the right early learning centre for your child’s educational needs, asking your own questions is key.

By being informed and actively understanding what the early learning centre offers, parents will have peace of mind that their child receives quality education from a trusted source.

With Hippity Hop Early Learning, you can rest assured that your children will benefit from a carefully tailored curriculum supporting their individual needs and growth. We invite you to connect with us and experience the learning journey together! To learn more about our curriculum, contact us today.

About Hippity Hop’s Kindergarten Program

Kids Drawing Poster

Hippity Hop provides a safe environment for your child to learn. We have a great indoor and outdoor area, and our building is designed with a purpose.

Our Curriculum

The overall curriculum provided within Hippity Hop Early Learning is derived through several internal and external factors, all entwined to assist children in reaching their greatest potential and meeting the outcomes under the Early Years Learning Framework. These include:

  • The Educators: Their knowledge of early childhood development is drawn upon to extend skills, milestones, learning and overall health and well-being.
  • Our Environments: The environment is sometimes referred to as another teacher. The way an environment is set out and the equipment and experiences offered to provide opportunities for learning and development, curiosity, and a sense of wonder to occur.
  • Our Parents and Guardians: These are a child’s first teachers and therefore respected for their ideas, culture, talents, and experience and are invited to share their knowledge and input in ways that enhance our programs.
  • The Children: Their ideas, questions, interests, and skills are drawn on in developing a child-focused curriculum.

Some of the programs currently offered based on the children’s learning and interests include:

  • Annual dental visits
  • Museum dinosaur visit
  • Road safety with tingle toodle
  • Animals and reptile visits
  • Bale grow – growing vegetables program
  • Emergency services visits such as CFA and police
  • Playground to plate – environmental sustainability program
  • Stories and music from Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does ‘Own Learning’ Refer To?

Own learning refers to a child’s own personal journey of discovery and social-emotional development. It includes the interests, expectations, strengths, needs, and emotions unique to each child. Own learning also includes the activities they enjoy participating in and the resources they prefer to use during play-based learning activities.

How Can I Support My Child’s Learning?

You can support your child’s learning by providing consistent routines and regular experiences as part of their daily life. It could be taking them on outings, joining in play-based activities that use natural resources or engaging with them when they pursue their interests instead of always offering structured activities. Being available for meaningful conversations about what your child has been doing or feeling is another way to support your child’s development.

What Is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong learning is a concept encompassing all types of knowledge acquisition throughout life. It could include educational opportunities such as formal schooling or casual, informal events like reading books or attending community talks on various topics of interest. Every experience individual encounters help shape their character and identity, providing pathways for further growth and exploration later in life.

What Are Intentional Teaching Strategies?

Educators use intentional teaching strategies to encourage students to reach specific educational goals set out by themselves or stakeholders involved in the student’s development (such as parents/caregivers). Examples could include scaffolding tasks for more complex processes like problem-solving or using multimedia tools (such as interactive whiteboards) to improve engagement during lessons.

What National Quality Standards Should I Look Out for When Assessing an Early Learning Centre’s Curriculum?

When assessing an Early Learning Centre, you should look for national quality standards. It would depend largely upon which state jurisdiction you reside under; however, some standard measures go across jurisdictions, such as educator qualifications and training, safety regulations monitored through compliance assessments, developmental needs met through age-appropriate programming, focus placed upon whole child development such as social skills and self-confidence etc., ensuring cultural diversity is fully embraced through all programming, making sure intentional teaching strategies are used consistently throughout programming etc. Furthermore, if possible, you may investigate if the centre follows frameworks, such as the Victorian Early Years Learning And Development Framework, which outlines requirements for kindergarten-aged children within Victoria. It may give you better insight into their curriculum practices in this setting.

What Is the Importance of Natural Resources in Early Learning Centre Curriculums?

Natural resources are an important part of early learning centre curriculums as they allow children to explore the world around them. Using natural materials allows children to develop and learn through sensory, creative and playful experiences while developing their connection to the environment and understanding of sustainability. Natural resources can also provide unique learning experiences and promote problem-solving, language development and creativity.