The Early Learning Centre Checklist: How to Choose the Right One for Your Child

When you are looking to enroll your child in an early learning Centre, it can be hard to know where to begin. Many factors come into play when choosing the right one, and the information can be hard to find and difficult to understand. This checklist will help you sort through the necessary information and choose an early learning Centre that will benefit your child.

1. Relationships and interactions

Look for an early learning Centre that has staff members who not only interact well with children but also have a genuine interest in them. So before you settle on one Centre over another, ask if you can observe some classes or sit in on parent-teacher meetings. It’s a good idea to speak directly with staff and check out references as well. This will give you a sense of how they work with kids—and what kind of environment they create.

2. Early learning programs

The most important thing you can look for when selecting an early learning program is consistency and experience. Make sure that both your child’s instructor and all of his/her support staff (from kitchen staff to child-care workers) have at least five years of experience working with young children in a nursery school environment. Teaching credentials are also nice, but not as important as hands-on experience. So what type of learning programs should you expect? Well, you can visit to know the type of programs you should expect. In short, early learning programs include activities such as play, exploration, discovery, and developmentally appropriate curriculum experiences related to physical, social-emotional, cognitive, language and literacy development. The programs must be inclusive environments where every child matters.

3. Set clear expectations and communicate with staff

When it comes to looking after your child’s emotional, social and intellectual development, you know what works best. Letting staff members understand your goals and objectives for your child’s early learning experience will help them provide excellent care. So be sure you take time to talk with Centre staff about your child’s needs and preferences. If it isn’t a good fit, don’t feel pressured—ask if they have any recommendations or lead you in another direction.

4. The physical environment

Ask yourself if it’s clean, safe, and well-equipped. Visit during nap time and at mealtimes. Pay attention to how caregivers interact with each other and with your child. Are there signs of a rigid or toxic environment? Is everyone smiling? Do they seem happy and engaged in their work? Is there evidence that children are being treated with respect and given opportunities to explore their interests? Asking these questions will help you better understand what’s really going on inside an early learning Centre—and will also help you determine whether it feels like a good fit for your family.


In a nutshell, choosing the right early learning Centre shouldn’t be complicated as you might think. If you’re going to invest in your child’s education and their future, then you want to make sure that they are in an environment that will help them grow into successful adults. Hopefully, these checklist points will help you along your journey!

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