7 Signs That May Signal a Need to Change Childcare Providers

Entrusting the care of your child to another person is a huge deal. Parents and caregivers demand only the highest standards from these third parties. While it’s only natural for there to be a few hiccups when a child transitions from full-time parental care to spending time at a kindergarten, childminder or early learning centre, this generally settles within the first few weeks or months.

The following are 7 signs that all might not be well at your chosen provider and perhaps it’s time for you to consider a change.

  1. A change in their behaviour: Children may act a little differently when at preschool, but continual out of character behaviours should ring an alarm bell. For instance, if the caregivers report that your child is constantly crying or having tantrums – but this isn’t the way they act at home.
  2. Crying as you leave them: Many children cry when they leave the familiarity of their parent/caregiver for the first few times. However, if this continues for more than a few weeks then you should question whether the chosen location is the right one for them.
  3. Constant bouts of sickness: We all know that children catch every bug going. However, if they regularly start to complain of not feeling well (tummy ache, headache, etc) then this could be a red flag that all is not well at the childcare centre – especially if it tends to occur when they know they’re due to attend.
  4. Reports of not eating: If you get reports that your child is not eating when at childcare, but generally has a healthy appetite, then it could be a sign that they don’t feel comfortable in that particular childcare environment.
  5. Developing bad habits: Hair chewing, nail biting, excessive scratching – these are all signals of anxiety and stress. If it coincides with being at the preschool then consider if that environment is a factor.
  6. Having bad dreams: Many children suffer from this, but continual nightmares are a sign that something is not right. It’s important to try and determine the underlying cause, which could be that they’re not happy attending their childcare centre.
  7. Becoming clingy or behaviour regression: Insecurity shows itself in many ways. This could be a setback in certain behaviours, such as a potty trained child suddenly starting to have accidents or a fairly independent soul becoming overly clingy.

While all of the above are not, in isolation, definitive reasons that the childcare you’ve chosen is not suitable, it’s worth doing some investigation to find out how happy they are there. Talk to your child and ask them what they enjoy (or don’t enjoy) about ‘school’. You may want to speak to the centre and ask their opinion as to how happy your little one is when there.

A poor fit between child and centre doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad outfit. However, it may mean that an alternative location might be somewhere that better suits your child. It could be the other children, or an individual child, that they don’t get on with. Perhaps the atmosphere isn’t welcoming, or your child has learned to associate the location with a poor experience they had one day.

Whatever the reason, you might want to research other options that will better serve yours and your child’s needs.

For more information about what makes a great kindy, childcare or early school choice, visit https://nido.edu.au/