From Free Play to Early Learning–Why You Should Consider a Long Day Care Centre

Andrew Silva, 06 Jun 2022

When it comes to choosing a long day care centre, every parent wants the best for their children—somewhere where they will thrive. While the perfect place will inevitably look different for every family, some key factors guide the decision-making process for everyone.

For most, the perfect child care centre means finding a nurturing, stimulating, safe environment with caring, qualified early learning professionals. It’s all about ‘the feel’ when you walk into the centre—the feel that has the same warmth and familiarity as home. For a place that embraces learning, while focusing on encouraging a child’s development, it is worth exploring the option of a long day care centre.

These early learning environments typically provide licensed care for children aged from 6 weeks to 6 years and can be open from 6am until as late as 6pm. As such, they are run solely by qualified professional educators in dedicated spaces, facilitating programs that are tailored to reflect different stages of childhood development.

It’s a highly personal decision that looks different for every family. But for those interested in exploring the option of long day care centres, here are some reasons you may consider these facilities for your child.

Five reasons to consider a long day care centre


  • Flexibility of hours

Just as the title suggests, the hours are long. Some facilities offer parents the flexibility to drop off as early as 6am, and pick up as late as 6pm.

Families are also given the option of full-time care from Monday to Friday or part-time care to choose specific days throughout the week that suit their schedule. With more educators and more extensive facilities, you may have a better chance of securing a spot than going on a waitlist.

  • Complete peace of mind 

Being highly regulated by the National Quality Framework (NQF) and Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) means that long child care centres must abide by policies that focus on building a strong physical, emotional, social and cognitive foundation for your child. These practices are specifically designed to maximise the security and safety of children and simultaneously improve their daily experiences and ultimate wellbeing.

  • Educator to child ratio 

Long day care centres must employ a certain number of educators depending on the size of the building, amount of outdoor play space and number of children enrolled. Having multiple educators means more children can be present, and carers can be more hands-on and engaged.

This interaction is fundamental to developing relationships between children and the educators, which will make children feel more comfortable, enhance the potential for creative activities and allow staff to personalise the experience to reflect the personalities, learning requirements and development of each child.

  • Developing diverse skills 

While long day care centres usually welcome children from 6 months to 6 years, they are often grouped by their age, and their learning is supported by the various rooms which cater to different age groups. There may be more than one room for each age group in larger services.

This means, there is plenty opportunity to interact and engage with other children of a similar age. This is a great way to boost social skills and develop motor skills aligned with their developmental stage. However, exposure to older children in the common or shared spaces can be a great way for them to form diverse relationships and learn from others.

  • All-inclusive care

Whether you’re a parent of one or have 4 little ones running around at home, life with children is busy! One of the main reasons that mums and dads turn to these services is to free up more time to return to work or focus on other areas of life. With a long day care centre, you’ll not only free up hours during the day but will also have the chance to reduce your preparation and planning outside of conventional ‘working’ hours.

Long day care centres usually include meals so that you don’t have to run out to the supermarket at the last minute to pick up groceries or think about breakfast while also getting ready for work. This sense of ease will take a substantial amount of pressure off your shoulders and give you more time to enjoy the company of your children while knowing they are being well-fed according to nutritional guidelines.

In addition to this, long day care centres are equipped to nurture your child by providing safe spaces, learning environments, personal care resources, premium educators, fresh linen, age-appropriate resources and facilities, and clear communication between the centre and the parent through Kinderloop (or whatever Application is employed by the centre).

The right child care centre means something different to every family. While some look for flexibility and location, others are more focused on learning outcomes and facilities. Whatever considerations are guiding your decision-making process, the Young Academics team is here to help! Reach out today for assistance or advice–we’re always a call away!





early childhood learning centre

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