How to find your perfect daycare!!

How to find your perfect daycare!!

How to find your perfect daycare!!

Working mums unite in this blog with hints and tips to help you find the best daycare possible!

The decision to go back to work and leave your precious bundle with someone else is often one of the hardest decisions us working mums will have to make! Once you have made the decision finding the right daycare is next on your agenda!

  • Once you are considering a daycare try to arrange a visit during the centre’s busiest hours, and don’t leave in a hurry! Does the centre resonate with you, are the daycare teaches kind, or raising their voices. Are the babies happy and relaxed or stressed? Do the staff appear empathetic and organised?
  • Ask questions about how the staff deal with emergencies? How experienced are they? Will it always be you doing drop off and pick up, or will your parents or husband help? When considering this is it best to have the daycare close to home or work? Are they happy for you to pop in and breastfeed? Do they have flexible hours if you have to work late?
  • read their ERO reports on-line.
  • Find out what the staff to child ratio is? How many children will be in attendance in one go?
  •  Are the staff enthusiastic about children, do they seem to appear to like engaging with them? Are they interactive and are the communicating on their level? How do they deal with misbehaviour?
  • Ask to see their sleep room and ask about their sleep policy. Some centre’s won’t sit in a sleep room, they will come and go which can be disruptive. Some sleep rooms have block out blinds and white noise, while others don’t. Will the centre wake your child to avoid late afternoon naps and nap refusal? Are they happy to stick to your settling ritual? Are all the children on one fixed routine?

Our Facebook mums comments:

Mandy McAlwee  For us it’s important to always spend s bit of time at the potential daycares and observe the carers interacting with the children.

The ratio of carers to children is important and of course the feeling you get when you walk in it doesn’t have to be the flashiest place but the warmth and attitude from the carers is crucial very interested to hear what others say!!

Vivienne Packham-Wood Where the children were excited to be there , they could happily go to any teacher and feel loved and cared for. Where there was a great outside play space. 

The teacher / child ratio was small. Their philosophies on teaching, nurturing and healthy food. The teachers total love of their job. Every teacher knew you and your child from day one and would greet your child and interact straight away.

Letting whatever routines you had at home transition to daycare, so it was truly a second home. The fact that my son is disappointed on the days he doesn’t have school, despite having a fragile nature and being timid!

Noelle Cramp Healthy food choice was high on my list along with a place that would follow our own parenting choices. The nursery we have are happy to follow baby led weaning feeding and will follow our nap routine and support the use of cloth nappies too.

Sarah Bradley The feel you get when you walk in, the teachers approachability, if their philosophies match your own etc… I walked into the first daycare I visited and felt at home… The building was scruffy but they are a great team, have live-in animals and believe in letting kids take (safe) risks, climb trees etc!

Meredith Truesdale Depending on what age you’re starting look for something that suits your child’s interests. My son is mad about the outdoors so it had to be somewhere with heaps of space and things to do outside.

Also most teachers are great with the kids but they need to be good with you too, someone who gets why you’re neurotic about your kids eating or sleeping habits and responds accordingly, or is sympathetic when you rush in late and feel awful leaving your kid there crying etc.

Emma Hollows Along with the normal questions of ratios and sleep etc I looked for imaginitive play, natural surrounds ie wood instead of plastic and bark instead of turf. Do they let kids be kids?

Emma Moss Needed to feel right. The daycare team are an extension of your family. So needed to be a philosophical alignment. Ours were great as we worked through managing our son’s reflux. Just know that they won’t always get it right but as long as there is ongoing communication you get there!

Robyn Chapman total number of children that attend per session, smaller meant it was easier for our child to adjust. The attitude and personality of the teachers (ours are just amazing, so caring). The activities they undertake with the children.

Lexy O’Shaughnessy I picked the one where the children were the happiest on my visits and the staff were most relaxed and playing with the kids. Best decision ever.

Tracey Logan We have an only child, a boy so a place where he could do rough and dirty play, build stuff, be very active is really important to us. We have him booked into a daycare on a farm. He doesn’t start for another year when he’s two but the waiting list is massive.

Erin Discombe Differently the feel in those 1st few moments & I preferred a place with primary careers over places that didn’t & lastly somewhere who wanted to bring as much as your home Routine into the centre as possible rather than oh no we do this here

Jenna Marsden Definitely the feel of the place. Part of the reason we picked the centre we did was that the manager spent a lot of time with us introducing us to their centre, and showed a genuine interest in our little boy, the way she interacted with him etc. Somecentres we visited acted like they couldn’t be bothered showing us around.

I found separating out how you feel about leaving them full stop vs. how comfortable you feel with that particular centre helped – I was never going to be 100% comfortable about leaving him and going back to work, but I was 100% comfortable with our choice of centre

Kellie Verster staff! Its so important to find a centre with staff that you gel with. ask how many staff (eg ratios) who will be mainly responsible for your child, how many teachers are qualified. It is essential that the daycare staff share the same vision as the family so check out their teaching philosophy too

Eliza Waszczak Staff number ratio and the use of house keepers..routines layout

Looks like some great tips in there!

Happy hunting!!!

If you think your daycare would enjoy a professional development evening from our team give them our details. We run staff and parent evenings all over NZ. These are a great way for staff and parents to get on the same page with some of the trickier sleepers at day care, and for all parents to gain insightful hints and tips!

Emma Purdue

Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education. Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.


  • Empowered: Feel empowered as a Mum as you learn to understand your growing baby's needs and cues.
  •  Simple effective settling: Gentle, proven self soothing, evidence based techniques.
  •  Content happy baby and parents: Better sleep creates content babies & happy parents.
  •  Freedom: Predictable routines and longer nights creates freedom. Solve your sleep problems for more freedom.
  •  Work with your babies circadian rhythm: Work with your babies biological clock for faster easier results.
  •  Awesome naps & nights: You'll create consistent naps and nights with our support.


Leave a comment

* Required fields

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.