From a teacher’s perspective I would look at the general atmosphere of the Centre from the show around, arrival (drop offs), visits with the child and then the settling stage for the child.
These are questions I would be asking myself, prior to deciding. Am I rushed through the Centre, am I shown all areas of the Centre or selective parts? Does the person showing me around care about the child who I am bringing in? Would the child be safe, valued and cared for? What are the resources like, lots or fewer? I would be observing in the show arounds how the other teachers interact with the children around them.
I would be looking for closeness (distance) from the home or workplace, I would look for security and safety of the area, (location) are their main roads on the street, gates around the Centre, how easy or difficult is it to access the Centre?
It is important to take into consideration, the team (staff members) how they present themselves, what kind of a vibe do they give off. Are they kind, welcoming on arrival, approachable?
New parents and friends in the past have asked for my input as to what to look for, since they know I am an ECE teacher. My main pointers are, how do you feel when you walk in and out of the Centre? Can you see your child being happy there? Ask questions, it is ok to ask questions, regarding your child’s safety and wellbeing there, also around the daily routine. Do you feel comfortable and happy over all? Looks are not everything! Just because it looks modern is one thing, it does come down to the vibe and atmosphere of the Centre that truly makes it!
I know from experience, that peoples first impressions do count, and the look of the center does also decide on whether you want your child to be there. For example, nice new modern… however I do look at things like can resources outdoors be changed around to enhance the child’s growth or is it permanently in the ground, will they become bored over time and is there space for the child to run around?