The FDC's DS went to,usually had 1 bub between 0-12 months, 1 child from 12-24 months, and then 2-3 kids of ages between 2 and 6.
The rules here in NSW are (not sure if they have changed with the recent daycare changes this June) was for FDC's to have a maximum of 2 kids under the age of 2 and then 3 kids between 2 and 6.
The last FDC my son went to was just the worst ever. Lovely lady but very self absorbed with her own daughter and her other business.
She had only started a few weeks before I enrolled DS. He was the only boy and the only child between 2 and 4 years old.
She had NO boy toys whatsoever. She only had the toys her daughter played with like dolls, prams, princess dress up clothes, etc.
She did eventually go out of her way to buy a small Tonka digger for DS to play with.
In the end, DS loved playing with the dollies and still does. When she quit her FDC only 2 months after DS started there, DS was heartbroken to not have a dolly to play with. That is why I bought him a few dolls at opshops over the last few months.
So yeah, I used to be a big fan of FDC and stuck with them for 11 months until I finally had to quit as I found having 4 different carers in less than 1 year for a little tot like DS, a bit too much.
ABC has cooperated with me and his Early Childhood Intervention (EIC)workers, in every single way. ABC has been bought over in 2009 and has recently been renamed Goodstart Early Learning Centre.
Anyway, I had lots of doubts at first. EIC and I weren't sure if DS was ready to go to a big center due to his Sensory Processing Disorder and also because of his delays.
The staff were so helpful and friendly though. They let DS and I, sit in as often as I wanted so he could get used to having more kids and noise around him.
For 3 weeks we went there on Tuesdays and Fridays a few hours a day, before I decided he would be fine at the GELC.
As the carer ratio is 1 in 8 in the toddler room (this is the accepted ratio in NSW), Early Childhood Intervention told me that GELC and I could attempt to apply for a private run "inclusion service".
These are organizations give extra funding to daycare centers to provide children with special needs, like DS, with a 1 on 1 carer a few hours a day.
It was a lot of red tape and paperwork and they had people come in to observe DS once a week for 4 weeks, before they decided he was eligible.
We finally got approved 3 weeks ago and DS has been doing so well since then. He was already doing well with the normal 1 in 8 ratio, but now with his extra care, he's been socially developing really well.
Fingers crossed his communication will improve too. Though his delays are significant, so it will take some time for him to catch up, if ever.
So again, our center has done everything they could to accommodate to DS and his needs.
There are a few other special need kids in care there too and they all have been doing well since starting there.
There's even a little boy who is severely mentally and physically handicapped and the center has been (and still is) running lots and lots of fundraising events to help his parent to buy a special modified car for him.
I am very very very happy with our big center and have recommended it to every friend I know. He will be going to pre-school and prep there as well.
If they do not think he is quite ready to start preschool straightaway when he turns 3, they will slowly try to transfer him from the toddler room to preschool, one step at a time.