Expert tips for choosing the best childcare

Finding the best childcare for your child can feel overwhelming. You want a safe, nurturing environment that fosters your child’s development and complements your parenting style. But with so many Sunshine Coast childcare centres to choose from, where do you even begin?

Gaylyn Hutton, Centre Director at Out & About Care & Education shares her insights and practical tips to help parents navigate the childcare landscape and choose a service that sets their child up for success.


What is your background?

I started my Early Childhood journey in 1990, volunteering at my local centre, and commenced my Diploma studies the following year. My career has taken me interstate and overseas, from caring for babies in nursery, to educating toddlers and preschoolers.

My interest grew, and I furthered my qualifications at university and lectured at TAFE for four years, sharing my knowledge of early childhood development with the next generation of early childhood educators. When I moved to Queensland, I had the opportunity to use my experience and qualifications as a Director and have continued in this role for over 12 years.


What is your favourite thing about working in early learning and childcare?

The diversity of my role at Out & About Care & Education, and the people in this space. I enjoy mentoring educators, supporting families, and interacting with children.


What should parents look for when searching for the best childcare service for their child?

When looking for the best childcare service, parents should look for warm, welcoming, friendly educators who ask questions and show interest in your child. Educators who share information about their room, and a knowledgeable, helpful management team. Also, clean, inspiring play spaces with plenty of space for children to explore and meals prepared onsite.


out and About Early Learning Kindy Room Mooloolah Valley

Out and About Early Learning kindy room Mooloolah Valley


What advice do you give to parents transitioning a child into childcare?

Take the time to familiarise yourself with what group care environments look and feel like, and start preparing yourself and your child for group care; it is a big step to trust someone else with your child for the first time. Be as confident as possible because your child will sense if you are unsure and take their social and emotional cues from you. Set them up for success and be patient with the transition process, as some children settle more readily in the new setting than others. Allow plenty of time to settle before returning to your workplace.


Why is it important for children to attend an accredited kindergarten program before starting school?

Children benefit from learning how to co-exist amongst their peer group and take direction from their teachers, an essential skill when entering the school environment. Kindergarten offers a launching pad for academic learning, where children work and play together, learning social cues, rules and expectations in a play-based, child-focused space.


What are the key skills children need to learn at childcare to set them up for success at school?

Children need to develop confidence in being part of a group of other learners, enjoy the learning process, be resilient within their peer group, and be willing to ‘have a go’ at new experiences and tasks, such as managing their belongings. They need these foundation skills to launch into school confidently and with a higher chance of success.


Outdoor Playspace at out About Care Education a Best Childcare Centre on the Sunshine Coast

The expansive outdoor space at Out & About Care & Education, Newspaper Place

In your experience, what makes Out & About Care & Education the best childcare on the Sunshine Coast?

Hands down, Pam Maclean  [Out and About’s Operator] is the best Approved Provider I have ever had the privilege to work with. Any centre she is involved in ends up being the best childcare service possible. She is dedicated to providing high-quality care and treating her team with respect; we all feel valued at Out & About. This is reflected in our caring educators, our team approach, the healthy, delicious, and freshly prepared meals, the cleanliness of our centre, and beautiful, spacious outdoor play spaces.

What is Out & About’s approach to learning?

We follow children’s interests and ask ourselves how we can scaffold their learning to the next level. We encourage children to understand and work with the natural world. Educators collaborate with families and include children’s voices in our learning programs.


Out & About Care & Education Centres

6 Mooloolah Rd, Mooloolah Valley, Sunshine Coast, Q 4553

| 07 5356 9323


30 Dalton Drive, Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Q 4558

| 07 5479 1411


2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast, Q 4558

| 07 5413 8099

Search tags: Childcare | Early Childhood
By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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