During playtime, a child care centre might sound a little like a zoo. It's all part of kids being kids and having a good time. So why not make it even more like a zoo? If your child care centre doesn't have a pet, then perhaps it's time to consider one. Having a suitable animal on the premises at a child care centre can enrich the children's experience and start to teach them responsibility at a very young age. So if this is something that you think would be a great idea for your centre, there are a few things you need to consider.

Animal Selection

The first thing to consider is the wellbeing of the children. While most kids at the centre would love to have a dog or cat, this is not feasible, so a smaller creature that can live comfortably in a cage or tank is the way to go. Regardless of the type of animal you might be considering, you need to enquire with each and every parent whether or not their child is allergic to the potential creature. Even one child with an allergy will necessitate a different selection.

Appropriate Animals

Suggested animals for your centre can include small lizards, certain insects, guinea pigs, rabbits, or even rats and mice. Only obtain the creature from a reputable store or breeder, and in the case of guinea pigs, rabbits, rats or mice, request animals that have been hand tamed. This means that they are used to being handled and are unlikely to bite. Of course, even the tamest of animals can be having a bad day, meaning that the children's interaction with the animal needs to be supervised at all times.

A Learning Tool

Having the animal in your child care centre can be an excellent learning tool. Playtime with the animal can be given as a reward, and simply caring for the animal is a lesson in itself. Children learn responsibility when they are required to ensure that the animal has clean water and an appropriate amount of food at all times. Cleaning the animal's enclosure also teaches hygiene (especially when they need to dispose of faecal matter).

The only real downside to having a pet in your child care centre is that someone will need to take it home on weekends and holidays. So if you're a child care worker, you might find yourself with some new roommates over the summer holidays.