Baby Hints & Tips

Childcare: Community Advice

Childcare is a very personal decision. You need to decide which option BEST suits you and your child. Make sure you compare the pros and cons of differing types of child care, and consider things like:

  • When you need child care, e.g. full-time or 2 days a week
  • Where you need child care e.g. at home or near work
  • Your budget
  • Your child’s temperament, interests and needs
  • Your values and parenting philosophies, e.g. discipline

The options for childcare include:

  • Long day care
  • Family day care
  • In home care
  • Outside school hours care
  • Occasional care

There are many great online resources that can assist you with the daunting task of choosing the “right” child care option. CareforKids.com.au offers a complete A-Z on child care. You will find a range of informative and helpful child care related articles, tips and parent guides.

In particular, be sure to check out:

Government Child Care Allowances
The majority of above mentioned child care options are CCA Approved. This means that families using the service may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate. Approved services must also show that they are meeting certain quality standards.

For further information and to check your eligibility:
Child Care Benefit
Child Care Rebate

Here’s some tips from other parents:

  • I LOVE family daycare from my 12mo DD. She is extremely clingy to me, exclusively breastfeed, had never taken a bottle and finding the ‘right fit’ for care was very important. I initially trialed a childcare centre – good centre, liked the facilities and program, and great girls in her room – however DD was held most of the day as often got quite upset. After 3 weeks of half days, it wasn’t improving, all a bit much – for her and me – so pushed back my return to work (two days a week). I then tried family daycare a month later…and haven’t looked back. Her mum is AWESOME! She is thriving in the home environment, her daycare mum has very similar values to our home. When dropping off DD first looks for their dog (got one at home too), also loves her daycare mum’s own kids (who are at school most of day) and we haven’t had any sickness yet. The hours aren’t as long as a centre, so can be a flying hurry to collect her some days (although mum fairly relaxed if ever late). Childcare is definitely a personal choice. Explore your options. Don’t settle. Katie
  • I work in early childhood currently on mat leave with number two but return in just over a month to a childcare centre. Sarah
  • My son did go to a centre but now goes to a daycare mum, its more expensive but so much better for him! He has learnt so much more, we felt the centre were just acting as baby sitters and didn’t actually teach him anything. He would cry when we left and the centre would put him in timeout upstairs while the other kids played downstairs until he stopped crying. The day they actually told me they did this on a regular basis was the day we started looking at other options. He hated it and would cry before we even got there. Our daycare mum has a curriculum she has to teach from and having a smaller group of kids around him works better for him. Stacey
  • My children go to daycare as I am a childcare worker =) Megan
  • My three boys have all been in a long day care centre since they were 6 months old. I love it, and choose that option so that they were exposed to a wide range of personalities each time they go. For instance, being part of a centre, they are one of 12 to 30 children, depending on age. Being in family day care, they are only one of 5, so therefore, in my opinion, are quite sheltered in dealing with all sorts of situations and personalities. Child care is, however a very personal decision, and should be made with the knowledge of each individual child and parent. Jill
  • I’m a child care teacher and my kids go to family day care. Would never put them in a centre. Ashley
  • I chose a child care centre for my son , I was a bit hesitant after the first experience with care that we had. The centre we chose is excellent , two year waiting list (got in straight away when they found out the story’s to why we were changing) I took my Bach of early child care friend with me to see what I have to look for , it has the highest safety rating, nutrition ratings, highest quality care ect. The curriculum is great , the teachers were nice and friendly , the children were well behaved , never heard a cry from them the time I was there. It’s modern , they provided everything. It has everything we were looking for but MOST importantly my son is comfortable there , he wasn’t sad nor getting neglected , the teachers had time for him (unlike the other one) he is excelling in everything to say the least. I just love the fact he is so happy and content there , I couldn’t imagine him any other way now πŸ˜‰ Rylee
  • Long daycare for my lo, found a fantastic not for profit centre who had a fab curriculum, and he loved going there! He was only there 2 days a week and that was a nice balance between work / daycare and time at home with mum! πŸ™‚ Robyn
  • I’m a early childhood educator currently on maturing leave with second baby my oldest goes to long day care once a week where I work. Tracy
  • My little girl went to daycare from 9 months i chose it cause i had friends working there and most of my friends went there too it was cheap and included nappies milk and food i just had to send my girl the staff were really friendly and knew all the kids names i plan on sending my little man there too. Katrina
  • My boys go to a daycare centre, I prefer it over family daycare as there are more children to socialize with and they have a carer that works with certain groups, they love it! πŸ™‚ Emmalisa
  • My son to a centre, i send him to that one because staff are great, run by a Christian church, friendly environment, 10min walk down road and will sign my son up for swim lessons in summer too. Teacher gets him out of class and done during school hours. Samson is now 5.5 years and goes 2 days a week he loves it and his teachers. Nikita
  • My son only goes to child care when I am there working. The centre staff are very friendly, though I do worry how he will handle kindergarten etc. after being so used to having me around. Carmen
  • I’m an early childhood educator doing FDC and my child will be at home with me when he/she is born. No way would I ever send my child to a centre, the child to staff ratio is too big and from doing work experience at centres I feel as though the one-on-one time isn’t enough for the children. Children at an early age should be given more choices than what they get in centres, for example – I know of one centre where every child has to sit down and do a painting, whether they want to or not. I don’t think that is an appropriate way for small children to learn. As a FDC educator I have time to have one-on-one time daily with each child and I have more time to focus on their developmental milestones and putting all this information into their individual portfolios. Β Kirstin
  • Daycare centre. I put my dd in from 8 months 1 day a week and then 2 days a week at about 12 months. I love my daycare, I called a few in our area to make enquiries & never got calls back which peeved me off first, then I went to one daycare to look at it & the babies room was quite small & not a lot of light, felt unclean. I then popped into one that just opened near my in-laws house & I loved it. They have a curriculum & very high standards, good nutritional food & they have a permanent cook who knows all the kids and if she knows a kid doesn’t eat whats on the menu for lunch she will prepare them a different meal. The babies room is huge for only 12 babies and lots of natural light. They clean every afternoon just before home time & The carers are fab & I love them. I knew when I walked in there that it was the place for us. Melissa
  • My daughter goes to a centre and we originally chose it as it was our only option with space at the time and I had I go back to work for financial reasons. But it has turned out that we are very lucky! She loves it and gets excited before we even get there. The staff are all amazing and she gets along with all of them. She has learnt so much and made some fabulous friends. Jessica
  • I sent my son to a daycare, he cried every morning three days a week for a couple months, so I changed n took him to family daycare and he only cried the first morning no trouble since. Every child is different. Sarah
  • Family dare care:) I chose family day care because the twins needed interaction with other children but have a low immune system so a big day care would just make them sick more often:( plus they love the carer, and I only pay for the hours that they go not per day like daycare centers they only go one day a week πŸ™‚ for interaction with other kids:) Letisha
  • We chose a centre as we both work in public service and felt childcare provided extra protection than family day care given the people/families we work with. This has already happened and been a godsend! I would love to be able to afford a nanny, but this is our next best option. Peta
  • I’m an early childhood educator, in a long daycare centre. I work in the pre school room 3 days a week and my son attends 2 days a week in the baby room, then has a day with nan πŸ™‚ Rebecca
  • My daughter goes to both πŸ™‚ 3 days at family day care and two at daycare. We got a terrible family day care and childcare centre but she now has two places where she is loved and cared for and gives her some quiet time and more social time. Natasha
  • My dd (19mo) goes to a daycare centre 1 day a week! She loves it!! She gets to socialize with 9 other kids, that’s mainly why I put her in! I worked at that centre before dd was born and i know how good it is there! Meg
  • I chose childcare centre because at the time it was the only one I liked that had the days available that I needed my son in care. I haven’t really had any troubles with the centre. The staff are really friendly and supportive. Β It’s also opened 6-6 which is very handy but sometimes it would be good if they opened to 6:30pm Vanessa
  • I have used both. I definitely prefer family day care. My daughter hated going to pre-school but when she was going to family day care she wanted to go on weekends too lol. I think she liked having the same familiar face each time & at pre-school it was new people every week. Its cheaper & you get more interaction as theres less kids to deal with. It can be hard to find a carer that is suited to your child though. My youngest goes to day care only because i moved & there are no family day care carers in my area. Anita

Other helpful links include:
Australian Government ‘My Child’
Child for Kids
Family Day Care Australia

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