The most important thing for families is choosing the type of child care available. It is particularly important for families where both parents work or where there is only one parent. During the day when no adults will be home, the care of a child is an important decision to be made. A parent needs to have peace of mind that their child is well taken care of and in safe hands. In Australia, there are different options available for child care:
- Caring for the child in their own home
- Child care at a centre
- Family daycare
- Outside school hours care
1. Home-based care
Home-based care is arranging care for your child in your own home. You can arrange to have a friend, relative, grandparent, babysitter, or nanny come to your home every day to take care of your child. If you want to have the child taken care of every day during certain hours, the right idea is to arrange for a babysitter or a nanny who the child learns to love and trust and know that they can depend on them when mom and dad are not around. It also means peace of mind knowing that one person that you know and trust is taking care of your child every day. You can have the person come to your house every day or arrange to have them live in your home.
2. Centre-based care
Child care centres provide services for families who need to have their child looked after during weekdays. It is a good option also for parents who work irregularly or have hours that vary. Here are also preschools and kindergartens that operate from centres and offer care programs and education for children from the ages of three or four years old. Some of the advantages of centre-based care are:
- Routine and structure
- Children learn to socialize and play together
3. Family daycare
Family daycare means that you find someone you can trust to look after your child at their home. This offers the child an environment like in their own home, and it can be less stressful for them when their parents aren’t around. It provides the child with a chance to meet other children and enjoy playtime with them. It is especially useful for single children who have no siblings. The hours are flexible in case your working hours vary. However, the one drawback is that unlike other care, if the caregiver, in this case, gets ill, you’ll have to arrange for back-up care, and sometimes that can be difficult to do.
4. Outside school hour care
Taking care of a child outside of school hours is also centre-based care for families who need their children looked after when school lets out, and on school holidays, This type of care is mostly for primary-school-age children.
So it is up to you to decide what kind of care is best for your child, and once you have made some decisions, it is best to look at the services available. Check out the kinds of services available near you and get your child registered to know they’ll be safe and well looked after. You might consider taking your child to meet the educators at Treehouse Early Learning in Manly before you actually leave them at the centre so your child will be less anxious and will have already met the educators.