For most of us mammas these days we have a need to head back to work after having our little ones, which can be a daunting and guilt filled decision at times, but a necessary one.
Sadly, money makes the world go ‘round and we often don’t have ‘the community’ we once had, of mums, grandparents, Aunties, or sisters friends dogs available to assist us to care for our children as we once did.
So what are our options?
Centre based care; which includes, Long Day Care, Occasional care and preschool for younger children, are all based in a service that is regulated by the Australian governments. These can be privately owned, not for profit enterprises, council or community run. They all include educational programs for children, qualified educators and endless social opportunities for children.
Family Day Care; this is often much cheaper and is also covered by the governments rebates, benefits and regulations. FDC takes place in a residential home, (so there are less children) and also must include an educational program for those who attend.
Nannies; these are quite expensive and are not regulated by the government, so there are no official safety nets to ensure the quality of care. Many families like this private option and there are many quality nannies out there if you can afford them and get your hands on them.
So, why childcare?
It’s an all in one: Consistency is really important when it comes to the emotional development of children, one thing EC services such as Long day care offer, is a vast age range for children. Most services will enrol children anywhere from around 6 weeks up until 5 or 6 years.
Most also have a registered kindergarten program, which meet all the same criteria’s as a sessional kindergarten, only with the option of a full day of care. This enables families to utilise the same service for many years and your children can essentially grow up with the educators and children of the service, giving families an opportunity to become a part of the service ‘community’ over these many years.