When the time comes to begin looking at child care options for your children, it’s crucial to do your research. What may have worked for the children of your friends and family may not be as convenient or suitable for you and yours. There are many things you must consider – a few of which we’ve included below.
Location, believe it or not, can play a part in choosing the best child care option for you and your family. If you select a facility that’s not within proximity to your home or place of business, you may find you’re spending even longer commuting than is realistically convenient. For example, if your child is in care until 5.30 pm, but you work until 5 pm, you need to ensure a commute of 30 minutes or less is possible. Otherwise, it may cause problems for your work schedule and the facility caring for your child.
When you’re looking at various child care options, keep our ears open. Close to half of families included in an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey utilised some form of child care. Therefore, you’re bound to know several people who take their children to facilities and have feedback about them. Ask questions, find out about the environment and the teachers, and narrow down the potential options from what people have to say.
Your Children’s Needs
Not every child thrives in a busy environment with other children – whereas others do. You know your children better than anyone, so consider what’s in their best interests. Child care is available in varying forms, so you may find home-based is far more beneficial, or a facility with structure could be as well.
Depending on the type of child care you’re looking at – be it preschool, kindergarten, or home-based, knowing the environment can help you to make a decision. A warm atmosphere may put your mind at ease, or a place with plenty of activities and structure may be more to your liking. Every child care facility is going to offer a different atmosphere, so don’t be afraid to visit a few before you make your decision.
Because preschool and child care programmes are not compulsory or regulated in Australia, you will find there is a lot of flexibility around price. You can enrol your children in day care for a few days a week if it’s within your budget, or for longer if your budget is a little higher.
Here in Australia, the price of child care is quite low, especially in comparison to other countries. If you consider tax rebate entitlements and Child Care Benefits, you can pay, on average, $3.85 per hour. This is far lower than the likes of New Zealand where kindergartens can cost as much as $6 or higher per hour. The affordability of child care gives you the option to shop around for facilities that tick all the boxes for your requirements other than price.
Choosing child care that suits your needs is a process that requires much thought and deliberation. Ultimately, you want to be able to feel comfortable every time you drop your children off there for the day. Consider these tips above when you’re ready to look at your options.