So, you’re thinking about putting your child into childcare, but where do you begin? Factors such as the child’s age, the hours you need care for, the location of the childcare, and the cost all contribute to choosing the right childcare for your family. Here, we will help you work out what type of childcare is best for your child.
There are different types of childcares including:
- Out of school hours care – this is generally used by working parents who do not work the same hours as school. It includes before school care, after school care, and vacation care.
- Family daycare – is childcare provided in a private home-setting and has less children than a childcare centre. They usually offer long daycare and/or occasional care. The carer usually provides some learning activities, but they generally don’t have a full range of resources, and qualifications, like an early learning centre has.
- Early learning centre – these range in sizes and some except babies to preschool age and others focus on older children and preparing them for school in their School Readiness Programs and kindergartens. They are usually well-resourced, and they employ qualified early childhood educators.
The amount of time your child needs care for will also influence the childcare you choose, long daycare or occasional care. Many early learning centres have strict opening and closing times. However, if your work hours are unusual these types of centres may not suit. Some centres do offer extended hours, but Family daycare may be able to offer more flexible times.
Your child’s age can have a bearing on the childcare you use too. A school age child would use out of school hours care, a young baby doesn’t need school readiness, but a child approaching school age does need quality early education.
Childcare fees fluctuate greatly between states, suburbs, and centres. A childcare centre closer to your work may be cheaper than one closer to home, perhaps your neighbourhood is perceived to be a more affluent suburb, and this can be reflected in the fees. Also, some centres offer extras like meals, nappies, or transport within their fees, others stay with the basics, these alter the cost of services within the area. If you are in Schofields, you can go to child care Schofields and see what the childcare in your area costs and what they provide within their fee structure.
Lastly, you need to consider what you want your child to learn. Are they any cultural, religious, or social issues you want your child to be a part of? Also, whether a provider’s philosophies align with your own or not.
There is no one-size-fits-all in childcare. Each family is unique, and their needs are their own. Factors like age, location, opening hours, cost, curriculum, and their philosophies make each centre individual. With a bit of research and understanding of you and your child’s needs finding what type of child care is best for your child isn’t as hard as it first seems.