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  1. #1
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    Default Back to work...advice please?

    **I posted this in Single Parents, but please anyone feel free to respond.**

    I am looking at getting back to work but I feel a bit overwhelmed and not sure of the best way to approach it.

    I am a sole parent of a 16 month old (and a 13yo). My DD has never been in childcare or cared for by anyone else for more than a couple of hours. She coped fine as long as she wasn't aware of me leaving and had plenty of distractions.

    I'm not on any waiting lists for childcare because I wasn't sure where I would be working/living when I did go back to work. I am staying at my mums right now, 30-40 mins away from my DS's school. Is it better to have care close to work, home or DS's school (although he is starting to catch public transport now)? I always intended moving back to be near school, or at least a few train stations away but the way rents have increased this might not be an option.

    I can't afford to pay for childcare before I start working. I receive FTB payments and a small amount of child support only and I think I will get all the child care rebates. I know logically I need to make sure I can get care before applying for jobs, from what I hear I will have to pay a deposit to secure days, so this is also an issue. I also want to ease DD into care but can't see how I can do it (financially).

    Sorry this is garbled and I think I had more to write but I can't think of it right now.

    ETA I am looking at doing 30 hours (or more) work.
    TIA
    Last edited by Stiflers Mom; 04-05-2012 at 13:07.

  2. #2
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    OK lots of questions there!

    Waiting lists - I found the best thing to do was put your name down at lots of places and then call them regularly to see if any places have become available. Since you are not looking for a place for a baby it is not as difficult and the wait is not so long. I found that they would much prefer to give the place to a parent who called to ask at the right time, rather than work their way through the waiting list to find someone who still needed a place. I think as a single parent you may get priority for a place as well.

    I don't remember having to pay a deposit for a place, but I did have to give my bank/credit card details so that they could direct debit the fees on a regular basis (I got to choose weekly, monthly or fortnightly). Most places are very flexible and understand what it's like, I'm sure many places would agree to wait for a couple of weeks until you are getting paid before they bill you. You can also elect to have your CC rebate paid directly to your centre on a fortnightly basis, so you only have to kick in half the fees upfront.

    I much much much preferred having DD at childcare near work. It meant we spent as much time as possible together in the mornings/evenings, if I got held up at work I was only 5 minutes away, if there was an emergency I was only 5 minutes away...

    The transition to childcare can be hard, but generally the staff are very very professional and experienced and know what to do to make things easier for you. DD's childcare had a specific induction process where you took them for a play at least twice before actually starting at the centre, they didn't charge me for it.

    I would strongly suggest giving some centres a call, having a chat, go in for a tour and chat to the director. Most centres are more than willing to do this (unless they are completely full and have no hope of ever giving you a place, then they probably wouldn't waste your time and theirs).

    I can recommend a fantastic centre in Melbourne CBD, are you planning to work in the city or out in Bayside?

    Hope all that helps!

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    Just in regards to location - I think ultimately a childcare you are comfortable with whether its a little bit further away or not.
    DS has never been in a centre, but he did got to a FDC mum that was on my way to work and 5 mins up the road. Things started going a bit iffy and i didnt like what was going on so now he is at a FDC mum that i have to drive 10 minutes PAST work to take him too. He is happier, healthier so that means i am too.
    If there is one you are comfortable with near work then of course take it!!!!

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    I can't help as I'm not going back to work any time soon, but bumping for the afternoon crowd for you xx

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Californication For This Useful Post:

    Stiflers Mom  (27-03-2012)

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    Definitely closer to work is best. When I returned to work after having Hayden, I had him booked in at a centre close to home, and then only days away from returning to work I realised how uncomfortable I was about being 30 mins away from him if he needed me, and so I pulled him out and got him into a centre within walking distance of my work! I was very lucky that this worked out and there was no waiting list. Things would have turned out very differently otherwise! But yes, definitely close to work rather than home if you can

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    Stiflers Mom  (27-03-2012)

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelle65 View Post
    OK lots of questions there!

    Waiting lists - I found the best thing to do was put your name down at lots of places and then call them regularly to see if any places have become available. Since you are not looking for a place for a baby it is not as difficult and the wait is not so long. I found that they would much prefer to give the place to a parent who called to ask at the right time, rather than work their way through the waiting list to find someone who still needed a place. I think as a single parent you may get priority for a place as well.

    I don't remember having to pay a deposit for a place, but I did have to give my bank/credit card details so that they could direct debit the fees on a regular basis (I got to choose weekly, monthly or fortnightly). Most places are very flexible and understand what it's like, I'm sure many places would agree to wait for a couple of weeks until you are getting paid before they bill you. You can also elect to have your CC rebate paid directly to your centre on a fortnightly basis, so you only have to kick in half the fees upfront.

    I much much much preferred having DD at childcare near work. It meant we spent as much time as possible together in the mornings/evenings, if I got held up at work I was only 5 minutes away, if there was an emergency I was only 5 minutes away...

    The transition to childcare can be hard, but generally the staff are very very professional and experienced and know what to do to make things easier for you. DD's childcare had a specific induction process where you took them for a play at least twice before actually starting at the centre, they didn't charge me for it.

    I would strongly suggest giving some centres a call, having a chat, go in for a tour and chat to the director. Most centres are more than willing to do this (unless they are completely full and have no hope of ever giving you a place, then they probably wouldn't waste your time and theirs).

    I can recommend a fantastic centre in Melbourne CBD, are you planning to work in the city or out in Bayside?

    Hope all that helps!
    Thanks!

    I was thinking the same about having childcare close to work, it's just I don't have the work part. I was going to try ad find something in the Bayside area again, I did 5+ years of commuting to St Kilda Road when my son was small. I don't think I can do it again. So I'll ring around a few places around where I hope to work but not far from where I hope to live...it's all a bit chicken or the egg

    I need to give CL a call, but just out of interest how much could I be looking at paying for full time care per week (after rebates)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennos Mummy View Post
    Just in regards to location - I think ultimately a childcare you are comfortable with whether its a little bit further away or not.
    DS has never been in a centre, but he did got to a FDC mum that was on my way to work and 5 mins up the road. Things started going a bit iffy and i didnt like what was going on so now he is at a FDC mum that i have to drive 10 minutes PAST work to take him too. He is happier, healthier so that means i am too.
    If there is one you are comfortable with near work then of course take it!!!!
    I didn't think of FDC, thanks for that.

    Does that end up costing less than a centre? I used the equivalent in NZ and the carer was amazing, I wish she was here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonky Donkey View Post

    I need to give CL a call, but just out of interest how much could I be looking at paying for full time care per week (after rebates)?
    It really depends on your income and the fees the centre charges, but as a rough guide, I was earning around $70k and I used to pay about $290 for four days and then get 50% back - so overall I was paying about $37 a day. The full fee without CCB or CCR was around $97.

    An absolute bargain if you ask me - the carers were amazing, the food was spectacular (better than DD would have been eating at home), they took the older kids on excursions which were included in the fees, they had regular specialist science and dancing teachers come to the class... Childcare was the best thing that ever happened to me and DD!

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to shelle65 For This Useful Post:

    Stiflers Mom  (27-03-2012)

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelle65 View Post
    It really depends on your income and the fees the centre charges, but as a rough guide, I was earning around $70k and I used to pay about $290 for four days and then get 50% back - so overall I was paying about $37 a day. The full fee without CCB or CCR was around $97.

    An absolute bargain if you ask me - the carers were amazing, the food was spectacular (better than DD would have been eating at home), they took the older kids on excursions which were included in the fees, they had regular specialist science and dancing teachers come to the class... Childcare was the best thing that ever happened to me and DD!
    Ok, so I would be earning a lot less especially if I stay out of the city. Is what you were paying the minimum or would it have been less if you earned less?

    I've been procrastinating for so long because I would rather be home with her, but we don't have a home if I don't get some work. I am also worried that between rent and CC fees there won't be much over for groceries, bills etc.

    Thank you for your information.

  13. #10
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    I am in almost exactly this situation minus the second child at school and font live with mum, but am facing this exact hurdle ATM with 19 month-old DS. Will reply later as he is now awake so we're off to the park... Just wanted to say ill reply later

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Ellewood For This Useful Post:

    Stiflers Mom  (27-03-2012)


 

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