I am a soon to be first time mum and I am starting to look for childcare/family day care for my baby (since I am aware about waiting times, etc)
I am looking for family day care options, however I have no idea where to start. Any idea where to find providers? How long in advance should I look for family day care?
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03-09-2013 17:42 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
How to look family day care
03-09-2013 17:59 #2
Try googling family day care and your area to find your local scheme. From there, you can give them a ring and they will put you in contact with suitable educators, depending on what you're looking for in care. You could also look on gumtree, care for kids website and facebook for more info on educators hope this gets you started. Where do you live?... this can affect whether you'll need to worry about waiting lists
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Last edited by Mischa44; 03-09-2013 at 18:01.
03-09-2013 18:02 #3
This is the national site, it will let you find family day care organisations in your area. I know where I live, there is a long waiting list but it will depend where you live and what days you need as to how long it takes. New carers start up all the time so you may get lucky.
04-09-2013 10:48 #4Junior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
Thanks for the replies. I live in Brisbane, I work in the North (Albion area), so I am looking something close to my work. I rang so far 2 child care centers and they told me to put on waiting list now, one told to me that will confirm me sometime in September next year (that is simply ridiculous!), other told me perhaps earlier, none of them can't guarantee how many days. Then I wonder, what is the point of calling so many months in advance?? They must know well in advance if they can or not - that is my reasoning -
I thought the earlier you enquire, the more chances you can have to book a childcare. How long it took you to find child care?
04-09-2013 11:09 #5
Very generally speaking, most placements are made at the beginning of each year (as the oldest room moves on to school). Centres start finalising the year ahead in the September period.
04-09-2013 11:13 #6
Most Childcare centres that close to the city will have a wait list of around 2years for the nursery - due to ratios most centres only take up to 8 babies at a time.
04-09-2013 11:26 #7
Unfortunately, you do need to start looking way in advance to when you need care. Waiting lists for daycare are backed up pretty badly and they're going to get worse come next year with the introduction of new ratios.
I suggest you look around your area for possible centres / carers. Your council should be able to help you with the contact details of your local FDC organisation.
Before you start putting your name on waiting lists, take tours of the facilities and ask many, many questions! When you go in, have a checklist of what's important to you in a carer and observe what goes on. How the carers interact with the children, what sorts of activities they have, the ages and numbers of children in each group, etc. When you're there obviously everyone will be on their absolute best behaviour but it's generally a pretty good idea of what you can expect. The sucky places generally can't help but show you just how sucky they are!
Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to say no if someone insists on putting you on a waiting list at a place you don't want to be part of. They sometimes have pretty hefty admin fees and, when you apply to several at once, it adds up quickly. But you very, very likely need to get yourself on a few waiting lists, particularly if you want to enroll in a larger centre. Family daycare is usually easier to get into simply because there are so many more carers on offer.
When bub comes and you're ready for care, call up and check on your position on the waiting list. Sometimes you'll get lucky, particularly if they have a place open at the time. When looking at the waiting lists during intake (usually October / September for the next year), they essentially go down the list and look at the days you're requesting. If they coincide with an availability (and they don't have any priority children on their list), then they'll call and you've got yourself a spot - assuming you still need it. If you're no longer interested in the spot, then they'll go to the next person. The more flexible you are in your days, the better your chances of getting a spot.
If you are offered a day at the centre of your choice (if it's the one you totally want super bad!), even if it's just one and not necessarily the day you want, I advise you to take it if you can rearrange your schedule. Daycare providers often offer first choice of vacancies to children in their care - once you have that first day, you've at least got your foot in the door!
Last edited by snowqu33n; 04-09-2013 at 11:28.
04-09-2013 11:54 #8
I would look close to home not work as that means less travel time for bub and if your ever sick bub can still go to care and its only close to home .
04-09-2013 13:31 #9
I use FDC and found that you can't really start seriously looking too far in advance, unless the educators know that they will have kids leaving for prep/kindy at the beginning of the following year.
When I started looking into it early, the ones who had vacancies were not going to hold the place for me IYKWIM?
I did find it easier finding a place to start at the beginning of the year with my second child, rather than 1/3 of the way through the year with my first one.
Don't be afraid to go and meet a lot of them, ask lots of questions. I met about 6 before I made my decision.
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