Whether you choose a pre-school, day care, occasional care or home-based care finding the type of child care which best suits your child and your family’s needs is an important factor in the successful placement of your child in a children’s service.
Some things to consider when choosing child care arrangements are:
- the age and interests of your child
- the hours of care you require
- whether you work full-time or part-time
- whether you need regular or occasional care
- the geographic location of the service
- whether you have a car or need to rely on public transport.
Having an understanding of the difference in service types may help you in your decision making.
Type’s of children’s services
Long day care
Long day care is usually open for 10 or more hours per day, five days per week and takes children from 6 weeks to under 6 years. Children can attend part-time or full-time child care.
Family day care
Family day care schemes coordinate care provided by family day carers in their own homes and carers operate alone with the support of the scheme. Hours of care vary and are negotiated with the scheme’s coordinator, or between the carer and the parent. Carers can take up to 5 children from babies up to under 6 years of age and two school-aged children who need before and after school or vacation care.
Care is provided at the home of the carer who operates independently. Hours of care vary and may be negotiated between the carer and the parent. Carers can nominate the ages of children they care for, but may take children and babies up to 12 years of age who need before and after school or vacation care.
Preschools generally take children aged 3 to under 6 years, although some may be licensed to take children from 2 years of age.
Occasional care allows parents to leave their child for short periods of time, either on a casual basis or as a temporary booking.
Mobile children’s service
A mobile service generally operates from a van or other vehicle which travels through a particular geographic area and sets up a child care service in a local hall or other premises. These services may offer occasional care, preschool care or long day care. Service is offered once a week, or more often, depending on regional needs and hours vary.
For more detailed information try the websites listed below: