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Daycare Defined

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Whether you are an alien from outer space, recently emigrated from overseas, or a first time mum. Unless you have friends who have ‘been there, done that’, deciding on day care for your child can be scary, complicated and stressful. Understanding what is available in Australia is the first step in the process.

This fact sheet will focus on the various types of care for children aged 0 to 4. It goes through options like staying at home with mum or dad, ‘grandcare’ (grandparents care) through to family day care, nannies and occasional care.

A big tip would be to think about the care of your child early. It sounds awful but, you need to start planning for the kind of care you want for your child in your early pregnancy. That can be a really strange feeling! Consider a plan a, b and c.  Take some time to go over your finances and reflect on your career to find out what works for you in terms of keeping up with your professional development and how you will manage your money on maternity leave and beyond. You need think laterally. If you are employed, become familiar with your HR policies. Quite often, parents feel because of their finances or their type of career they have child care options taken away from them. But if you are prepared to do your research, think about your options and be creative you can access the care that will make you and your child happy!

This all sounds very negative and sometimes its not, so try not to stress! Parents can develop a range of care strategies that suits their situation, whether the focus is to stay at home or go back to work.  It’s handy if you have the creativity to investigate alternatives and have the stamina to work through the details and financial implications of all options. This fact sheet will hopefully make your information gathering easier. This is a living document and will be updated constantly based on the relevant agencies and your feedback so let me know if you have anything to add info@daycaredecisions.com.au

 

Care options per age-group

0-4 years old daycare options:

–  Stay at home mum/dad

– ‘Grandcare’- Grandparent, relative or friend caring for your child

–  Childcare/ Long Daycare

–  Nannies/Au pairs

–  Limited hours/Occasional Care

–  In home care (special eligibility criteria apply)

–  Adjunt care

–  Stand-alone care

–  Kindy program (I have included this as some long daycare centres have a kindy program and if you are happy with your centre, you may not realise you don’t have to look externally for a kindy.

4+ Kindy is not compulsory, however a great first step towards your childs future education. The Queensland Government endorse approved kindergarten programs which offer an accredited education program for children in the year before Prep delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for at least 15 hours per week, 40 weeks per year. Approved kindergarten programs can be delivered in a range of settings, including traditionally community kindys, and recently long daycare services can apply to be part of the program.

5yrs Prep, like kindy is also not compulsory but it is a great way to introduce your child to school life. Prep is available at schools offering primary education.   It is the first year in the Early Phase of Learning, which includes Prep to Year 3 so you might as well get them off to a good start. Children need to be five by 30 June in the year they enrol in Prep in Queensland. Each state differs, so check this information if you are living outside of Queensland.

6yrs Grade 1 Children must be enrolled in school in the year they will turn six by 30 June.( These dates are relevant to Queensland) This is compulsory, so make sure you get your enrollments in early.

 

Stay at home Mum/Dad

This is not the realm of yummy mummies, or dishy daddies, lunch dates, gym sessions, brunches and long lunches unless you have a contented newborn or can combine it with another type of care e.g. nannies, grandparents. This is position is under-renumerated, and undervalued by potential employers due to your 2 year olds phone reference. But, on the other hand, it provides your children with you for the most crucial years of their development. Looking after yourself is extremely important in this role, as sick days are a luxury. Being a stay at home mum or dad can be the most rewarding position you will ever accept and can often change the way you think about your skills and how you want to utilise them in your future career development pathway. It can be a difficult decision to make, as there are emotional, cultural and financial factors all involved, but taking the following into consideration will help you make the decisions that’s right for you and your family.

 Things to consider –

Make sure you know what ‘a day in the life of’ is like. This is the kind of job where you develop your own schedule and duties, no one will provide you with a handbook, but you can get some great hints and tips from other mums/dads. What will you do in the day? Check out some online forums and blogs, chat to a friend, and/or spend 1 day as a stay at home mum/dad. Dad’s have a harder time as it can feel a bit isolating at the local ‘mums’ groups and playgroups, so make sure you have some sort of support networks established to see you through. Join a ‘Dads’ group: http://sahd.meetup.com/cities/au/brisbane/.

What impact will it have on your career? – It’s a cold hard fact but if you are in a highly skilled position, taking time out from your career can have a major impact on your progression and professional registration. Talk to your colleagues in a similar situation as policies and procedures may not be backed up by the culture of your organisation. You may not realise how deeply attached to your job you are and ideals such as your identity can be wrapped up in what you do. What is one of the first things we ask a person when we meet them? What do you do? Is your identity inextricably linked to who you are and will you be ok with this change of duties with being a stay at home mum? Sometimes you just have to suck it and see.

Have you done the sums? – Taking a whole income away with the addition of a baby can be quite stressful on the family budget. Take some time to estimate a budget, take some annual leave from work and trial living on that budget for a week. What kind of cuts will you need to make to your current budget to enjoy life and squeeze in a baby chino here and there? Calculate your family benefits such as Paid Parental Leave, this might be an addition you have not yet accounted for. Don’t discount anything, you could think about a return to work for one day a week and be earning under the taxable threshold could that help? If talking money isn’t really your thing, speak to a financial planner, make sure they come recommended through a friend.

Children with special needs – Whether you’re raising a child with various physical, developmental or emotional challenges, parenting a child with special needs can be challenging. On top of a normal hectic day raising a child, there are appointments, therapy and paperwork. Decisions you may have to return to work may also bear an added amount of guilt so discussing your options with a partner, friend, or counsellor may be a good way forward.

Why not speak to someone already in the situation by attending a local mums group? http://spclneedsparents.meetup.com/members/au/brisbane/ or the Government-funded Peer Support Group, ‘My Time’. The groups are for anyone caring for children with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition. Socialise and share ideas and information with others who understand the rewards and intensity of caring for a child with special needs. http://www.mytime.net.au/

Dads are different – and they are not readily catered for. It can be a bit isolating as a stay at home dad as they may feel uncomfortable turning up to baby yoga, the local mums group (the name may be the put off) or having coffee catch ups with other local mums.

Hours – Full time

Support – It is a good idea to be aware of the support around you, whether that is family and friends, occasional care at the local pool or shops, or your mums group. As the stay at home mum/dad there is a very real possibility of burn out unless you look after yourself. Join a stay at home mums group as a mum or a dad, which can lead to greater things like new friends, informal babysitting swaps: http://sahm.meetup.com/cities/au/brisbane/

Resources

www.athomemums.com

 

Grandcare

Living up to its name, this can be care of the highest degree that money can’t buy. It is provided by Grandparent’s, with all their faculties, time and willingness to shower their affections on their grandchildren. Or, it could be a provided by a relative or friend. Before you begin this arrangement discuss a few things that are important to you in raising your child e.g. discipline, food, sleep and parenting styles. Lay it all on the table first and be clear about how you would like your child to be parented.

Things to consider –

Distance –It has to be convenient. Consider the distance you will travel accounting for peak hour. Consider flexible arrangements like sleepovers and grandparents coming to stay.

Cost – Whilst money does not necessarily change hands in this arrangement, there will be probably be some out-of-pocket expenses to the grandparents, relatives or friends. Discuss food, nappies and outings and consider setting up a direct debit. Provide the food and nappies to make it easier on the grandparents.

Child Care Benefits – You can only claim the Child Care Benefit if your parents or other relatives or friends are registered as carers with the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services.

Physical Ability – I wouldn’t recommend a fitness test, but the mobility of your carers becomes a larger issue when your child starts to walk, toddle and run. Its not about age, is about ability. So just make sure the grandparents, friends or relatives are feeling up to the challenge and let them know that the arrangement can be reviewed if it becomes a bit too much. Always have a back up plan!

Home safety – Grandparents, relatives and friends possibly haven’t had wee ones around so their house may not be ‘child-proof’. Ornaments may be on display, medicines and toilet cleaner are within easy reach. A safety audit is a good place to start check out: www.kidsafeqld.com.au. It’s also not a bad idea to pay for your Grandcarers to undertake some First Aid training to be prepared for the unexpected.

Hours – Just because they are your parents, friends or relatives doesn’t mean they will cope with 6am-6pm. Prepare to talk, listen and work within what suits them.

Holidays and Sickness – Don’t take advantage of your carers. Lock in some holidays for the year whether they go away or not and find ways of showing them you appreciate their help along the way. Consider your plan ‘b’ if there is are any sick days or medical problems that may crop up.

Outings/Socialisation – It’s important for your Grandcarer to have an outlet and for your child to have an opportunity to socialise with other children. Encourage them to go out to the park or join a playgroup http://www.playgroupqld.com.au/.

Food – Sometimes Grandparents, friends or relatives eat differently than how you would like your child to it. They may use sweets or foods as a reward or treat for your child. If this annoys you, then tackle it at the beginning and provide the food yourself.  Also be prepared to give a little, negotiate or encourage Grandcarers to swap a treat for a trip to the park.

Discipline – Through the generations and amongst individuals, beliefs about how to parent and discipline children can be quite different. If you have decided on a particular way of disciplining your child, talk to your carers about this and make sure you are on the same page. Encourage them to read up on some books you have found useful e.g. Toddler Taming by Christopher Green or the Triple P positive parenting program. You could even book them into a course? Try to avoid your child getting conflicting messages from their main carers on sleep, discipline, eating and TV as this can be confusing for them and a source of conflict for you and their carer. It is nothing a bit of open communication can’t solve!

 

 

Family Daycare/Home-based Care

Family Daycare refers to care in a carers home. Family daycare can be licensed. Licensed childcare services are required to meet minimum quality standards under The Queensland Government Office for Early Childhood Education such as; the ratio of adults to children, staff qualifications, programs, buildings and facilities, health, hygiene and safety standards. In a licensed set up, an umbrella organisation such as Wesley Mission takes responsibility for vetting the carers and their qualifications, checking the safety of the premises, providing insurance and ensuring that all other obligations are met under the scheme. It also means they are registered for the family tax benefit, so you can receive the payments.  

Things to consider –

Distance – Consider if it works with you and your partners work commitments. You may like to have the family day care closer to your work than your home. Consider if you have to take a sick day or time off for an appointment. If you family day care is near work it may be a challenge to drop your child off in peak hour and then head home.

Home safety – This will have been checked in licensed family day care services but it can’t hurt to take a look around with the carer and think about things like fences, long grass, fish ponds etc.

Hours – This type of care may be more flexible, in terms of drop off hours, but it depends on the provider. Some family day carers do not start their day until 8:30am and they finish at 4:00pm.

Fees – Fees differ greatly so do your homework. They can be range from $70-$120 per day. There may even be prerequisite age groups e.g. 15mths + depending on the provider.

Qualifications – In licensed family day care settings all family daycare coordinators will need to have an approved diploma-level early childhood education and care qualification or above and all family daycare educators will be required to have (or be working towards) an approved Certificate III level early childhood education and care qualification, or equivalent. Consider the qualifications of your unlicensed family day carer.

Food and Nappies – Food and nappies can be included in the daily rate but it depends on the provider, so make sure you ask first.

Age catered for? – 0-4 years of age, depending on your provider. Some specialise e.g. 15mths+ so check what suits you. A kindy program may be delivered by a suitably qualified family day carer. You would just need to ask the umbrella organisation. It is probably more likely you will need to look for a childcare centre providing a kindy program or a stand-alone kindy such as C & K, Lady Gowrie or your local community kindy.

Amount of children? By 2014 the ratios will change and there will be 1 educator to 7 children with a maximum of four children who are preschool age or under.

Holidays? Family day carers, unlike long day care, can have holidays over and above the public holidays. Your daycarer will hopefully give you plenty of notice for this is one of the questions you need to ask to fit it in with you or your partners annual leave.

  • Child Care Benefits – You can only claim the Child Care Benefit if your family daycare provider is registered as carers with the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services. For more information visit: www.humanservices.gov.au/onlineservices or call 13 61 50 between 8 am and 8 pm (local time) Monday to Friday

Philosophy – Each day carer can have it’s own established ways of doing things, as well as the ethos they have agreed to under their umbrella organisation. Its important to do your research, be familiar with the family daycare provider:

http://www.kidsathome.net.au/

http://www.fdcqld.org/

http://www.wmb.org.au/page/Services/Child_Care/

 

Stand alone care

Carers can register with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. Carers must be over 18 years of age in either a home or another place such as a hall or church.There must not be more than six children from birth to 12 years of age (maximum of four under school age). Stand alone care is regulated but services are not required to be licensed.

Childcare Benefits: Parents can claim minimum Child Care Benefit by collecting the receipts from the carer and providing them to their Family Assistance Office.

Childcare/ Long Day Care

As a friend said, “my advice would be, if you want you children to get a place in the city childcare centres, put their name down at as many as you can before they are conceived and cross your fingers until they are 11”. I have never heard of any childcare centres in Brisbane that do not have waiting lists. ‘Long Day Care’ or ‘Childcare’ are terms used interchangeably to describe centers, which can cater for children 0 – 5 years of age.  These centres can have long hours and are a mix of private and community-based organisations. You first visit to a Childcare Centre can be a bit confronting; security access, crying children, dribbling neon noses are a bit of a sight. Try visiting a few and you will get to know what you like.

Things to consider –

Distance – Think of the distance to your work. Some people prefer a location closer to home if they are off sick you don’t have to travel 30mins to drop off the wee ones. Others even prefer to go to work rather than stay home with a cold + a hyperactive toddler.

Hours – Hours can vary, but can be as long as 6am until 6pm. If you or your partner seems to constantly getting home late, be aware most childcare centres have substantial penalty rates if you arrive to pick up your child after their official closing time.

Fees – Be prepared they may come in the form of admin, enrolment, weekly fees and also factor in other fees for entertainment above your daily rate e.g. dance programs, sport programs, cultural activities etc. Daily rates can begin at $60 and go up to 100/day. You will find generally, the closer you are to the CBD the more likely it is you will be spending $90/day on childcare.

Food and Nappies – These may be included in your daily fee or not provided at all.

Age catered for – Some families like to consider the consistency of keeping their child in the same centre when the wee ones transition into kindy (if the centre is approved to do that).

Child Care Benefits – The percentage subsidy you will receive under the Childcare Benefit differs from family to family and depends on your gross family income and the number of dependents in your family. You will need to lodge a form with the Family Assistance Office at Medicare or Centrelink so you can work out your subsidy and when you want to receive it; fortnightly, quarterly, half yearly or annually. Once approved you only need to pay the different between full fees and the subsidy (payed by the government). The paperwork has to be sorted out before you start, or else you will pay full fees, which will be credited back.

Kindy – Approved kindergarten program providers charge parents fees, and often fundraise to complement the funding they receive from the Queensland Government. Your eligibility for the Australian Government s Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate will not be affected by your child s participation in a kindergarten program delivered in a long day care service.

Philosophy – Each centre, depending on their ownership and management create their own educational philosophies in line with the National Quality Framework (National Standards for Office for Early Childhood Education and Care).

 Pondering Points

–       It will kill you but you will need to pay for your child attending holidays even though the centre will close

–       If you are going on holiday some centres will offer you a reduced rate, but you need to ask as you will probably have to give a few weeks notice

–       If your child is absent due to sickness the government will pay up to 30 absence, after that you will be charged full fee. However, if you get a medical certificate it will not be included in your allowable “30 days”.

 

Nannies/Aupairs

Who wouldn’t want their very own Mary Poppins; someone keeping both your house and your children a ‘ship-shape’. Nannies and Aupairs can be an excellent choice of care in terms of dedicated care in your home to suit your working hours or lifestyle. Times have changed from Mary’s day though and so has employment legislation, so these days you wouldn’t see a Nanny pulling a 24hour shift without a significant hourly penalty rates or taking the position without conditions such as annual leave and super and insurance. Likewise with your Aupair, just because they live in your house, doesn’t mean they are ‘on call’ 24-7, so don’t get too excited. There is a black market in existence where parents are paying Nannies/Aupairs cash in hand however issues such as injury liability and taxation issues due crop up. Many families choose to go through an agency so as to handle all the ‘employer’ issues.

 

The terms ‘Nannies’ and ‘Aupairs’ are often used interchangeably in Australia, however, there are some pretty major differences, which we will outlined below:

Aupairs

What is an Aupair?

Think of Aupairs as foreign students coming to Australia for a good time, not a long time. There is a fantastic opportunity for cultural exchange in this relationship. In exchange for having their food and accommodation covered, the students agree to offer childcare services to families.

What is a Demipair/Part-time Aupair – This is where an Aupair can, in exchange for board, lodging and food, volunteer for 15-20hours a week to assist you with your family. Generally the Aupairs will be on a student visa studying full-time during the day in a language school, available before and/or after school hours.

Things to consider –

Qualifications – Aupairs are not required or expected to have any childcare qualifications, if they register with an Aupair/Nanny agency they are required to have a current Working with Children Card.

Visa Restrictions – They can only work with one family for a maximum of 6 months due to their ‘working visa’ status. There is currently no official Department of Immigration ‘Aupair’ program in existence, so aupairs will either be on working holiday visas or student visas, which will place certain conditions on their employment. E.g. Students may only be able to work a maximum of 20hours per week.

Visit to GOMA exhibition with children

Pondering Points –

Is the Aupair the right ‘fit for your family?

–       Do you have the physical space to cater for an extra adult?

–       Does your Aupair have a clean international drivers license if you require them to transport your children?

–       Is your Aupair used to driving on the ‘right’ side of the road?

–       If you want to the Aupair to take your children swimming, can the Aupair swim?

–       Does the Aupair have the appropriate experience to be looking after your children?

–       Does the Aupair have a first aid certificate?

–       Aupairs are unlicensed and unregulated and with that there can be some challenges in terms of industry standards, polices and procedures etc. There is however an International Aupair Association, so look for agencies affiliated with this organisation.

Child Care Benefits – You cannot claim any benefits using this form of care.

Fees – $80 – $200/week + agency fees if you choose to recruit this way. Aupairs receive an agreed rate regardless of how many children you have. A family of five and a family of two could possibly pay the same rate for an Aupair.

 

Nannies

What is a Nanny?

A Nanny is a childcarer who provides care in the childrens’ home. Nannies can live in or live out and their role may also include some domestic duties.

Things to consider –

Qualifications – Professional Nannies often have relevant childcare qualifications and experience as well as a first aid certificate and working with children card.

Pondering Points?

-The risk for nannies and employers operating in the cash economy include issues related to inadequate training, workplace injury and a lack of liability insurance. But also in your discussions, think about:

–       Is the Nanny the right ‘fit for your family?

–       Do you need to consider Nanny sharing (sharing a nanny and associated costs with another family)?

–       Does your Nanny have a clean international drivers license if you require them to transport your children?

–       Will you pay your Nanny holiday pay? There are no rules, only guidelines.

–       If you want to the Aupair to take your children swimming, can the Aupair swim?

–       Does the nanny specialise/have experience in a certain age group e.g. 0-3yrs.

–       Nannies are also unlicensed and unregulated and with that there can be some challenges in terms of industry standards, polices and procedures etc.  There is however a newly established organisation called the Australian Nanny Association, which seeks to lobby government for official recognition. www.australiannannyassociation.org/

Child Care Benefits –The only way you will be able to claim Child Care Benefit is hire a nanny who is a registered carer. To become a registered carer your nanny will need to; apply to the Department of Human Services meet the minimum age requirement; have a qualification that otherwise eligibility for approval as a registered carer; have a Tax File Number and meet and maintain any relevant State or Territory licensing requirements, and restrictions on becoming a registered carer and any other requirements required by the Minister of the department.

Fees $20 – $30 an hour per family

 

Limited hours/Occasional care

Limited hours care services are licensed as centre-based services under the Child Care Act 2002 and generally provided education and care for up to 30 children at any one time for not more than 20 hours in a week. Don’t get too excited, they live up to their namesake and are not only limited by hours, but by those providing this service. Limited hours care centres provide care for up to 30 children at any one time for up to 20 hours per week and are licensed as centre based care services and are dotted around Brisbane. Almost all limited hours care centres in Queensland are community or government managed.

Ages catered for: The services can provide care for children from birth to school age but check with each individual one as some restrict the age-groups they work with e.g. YMCA Jamboree Heights caters for two-and-a-half to five years old.

Hours of operation: Parents will need to check with individual service provider to find out the hours, days and weeks of operation. Some center’s request you to book 1 week in advance. Some ask you to sign up for a term. Centers can provide you with care 1 and 2 hour placements as well as half-day placements on a limited or occasional basis, so check each individual centre near you for details.

Fees: Can vary ranging from $5 per hour up to $15. Check with your centre for accurate pricing.

Childcare Benefit: You can claim Child Care Benefit depending on your personal situation on some occasional care centres as long as they are registered or approved.

Find a limited hours facility near you: http://deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/families/search.html

  

Adjunct Care (or gym/shopping centre crèche)

This type of care is offered to parents for up to 3 hours in Shopping centres, gyms or your local pool.  Think of this more as childminding rather than childcare. There are not necessarily any type of structured activities, or learning outcomes to be met. This type of care is unlicensed.

Qualifications: It is not necessary for staff to be qualified in the area of childcare.

Age Group Catered for: Depending on your facility it can be from 6 weeks+. Some shopping centres will take children at the age of 3.

Fees: Can range from $5-10/hour

Childcare Benefits: You cannot claim any government rebates using this type of care.

 

In Home Care

This type of care does what it says on the tin, however there is a strict criteria for eligibility. It is care provided by an approved carer in your home, for your children. It offers supervised activities for different ages, including arts and crafts, outdoor activities, and games.

Criteria for eligibility to gain In Home Care:

-If you cannot access an existing child care service or a service that meets your needs e.g. if you live in a rural or regional area, work shifts or non-standard hours, have a child with a disability or who is ill, or if you or your partner are caring for three or more children (including the child) who have not yet commenced school. The child, or any other child with whom the child lives, has an illness or disability

– The individual in whose care the child is, or the individual’s partner (if any), has an illness or disability that reduces the individual’s, or the partner’s capacity to care for the child

-Work hours of the individual in whose care the child is, or the individual’s partner(if any), are (or include) the hours during which no other approved child care service (other than an approved in home care service) operates that could otherwise provide care

– The individual in whose care the child is or the individual’s partner (if any) is caring for three or more children (including the child) who have not yet commenced school, or any other circumstances determined by the Secretary in relation to the child.

General early childhood education and child care information is available at mychild.gov.au or 13 36 84You can use In Home Care

For more information http://deewr.gov.au/eligibility-home-care

Wesley Mission In home care: http://www.wmb.org.au/content/Document/WMB%20In-home%20Care%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

 

 

Kindy

Kindy provides a learning program for children in the year before Prep taught by a qualified early childhood teacher for at least 600 hours a year, such as 15 hours a week for 40 weeks. This is not compulsory, however research has shown it will assist a child in preparing for school. ‘Preschool’ doesn’t exist anymore so don’t confuse yourself trying to look for it. You are probably familiar with community kindergartens’ in your area, which up until recently was the only way a child could access a Kindy program. Now many daycare centres are applying to be a Kindy program provider as well. What is the difference? It is just facilities. With the introduction of the new National Quality Framework we are assured that the teaching and qualifications is not different. What can help you differentiate are a few things; type of management and teacher, hours of operation, how your child will cope with change if they are in a daycare centre moving to a Kindy, and when you can receive your Childcare Rebate.

Age group catered for: This is what confuses many parents. Kindy is available to children aged 3.5. All Kindy programs may consider children that are not turning 4 as at the 30th of June to participate in their programs. Often it is the waiting list that determines whether they have the availability of a place.

Hours of operation: If you are in a Kindy program in a community Kindergarten then be aware they can operate at reduced hours e.g. 8:45am to 2.45pm on a 5 day fortnight. Some of these Kindy’s are providing extra hours care before and after official hours at additional cost.

Fees: If you attend a childcare centre then generally there are no additional charges above the standard fees for 3-5 year olds. Fees can range from $25-$40 in a reduced hours Kindy or the standard childcare fees. Please investigate all costs involved as some Kindy’s charge a refundable bond, building levy and other extras you may not be aware of.

Childcare Benefit: Whether you are in an approved kindy program in a daycare centre or a stand-alone Kindy, if you are eligible, you can receive government assistance. What you may need to consider is that not all centres are set up to manage the subsidy directly so you may have to wait until the end of term (normally in community Kindys) to receive your rebate.

Things to consider:

-Some Kindy’s enroll children for a minimum of 15 hours per week, averaged over a fortnight.

-If your child has been attending and happy with his current care situation, would your child be happy to change facilities to attend a kindy program delivered by a different childcare provider.

 

Find a Kindy near you:

Look for programs with the ‘kindy tick’. http://deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/families/search.html

 

Helpful numbers

Early Childhood Information Service 13 7468 24 hours, 7 days a week

The Early Childhood Information Service is a free state-wide information service provided by the department. The Early Childhood Information Service can provide the following information about early childhood education and care services including:

▪                the types of services available

▪                service location, hours of operation and contact details

▪                information on what to look for in a quality service

 

Child Care Access Hotline 1800 670 305 between 8.00am and 6.00pm nationally Monday to Friday.

They answer information on:

  • the different types of care (Long Day Care, Family Day Care, Occasional Care, In Home Care and Outside School Hours Care)
  • the location of child care services
  • possible vacancies
  • fee information where provided by child care services
  • how to choose a quality child care service
  • how the Australian Government helps with the cost of your child care.

If you need assistance when contacting the number (if you are deaf or have a hearing impairment):

  • Teletypewriter (TTY) users: phone 133 667 then ask for 1800 670 305. You need a TTY phone to use this service.
  • Speak and Listen users: phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 670 305.
  • Internet Relay Users: connect to the National Relay Service www.iprelay.com.au/call/index.aspx

 

About Rebecca

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Hi I'm Bec and this is my my blog Daycare Decisions. I am a mum of 2, passionate about early education, nature play and a parents' transition back to the workforce after having a baby.

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