What are the options for childcare in Australia?

When it comes to education and care options for the preschool children of Australian families there are plenty of choices, but for parents who are unfamiliar with what’s available, the choice could probably be confusing. 

Care Centre Options.

Long daycare centres like Childcare in Merrylands are experts in caring for young children. They can provide a full-day or part-day service to take care of children while their parents are working and are specialised in working with and developing preschool children in preparation for attending school full-time. Meals are normally provided, and some centres also offer care for small numbers of primary school children before and after school, and during their school holidays. 

Care in Caregiver Homes.

A nationwide group of qualified caregivers are available to provide childcare and appropriate activities at their places of residence. Family day care is generally offered to preschool children; however, care can also be provided for school children up to 12 years old. Care programs can be tailored to individual needs including care outside normal working hours and, if necessary, overnight.

Pre-school Care. 

Pre-school is a planned educational program for children usually aged between 3 and 5 years old. It can take place in a variety of settings and generally runs between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm like school hours although this may vary with the provider.

Outside School Hours Care (OSHC). 

This is a type of supervised care and recreation for school-age children which runs before and after school, on pupil-free days, and during school holidays. OSHC is normally coordinated with schools and offers occasional care for primary school children. Most OSHC services are run by community or private organisations. 

Temporary Caregiving Options.

Temporary caregiving options for childcare can be found to cover for a short time for children under school age. This service can be accessed on either a regular or casual basis and it allows parents to be able to do other things while knowing that their children are being appropriately cared for. Various groups within local communities, both fee-paying and non-profitable run such centres.

Care in the Family Home.

This is a flexible form of childcare provided in the family home. It is government-subsidised and is available for families that can't access other childcare options because they work variable hours, or are geographically isolated, or have challenging and complex family needs. To qualify for this type of care, families must demonstrate that other types of approved childcare services aren't available or appropriate. Various types of In-Home Care are available to meet the needs of such families. For example, a nanny can be employed to provide childcare, and the domestic tasks related to childcare.  A nanny does not need to have had any formal training. A nanny can be employed by two families for the care of children. This may be a good economical solution for some families. A foreign au pair living in Australia for up to a year may live with a host family and receive a small allowance in exchange for childcare and household duties. 

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