Posted on February 13, 2024
If you’re planning to have a family, expecting a baby, or just had a baby, you’ll probably think about childcare soon. Some families need to think about childcare early. Others can take care of their kids at home or with family for a while. No matter what, it’s best to start looking for childcare as soon as possible.
Even though it might feel hard to leave your little one at first, putting your child in childcare has many good points.
Childcare programs focus on getting kids ready for school. The things they do at childcare help make going to school easier. They learn skills that help them do well in school. They also get used to having a schedule. Childcare gets kids ready to keep learning all their lives. Kids who have an easy time switching to school are often happier and do better in school.
At childcare, kids learn important reading and math skills through playing. These skills help them do well in school and learn even more later.
At childcare, kids play with other kids their age. They learn to share and play together. This helps them learn how to get along with others. They learn to understand how others feel, work together, and talk to people. These are skills that help them make friends and get along with others all their lives.
Being away from family at childcare helps kids learn to be independent and handle their feelings better. Childcare teaches kids to control their feelings and get along with others. They learn this from the teachers and from their parents or other grown-ups who take care of them.
Putting your child in childcare gives you time for yourself during the day. You can go back to work, do chores at home, or just have some time for yourself. Childcare is also a chance to meet other parents and make friends. This can help you feel less lonely or worried about raising your child.
It’s a good idea to start thinking about who will take care of your baby when you’re still pregnant. By this time, you might have an idea of how long you want to take off from work after your baby is born. You might also know if your job will give you paid time off, or if you can get help from the government.
You should also think about what kind of childcare would work best for you and your baby. If you have to go back to work soon after your baby is born, you might want to look into daycare for babies. But if you or your partner plan to take a lot of time off work, you might consider other options like childcare centers, family daycares, kindergartens, or hiring a nanny.
Once you have an idea of what you want, start looking for childcare places in your area. Make a list of your favorites and compare them based on things like reviews, fees, and if they have space available.
As you look into different childcare places, you’ll probably notice that many of them have waitlists instead of openings right away. Some popular places might have waitlists that are a year long or even longer. So it’s best to sign up as soon as you can to make sure you get a spot.
The best time to sign up depends on your family. If you know when you want your child to start childcare, sign up for waitlists at least at one or two places. The more places you sign up, the better your chances of getting a spot at one you like.
When you’re deciding on childcare places, it’s a good idea to visit them in person. This can help you feel more sure about your choice.
Sometimes, you’ll have to pay a fee to join a waitlist, but it doesn’t always mean your child will get in. This fee covers the costs of managing the waitlist. You might also need to check in with the childcare place regularly to see how things are going.
If a childcare place offers your child a spot, they’ll contact you to start the signup process. This usually means filling out a form. To make this go faster, have some important information ready:
If you want help paying for childcare, you’ll also need your child’s Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN).
Choosing childcare can be hard, so we have an online tool to help you find and compare local options. For more help, check out our guides to picking the best childcare for you and your child.