Raising children is undeniably a challenge. No one expects parents to handle every part of the child-raising job on their own; help is not just convenient but frequently required. There are a vast array of different childcare options available to parents. This general overview can help parents zero in on the type of assistance that will best meet their needs.
Day Care Options
There are several different ways to attend to the needs of younger children while their parents are working. Basic day care services may be provided through a day care centre or a family day care program run out of a home. Family day care often provides parents with more flexible scheduling options, while day care centres frequently feature developmental programmes to enrich children’s experiences.
Specialized day care programmes are available to make up differences between parents’ work schedules and children’s school schedules. These are typically lumped together as “out-of-school-hours” care, and they are most often operated through ordinary day care centres. These programmes make excellent stopgap solutions when parents’ schedules present unexpected conflicts with their children’s school hours.
Forward-thinking parents have the option of enrolling their children in preparatory programmes prior to sending them to school. Preschools and kindergartens typically operate during the same hours as normal schools, from 9am to 3pm. Some programmes have different schedules, (most often shorter hours) so parents should verify the hours prior to enrolling their children. Note that although these types of educational programmes provide child care during a portion of the day, parents who work full-time will likely need an additional child care solution to meet all of their children’s needs.
Part-Time Assistance At Home
Parents who need help with their children at home also have several different options available to them. Babysitters handle one-off parental absences in order to ensure children are kept safe. In-home care is a reversal of the day care model, where a caregiver tends to the children’s needs in the home while the parents’ schedules force them to be absent. (This option is particularly valuable to parents whose children are injured or disabled.) Mother’s helpers are often available to help share the load of child care and house keeping. Most people working as mother’s helpers are training for a child care career.
Full-Time Home Assistance
While securing full-time child care help is often expensive, it’s also sometimes the best match for the needs of the parents and the children. The nanny is the traditional long-term child care assistant, spending forty hours a week (or more) helping with child-rearing duties. Nannies may either live with the family or commute to the home. Au pairs can provide similar services at a reduced cost. These are foreign nationals spending a year in Australia who are willing to exchange child care services for their room and board (plus a modest stipend).
Raising children is a long-term job that can challenge even the most resourceful parents. Relying on professional assistance is nothing for parents to be ashamed of; making good child care choices can result in highly positive experiences for both children and their parents.