1. Long day care. Centre based, private or government run, long hours (usually 8am-6pm).
Open in school holidays.
Children from 6–8 weeks to school age.
2. Family day care. A carer looks after 4–5 children in her own home. Co-ordinated by the local council. Must be licensed.
3. Home based day care. Like family day care, but run privately, so costs are higher. Must be licensed by the Department of Community Services.
4. Nannies. Whether via an agency or a private advertisement, you will need to check their references and insurance. It’s also good to spend some time observing the nanny with your child before leaving your child with them.
5. Work based. Some large companies provide childcare services for employees. Check qualifications of staff and if they are licensed to operate as a child care centre.
Take your child for a few short visits before they start, to get them used to the environment.
Chapter 2 Watch Me Grow