Australia is a top expat destination, but like anywhere in the world, families often find that both parents need to work to make ends meet and afford a good standard of living. But how do you go about finding childcare for very young children in a country where you don’t have an established network of friends or family? Fortunately, Australia has many options:
About childcare in Australia
Extended Day Care
Extended day care, often known as long day care, is for parents who work full hours and need their children to be looked after from 8am until 5pm, Mondays to Fridays. In Australia these centres generally cater for children from birth until five years of age.
Extended Day Care centres can either be private or community-based and the staff running them is subject to stringent regulations and have to be well qualified. These centres are constantly being monitored to ensure the staff-to- child ratio is correct, that the facilities are hygienic and that the children are being well fed.
Occasional Care centres provide parents with carers as and when they need them. These centres offer a flexible option for parents to access when they need childcare on a short notice. Many gyms, leisure centres, libraries and parents in the neighbourhood offer occasional care facilities.
Family Day Care
Family Day Care is home-based care for parents who wish their children to be cared for in a home environment. Family Day Care is held at a home of an approved childhood educator who is allowed to care for no more than four children under the age of five at any specific time. Often Family Day Care centres will have a variety of children moving through them during the day with certain pre-school children being there a full day and junior primary children arriving there after school.
At Home Care
Parents may choose to have their children cared for in their own home. In which case there are many qualified nannies and au pairs they can employ. If your nanny is a registered care provider, you may even be eligible for childcare rebates.
Australia is a big place and many communities can be quite isolated. In these instances, you might be able to access a Mobile Child Care service, which travels through communities offering occasional or full day care.
The cost of childcare
Childcare can be expensive in Australia, but you may find you are eligible to receive support from the Australian Government through the Child Care Benefit or the Child Care Rebate. This will depend on your income and your residency permit. Average childcare costs are as follows:
- Nannies: $20 – $30 per hour
- Family Day Care: $6 – $10 per hour
- Child Care Centres: $80 – $120 per day
When choosing your childcare option, make sure you visit the proposed Child Care or Family Day Care centre. Meet the caregivers, question them about their qualifications, experience and their child-to-staff ratios. Despite the wide variety of childcare available in Australia, it is still in high demand – so put your name down early on a waiting list.
If you’re thinking of immigrating to Australia and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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