Long day care vs. Family day care
Australia has some of the best childcare providers in the world, and the Australian Government has put the National Quality Framework
in place for approved childcare services to ensure our early learning and safety standards continue to improve across the country.
When choosing your childcare service make sure you get a good understanding of the options available, and be guided but what you feel is best for you and your child. You should also be aware that there are added benefits in choosing a government-approved childcare service.
Approved childcare services are required to meet strict quality standards and, to be eligible for the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR), families must be using one of these services.
If you are still considering which path to follow for your family’s childcare needs, here’s a quick overview of the two most popular childcare options.
Long day care
Operated in a childcare centre, long day care provides professional care for children aged from 6 weeks to 5 years, and are open from as early as 6.30am to as late as 6.30pm.
Many long day care centres offer meals and nappies. Most are also government approved childcare services for CCB and CCR, and have an early learning component to their program.
Some long day care centres also offer kindergarten or preschool programs, which are run by qualified early childhood teachers in the two years before school. This is important when children reach 3 or 4 years old because it means your child will benefit from approved programs in surroundings they know and feel comfortable in.
It also means you don’t have to pick them up from day care and take them to a separate kindergarten or preschool, then drop them back to their long day care centre afterwards.
Family day care
Family day care provides flexible home-based care for children via a network of educators, usually in the educators’ homes. These educators may provide care for the maximum number of children, including their own children, in accordance with National Regulations.
The majority of family day care services are approved child care services. However, they do not offer kindergarten and preschool, and if parents want their child to participate in an approved kindergarten or preschool program, they must make separate arrangements.
The right childcare option
is the one that suits you and your child best, so invest some time into considering which option works for your family.