Drop in Child Care for Security and Development
You might need to leave your child in someone else’s care – that is sometimes called, Drop in Child Care. If you have work, study or other commitments, you will have to go for this option. Choosing the, Drop in Child Care, and early learning service can be a difficult decision for families. Your decision will depend on your family’s needs and the environment with which, you and your child will feel most comfortable. Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills.
Child Care Resources
- How many hours of care do I need? The whole day? Just mornings? Afternoons? Just a few hours a week? Or just occasionally, like when I have an appointment and need someone to look after my children?
- Do I want my child cared for in a home environment or in a center?
- What kind of qualifications and experience do staff members have?
- Does the service offer a preschool program?
- What learning and play opportunities do I want my child to have?
- What kind of routine will my child have?
- Do I want the service to provide lunch? Can I have a look at a sample meal plan?
- Does the center provide nappies for children under the age of 2?
- What is the carer-to-child ratio?
- Can I claim Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate if I choose a certain child care and learning service?
Different Types of Child Care
Here is a quick description of the different types of child care and early learning services to help you make your decision.
- Long Day Care
- Family Day Care
- Drop in Child Care
- Outside School Hours Care
- Occasional Care
Long day care
Long Day Care is sometimes referred to as center-based care and is generally provided in a building or part of a building that has been created specifically for use as a childcare center. Centers usually operate between 7:30 am and 6:00 pm and offer professional care for children aged 0-6. Children are usually grouped in rooms according to age and developmental stage. Child care is usually available for all day or part of the day at a center. Some centers offer morning or afternoon sessions. Many centers offer meals throughout the day including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. The types of meals vary from center to center. If a center does not offer meals then families will need to provide their own. Most Long Day Care centers will have an early education component to their program so children will learn as they are cared for. Long Day Care centers are run by private companies, local councils, community organizations, individuals, non-profit organizations or by employers for their staff. The majority of Long Day Care centers are approved child care services. This means that families using the service may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate. Approved services must also show that they are meeting certain quality standards.
Family Day Care
Family Day Care (FDC) services deliver flexible home-based education and care for children via a network of FDC educators. FDC services support and administer the care that is provided, on their behalf, in educators’ homes. FDC services are responsible for the effective operation of all components of FDC, including recruiting, training and supporting educators; monitoring care provision; and providing advice, support and information for parents. FDC services can provide flexible care, including all-day care, part-time, casual, overnight, before and after school care, and care during school holidays. Educators do not have any legal right to independently enter into a care arrangement for Child Care Benefit approved care. However, service operators may authorize educators (acting as an agent for their service) to enter into care arrangements on their behalf. FDC educators and services must meet their obligations under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care and comply with the Early Childhood Services Education and Care National Law and National Regulations, and any other applicable state and territory regulations, when providing care to children. An educator may provide care in their home for the maximum number of children, including their own children, in accordance with the National Law and National Regulations. The majority of Family Drop in Child Care services are approved child care services. This means that families using the service may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate.
Drop in Child Care
Drop in Child Care is similar to Family Day Care but the professional carer looks after the child in your child’s home. However, it is not widely available and usually only an option where other forms of care are not suitable. In Home Care is suitable for families with children who cannot be cared for by other child care services or whose circumstances mean that an existing childcare service cannot meet their needs and to whom one or more of the following applies:
- the child has or lives with another child who has an illness or disability
- the child’s guardian (or guardian’s partner) has an illness or disability that affects their ability to care for the child
- the child lives in a rural or remote area
- the work hours of the child’s guardian (or guardian’s partner) are hours when no other approved child care service is available
- the child’s guardian (or guardian’s partner) is caring for three or more children who have not yet started school.
Outside School Hours Care
Outside of School, Hours Care centers provide care for primary school aged children. They provide before and after school hours (7:30 am -9:00 am and 3:00 pm -6:00 pm), during school holidays and on pupil-free days.
Outside of School, Hours Care (OSHC) is also referred to as Out-Of-School Hours (OOSH) care in some states or territories. Vacation Care is a type of Outside School Hours Care that includes indoor and outdoor activities. These centers are sometimes run by the same organization that runs before and after-school care. Centers are usually located on primary school sites in the school hall and/or playground. Some centers are made as a Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. resources center, community facility or outside-school-hours care center near the primary school. Many centers offer a snack as well as the Sporting Schools exercise program. The majority of Outside School Hours Care centers are approved child care services. This means that families using the service may be eligible for the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. Approved services must also show that they are meeting certain quality standards.
Occasional Care offers professional care for children on a casual basis. This service is suitable for families who do not need child care on a regular basis but would like someone to look after their children occasionally, for example when they have medical or other appointments. Most Occasional Care centers have flexible operating hours and can cater for children whose parents work irregular or unpredictable hours (e.g. shift workers).
Childcare waiting lists
There may be situations where there are no vacancies at a child care and early learning service you wish to use. Some Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. and early learning services have waiting lists to help determine the next placement. The demand for Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. Such demands are always high, therefore all approved services with the exception of Occasional Care must adhere to Priority of Access Guidelines to ensure that there are a fair number of child care resources.
The system ensures that, where there are vacancies or a waiting list for childcare services, they allot places to families with the greatest need for child care. These guidelines only apply to Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. Benefit approved Drop in Child Care and early learning services provide an opportunity for your child to develop social, emotional and learning skills. services with the exception of Occasional Care. Every approved service with the exception of Occasional Care has to abide by the guidelines and tell you about them when you enroll your child in care.
Courtesy: Australian Government- mychild.gov.au