Hiring a registered childcare provider as a nanny or using a preschool or nursery staffed by registered care providers can be a tremendous boon to new parents, particularly those on limited incomes. Through this scheme, the government agrees to recoup some or all of your childcare costs by paying back a portion of the money you spend on childcare.
However, if you meet the eligibility requirements for these rebates, you will still have to decide what type of childcare to put your child or children into. Registered care providers work as individual nannies and carers but also staff a wide variety of preschools, kindergartens and early learning centres, giving you a wide range of rebate-eligible childcare options to choose from.
Family daycare centres
These are usually run out of the registered care provider's own home and essentially operate as a form of 'backup parenting' while you are indisposed at work or at study. While you may feel like you're abandoning your child to another family if you choose this option, there is very little cause for concern; carers who run these in-home daycare centres must meet extremely strict qualification and quality requirements, so any family daycare centre sporting the proper qualifications and rebate eligibility can usually be relied upon as a safe, stimulating place for your children to be.
These daycare centres are best for sociable, well-behaved children who will benefit from integrating into another family unit while you're away. Often, family daycare carers have their own children, and letting your children freely mingle with peers of their own age in a safe, home-like environment can be a tremendous boost to their confidence and social skills before they enter mainstream schools.
These operations are usually nurseries or kindergartens, and they offer all-day childcare for parents working long hours during the day. These care centres are usually based in a dedicated, secure building, and they provide your children with learning exercises and fun activities in a very safe and secluded environment that nonetheless exposes them to other children and adults. These care operations also provide meals for your children, and some are open into the mid-evening for those long, end-of-the-month shifts.
These centres essentially form a 'school before school' environment and are particularly well suited for children approaching school age. Depending on the size of the operation, your child may mingle with a few other children or large, year group-sized crowds of children, creating the perfect environment for school 'training'.
This type of care is provided by individual nannies and carers in your own home and is particularly favoured by parents of physically or mentally handicapped children. They are also very useful for parents who work graveyard shifts or other unsociable hours, and they allow your child to play and learn within the comforting and safe confines of their own home. Registered carers who work as in-home nannies have to meet particularly strict requirements, so finding a nanny who is a registered carer is an excellent way to ensure your child will be in safe, competent hands.
To get started on your search, check out a childcare centre like Abracadabra Brighton Domestic Agencies Pty Ltd.