six young children sitting in front of teacher with a book

How child care benefits your children

Can child care benefit your children?

When you’ve been at home with your children for some time, the idea of leaving them with someone else can feel terrifying. You want to be a good parent but you are worried they might miss you, they might cry and they might not like the food at child care.

But child care can benefit your children and your family. Nearly half of all Australian children aged 0-12 years attend child care. Long day care is the most popular form of care for children aged 0-6.

How child care benefits children

Many parents find their children benefit from child care because they have access to:

  • A greater variety of educational toys, books and play equipment than at home
  • The ability to play and interact with other children
  • Learning to share toys and their ideas
  • Music, singing, art and craft, and other activities
  • Staff trained to bring out the best in children
  • Excursions to expose children to new places and learning experiences

 

three young children painting at a desk with teacher

Studies have also found longer-term benefits from attending quality child care. Children are more likely to:

What types of child care are available?

Options in your area may include:

  • Long daycare
  • Family daycare
  • Nannies and au pairs
  • Asking a relative or friend to look after your children
  • Occasional care

The best option for you depends on your budget, working hours, and the number and type of services in your area.

ParentsNext can help you access child care subsidies and find suitable day care when you need it.

What to look for when choosing child care

Children benefit most from quality child care. Many Australian child care providers are regularly assessed and you can check the ratings at mychild.gov.au.

What else should you look for?

  • Child to carer ratio: For babies under two, this should be one adult to four children. Ratios for other ages vary from state to state
  • Carers who are qualified, experienced and share your views on child care. Staff turnover should be low
  • There are activities, books and toys to suit your child’s age
  • The facilities are clean with separate toilets and baby change areas
  • There are play areas indoors and outdoors that are supervised
  • Meals are nutritious and culturally suitable

Tips to make the transition easier

Finally, some of the following tips may help you and your child transition to child care more easily:

  • Visit the centre or child care location ahead of your start date. Spend time there with your child and meet the staff
  • Talk to the centre about your child’s likes and dislikes and routines or needs
  • If you can, start your child before you have to go back to work or study, building up the number of hours your child is in care

 

Images: iStock

12 comments

  1. My sister wants to register her kid in a daycare, but my nephew is afraid. It says here t visit the daycare before the start date, and to spend time in there with your kid to meet the staff. I will recommend her to do this so when the day comes my nephew will be ready.

  2. Thank you for mentioning that children who go to daycare learn how to interact and play with other children. I am considering sending my daughter to daycare. Your tips will be helpful when deciding if daycare would be the best option for my child.

  3. I was surprised to read that studies have shown that kids who attend daycare benefit academically. This is great to know, especially since I want my child to excel as much as she can throughout school. I’ll look into finding a daycare to bring my daughter to a daycare near us so that she can start getting these benefits.

  4. My husband and I just moved to a new area and we are needing to find childcare for our twin daughters. Thank you for suggesting that we should make sure the childcare center we choose has educational toys. I’ll have to do some research and find the best daycare for them.

  5. I think that you’re right that it’s good to check for the child to carer ratio. I really would prefer a lot more carers than the typical care center. My eyes will for sure be peeled for that.

  6. I really appreciate how you mentioned that, when looking for a child care facility, it’s important to find one that has activities that suit your child’s age. I would agree that this is so important because developmentally appropriate practices in a child care center would allow your child’s learning to challenged and increased. My sister wants to go back to work, but she first needs to figure out where her 4-year-old daughter will spend her time while she’s away. I’m sure she’d really benefit from finding a child care center that provides books and activities that are engaging and developmentally appropriate so her daughter can get the learning she needs to develop cognitive and social abilities.

    1. Hi Olivia.
      Glad to hear you found our blog about childcare useful.
      I would recommend you and your sister check out the Starting Blocks website: https://www.startingblocks.gov.au/, as there is also lots of information for parents about childcare options, quality ratings, and government support that might help your sister in making a decision.

  7. I’m glad you pointed out that sending your child to a day care center will help them better deal with their emotions when they start school. I’ve been researching emotional health in children so I can find specific ways to teach my daughter about handling emotions. I didn’t consider that sending her to day care would help with that, so I appreciate the suggestion!

    1. Hi Amy. Thanks for your feedback, it’s great to hear you found our blog useful for yourself and your daughter. Best of luck

  8. What about if carers are impatient and rough, and you never know how much are pressuurisip your child

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