Wednesday, July 19, 2006


It's no secret that I feel very stretched at the moment. I have so many things on my plate. So many things to get done, and many days I feel like I need to be four people. I feel like I'm doing my best to get everything done, but not really doing anything properly. Im my efforts to find balance I've been making changes over the past two or so months. Switching to online grocery shopping, using the slow cooker for dinner as often as possible and trying to stick to a routine... and if you hadn't noticed, I've had less time to scrapbook! Well this morning I've bitten the bullet and enquired about childcare for Ethan :( He usually sleeps while Liam has his afternoon kinder sessions, but when Liam is in kinder for four hours on a friday morning sleep is just out of the question. I've tossed with the idea for months now, of having him cared for for those same hours so I can do some editing or clean. (or imagine even being able to go to the hairdresser!) I enquired at a local occassional care, but the hours I want are hard to get. So now I've looked into family daycare. She [the organiser] has gone off to make some enquiries and see what is available and will get back to me. I've NEVER used any childcare before (besides family). While I'm sure Ethan will love it and be fine, my heart is having a little trouble letting go and comming to terms with this decision.... therefore I'm not thinking the best... So please help me!

What questions should I ask?
Has anyone ever had any issues with childcare they can share with me. Any tips?
Any and all advice would be very much appreciated.


Ros said...

My kids are in child care (child care centre) 2 days a week. I had to put them in while pregnant with my youngest because of my unstable pelvis. I couldn't physically do some day to day stuff for them.

I am working 2 days a week (they are looked after by my mum 1 day) and I have a day off to run errands, shop, me time, etc.

Intially I didn't want them to go to childcare, but they love it. They have a great time playing with other kids and have learnt many new things.

I understand about you being hesitant and there is always going to be the good and bad with every situation. I love that my kids enjoy care and that it allows me to work and still have a break.

Good luck with your decision I am sure you will make the right one.


Donna Wilson said...

I use Family Day Care now with Emma who's been going since she was 11 months old. Emma ADORES her carer (who was one of the mum's when my son was at preschool) so I've known her for close to 6 years. I don't have any problems, she goes 2 full days a week, and if it happens I'm NOT working, then it's a day just for ME.. I used a carer when Josh was 2yo (first time ever) and wish I'd gone with my instincts a little more. SOmething came up afterwards that had happened there (nothing to josh) but I still think about what he may have seen/heard in that environment.

All I can say is trust your instincts, and if you feel comfortable, then trial it. If Ethan's not happy there, he'll let you know in his own little way.

Emma's a very confident little 3yo (too confident sometimes) but her social skills, speech etc, is very good for her age compared to some others the same age. She'll go to preschool next year, and I'm kinda sad that Family Day Care will come to an end.

Whatever you choose, will be right for you. Good Luck. xx

Sarah said...

Honey i am a hearing ya!!!!!!

Rebekah was in family day care from 15months. Harry started at 12months. I love/adore the carer i have for the kids. She is like a Grandma and the kids call he Nanna.

I highly recommend it. i am actually thinking of putting Harry in full time cause i am not coping either and i need some time out.

Good luck Katie and don't feel guilty at all. He will benefit from childcare so much.

Don't forget Kinder year is the hardest year for organisation. It will get better..


Sofi p said...

Katie, I agree with the "go with your instinct".

I'm sure Ethan will love it; maybe you could stay with him for the first session, just to put your mind at ease, and see how he fits in, in a new environment.

jane said...

Katie,thats a good idea for you to do. C& L had their 1st day yesterday at family day care (3hrs) I now wish i had done it earlier - I had 3 hrs to run around like a maniac cleaning the house, but i felt so much more relaxed for the rest of the day because i had got something done! unfortunately for us, Kerry is on maternity leave in 3 weeks, which is a bummer, as she lives across the road, but at least i have had time to test the waters. Our community centre has occasional care- i might check that out too. the kids have also been to the gym creche 3 times in a week! so they have gone from virtually nothing to overload- but they have enjoyed the diff environments.
my only concern with family daycare is that they take the kids out walking or in the car ( to parks, shops, kinder pick ups) and i get nervous enough with Luke doing a possible runner with me- so fortunately Kerry doesnt go out wed mornings, and i have told her i wasnt keen on it- maybe next year when he is bigger and less prone to running off, i wouldnt be so nervous- not sure
Anyway, do your research, trust your instincts as the girls have said and dont feel guilty about it as it will ultimately be good for you all

Kathy Pitt said...

I have tried both, center care and family Day care .... I prefer the Family Day care. I got a really nice lady who looked after my youngest on Fridays during the school hours. She had kids his age there. And it is like the name implies, very family orientated.

Mithcell just loved going, was like a 2nd family for him and it was fantastic for when he began preschool. as he was already used to leaving me, he knew I would return!

the first few times i took him, I just stayed for an hour with him and then we both came home. Then i lefthim for like an hour or so, and came back. I gradually weaned him into it. It go so he didnt want to come home! lol

He will grow some good skills in getting along with other kids too. Shop around for the right place for you, and like all the others said, trust your instincts :)

Susan (smiles1965) from Scrapboxx said...

My daughter Amanda went into child care at the age of 15 months old (only because I was due back at work). She went 3 days a week and to be honest she did take a while to get used to the change in routine. At that young age she only wanted to be home with mummy:)

Some of the questions I asked the centres when I started looking around for childcare were:

What are your fees and hours open?

Do you provide snacks, meals and nappies?

What educational programs and entertainment do you offer the kids? (puzzles, books, musical instruments etc)

How many kids attend their centre and how many staff work there?

What ages are the other kids at the centre?

What is their approach to discipline and punishment for kids being naughty?

What toys do they have and how often are they cleaned?

Do they have shared play time with older kids?

What arrangements do they have in place when they are shorted staffed? (do they use an agency relief staff)

Can parents come and see the kids anytime during the day. Most childcare centres should allow parents to drop in anytime if they want to.

What routine do they have for sleep and meal times?

Good luck Katie, it can be a bit worrying to begin with but most kids adjust well and love the company of other kids.

kathie said...

I've been reading through the responses with interest, as it looks like I'll have to put Jamie into daycare three days a week from the end of this year. I'm absolutely dreading it. He'll only be 12 months old. My baby! *sigh* Such is life.
Good luck with your decisions.

Nic Wood said...

Ive worked in centre based care, and did family day care for four years before Isaac came along. The best piece of advice
I can think of is probably trust your instincts. Try to visit a few carers and find somone you feel you and your kids can get along with, and who has similar values to your own.

Im sure Ethan will end up just adoring his carer, its such a special relationship that you are able to build with children in family day care.

If you have any questions I might be able to answer from a carers point of email me!

Nic xxx