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Centralised childcare waiting lists?

By 11 February 2011 7

The Liberals’ Vicki Dunne is loudly proclaiming the merits of her idea to run centralised childcare waiting lists in the ACT and nothing that Chief Minister Stanhope appears to like the idea despite Minister Joy Burch’s ridicule.

Would a centralised system still let parents choose what centres they wanted their children to go to?

Childcare is not like a taxi.

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7 Responses to
Centralised childcare waiting lists?
Golden-Alpine 8:19 pm
11 Feb 11
#1

Unfortunately for most people it is like a taxi you have to take the one at the front of the rank. People don’t get the luxury of choosing the Childcare centre but have to take the first one they get offered a place. I am so grateful we did get the Childcare centre we did want.

ImagineThat 10:08 pm
11 Feb 11
#2

The extract from the media release suggestes the answer to your question is ‘Yes’.

“The Chief Minister has obviously recognised the benefits that could be created by having a centralised childcare waiting list for parents: limiting duplication of children’s names on multiple waiting lists and giving authorities an indication of the demands in specific Canberra suburbs for childcare places.”

However, who gets to decide which lucky child gets the available place, the keepers of the list, or the child care centres? How is that decided? ‘I’ve been waiting longer than you have’, versus, ‘my older child is already in that centre and I need a place for my younger child at the same centre’?

Lots of fun either way!

sepi 10:42 am
12 Feb 11
#3

I don’t see how this can work? The better centres have enormous waiting lists as everyone wants to go there. Newer centres and those in less central locations have shorter lists.

Also centres have vastly different pricing, an policies. Some provide all food, others you have to bring everything.

The system sucks at the moment, mostly because there are not enough places. Keeping a central list won’t fix that problem.

housebound 10:56 am
12 Feb 11
#4

I imagine they would do it in a similar way to the catholic schools in their enrolments – where you indicate your three preferences (in order) and also list the names of siblings and which schools they attend.

Whether the ACT Governrment could actually make it work is a completely different question.

Eby 11:39 pm
12 Feb 11
#5

sepi said :

I don’t see how this can work? The better centres have enormous waiting lists as everyone wants to go there. Newer centres and those in less central locations have shorter lists.

Also centres have vastly different pricing, an policies. Some provide all food, others you have to bring everything.

The system sucks at the moment, mostly because there are not enough places. Keeping a central list won’t fix that problem.

It won’t fix the problem, but it will save parents a fair amount of work… I’m currently on the waiting list for a whole bunch of childcare centres, and some of them require me to call every few months to tell them I still want to be on their waiting lists. It would certainly save me the time of having to remember to do that.

Also, I would think that an adequate centralised system could have in-built criteria around parents’ needs (e.g. affordability, food, hours) so that it could be filtered to meet their individual needs. And still save them from having to make ten different phone calls and complete ten different application forms.

astrojax 11:13 am
13 Feb 11
#6

i’m with housebound – very skeptical that the government could make it work other than in some less-than-adeqate lowest common denominator way, and that sucks…

MWF 12:43 pm
13 Feb 11
#7

It shouldn’t be like getting a taxi. Choose your centre carefully. I once happened to show up earlier than usual to collect my son. The children were gathered around the TV watching news footage of some violent bloody riot. When he was bitten on the face by another kid a week later, we found another centre.

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