Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Quality childcare in a
welcoming & supportive environment

More childcare centres in Canberra please!

By PickedANickname - 16 July 2013 23

More of a whinge than anything. I know, shock and horror, a Canberran whinging.

I am looking for just one day a week in a childcare centre for my 12 month old. I have the other four days sorted with in home care but really wanted to have one day for her to socialise with other children and pick up a few germs to strengthen her immune system 🙂 I thought I was clever only wanting a Monday or a Friday.

We are now registered at 12 centres and all of them with a huge waiting list. One place told me they have a 18 month list for babies. So people, call and sign up at least 8 month prior to getting pregnant….

I don’t want to have to do family day care because little one is already getting an in home experience.

I plan to stop in and call every fortnight-ish but seriously childcare is so hard to get here.

Moar childcare please!  Moar!

Tags

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
23 Responses to
More childcare centres in Canberra please!
Tulip 10:02 am 17 Jul 13

A few years back when I was looking for care for the children one of the local child care centres offered occassional care. This meant that you could call a week before the day you wanted and could book the child in for that day (or even for a minimum of 2 hours on that day) in the following week. I utilised this service on and off for about 12 months. Then when I needed ‘proper’ care, they knew me, they knew the children and we were quickly slotted in.

When we were ready to use the service ‘properly’ I also only wanted 1 day a week but I was flexible with which day. Can you be flexible?

Another thing to consider is this: The staff told me that 1 day a week is hard on the children. They even recommended that the minimum time they would suggest is 2 days a week. This allows the children to get into the routine better and relate to the other children better. As my daughter got closer and closer to school age she was struggling with a day a week for the reasons listed above. It had even got to the stage where the 5 day a week regulars had started to form their ‘cliques’ and she was excluded. We ended up withdrawing her from the October before she was due to start pre-school in the following February as we could share her care for that day around between me, my husband and my parents.

JazzyJess 9:45 am 17 Jul 13

There’s a new centre opening up in Gungahlin that’s taking enrolments and another in Macgregor. Good luck!

Erg0 9:24 am 17 Jul 13

Unfortunately, child care has gone from being a service for people who are willing to pay for it to an essential tool of economic policy, and in the process the educators themselves have essentially been exploited. On top of that, there’s a serious discrepancy between the level of service that many parents expect and what they’re willing (or able) to pay for it.

There’s been a bit of a lag in the workers getting organised and responding to the changes with demands for decent wages, but it’s coming and it’s not going to be pretty. The whole industry is well overdue for a major correction, be it in wages or the nature of the service provided, because the current crop of dedicated professionals aren’t likely to stick with it indefinitely when they could be making more money working in a shop.

IrishPete 6:13 am 17 Jul 13

joingler said :

The problem is not a lack of centres. It is a lack of staff.

It takes a special kind of person to actually enjoy childcare. Would you want to be in charge of 50 babies/toddlers each day? The kids can’t walk, talk or toilet themselves. You are also in charge for keeping the place germ free due to the huge amount of health and safety requirements (and rightly so). On top of all that, you are meant to be engaging children and helping their development.

Now when you take into account all that, the pay is a lot less than teaching or nursing. You are also dealing with sick children nearly every day of the week (because there is always 1 child whose parents can’t be **** taking a day off work to care for their sick child). Why would you want to work in such a lousy job? Sure there are some who love it but they are incredibly rare. If the job was more attractive, more people would work in the industry which means more spots for children.

I do not work in the industry but do work for a company that runs childcare centres so do have some understanding of the problems in the industry.

I don’t think the ratios allow anyone to be in charge of 50 children. Not on their own anyway.

The pay issue is real, but child care is so heavily subsidised and expensive already that increasing pay is going to have to be paid for by someone. Maybe we need to go back to the original idea, which was that a parent (dads, you too) looks after the child, and we subsidise the time off work until preschool age instead of the child care. Then at preschool age that parent can gradually return to work. Socialising can happen in playgroups.

Of course this idea doesn’t work so well if people who have never heard of overpopulation insist on having multiple children in a row, as they will end up out of the workforce for many years.

IP

screaming banshee 6:12 am 17 Jul 13

Your uphill battle is likely due to you only wanting 1 day per week. Have you looked into play schools?

IrishPete 6:07 am 17 Jul 13

gentoopenguin said :

I’ve been on lists since I was 5 months pregnant – we are looking to start our little one when he hits 14 months (January 2015). Some places at the time refused to put me on their wait list cause they were already full up. I now have a list of centres that I call monthly to say that I’m still interested so nobody bumps me off. We still won’t have any clue though if we get a spot until November. We have no Plan B because, well, there is no Plan B. I have to go back to work.

Rather than getting every parent to put their names on lists and then ring the centres regularly (a practice they encourage), couldn’t there be an easier way to do this? How about a centralised childcare wait list, where you say what area you’re looking for childcare and when? Centres could then just pick names off the list as positions become available.

This would also make lists more transparent and stop dodgy practices like taking “deposits” of $50-100 from desperate parents to go on wait lists they never have a chance of getting to the top of.

Surely Plan B is for you or the father/partner to stay off work and look after the child?

IP

joingler 10:39 pm 16 Jul 13

The problem is not a lack of centres. It is a lack of staff.

It takes a special kind of person to actually enjoy childcare. Would you want to be in charge of 50 babies/toddlers each day? The kids can’t walk, talk or toilet themselves. You are also in charge for keeping the place germ free due to the huge amount of health and safety requirements (and rightly so). On top of all that, you are meant to be engaging children and helping their development.

Now when you take into account all that, the pay is a lot less than teaching or nursing. You are also dealing with sick children nearly every day of the week (because there is always 1 child whose parents can’t be **** taking a day off work to care for their sick child). Why would you want to work in such a lousy job? Sure there are some who love it but they are incredibly rare. If the job was more attractive, more people would work in the industry which means more spots for children.

I do not work in the industry but do work for a company that runs childcare centres so do have some understanding of the problems in the industry.

dpm 9:07 pm 16 Jul 13

It seems regardless of who wins the election, there may be a few extra places in Canberra childcare centres later in the year..

bundah 7:06 pm 16 Jul 13

I think you’ll find that child care is in crisis throughout Australia.

According to a new survey three in every four long-day care centres in Australia’s capital cities do not have vacancies for babies and two-thirds do not have places left for toddlers.

Once again job well done Federal and State gummints!

dungfungus 6:37 pm 16 Jul 13

If you think this is a difficult task, try getting even respite care for a high dependency aged care person.
The CT reoported that there was a crisis in aged care and I can confirm that they are correct.

PickedANickname 6:34 pm 16 Jul 13

Oh is that the problem? The crims are taking all the childcare places???!?!!?!?

Anyways, I have been looking at the mychild.gov.au website and it lists all these vacancies! No wonder the statistics report all of these available places. Either the centres don’t report real vacancies or the government does not update or both.

For example I called this centre today. Huge wait list. But the website shows perfect for me vacancies. http://ifp.mychild.gov.au/ChildCareService/Provider.aspx/18519/

Annoying!

A_Cog 6:00 pm 16 Jul 13

And while we’re at this wish-fulfillment stage of getting holding pens for our little darlings, please expand the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

PickedANickname 5:48 pm 16 Jul 13

Good luck to you too. The centres just don’t want to know you on the phone. The only positive interactions I have had is using guerilla tactics of dropping in without an appointment.

gentoopenguin 5:39 pm 16 Jul 13

I should add…good luck in your search! 🙂

gentoopenguin 5:38 pm 16 Jul 13

I’ve been on lists since I was 5 months pregnant – we are looking to start our little one when he hits 14 months (January 2015). Some places at the time refused to put me on their wait list cause they were already full up. I now have a list of centres that I call monthly to say that I’m still interested so nobody bumps me off. We still won’t have any clue though if we get a spot until November. We have no Plan B because, well, there is no Plan B. I have to go back to work.

Rather than getting every parent to put their names on lists and then ring the centres regularly (a practice they encourage), couldn’t there be an easier way to do this? How about a centralised childcare wait list, where you say what area you’re looking for childcare and when? Centres could then just pick names off the list as positions become available.

This would also make lists more transparent and stop dodgy practices like taking “deposits” of $50-100 from desperate parents to go on wait lists they never have a chance of getting to the top of.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site