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Monday, July 30, 2012

Childcare extended hours: would you use it?

Following on from an earlier report where some daycare centres have turned into an overnight care facility [see:], news just in is that Childcare Minister Kate Ellis has revealed she wants to investigate removing restrictions on childcare centres being open after 6pm.

One option, reports 'The Sunday Telegraph', is that childcare centres also want discussed allowing some centres to open on Saturday in areas where there is local demand among miners and shift workers.

And nurses, doctors, firefighters and other shift workers the government is considering they also have access to more at-home care under new proposals.

"I have heard from so many parents about the added stresses of having to ensure you're out of the door at work by ten past five to get through the traffic and collect your child by 6pm," Ms Ellis told The Sunday Telegraph. "Or you face an immediate fine and a fine for every four minutes you're late after that.

Australian Childcare Alliance Gwynn Bridge spokeswoman said many centres charged $15 or more for parents who are 15 minutes late.

"You do feel sorry for parents who are rushing to pick up their children and get stuck in traffic. But what some parents don't realise is the staff have families waiting for them at home too," she said.

What do you think? Would you welcome this move? Have you ever been penalised?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Daycare now turns into overnight minding. Would you use this service?

Would you consider overnight child minding?

This is the new wave of babysitting - family daycare centres are now changing their hours and opening overnight and on weekends to suit a growing number of parents who now work unusual, non-traditional hours.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of people working non-business hours is up 15 per cent.

And more than one in three worked extra hours or overtime, and almost 60 per cent had no say in their start time and finish times.

In an article in the Sunday Telegraph published yesterday, the newspaper cites a recent survey by Family Day Care Australia of more than 300 providers found 12 per cent provided overnight care, while 14.4 per cent had weekend care.
"Gone are the days of the standard nine to five work day," Family Day Care Australia CEO Carla Northam said.
"Statistics show more and more parents are having to work outside of normal hours, whether they be shift workers, emergency services employees, casuals or executives. Family daycare provides parents flexible childcare, with many educators providing care around the clock."
World Tower Child Care in Sydney's CBD offers working parents a 24-hour childcare service to meet demand.
"There is a need for 24-hour care," centre director Laura Silvera told the Sunday Telegraph. "But the bulk of our work is done to suit working parents, so long daycare hours are from 7am to 7pm."
Ms Silvera told the newspaper that many executives attended after-work functions and required unusual childcare hours. "Parents have to work longer and attend more meetings," she said.

Me? Well I know that when I have done contract work for companies, I stipulate before I start that I must leave work at 4pm, in order to make it in time to pick up my kids. I actually don't mind that I have this curfew, and they don't mind because they know that I work like a maniac to finish all the tasks I set myself for the day. So they're kinda getting some damn good value for money with me.

What about you? Would you like this extended care for kids? I can absolutely see a need for it. But then, do the lines between work and leisure time [and more importantly, time you spend with your children] get incredibly blurred? And where does it end?

Share your stories and thoughts here.

And read more on the Sunday Telegraph piece here: