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Thread: Occasional childcare, am I being irrational?

  1. #1

    Default Occasional childcare, am I being irrational?

    Hi,
    It may seem like a silly question but as I am sure you can relate to I am finding it very hard to leave my son with someone I don't know. I don't have any practical support and would like to use occasional childcare to have a day to myself once a month. I miss having time with my husband and would visit him in the city or get the housework done or jobs that I can't get around to with my little son around.

    Being occasional care I am worried that they won't be as professional as childcare centres. And as most of them are government based I am confused as to whether this attracts better or worse staff. My DH thinks I should do it but I just can't get past leaving my son for my own needs.

    Have you ever used occasional care and what has your experience been? Any feedback would be good as I am finding this very tough


  2. #2

    Default

    can you ask your local childcare centre if they do occasional care... as a lot of them will.
    I know mine does.

    I do the same as you - put dd in for socialisation and i just do the housework and have a litle me time at home 1 day a week but it is a booked spot so i have to pay for it every week regardless.

    HOwever if one of their kids are sick they have an opening for occasional or emergency care.. it is worth a try.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default

    ive used occasional care. Go in and have a look, if you like what you see, feel comfortable, see that theres lots of things set up or a daily plan. its worth talking to the other mums too.
    i found occasional care a great way to get time to myself, at my centre its a pay as you go system @ roughly $4 a hour which is afforable for me.. i can change dates. Don't be turned away if the occasional care centre have few numbers, as my centre was quite full until their sessions were turned from 5hrs to 3hrs and it no longer suited many parents..
    also the carers at this occasional care centre also work at different after school care centres and childcare centres thru the rest of the week (occasional care is only offered 3 days a week at 3hrs)

  4. #4
    Claire Guest

    Default

    The OCC I use is wonderful. My daughter has attended since she was 6 months old. There are good and bad staff everywhere - whether it's run by local government is irelevant (I think).

    You need to feel comfortable so pop in unannounced and have a look aroud, see how they interact with the children.

    The childcare worker at my local OCC (whom is now a personal friend and babysits the kids) is the only other person other than my DH, who can put our boy to sleep. She rocks him for however long it takes (only a few mins thankfully) just liked she rocked my DD.

  5. #5

    Default

    FWIW government centers often have much higher standards than private.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default

    The staff at Occaisional care centres all need the same sorts of qualifications and/or experience as do staff at other types of centres. I do tend to agree with dachlostar that they would be more likely to have higher standards than private, BUT that is not to say you won't find an excellent centre that is private.
    I would go and look at the centres, spend time there and see how your DS reacts with the staff and children there. Then go from there. Good luck!

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Do you have a mum friend you could do it with? She has your child once a month & you have her child once a month. That way you know the carer & the environment your son is in and you both get some time out.

  8. #8

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    I think Sarah's idea is a great one! Start a babysitting swap, not only then are you getting time yourself but you are helping someone else!

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    I think the baby care swap is a great idea- I'm thinking I need to start doing this with some of the Mum's in my mother's group.

    Re: occasional care- I have worked in a few and I am keen to send my son to them every so often. They are usually very laid back and the children can just play (which doesn't always happen in childcare!). I also like the mixed age groups- it ends up having a real 'family/community' feel.

    Government centres generally attract the better staff as they offer better pay and work conditions and are the more highly sought after jobs in the industry.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    I think Sarah's idea is great. My concern with only using occasional care one a month is that it does not really give them a chance to settle in and get to know the carers. So if once a month is all you want and/or need then swapping babysitting with a friend would be more suitable. With DD1's first go at occasional care I had to pick her up after an hour as she was very upset, it was suggested to me then that she should go in at least once a week rather than every now and then to get used to it. Once she got used the idea of care she began to enjoy it. When we moved we used occasional care whilst waiting for a long daycare place, she enjoyed the place so much so that I would often put her in even if I did not have any need for her to go.

  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks for all of the feedback, its been great. I didn't realise that government centres attract better staff. Unfortunately, I don't know any other mums well enough to leave DS with them. It is a great idea though. I'll have to have a look at a few more occasional centres. I can give it a go and see how DS finds it.

  12. #12
    Claire Guest

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    Where are you based? Is there a belly belly meet up you could get along to? I'm sure you would definitely meet some like minded women there!

  13. #13

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    Your definately not selfish for wanting time off and to yourself and its completely understandable that you wouldnt want to leave you child with a stranger. Some child care centres do half days (6-12 or 12-6) and they have more structured learning etc.
    Occasional care is more general activites, still fun for the kids and staff are usually really good and qualfiied.
    Good luck

  14. #14
    ~Belinda~ Guest

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting a day to yourself so I wouldn't feel selfish.
    Good luck with everything and I hope you enjoy a day to yourself soon

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