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Thread: Where do I start?

  1. #1

    Default Where do I start?

    Hi ladies,
    I am beginning to look into childcare for Olivia for when I go back to work but I have absolutely no idea what I should be looking for in a centre or what kind of questions to ask. Olivia will be 9 months when she starts and it will be for 2 days a week.

    I'm so confused that I don't even know where to start so any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanking everyone in advance,


    P.S. Is it normal for me to be feeling guilty about Olivia having to go into care? I just feel so guilty that she has to be put into care so young that it is breaking my heart and I am crying at the thought of it.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Brisbane, Australia


    First and foremost for me is if the centre is airconditioned.

    Don't feel guilty, my sister put her girls into care at 10 and 12 weeks because she HAD to go back to work. She was a little upset about that having to happen so early. James first went into daycare from 4 months and he just blossomed.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    In a BIGGER house!!!


    Hi Dan

    I'd really like to be able to help you out with this question (spent many years as a teacher in a 0-2 year room in long day care) however just have to duck out at the moment and it will take me ages to answer you properly. If you like can you PM me your email addy and I will sent you a basic fact sheet about choosing child care and it discusses what accreditation is (a requirement for centres to met in order to offer the child care rebate) and gives a breif overview to get you started and hopefully help prompt you with some more specific questions as you get to know more.

    All the best and yes it is perfectly normal for you to feel guilty (you're a great Mum) and with time and especially when you are comfortable with the service you have chosen the guilt will lessen. Really there is so much to comment on and I'd like to help - I promise to get back to you when I come home.

    Take care XXXXX

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    NSW Central Coast


    It is really common for mums to feel tremendously guilty for leaving their bubbas in childcare. I don't know how many times I have had to comfort the mum more than the baby at work! Don't feel guilty, you have to do what is best for you and your family (including financially) and if that is going back to work, then that is what you have to do.
    When you start looking it is important that you visit lots of centres. I believe that most of the time it is pretty obvious to you as soon as you walk in whether or not you like it. You will usually be able to 'feel' how a centre is. If you can spend time in the centre, maybe choose three or four you like at face value and then go and spend an hour or so there. The best time to get a really good idea would probably be at about 11:30ish or whenever they have lunch and rest time, or at drop off time. These are stressful and busy times and it is when you would see staff as they truely are (IMO). If the children are calm and relatively settled then, or if they are not, but staff are giving them lots of cuddles and talking to them, then it would most likely be a good centre. You do need to realise though that children at the age of your little one do get very noisy and unsettled too. Especially when there are 15 of them in one room and only two or three adults around. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. Good luck, it is a hard decision.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Hey Dan,

    It is so normal - I had to put my first baby into care from 4months - what a bad mother was I!! You'd think that second time round I'd be an expert but I was worse and had to return to work when 2nd bub turned 7months!

    I am well over that and am grateful that my kids enjoy it and have fantastic learning experiences that we as kids did not have the luxury of including the social skills. Both my kids are extremely social and not afraid to interact with other kids.

    My now three year old has been happily explaining to me how she is growing her own plants at creche and she also explains to me about healthy eating habits - she also told me I shouldn't have more than one piece of chocolate because too much can be no good for you - lol! My now one year old has started painting and playing with dolls.

    So Dan, I hope this helps with the upside of care - I think the social interaction is a fantastic thing - in this day and age we need to work but our kids also need the social skills and they can only get this if they are mixing with other kids - this is not a go at SAHparents by any means because some kids do get this but in my circumstances it has not been possible.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I also forgot to add that my kids just love their carers and sometimes leave me at the door cause they can't wait to greet their favourites - not that I love this but it does help me feel some comfort in the fact they get some love as welll as being cared for there too.

  7. #7
    Peach Guest


    I posted on someone elses thread and thought this might help you
    Last edited by Peach; October 30th, 2007 at 01:17 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Bris Vegas


    Always do a surprise inspection and not by appointment. Most centres will allow you to leave your child in the appropriate room and go for a walk around by yourself. This gives you a chance to meet everyone and peek in on your little one too.
    I still have anxious moments including guilt and my DD has been going to care for 2 years.
    Good luck with your choice it is a really hard thing to do but 2 days p/w wont hurt her. Infact the other days you do spend together you can make more precious.

  9. #9


    Thank you so very much for all your help and guidance. We start visiting centres on Monday. It's ging to be a big day.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!


    Is it normal for me to be feeling guilty about Olivia having to go into care?
    Hugs to you. This is TOTALLY normal!

    I had to put my Olivia in cc when she was 11 months at short notice as I was on jury duty. It shocked me how guilty I felt.

    And even now, I have a childcare centre that we all love and trust, I still feel guilty at times, even thought I know they all love it.

    (Charlie started one day a week at 11 months when I was heavily pg with Lexie. And Lexie started at about 7 months, when I returned to work pt).

    The other girls have given you great advice.

    In choosing a centre I literally went through the phone book and called about 6 centres and vistited them all. There was one that stood out in the way they welcomed us, and the way they responded to Olivia, and simply on my gut feel. 2.5 years later, we are stillusing the centre, and I couldn't be happier, so I am glad I trusted my gut.

    Good luck. xx

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW


    Excellent post Jen I agree with everything completely. I've worked in an ELC (Early Learning Centre) we catered for children from 0-4. The first thing I would suggest is to use your intuition as to the staff morale. Your child will not care if the surroundings are beautiful with all brand new equipment as much as he/she will care about the type of people that are caring for her. If they seem snappy and impatient then beware. Also, sorry if this seems 'age-ist' but IMO it's good to have a balance of older carers to young girls fresh out of TAFE. If a centre is run and staffed by all young girls who have not had children of their own I personally would not feel comfortable... but that is just a personal preference of mine.

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