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Thread: Childcare - when to enrol baby?

  1. #1
    Fee Guest

    Default Childcare - when to enrol baby?

    I've heard people saying that you often have to book childcare when you're pregnant. Is this true?

    The tricky thing is I am not 100% sure if and when we'll need childcare. But I am thinking probably after my 12 months maternity leave - but then again I'm not sure how many days per week.

    So when would I need to book if I was wanting childcare that far away?

    I don't even know where to start.


  2. #2

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    I would think that its best to book as soon as possible. Some areas are better than others for childcare so you may find it easy to find a place or it may be hard.
    IMO it would be better to book to early and then have to postphone the starting date than to leave it too late and not be able to enrol in the center of your choice. It might be worthwhile to contact a few places and ask what thier waiting lists are and if you can have a look around. If you can visit a few places you will have a better idea about where you might want to enrol your baby. If all the babies look happy when you visit chances are yours will be too.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Riverina, NSW
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    I had ny DS's name down before I was pregnant. I live in a rural town (not small though - pop around 60,000) and was calling around for my friend's little one and then put my name down also when I realised how hard it was to get a spot anywhere. So his name was down for at least 18 months before he actually attended....and we had to accept a spot about 6 weeks before we actually needed it in order for us keep it - otherwise we would go back to the bottom of the list.

    I think the situation is a little better now with a few more centres popping up - but have still had this bubba's name down since when we started trying...can't be too safe!!!

    With regard to the amount of care you need...I put my sons name down for full time care and then kept calling up every 2 or 3 months to make sure his name was still down and let them know if there were any changes to the days I wanted. I had to accept 2 days at first, and then about 3 months later they were able to offer me another 2 days.

    Good luck - and put your name down at a few places - in case you don't like the one you first get in to!

  4. #4

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    In my area I have been told there is an 18 month waiting list :shock: I would definitely put your name down now for 12 months after the baby is born. You don't have to take the place when they offer it to you. Also, I was told to ask for a full time place and then decide at the time if you want a full time place or not.

    Maybe just call a few local places and see what they say.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Outer Eastern Subs - Melb
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    Yep, put them down as soon as you can! I put Blake down when I was about 7month pg - I didn't want to go earlier, I wanted to at least look like I had a baby in my belly.

    And yep, put them down for full time and make your decisions about how many days when you actually know.

  6. #6
    Pietta Guest

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    I enrolled Ryley in the best day care in our area prob the week after I found out i was preg and he didnt get in until 7 months old.

    Maybe call your child care board?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    1,244

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    I tried to enrol my baby in childcare at various places some months back and was told to wait until he was born! They weren't interested in taking my name at all.

    I'm assuming this is because the waiting list is already so long they didn't want to tell me. It was strange. Especially after everyone told me to do it right away as soon as I could.

  8. #8
    littlerigger Guest

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    Here in the ACT they advise you to put your name down at a number of centres as soon as you hit 12 weeks and even then the waiting list is up to 12 months after birth! We have our name down at 8 centres already. I've put our name down for full time care cause it's easier to say thanks but now I only need **** days than to say you need more days if that makes sense?

  9. #9
    Colleen Guest

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    wow! I knew childcare centres were busy but not that busy lol

    I called up one in our area a few weeks back in preperation for me going back to work soon and they said to pop down and have a look, a fill in the paperwork, no waiting time? We have had 2 or 3 more go up locally in the past few weeks also but I just never realised.

  10. #10
    Fee Guest

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    So it sounds like most places have a huge waiting list and some places have none.

    I guess I will start ringing the centres near us to find out what their policy is.

  11. #11

    Join Date
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    I live walking distance to 3 centres, but they all have 2 year waiting lists and all I want is one day a week so I can start some work from home.

  12. #12
    ms_fluffy Guest

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    I think if you're looking for childcare for under 2s, it's best to get in early. I'm not sure about Oz, but in NZ they have higher staff/child ratios for the little ones, so it's harder to get a spot for them.

    We started looking around when I was 7 months pregnant, and were told there probably wouldn't be anything available till the baby was 6 months old. I think it also depends on the quality of childcare. The good places have much longer waiting lists, so it pays to get it early.

  13. #13
    DoubleK Guest

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    Wow i had no idea that you needed to book in so early for childcare!

    I plan to stay at home with my bubs for as long as possible, but i will keep in mind not to leave looking for childcare untill to late!

  14. #14

    Join Date
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    Hunter Valley, Wine Country, NSW
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    Girls - Family Day Care is another option to think about.

  15. #15
    littlerigger Guest

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    Family day care sure is a good option and that's what we're thinking about for the first little while. It's cheaper, more intimate and you only pay for the time you use. So with childcare being at least $260 a week here, family day care is much more cost effective til I'm back in full time work!

  16. #16

    Join Date
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    Canberra
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    It is funny the one place I really want to get onto won't let me put my name down to the baby is born, but I will try again in a few months, maybe go in person rather than the phone.. Must keep looking for other places and Family Day care so I have all my options covered...

  17. #17

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    I am of the belief that there should be a central registry for childcare waiting lists. Just put your name down once with your list of preferred centres and reasons for picking them. I do think it is sensible to only be able to register once bubs is born, then maybe the waiting lists may not be as large.

    For me I need one that is walking distance as we only have one car and DH needs that, so there are only 3 I can choose from. So I kind of think I should have priority over someone who drive from another suburb (that has its own centres). I suppose though it is hard to decide who gets priority as we all think that our circumstances are special.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Gold Coast, Qld
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    IMO I think Day care centres are the way to go, I went back to uni when I had my 1st DD in Toowoomba (SE QLD). My DH stayed in Mt Isa (NW QLD) while Bree and I went alone. I put applications in at about five different centres when I was about 12 weeks pregnant with her and she was 4 months old when I went back to Uni and She didn't have a place with any of them. But one centre ran a Family day care unit and she was placed with a very lovely woman, I did stelth inspections and turned up early every now and again and Bree was happy being there and I developed trust in her and became quite friendly with her. She was there for four months when the lady got two little boys that were just totally out of control and wrecked her house and drove her crazy the boys had been expelled from 2 day care centres and she was their 4th day care mum that year. needless to say these boys had issues. She tried to off load them but the centre wouldn't let her so she quit 3 days before my 1st semester exams. I was devastated. And distraught. But the centre that ran the unit had a place open up and took Bree for me due to my circumstances. Bree stayed there for the rest of the year and it was fabulous. I faced the same dilemma when I finished uni and Bree was about 15 months old. I had put her name down when I was pregnant and she didn't get into the centre I wanted till she was 18 months old. She had missed out because of the sibling policy.

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