Thursday, August 4, 2011

Childcare - decisions

By Bec,

As a working parent I have to make some tough decisions regarding childcare.  I don't want to get into a working parent, stay at home parent debate.  As far as I'm concerned there are positives and negatives for both, and we all do what we feel supports our family best.  Being the main income earner I couldn't be a stay at home Mum, hubby could be a stay at home Dad if we choose that path - however I'm selfish and am not willing to give up my day with the kids (I currently work 4 days per week - if he stayed home I would have to go back full-time).  Some people might add it would be better for a parent to be with them 5 days, rather than the 1 that I get with them...but I digress.  As I said, positives and negatives for both!

My son currently goes to childcare 2 days per week and kindy (in SA, this is pre-school, the year before their first year at school) 2 days per week.  My daughter goes to childcare 4 days per week.  My son starts school in term 4.  I have mixed emotions, my baby is growing up...he will be 5 in September and starting school in October - WOW!!  It seems like he was only just born. 

My daughter, who is 2, has really developed at childcare.  I can see improvements in her confidence, language skills, understanding of the world around her, socialisationI' skills, reading (or browsing books) and memory.  She has formed a strong relationship with her friends and carers.  I'm now known as "Savannah's Mum" when spotted out at the shops (where as it always used to be "Hunter's Mum"). 

She goes to one centre, but there is another located right next door to Hunter's school.  I'm thinking of moving her to this one.  I'm torn.  She loves her childcare centre.  She gets excited when we drive into the car park!  But the new one would be so convenient, and would allow her to meet some kids who will be going to that school.  If it was my son, the decision would be easy - a big NO.  He doesn't cope with change well (that will be another story when he starts school next term - watch this space for a blog about it as term 4 draws nearer) and the anxiety for him is just not worth it.  Savannah on the other hand is different.  But I'm still anxious.  The centres aren't far away - one is about 3 minutes from us, the other is about 5 minutes - but in the opposite direction.  So I could keep her at her current one and have Hunter at school - but there seem to be some advantages to move her.
They are actually the same centre - but different locations, so run the same, same (crazily expensive) fees, same governing council etc.  I'm going to check out the new centre tomorrow to see what I think.

What would you do? 

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