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The Importance of Child Care for Working Parents

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    In today’s society, the majority of parents now work, regardless of the age of their children. Most families work out of necessity because the economic climate dictates that there must be two breadwinners to pay the bills. As a result, parents may face the danger of losing a job or missing a promotion because of illness, pregnancy, or taking care of loved ones.

    Since so many companies focus solely on the bottom line, it leaves too many parents looking toward daycare for a solution to their problem.

    Given that the cost of child care can consume nearly one parent’s salary, a worker’s choice to leave the workforce so that the family doesn’t incur daycare expenses may seem like an economically rational decision.

    However, while a parent may choose to stay home, the short-term economic pressures are not without consequences since living costs are higher, and there is no additional income to contribute to the household.

    A recent study concluded that since the bubble burst in the economy in 2008, only married couples with no economic growth in their household are those families where both parents are working. Consider that approximately seventy per cent of mothers are currently in the labour force, including almost sixty-one per cent of mothers with a child under the age of six years old. This is not just a women’s issue anymore since the changing nature of our economic environment necessitates a two-income household.

    While our workforce and families have changed dramatically, both employers and policymakers must make changes to make workplace policies match how we live and work today. In addition, lawmakers need to take the necessary steps to support hardworking families for securing greater economic prosperity now and in the future. For working parents, having readily available and affordable child care is paramount for finding a solution.

    6 Benefits of Daycare for Young Children

    Daycare is a necessity for most parents because many families require two incomes to get by financially. Others have made a personal choice to combine working and supportive home life for the benefit of all members of the household. Single parents usually can’t raise their young ones and hold down a job at the same time.

    While the inability to do it all is often stressful for many parents, they can rest assured daycare is a viable option. It offers long-lasting social, economic and academic benefits for kids and their parents. In addition, studies have shown that children, including babies and infants from 6 months to 4 years, benefit from the daycare environment, including its quality instruction, structure and social lessons.

    Regular Schedule and Activities

    Even young children have a schedule at daycare. Although they might not be aware of the ticking clock, children are provided with a full slate of activities that include songs and storytelling.

    For toddlers, these fun tasks are essential to their intellectual growth and development. The scheduled activities are also satisfying for parents, who have less worry that their toddler’s behaviour will be erratic at the end of the day due to a lack of structured times for eating, playing and napping.

    Academic Advancement

    An extensive study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that young children had higher cognitive and academic achievement scores as teens if they spent time in high-quality daycare as young children. Of the more than 1,300 children studied, over 90 per cent had been in the care of someone other than a parent before the age of 4. The study defined “high-quality” daycare as facilities that provide extensive interaction with care providers, support, and cognitive-boosting activities.

    Time With Peers

    Stay-at-home parents value the regular play dates they arrange with families and neighbours with kids of a similar age. Daycare interaction extends this phenomenon, where kids get to spend time around one another in a supervised, structured and safe environment.

    As a result, kids learn how to problem-solve, share and otherwise play and learn well together while their minds are still growing and personalities still emerging.

    Interaction With Other Adults

    When children are very young, they learn about adults mostly from their parents and senior members of their families. Daycare provides an opportunity for children to see other adults as mentors and authority figures to provide positive guidance. A 2006 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study found that high-quality daycare was directly connected to quality caregiving.

    Specifically, adult care providers respond to children’s vocalizations, encourage, show a positive attitude and discourage negative interactions in the daycare environment.

    Smoother Transition to Kindergarten

    A study at the University of Texas at Austin found that parents who enrolled their children in daycare were more involved in school life as their kids got older.

    This choice benefited not only the parents, who had greater involvement in their children’s structured academic life but the youngsters themselves. In addition, after going to daycare, kids found it easier to adjust to formal schooling.

    Social and Economic Benefits for Parents

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    Dropping your child at daycare can seem like a rushed, often anxiety-provoking experience. Even if you have done your research and are actively engaged in learning about the daycare’s staff, credentials and day-to-day operations, you are still leaving your precious child with a group of strangers.

    In addition, you may have little to no interaction with people who are sharing your experience: other parents. However, a recent study showed that even a small amount of time with other parents provides immense benefit.

    Clinical psychologist Francine Lederer stated that some women who are financially able to stay at home might choose to go back to work for their mental health. While this decision may seem counter-intuitive, it may be what’s best for the baby.

    According to Lederer, women who don’t work can suffer from depression, harming their children. But, on the other hand, if mom is happier working and children thrive in a high-quality daycare, the placement may be best for everyone.

    While choosing daycare may be a heart-pounding option for many parents, there are clear evidence children will benefit over the long term. Finding a quality daycare centre where children are supported, engaged, encouraged and exposed to a positive attitude can help babies and toddlers set the groundwork for later intellectual strides. In addition, as kids learn to problem-solve and interact positively with other kids and adults, their parents can get to know one another and increase the social capital they hold in their community.

    What is Child Development?

    Child development refers to the sequence of physical, language, thought, and emotional changes that occur in a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood. During this process, a child progresses from dependency on their parents/guardians to increasing independence.

    Child development is strongly influenced by genetic factors (genes passed on from their parents) and events during prenatal life. It is also influenced by environmental facts and the child’s learning capacity.

    Child development can be actively enhanced through targeted therapeutic intervention and the ‘just right’ home-based practice, recommended by Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists.

    Why is child development important?

    Observing and monitoring child development is an important tool to ensure that children meet their ‘developmental milestones. Developmental milestones (a ‘loose’ list of developmental skills that are believed to be mastered at roughly the same time for all children but far from exact) act as a useful guideline for ideal development.

    Checking a child’s developmental progress at particular age markers against these arbitrary time frames allows a ‘check in’ to ensure that the child is roughly ‘on track for their age. If not, this checking of developmental milestones can be helpful in the early detection of any hiccups in development.

    This ‘check’ is usually carried out through child/mother services and Paediatricians as infants and toddlers, and later through preschool and school term skills assessments.

    The earliest possible detection (and early intervention treatment if appropriate) of developmental challenges can help minimize the impact these developmental hiccups can have on a child’s skill development and confidence or serve as an indicator of a possible future diagnosis.

    Developmental milestone checklists or charts are used as a guide as to what is ‘normal for a particular age range and can highlight any areas in which a child might be delayed. However, it is important to be aware that while child development has a predictable sequence, all children are unique in their developmental journey and the time frames that they meet the many developmental milestones.

    Why Parent Involvement is So Important in Early Childhood Education

    Some of a child’s most important cognitive development happens during their preschool years. Parents can help ensure that their child has all the support they need to develop to their full potential by taking an active role in the early childhood education process.

    Parent involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better in school.

    Parents need to support the learning that happens in preschool settings at home as well. Parents who are in tune with what is happening in their child’s preschool classroom or child care facility can better establish a connection between what is learned at school and what takes place in the home. This connection is a key component of a child’s development and supporting further learning.

    Not only does family or parental involvement helps extend teaching outside the classroom, but it also creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school.

    How Much Is Child Care In Melbourne?

    The Australian Government made a huge change to the early childhood and child care system, the first of its kind in 40 years. Now, the primary way for the Government to assist families with their child care fees is through the Child Care Subsidy, which is a single, means-tested contribution.

    Depending on your financial and lifestyle circumstances, this subsidy can potentially pay up to 85% of your child care fees for up to 100 hours per fortnight.

    However, navigating the child care costs in Australia can feel a little confusing, so we’ve pulled together all of the essential information below to give you a helping hand.

    Due to the many moving parts, it’s a great idea to become familiar with the various childcare fees first, along with your eligibility for the child care subsidy, before deciding on which childcare option to use. 

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    Formal childcare costs in Australia vary from state to state and provider to provider. For example, a long daycare centre would charge between AUD 70 and 185 per day. In contrast, a family daycare centre (home-based early childhood education) costs between AUD 7.5-16.8 per hour, depending on location and services offered.

    Hiring a live-in nanny would cost a parent between AUD 17 and 25 per hour, while a live-out nanny would cost AUD 17-35 plus the agency’s fee. A trained au pair would cost AUD 200-300 per week + agency fee.

    On the education front, the average cost of schooling in Australia is higher than in Germany or New Zealand but much lower than in the U.K. Getting a child into preschool would cost between AUD 45-80 per day. Overall, education from Prep to Year 12 through a public school can cost on average AUD 66,000. Schooling at a private establishment would cost a lot more – about AUD 475,000.

    These figures would include tuition fees and expenses for transport, clothing and extracurricular activities. Schooling costs are slightly lower for regional Australia – AUD 50,641 for public schools and AUD 347,572 for private schools. Sydney and Melbourne are the most expensive places in Australia for children’s education, and Hobart is the cheapest.

    Higher Education

    Thanks to a number of world-class universities offering high-quality education, Australia is a very popular destination for international students, second only to the USA. Course fees can vary depending on the course type, institution, location, etc.

    The table below gives the average tuition costs in AUD that international students may expect to incur:

    • Vocational education – AUD 4000-22,000
    • Technical and further education (TAFE) – AUD 4000-22,000
    • Undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree* – AUD 15,000-33,000
    • Postgraduate (Master’s) degree* – AUD 20,000-37,000
    • PhD – AUD 14,000-37,000
    • Foundation courses – AUD 15,000-32,000

    Access to stable, high-quality child care helps parents improve their labor productivity by increasing work hours, missing fewer work days and pursuing further education. High-quality child care that enables mothers to enter into the labor market pays for itself through increases in family income.

    a closer teacher to child bond since the caregiver often cares for the child the entire dayfewer cases of illnesses since the child is exposed to fewer children. mixed age groups allowing for more sibling interaction. better teacher to child ratios since there are fewer children per teacher.

    By creating and maintaining a safe environment, you provide children with the security they need to develop. You also provide families with the peace of mind they deserve to adequately focus on work or other life needs.

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