If you are the proud parents of twins or high order multiples it can be even more challenging to find child care. Not only do you need to find a centre with more than one vacant spot in the correct room, you also need to find a centre that can deal with extra challenges of multiples.
Here are some of the issues to discuss with a centre like One World Children’s Centre.
The sleep situation
For some multiples, especially when babies, it's much easier for them to sleep when they are next to each other. Unfortunately having babies sleeping in the same cribs can be against policy, particularly for centres that are not use to multiples. Also you may want to keep your babies on the same sleep schedule as each other and its worth discussing this issue with the centre early on. While many centres have a policy of separate sleeping spaces for each child, it's worth discussing your specific needs and desires given your more unique situation.
The cost arrangements
While the Australian government provides generous benefits for working parents, it can still be hard for parents of multiples to justify the costs of full time child care particularly in the infant years. If you are not planning on working full days on at least some of the days you are work, it can be worth asking for a discounted rate for those days. It can also be worth asking for a sibling rate for your family, given the lower costs of administration for families with multiple children.
The child care approach
Many parent of multiples feel the delicate tug of balancing the recognition of each child's individual personality with the need for a more structure with a busier family. As your children enter child care, it's worth discussing this balance of recognising your children's joint bond with the need to see them as individual people. Spending time in formal child care settings can be a great way for children to develop different relationships with carers and peers and pursue the activities that they are interested in. They can also develop more confidence and social skills spending time outside of the home with children other than their siblings.
Accessing child care can be a great way to ensure that you maintain a long term connection with the formal workforce. This can pay big dividends as your children age and you can advance further in the workforce without substantial career breaks for parenting.
I work as a nurse, and I'm separated from my husband, so it's quite complicated for us to work out child care sometimes. We have an family child care centre down the road that is amazing and does so much to keep our family ticking when we need child care out of hours. I know I'm not the only one who needs flexibility in child care, and I know that a lot of other parents are also struggling with the juggle of managing child care out of the normal opening hours of a centre. This blog is a place to share ideas and solutions we have worked out, with each other.