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Big vs little Childcare


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#1 CoffeeGuy

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:53 PM

Big has about 60 kids and up to 90
Little has 2 and up to 4

Big offers 10 hours days minimum
Little offers 9 hour day minimum

Big costs $114 ($85.5 per week 50 hour) includes nappy, morning and afternoon tea
Little costs $104.40 ($70.47 per week 45 hour) includes morning and afternoon tea

Big is 4.4km away
Little is 2.9km away

Big has large outside run around area, sand pit, elaborate climbing play thingo and with chickens
Little has small outside run around area, small climbing thingo

--

Is the frequency of sickness increased by having more people in contact with the child?  Missed days mean's missed work -$$$.

Does having more children in contact with a child result in increased social development?

The children seemed pretty stoked at either place, children are delightful.

Any pros or cons before I confirm my decision?

p.s. I checked out another big childcare but they offered 11 hour minimum which would cost over a hundred so nope.

Edited by CoffeeGuy, 14 November 2019 - 05:39 PM.


#2 José

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:01 PM

I'd be most interested in the difficult to measure e.g. what was the environment like? Did staff seem genuinely caring in their interactions with the children.

Distance from home and work is a factor but these two sound relatively close together. Your kid will get illnesses at either centre. The size of the centre won't change that.hygiene practices might.
Social development is enhanced through quality interactions I would think. And that could occur at either centre.

Good luck deciding.

#3 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:12 PM

Depends on a lot of other things.

Big: It’s unlikely it will be 60 kids in the one room, baby rooms tend to have less kids too. Maybe even just 10. Big centres have the funds and resources to offer lots of programs and toys, but kids can get a bit lost if they’re not run properly. What is staff turnover like? Than can unsettle a baby too. And yes, they will catch lots of colds. But if a staff member is sick, they will cover them, and your child can still attend.

Little: Family day care, I assume that’s what you are looking at. Can be good too. But there may be less activities for the kids. Only one caregiver means if they are sick, they won’t take kids that day. But your baby may be sick less too. One caregiver can be risky, you want to be sure they are good people as there is no supervision during the day, check references and do a trial first.

#4 Lunagirl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:17 PM

It sounds like you're deciding between a family daycare and a daycare centre.

Given how young your boy is, I'd go with the small, family daycare.

At his age, he won't get much benefit from interacting with other children. Kids that age need a good bond with a carer. I also think he would benefit from being around the same carer all the time, rather than the changes that occur in a centre, given he's just recently had a change in his primary carer.

There's no guarantee about sickness, but I have heard anecdotally that children at family daycares get ill less due to being around fewer other children.

#5 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:19 PM

In your situation I would choose little.
Better continuity for you and your child - one carer means no shift changes during the day/week.

TBH I would always go for family day care for babies anyway, that's my bias and I know others feel differently.

#6 ainira

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:25 PM

You will need to bear in mind that if the family day care educator gets sick or is planning to take a holiday, you will be out of care.

A childcare centre doesn't necessarily mean lack of continuity of care either. My DD2's former childcare had low staff turnover, same core staff in each room, and the nursery kids were assigned a "primary educator" based on who they prefer most (DD2 started at 4.5 months for context and was the youngest by several months). DD2 also had few illnesses.

Good luck with your decision.

#7 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:41 PM

In my experience (my kids have been to a big centre and a small) they got sicker at the big.

However we personally avoided FDC because we felt 'safer' having multiple carers on the site at the one time. For example if the lone carer knocked themselves on the head or something. - Probably not that likely a scenario to be honest!  But if a child did injure themselves and had to go to hospital that could be complicated with only one carer and the other kids to manage. I know lots of FDC carers and they are great so that's nothing against them personally just my preference.

The carer(s) themselves are really important as well, what are their actions with the kids like, do they make the kids feel calm and happy. Do the kids look happy and well?

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 14 November 2019 - 05:46 PM.


#8 José

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:41 PM

View Postainira, on 14 November 2019 - 05:25 PM, said:

You will need to bear in mind that if the family day care educator gets sick or is planning to take a holiday, you will be out of care.



That was a problem for me when I used family day care. The carer would get sick, her kids would get sick. The scheme said they would try to find alternate care if/ when that happened . They never did.
I think with family day care i would want to know if the carer is looking after their own child/ren

When my DS went to family day care I think the carer didn't really like him. :-(
At least at a centre if you don't click with one carer there will be others.

#9 blimkybill

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:43 PM

View PostPhillipaCrawford, on 14 November 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

In your situation I would choose little.
Better continuity for you and your child - one carer means no shift changes during the day/week.

TBH I would always go for family day care for babies anyway, that's my bias and I know others feel differently.
I feel the same. I think that under 2s and even maybe under 3s get a benefit from a close relationship with one carer. They don't need lots of people to interact with at that age, just a few is fine.
Pros of family day care:
Close relationship with one person
This relationship may be helpful for your son who is already processing major relationship changes.
Ratio of 1:4, even if some of the other children are older
Less sickness.
Cons of family day care:
What happens if the carer is sick or on holiday? Most schemes have relief carers but you would need to check.

I chose family day care for my three kids, I have no regrets. They didn't cope well with large numbers at a young age. (Although many kids do of course)

#10 CoffeeGuy

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:50 PM

If small childcare lady gets sick, she might be sick for a few days.  Or even a week.  If that happen I would have to have a back up childcare until she is better.

Is a back up childcare possible?

#11 Babetty

Posted 14 November 2019 - 05:56 PM

From all the responses you can see it's not a clear "one is better than the other".

I've got the impression that your work may not be very secure. If that's so, the risk of the family day care being unavailable due to illness or going on holiday might be a big problem for you.

For what it's worth, my kids both thrived at a bigger centre. They started at 6 months old and the woman in charge of the baby room had been there 10+ years. As they got older they had a choice of kids to "click" with and play with.

Good hygiene is very important - especially in a big centre. Did both places look (and smell) clean and well looked after?

#12 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:01 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 14 November 2019 - 05:43 PM, said:

I feel the same. I think that under 2s and even maybe under 3s get a benefit from a close relationship with one carer. They don't need lots of people to interact with at that age, just a few is fine.

Lots of good points!
Its worth a mention that the ratio at a centre is also 1:4. for 0-2s.

As pp have mentioned they also get continuity with one carer at a smaller centre.  Probably not as much at a big centre.

  Some centres do have high staff turnover if there are issues with management, and that can be very disruptive for kids however.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 14 November 2019 - 06:09 PM.


#13 Apageintime

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:15 PM

I am all about the bigger centre. I worried what happened if a carer in a small centre was settling a baby, changing a nappy, feeding a baby, going to the toilet herself? All those other kids are alone. And I suspect they're alone a lot. What if that lone carer gets frustrated? Or doesn't gel with your kid?

I've seen carers at my son's daycare not be able to get a baby to sleep, and someone else has taken over and had luck. When my son was tint he would only sleep in someone's arms, the first few weeks he was asleep with the centre manager while she did rosters and admin - only one carer - no option for this.

#14 blimkybill

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:25 PM

View PostApageintime, on 14 November 2019 - 06:15 PM, said:

I am all about the bigger centre. I worried what happened if a carer in a small centre was settling a baby, changing a nappy, feeding a baby, going to the toilet herself? All those other kids are alone. And I suspect they're alone a lot. What if that lone carer gets frustrated? Or doesn't gel with your kid?

I've seen carers at my son's daycare not be able to get a baby to sleep, and someone else has taken over and had luck. When my son was tint he would only sleep in someone's arms, the first few weeks he was asleep with the centre manager while she did rosters and admin - only one carer - no option for this.
Most family day care schemes only allow one baby under 12 months.
As I said before,  many family day xare schemes have processes in place to cover when the carer is sick.
I am a little biased because I have seen too many 1 and 2 year olds sobbing on their own in poorly run centres, it upsets me. This is when they get to the 1:8 ratio and there is often not enough individual attention.  I accept many centres are of better quality.

#15 LucyGoose

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:25 PM

I love family daycare for babies to 4 year olds,  then move to a big group  kindergarten.

I love the bond they get with one carer.

I was worried about my carer getting sick or taking leave but she never did in the 3 years we were there.

She also had her own school aged kids,  which worried me initially,  but ended up not being an issue at all.


#16 alias grace

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:35 PM

View PostApageintime, on 14 November 2019 - 06:15 PM, said:

I am all about the bigger centre. I worried what happened if a carer in a small centre was settling a baby, changing a nappy, feeding a baby, going to the toilet herself? All those other kids are alone. And I suspect they're alone a lot. What if that lone carer gets frustrated? Or doesn't gel with your kid?

I've seen carers at my son's daycare not be able to get a baby to sleep, and someone else has taken over and had luck. When my son was tint he would only sleep in someone's arms, the first few weeks he was asleep with the centre manager while she did rosters and admin - only one carer - no option for this.

Me too to all of the above.  I figure that there are more checks and balances in a bigger centre - i.e. someone is always watching what you are up to.  Plus, the carers get meal breaks and a chance to re-charge!

#17 José

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:39 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 14 November 2019 - 06:25 PM, said:



As I said before,  many family day xare schemes have processes in place to cover when the carer is sick.


like what exactly and how does that work in reality?
the scheme i used said you could go to another carer if available. in reality all carers were full and no one was available when our carer was ill.
even if they were available it would have been a new and unknown carer in a completely unfamiliar environment.
at least in a centre the environment is the same and some carers will be familiar

Edited by José, 14 November 2019 - 06:41 PM.


#18 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:40 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 14 November 2019 - 06:25 PM, said:

Most family day care schemes only allow one baby under 12 months.
As I said before,  many family day xare schemes have processes in place to cover when the carer is sick.
I am a little biased because I have seen too many 1 and 2 year olds sobbing on their own in poorly run centres, it upsets me. This is when they get to the 1:8 ratio and there is often not enough individual attention.  I accept many centres are of better quality.

https://www.acecqa.g...to-child-ratios

Where are there 1 and 2 year olds in a 1:8 ratio in centres?

its 1:4 up to 24 months and then 1:4 or 1:5 up to 36 months.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 14 November 2019 - 06:41 PM.


#19 blimkybill

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:55 PM

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 14 November 2019 - 06:40 PM, said:

https://www.acecqa.g...to-child-ratios

Where are there 1 and 2 year olds in a 1:8 ratio in centres?

its 1:4 up to 24 months and then 1:4 or 1:5 up to 36 months.
You're right.
I visit centres as part of my work. I definitely see toddlers not being attended to when crying. Sometimes whole rooms of crying toddlers. Sometimes it might be 3 year olds who have the 1:11 ratio. I don't know where the staff are, probably cleaning I guess. Or the centre is not in ratio? It happens.

#20 blimkybill

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:57 PM

View PostJosé, on 14 November 2019 - 06:39 PM, said:

like what exactly and how does that work in reality?
the scheme i used said you could go to another carer if available. in reality all carers were full and no one was available when our carer was ill.
even if they were available it would have been a new and unknown carer in a completely unfamiliar environment.
at least in a centre the environment is the same and some carers will be familiar
A while ago when I used it, the scheme I used had some people whose job it was to do relief care, but in the home of the person who was on leave. I don't know if that model persists, but it would have some challenges for sure. And I know many people prefer centres for this reason alone.
But for me, the advantages of a single carer in a small group outweighed that risk big time.

#21 Silverstreak

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:14 PM

When we did childcare (not for very long due to DS picking up illnesses) I chose the larger centre, as the local family day care was having their backyard renovated, so no back yard to play in. Plus, apparently the children only needed to be within earshot, not line of sight, which I wasn't comfortable with. This might also be the case with larger centres, but at least there'd be more than one staff member.

I dunno, your small family day care sounds good, but that's a good point about needing backup if the carer gets sick. Maybe try the family day care and see how you go>

#22 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:29 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 14 November 2019 - 06:55 PM, said:

You're right.
I visit centres as part of my work. I definitely see toddlers not being attended to when crying. Sometimes whole rooms of crying toddlers. Sometimes it might be 3 year olds who have the 1:11 ratio. I don't know where the staff are, probably cleaning I guess. Or the centre is not in ratio? It happens.

I guess it highlights the importance of being careful when selecting a centre, because that certainly isn't the case with all of them.

If they aren't following the ratios that should be reported.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 14 November 2019 - 07:40 PM.


#23 CoffeeGuy

Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:30 PM

I have considered the responses and will go with the family child care.

#24 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:03 PM

I chose day care centre and love it! I've never seen a child left crying at our centre whenever I have been there (and I need to walk through the other rooms.)

I like the opportunities that a big centre offers. They have a huge outdoor area with amazing activities and they change them regularly. Then they have cool stuff like a Firetruck came to the centre and the older kids got to sit in and then they got to spray the fire hose. They also celebrate lots of days.

Plus there a lot more kids to play with. It has been great for my son to have to learn patience (he's not very good at waiting lol).

I've also found with the 4 main carers each room has, he has always tended to bond with one or two REALLY well. If one of the carers he didn't bond with very well was a FDC carer then there are no other options.

Good luck! Ultimately, you aren't signing up forever, you can almost switch. Do be prepared though that most children get sick a lot in their first year in childcare and you will need to have some alternative care for your bub on those days.

#25 blimkybill

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:20 PM

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 14 November 2019 - 07:29 PM, said:

I guess it highlights the importance of being careful when selecting a centre, because that certainly isn't the case with all of them.

If they aren't following the ratios that should be reported.
Unfortunately I live in the state with the highest proportion of centres which don't meet National Quality Standards. It's related to better employment opportunities here so it's harder to find good quality and consistent staff.
One centre I work with has been advertising for an early childhood teacher for 6 months with no success. So they have no teacher in the whole centre and the Kinder room, which should have a proper preschool program,  is staffed by a revolving door of casuals.
I would say that how a centre does in their ratings does seem to correlate with how good they are in practise. Anecdotally of course.

Apologies for derailing the OP. It sounded like there was nothing at all wrong with the centre you visited.

Edited by blimkybill, 14 November 2019 - 08:21 PM.





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