daycare - one day a week for a break

hi.  i have two beautiful boys, a 2 yo and a 7 month old.  just wondering if anyone has put their children in day care for one day a week so they can have a break.  the kids arent full on but would be nice to have some time to do things without being hounded.  if anyone has done this, what sort of cost would I be looking at and what subsidies could you get, if any.  thanks for your info.

26/11/2009
JennLC

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I have my son go to a friends house with a girl the same age as him there. He goes one day a week, and settled well. He is better having less children around as he gets exhausted with too much full on stuff going on! He is 19m. I have her girl at our place one day a week. So we each get one day's free childcare :)

26/11/2009
ZGT Mum (Julie)

My DD goes to daycare twice a week for 3 hours at a time.  This was the minmum requirement set out by the daycare centre.  They explained that 2 sessions were necessary because it helped the children settle in better.  It costs me $7.20 an hour plus I have to supply all the food.  She enjoys it and I find it beneficial as we have no family to help us out with childcare.  Personally, if I did have family who could look after her for an hour or so a week, I wouldn't put her in - but we all do what we have to do. 

26/11/2009
mum2krash

Hi there, I totally recommend entering your child into preschool for a little more me time. I had put my now 3.5yr old into a private kindy just before he turned 2. At first he had an issue with seperation anxiety and I did wonder if I was doing the right thing. The kindy teachers assured me the crying stopped almost instantly when I was out of sight and that he has so much fun. They too suggested 2 sessions a week to help with him adjusting. He started with 2 morning sessions from 8.15 - 11.30 (I think from memory) and now he is doing 3 sessions (2x morning and 1x afternoon) and absolutely cant wait to get there. I am waiting for more sessions to become avaliable ( it is soooo popular) and from next term he will be doing 2 full days 8.30 - 3pm + 1 morning session so I can return to part time work which we are both highly excited about! Being a single mum I received a winz subsidy and it made the fees really affordable. Also the 20 hours free from 3yrs is great too evn though I  still pay $2.50 an hour on top of that.  I was so lucky to find this fantastic Kindy (www.kindyz.co.nz) and I am totally positive he is going to be well prepared for when he gets to school.
Anyway I say go for it every parent deserves a couple of hours to themselves to recharge so they can happily deal with all toddler moments our little monkeys like to throw at us. I hope you find something to suit you if not move to Hamilton and join the fantastic families at Kindy Bubz,Totz,Tweenz & Kidz.

26/11/2009
rugz_ratz

Hi 2gorgeousboys I'm not sure what is available in your area but another option that you could do is shorter stays for more days.  My DS goes for 2 hours 2 days a week.  I only know of the one creche that does that here but it works really well for us.  You asked about subsidies too - look into WINZ subsidised Childcare - I think the cutoff income is around $73,000?  If you aren't working, it allows for up to 9 hours subsidised care a week per child. 

26/11/2009
ClaireBear80

The one day a week advice is so that kids have enough time there to be familiar with the teachers and the environment.  With one day it's easy to miss that day due to sickness and then they end up having to go through the resettling process again as it's 2 weeks between visits. I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem for some kids but for others it could be.  Price wise, daycare centres often charge for a whole day ($50 per day isn't uncommon) whereas homebased care will charge an hourly rate ($3-$8).  It depends on how many hours you'd actually want.  By 2.5yrs my DD would've been better off in daycare because she would've really benefited from being with other kids.  Before that homebased care woud've been fine.  The 20 free ECE hrs start once they are 3yrs. Lots of places have a reduced rate rather than free care though.  But by that age you should be able to start kindy too which may be free in your area.  Playcentre is also another option.  You have to do 1 duty sesion where you stay and help run that session. From 2.5yrs you'd be able to leave you older child on another session and have a morning with just the one child.  It's very cost effective as you parent contribution is covering what you'd pay for daycare. The best thing to do is go and visit all the options in your local area and have a look at the TeamUp website for the ECE booklet that explains everything really well.

26/11/2009
Solecistic

My 2yr old goes to day care for two days, most centers I signed up to would not do 1 day, I highly recommend it, he is there for the two days which give me the time to have one on one with my 6month old, and if I get her into the same place it will mean I can do some work.

I also have a group of friends who are looking at may be shearing a day a week looking after the kids so we can work but this needs more thought, though it is something to think about if you have a group of friends who are happy to do this, it gives you time to have time out get things done you never would and your kids get to have contact with others.

good luck

26/11/2009
ZGT Mum (Julie)

My older 2 go one day a week to a Kidstart Barnadoes, homebased carer. 
She is awesome and they love it as much as going to Grandma's house.

I doubt if you will find a centre to take one day a week, but you can always ask.  Maybe with the economic downturn they won't be so snooty and will need the business (as you can tell I had a couple of bad experiences with centres - mainly becasue of silly teachers telling me what was best for my child!!)
No doubt you will get some ECE teachers telling you it is bad for the children to go one day a week and all that BS, but for me - it works brilliantly and like I say - they love it.  With home based I think it is a matter of making sure you are exactly on the same page as the carer with regards to safety, discipline etc

I pay about $6 per hour (eldest just became free through the 20 free hours which is a bonus) and personally I have no idea about subsidies as we aren't entitled to any!

I use the six hours a week to do all my groceries, appointments etc and I also like the fact they are getting some quality time with a non-family carer that I trust 100% as well as contact with other kids.

Good luck -and go with your gut feelings regarding carers, centres and what is best for your child..

26/11/2009
mummy2boys
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