You may enjoy a regular game of tennis, work casually or want to catch up with a childless friend. Whatever the reason, occasional childcare is likely to be just the ticket.
Occasional child care services provide flexible, short-term care, to give parents the important and necessary time to conduct activities they would otherwise find difficult to do.
Parents can use these services on a casual or regular basis while they are shopping, undertaking casual, part-time or shift work, studying, pursuing a leisure activity, attending an appointment, if there is a crisis or emergency or if they simply want a break.
Occasional childcare services are usually found in convenient locations such as shopping centres or your local community centre. They cater for children from newborn up to and including school age. They provide developmental and early learning programs that suit the children’s experiences.
How To Book
Booking your child into occasional care often differs from service to service and from state to state. Bookings may be made on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, on a regular basis or a term in advance.
Occasional care services usually operate for shorter hours than long day care centres, and during weekdays only. Sometimes, there are limits to the amount of care each child can use in a week.
Occasional care services are licensed by state/territory governments to ensure they meet minimum quality standards. They are usually run by community groups or local councils. Sometimes, long day care centres also provide occasional care. Most services will have handbooks explaining the nature of their particular service.
Finding Occasional Childcare
Your local council may have a list of occasional care services operating in your area. As occasional care may not be offered in every council area, you may need to search further afield.
The Occasional Child Care National Association can advise you of available services in the area that suits you. Phone during office hours (EST) on (02) 9896 3056.
How Much Does Occasional Childcare Cost?
Occasional childcare is funded from a wide range of grants, mainly from state or federal governments. Fees for occasional care vary from centre to centre, depending on their source of funding.
Parents who use occasional care from approved services may be able to obtain fee relief. Your service will be able to tell you tell if they are approved to receive benefits.