Sophie is Nearly 2, and this Mumma’s gotta keep bringing home some bacon!
To be precise, my Soph is 22 months (I don’t even know how that happened *sigh*) and I am reeeeeeeeally loving being back at work at SAHM. But to be honest the thought of putting Soph into daycare 8 months ago had me in a cold sweat. The same little girl that was joined to my hip for the first 12 + months was suddenly not going to be my lil wing lady and….well I was packing it!!!
And the thing is, Sophie is my third child, so it isn’t like I hadn’t done the whole Daycare thing, but she is my last baby…. And only the best will do for my pink princess Sophie! So I had to find out which local Daycare Services not only had a place for her, but also had amazing ratings that I could see for myself! Well, now my little missy has been in daycare for 8, going on 9 months and it has been life changing…. for both of us.
Going back to work
When I headed back to work at Stay at Home Mum, it was so great. The adult convos, interacting with the outside world (Getting out of my PJ’s before 10am lol), but it was also great and much needed to take that year off to spend quality time with my newest baby. I took little Soph into the office all the time – where I hardly got to hold her as the girls would scoop her up and make a huge fuss of her. But it was definitely time, I needed the money, and my new position with SAHM was super exciting. On the other hand the sheer thought of putting Sophie in Daycare made me cry (Yep, for months).
When I had 100% decided to head back to SAHM I got straight onto Google to do some research about all of the childcare services available in my area. Living in a rural area, I was astounded that I had 18 childcare services to choose from, all within 10km of my house…Winning!
Finding the right child care service
So with 18 different Daycare services to choose from, I had to find out which one not only had a potential place for Sophie, and would suit our family situation, but would be AWESOME and highly rated. I worried that if I made the wrong choice she’d end up working at a less than desirable job for the rest of her life…
There is a Government website called StartingBlocks.gov.au
I found StartingBlocks.gov.au in my internet Google Search. It’s a Government website (so not biased at all).
It has an easy search function to find APPROVED education and care services Australia wide. All these services have a quality rating (which really helps you as a parent choose the very best service for your child!). But this website isn’t just about childcare, it has loads of great information such as developmental milestones, activities you can do with the kids at home, sleeping hints and tips on reading with your toddler!
Starting Blocks also covers all the following types of childcare:
- Long Day Care
- Family Day Care
- Pre-School / Kindergarten (Part of a School)
- Pre-School / Kindergarten (Stand Alone)
- Outside School Hours Care (After School)
- Outside School Hours Care (Before School)
- Outside School Hours Care (Vacation Care)
Which is great as some of the girls in the office had been struggling to find Vacation Care for their older kids who were getting bored of just being at home during the school holidays! Plus trying to work with loads of kids running amok at the office is damn hard!
You can compare Childcare Centres instantly!
When you enter your postcode and select the type of childcare service you require, all the options come up instantly! Best of all, you can see how these services are rated under the National Quality Standard (NQS).
Here is the very search I did in my area:
Each early education and care service is rated against the seven different NQS quality areas that include children’s health and safety, educational programs, staffing arrangements, relationships with children and more!
As all of these ratings come from Government regulatory authorities, you know that they are non-biased reviews!
What’s more is each State and Territory has a regulatory authority responsible for conducting assessment and rating of education and care services. Regulatory authorities manage assessment schedules in a responsive and risk-based manner, making adjustments as new information emerges, and making best use of available resources. Services with higher quality ratings will generally have a longer period of time between assessment and rating visits in recognition of their ability to operate above the National Quality Standard.
Regulatory authorities make unscheduled and scheduled visits to services in addition to assessment and rating visits. These include monitoring, spot check and compliance visits to ensure the service is operating within the national legislation.
We Have Moved Back To The Sunshine Coast And Now I Need To Find the Perfect Centre Again?
I’m not going to lie, Sophie’s first day all those months ago had me a nervous wreck, but we are now 8 months into our Daycare journey and most days Sophie likes going to daycare more than she likes it at home. She settled in so well, it really was like a second home! So, when we had to move recently for my husband’s job I was a terrified nervous wreck again. Back to the Sunny Coast and back to the Starting Blocks website I went. I was able to find 9 centres within 5km all with ratings and Soph starts at the new centre on Monday.
Would I Recommend Starting Blocks and Day Care?
100%! The Starting Blocks website makes finding quality daycare really simple. And to be honest, Sophie has thrived, in fact, I think she has progressed way further than she would have if she stayed at home. She is meeting or exceeding all milestones and she is learning social skills and making friends. Add to that the fact that I get some time by myself, we are both winning.
I’m so thankful I found Starting Blocks to help us give Soph her best first step into early childhood education and care!! Huge thanks www.StartingBlocks.gov.au!