5 Alternative Solutions
In 2018 it really does take a village to raise children. Unlike the ‘olden days’, we are seeing more parents living in new locations with no family support and more women embarking on full-time careers (yay)! The loss of these typical support services has seen parents become more creative as they build their village with variations on the classic. A Childcare Centre is not always the best options for families so let’s take a look at some solutions that might work, but not always be considered.
Costs: $30 – $45/ hour | Rebate: No
Obviously, our first suggestion is a Nanager. The Nanny industry has a long way to go so we are here to help you find the right solution and set it up in a fair and legal working relationship. A Nanager combines quality child care with effective home management so that when our parents come home the house is clean, laundry is put away, dinner is on the way and the kids are happy – meaning more bang for your buck. We set everything up professionally, legally and support parents through the process. Nanagers that are paid their worth in a professional engagement are likely to stay longer in their role because it’s proper employment. Nanager was built off the problems found in the Nanny industry over the past few years. We want to hear your needs and customise a solution based on your needs for the perfect, all-inclusive care solution.
Costs: $6 – $12/ hour | Rebate: CCR + CCB
Accounting for 12% of Australia’s entire early childhood education, FDC can be a great alternative to childcare. One of the major benefits of FDC the flexibility in hours. As care takes place in the home of the carer, they are able to offer hours outside of the typical 6 am – 6 pm that you see in centres with some even offering care 24 hours a day. This is incredible for shift workers who have very low alternatives around their grueling schedules. FDC also host much lower carer to child ratios and while this can create a more intimate bond for the children, it also sees FDC often holding lengthy wait lists for spots to become available. FDC follow the EYLF and operators must hold a childcare recognised qualification.
Costs: $20 – $27/ hour | Rebate: IHC
In recent years we have seen a huge increase in families exploring the solution of a nanny. As someone who has worked extensively in the industry, I find the biggest obstacle for families is the education around how to engage the service of a Nanny and this can, unfortunately, result in a bit of a black market with many girls being paid cash in hand, below minimum wage. Thanks to large peak bodies like the Australian Nanny Association and the Nanny Pilot Programme rebate (now replaced with the new IHC rebate) we are witnessing more and more families using a nanny and engaging properly. These rebates and services are making it clear and easy for families to engage the services of a nanny.
There are a number of options for finding a nanny by engaging in professional services or doing the work yourself. You could DIY recruiting on platforms like FAB or Juggle street but it’s important to know that these candidates aren’t verified to the level you would find going down the path of an agency. Agencies are also a great way to ensure things are all set up professionally and legally between both parties but obviously, it will come in at a higher cost.
Costs: $10 – $18/hour + board, bills and food | Rebate: No
While few parents have explored a nanny, even fewer have explored an au pair solution. Typically they are younger in age, travelling from overseas and hold minimal formal experience. Why would someone engage with this? They’re cheap. Au pairs do a combination of childcare and home management and lower their in pocket earnings for board and living expenses. While I’ve mostly heard horror stories, I have heard of a few parents having major success, it’s all in being thorough and prepared. Like any scenario when you are bringing someone into your family and home, think about the traits and skills you would like them to hold and from there prepare to over communicate and spend time helping them settle in (remembering it’s quite common for them to arrive into your home fresh off the plane). Clear instructions, shadowing them early on, considering the cultural adjustments they are facing and of course, their visa restrictions are all things that should be taken into consideration.
Costs: Depends on how much driving you need | Rebate: No
Travel needs play a huge role in raising kids. I’ve supported many families that just need help getting the kids from A to B. For many this extends to need travel from A to B, to C, to D and before you know it you’re dropping off at F four hours later. Below are two trusted and new travel solutions that can help navigate the lives of busy kids.
Parachuute offers parent to parent carpooling services meaning you can rely on people you know and trust to get the kids around. The kids can have fun travelling with mates and is obviously a very economical option. Parachuute is an app to help you navigate the complex logistics between your network. It’s a safe, easy and guilt-free way to ask for help. Simply set up a profile in the app and invite your network to join. From there parties request and the app takes care of the rest. Running off a point system, parents can exchange points for favours. Read more about Parachuute or download the app direction from the app store.
Shebah is Australia’s first only active all-female rideshare service. With strict driving minimum requirements, Shebah is revolutionising safe ride sharing for women and children. I had a chat to Shebah about the ideal way a parent could set up a regular trip with the same driver. Simply download the app, book in an advance booking at a time you can have a trip around the block with the kids. If you’re happy, arrange the ongoing logistics via text with the driver, they love the ongoing set work! When they arrive each trip, they’ll text you from the driveway for you to lodge the job on the app and being close by they will be the first to receive it. Find out more here or download the app today.