Jump to content

totally confused about how pre-school works
pls help me understand fees & days!

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 misse10

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

I've been told I have to get my LO onto a preschool waiting list now (he's 7 months) and so i'm trying to get my head around the options: primarily what they cost, when they go etc. I'm very confused as I went to Montessori and I know they have their own way of doing things which isn't the norm...

I've been looking at a few websites & they seem to be open during school terms...so does that mean that if you're working you have to find daycare or something for all the school holidays?  Is this how it normally works?  For some reason I thought preschool was running all the time. I don't even know when/if I'll be going back to work but want to understand the impact of this stuff.

I know kids 3-5 go to preschool but do they usually go 5 days a week? Or do they go a couple of days a week and then just 5 days when they go to Kindergarten?

And how do you compare school fees when some quote a 'per term' cost and some say $x per day? How can you work out how many days a year they go if i don't know how many weeks are in the school term?!

i'm sure this can't be as confusing as i'm making it!!!

#2 Kay1

Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:08 PM

I think it depends on what state you're in. In NSW kids can go to 'preschool' from age 3. Most preschools run a 2 day a week program for the 3/4 year olds and then a 3 day a week program for the 4/5 year olds. Preschool is not compulsory and most preschools are not government funded so you have to pay fees. The childcare rebate is not claimable for preschool fees.

But there are also long daycare centres that run preschool programs. They run year round and not just in school terms and are longer hours. They will usually quote per day charges and their fees are claimable. If you think you will be working then this might suit you better.

Edited by Kay1, 19 December 2012 - 02:10 PM.

#3 TheMuriels

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:08 PM

In WA, pre-school is the first year of compulsory schooling (from next year).  Here, we do kindy first (part time), then pre-school (which is full time), then year 1, but yes, you need to arrange out of school care for holidays if you work.  It's a giant PITA when there are 12 weeks + school holidays a year, but only 4 weeks annual leave!

#4 ekbaby

Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

It differs quite a bit between the states, but I can see you are in NSW so will give the info most relevant to that state:

- Preschool is not compulsory
- There are a range of early childhood options for 0-5 year olds including long daycares (LDC) and preschools.
- In theory the difference between daycare and preschool include that daycare usually has longer hours (maybe 6:30am-6pm) whereas preschool is more like 9am-3pm. Preschools are usually just for children 3 years and older. In theory daycare is more aimed at parent who need childcare whilst they work whereas preschools are more about education for the child regardless of what the parents needs are- but having said that these days with the Early Years Learning Framework all services whether they are a daycare or a preschool follow a similar curriculum and almost all daycares would have a "preschool program".
- Approaches to learning would vary from preschool to preschool and daycare to daycare and you might find there are more differences between individual services in approaches to learning, discipline, routines etc rather than saying "all preschools do THIS" and "all daycares do THIS".
- Having said all that some preschools offer "extended hours" or "aftercare" which means they might come close to the same opening hours as a daycare. In some areas there is no separate "preschool", or they are too hard to get into, or parents prefer the individual features of the daycare, so you might have quite a few kids attending daycare as their only pre-FYOS experience, even if they have SAHP. Parents might call this school or preschool, even if it is technically a LDC. Likewise even though daycare might be open for longer hours, there is no requirement to use the full day so you might have some kids just attending from 9am-3pm still. Also some services that use "Preschool" in their name might actually technically be more like a LDC in what they provide (longer hours, bigger age range of children)
- Preschool and LDC are provided by a range of providers- Private companies (could be large chains), Smaller private operators (where the business owner might also be the centre director/teacher), Councils, Non-for-profit organisations (eg KU, SDN, Benevolent Society), Independent schools (eg some Montessori etc preschools are associated with a private school) and Public Schools (through the Dept Ed, located on school grounds)

#5 tibs

Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

Our preschool in Sydney runs 2 days a week for 3 year olds - eithe Mon and Tues or Thus and Fri you choose which but they must be these combos.  4 year olds go 3 days per week Mon, Tues Wed or Wed, Thurs, Fri.  They go 9-3 and only in school terms.  Costs me $46 per day and only a negligible amount back from centrelink if you meet the work/study test, like $3 per day or something barely worth claiming.

#6 ubermum

Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

Victoria- Kindergarten for 3 and 4yo's depending on where you live and who runs it.  3yo kinder was only 2x2hour sessions per week for my kids and was $200 a term, not subsidised.

4yo kinder was 3 sessions per week totalling 12 hours, but from this year, they get 15 hours over 3 sessions per week. I think it was a similar price, but is subsidised for those on a health care card.

Long day care centres also run kinder programs and charge long day care fees which you get the child care rebate for.

It changes all the time. My advice would be just put your child's name down at the places closest to you and figure it out when the time comes. Policies and hours are frequently changed. Who knows how it will be when your child is old enough to go.

No kinder is compulsory in Victoria. Children must attend school from 5yo.

#7 fooiesmum

Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

There are both private pre schools and council/education run ones - they are all fee paying and run school terms, 09:00 > 15:00 (so approx 39 weeks a year - so there isn't care available during the school holidays) - we had the option of as many days as we wanted as ours doesn't run a 2 day/3 day program.

Most pre schools have a waiting list and you are usually able to put your childs name down once they turn 2 years old (not always the case though)


#8 Julie3Girls

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:34 PM

You really need to check out your local area, as there are a lot of differences.

Most of the time, a preschool room in a LDC is just as good as a stand alone preschool, and far more convenient for working parents.

Days etc ... The local ones here don't have a set number of days. Some kids go just one day a week, others go 5 days (extended hrs 8-4,so doable for some working parents). We also had a mix of 3-5 yr olds together, not separate days.

2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users


Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Victorian Labor to introduce same-sex adoption laws

Thousands of same-sex couples with children will have the right to be jointly recognised as parents by Victorian law.

Sneak peek: Maxomorra bee dress, t-shirt and romper for babies

Cutest snap find on the planet - bee rompers, tees and dresses for babies.

Toddler found two days after going missing

A two-year-old girl who disappeared on Friday night from her great-grandparents' home in rural Ohio was found alive Sunday evening in a nearby field.

Dad builds the ultimate bed for his toddler son

The transition from cot to big kid bed might be a little easier if every toddler had a bed like this one.

Is Woolworths now cheaper than Coles?

Woolworths appears to have taken the upper hand in its price battle with Coles after investing millions of dollars lowering the cost of groceries, according to new figures.

Aussie babies and parents stranded in Nepal after surrogacy ban

Parents say Australian babies are being "kept captive" and cannot come home after a ban on commercial surrogacy in Nepal.

Wannabe dads left behind in IVF debate

If virgin women can become mothers through IVF, maybe we're ready for another miracle - genuine equality for men in the parenting debate.

The health and fitness lessons I've learned

What I once assumed about health and fitness is wrong.

Our angel baby story: Hunter James

I have two children: one living, the next an angel baby.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Your choice or theirs: the tug-of-war over baby names

They had just decided on a name they both agreed on, but then the grandparents threw in an offer of $10,000 in exchange for choosing something else.

Dad-to-be's tearful reaction to pregnancy news goes viral

After 17 years of trying, this man had given up hope of having a family.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.