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

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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.

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