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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:21 PM
My two children get very little social interaction with other children for several reasons which I won't go into here. Playgroup is not an option for us. So I have decided that DD, at least, needs to get into a structured social environment, and since there are no 3yo kinder spots available around here, this means daycare.
Initially I researched LDC just for her to attend 1-2 days per week (short days). Then I thought of the benefits of having a weekday sans kids, and wondered if DS would benefit from more of a social life too.
I have found a centre that has space for both of them. I would recieve CCB but no CCR. I have three options that appeal to me but not really sure which to choose.
1. Send DD two days a week (around $70 out of pocket)
2. Send both one day a week (around $70 out of pocket)
3. Send both one day, DD an extra day (around $90 out of pocket)
I feel guilty at the idea of putting DS in. After all, I'm a SAHM, raising them is my job. DD needs to go, and I'd really like for her to be able to do 2 days per week as I think she'll settle in better and it will prepare her a lot more for kinder next year. But the idea of a weekday (even just a few hours of one) to myself is appealing.
Both children stay with their father every second weekend (Friday night to Sunday evening) so it's not like I get no time to myself. In fact I get more than most mums. But after speaking to a few friends and family I'm now thinking DS could benefit from being around other toddlers as much as DD could benefit being around other preschoolers. I'm also not sure if I want to continue being a full time SAHM, and it will be a heck of a lot easier to look for work if I've already got both kids enrolled.. I just don't know.
DD will be in a pre-kinder room. DS is 15 months old but will be in the 'nursery' room as he still has two naps a day.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:27 PM
Have you considered putting both in 2 days per week and seeking work or studying those 2 days. I am not a big fan of daycare for socialising, I'd prefer to catch up with friends with chn over coffe while the kids play and socialise in a natural setting.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:32 PM
My SIL sends her two for two days per week - one day they both go, then they each go on another day, different to the other one. So SIL gets one day to herself and then one day of one on one with each of the kids.
My DD started at 15 months going three days per week. This was because I was looking for work, but she loved it. She is a very social child and has gotten so much out of daycare that I could never have given her at home. I know not all kids are as social, so may not get the same out of the experience.
I think, in general, they say a minimum of two consecutive days is good when kids start. They have more consistency and when they're young they tend to forget from week to week, so it's almost like starting all over again every week. Whereas if they go two days in a row, they'll remember what's going on and it will become more familiar.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:38 PM
I would suggest you put just DD in for 2 days.
Any child who only goes for 1 day has a really hard time adjusting, particularly when they are as little as your DS. I don't think there is anything wrong with your DS attending LDC (my 2 both started at 3 months as I had to work), but I think only 1 day when it is not essential is a little cruel.
I know I find having only 1 of the children home is way more relaxing than 2 anyway!
Or put them both in 2 days and do some work or study, which would be relaxing/stimulating in a different way.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:42 PM
I think it would be better to send them both 2 days a week - less confusing for them as they are both dropped off there when you go - if your DS only goes one day it will be confusing for him the day you drop off your DD and not him. And from a socialising point of view 2 days is better than 1 because they can get into the routine of daycare better and see the other kids 2 days a week.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:42 PM
When I was in that position, I put them both in for 1 day a week, so I could have me time, do some study, housework, appointments etc with no kids in tow.
In hindsight, I wish I'd put them in 2 days a week each, as:
1. they would've settled easier
2. I could've kept one out one day a month, or picked up one early week-about, having some 1:1 time with each child every 2nd week.
With 2 days - I would NOT have them consecutively, so if they get ill, they miss the whole week, I would space them, so if they get sick, you might still get 1 day off a week.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:46 PM
I had my first son in family day care for two days per week from about 17 months onwards. He was with them for a year and it was a wonderful, caring, warm environment for him. They did activities with him that I couldn't do...and being an only child at the start of the year he hasn't really learned to be part of a big gang of kids and share toys, attention etc. I had my second son during the year, so it gave me time with the new Bub too.
I'd put them both in two days or your dd in two days. A single day a week isn't really ideal as they take longer to settle...maybe you could use e time for study, or pt work as my understanding is you need to be doing something like this to collect the cc rebate.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:46 PM
Sending them both 2 days a week would cost over $100... even $90 will stretch my budget.
Looking at Tuesday/Thursday. No Wednesday available.
I didn't even think of DS getting confused about not going on DD's day. Good point.
Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:50 PM
If you don't plan to work right away, I would put your DD in two days and keep your DS at home for one more year. A 15 month old doesn't need any socialising beyond what he gets in the family, particularly since he has a sibling, however some one on one time with you might be of great benefit for him. Then start him 2 days next year if you think he might be up to it.
Most places I have spoken to say that two consecutive days, or with only one day between (i.e. Mon and Wed) work best as they settle quicker.
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