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Studying with young kids


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#1 twinsmom

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:28 PM

Hi everyone,
I am thinking of studying masters in early childhood in Melbourne or Perth and have two young kids whom I would love to bring along.  I would like to know how difficult is it to juggle between uni and kids school for a young parent.  Are there any childcare services or after school care service at the uni to drop the kids when they have no school.  

Anyone here studying with young kids without family support, how does it work?  Please share your thoughts experiences or knowledge to help me.  Or do you know of anyone who has done this?

Thanks in advance!

#2 roses99

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

Would you consider distance education?

So many Masters courses are available online or via distance, which would make things a lot easier for you. In fact, some courses aren't even offered face-to-face anymore.

ETA: I work at a regional uni which has a fabulous long daycare centre across the road (connected to the uni) as well as occasional care facility (where you can drop your kids for a couple of hours to attend lectures and only pay for the hours you use. However, my understanding is that on-campus childcare is generally extremely hard to get and the waiting lists are long.

Which is another argument for distance ed  wink.gif

Edited by roses99, 25 February 2013 - 11:41 PM.


#3 Fire_fly

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:43 PM

I can't help you with the childcare at the university situation. I am however studying a graduate diploma of psychological sciences without any family support. My Husband is FIFO so I can not rely on him for regular help and my family all live in other cities.

It is possible if you want it bad enough. It does take a lot of organisation and discipline as well as many late nights getting things done after the children go to bed.

My daughter is in childcare 2 days a week and during that time I attend classes, study groups, grocery shop and clean the house. My social life goes out the window for the 12 weeks I am attending classes.

All that being said. I think it's a great thing for children to see a good work ethic and discipline. I hope I have answered some of your questions and not just waffled on.

#4 roses99

Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:47 PM

Can I add one more thing? And this is coming from the perspective of someone who works in a Faculty of Education.

Unless you are really keen to study on-campus, I would choose a course rather than a university. Find a course that interests you and that will set you up for what you want to do with it down the track.

Also, keep in mind that Masters in Education courses are in a state of change in Australia as they move from one year courses (we still have those) to two year courses. Some faculties offer 18 month courses. Considering you're studying with kids, you might want to keep the course duration in mind when choosing.

#5 Feralishous

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Im looking at studying my masters in second semester, hopefully part time with 2 days on campus. Ive tried distance, and I just didnt get time with the kids at home

#6 AnotherFeral

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:14 PM

Online with daycare near home saves travel time and timetable clashes. You can study on whichever daycare days you can get. I don't think it would be doable without daycare/babysitting unless your kids go to bed early and sleep extraordinarily well.

#7 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE (roses99 @ 25/02/2013, 11:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would you consider distance education?

So many Masters courses are available online or via distance, which would make things a lot easier for you. In fact, some courses aren't even offered face-to-face anymore.

ETA: I work at a regional uni which has a fabulous long daycare centre across the road (connected to the uni) as well as occasional care facility (where you can drop your kids for a couple of hours to attend lectures and only pay for the hours you use. However, my understanding is that on-campus childcare is generally extremely hard to get and the waiting lists are long.

Which is another argument for distance ed  wink.gif


Thank you roses for your reply.  My kids are 6 yrs old and I believe they will be in school, my worry is what if the lectures happen to be outside their school hours.  I will be an international student and my H will not be joining me.  Any idea how many times a week will lectures generally be?

Thank you for your time!

#8 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:16 PM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 25/02/2013, 11:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The only way I can juggle parenting and study is by studying via distance. Most unis have childcare on campus, but it can be very hard to get a spot and being a student doesn't guarantee you a spot at some centres.

My partner is extremely supportive, he saves up his annual leave and uses it up while I'm on prac so that our son still has a parent around for him. We have no-one else to lean on really.

I personally could not juggle lectures/tutes around my son's school hours as he has ASD and a lot of after school therapies to attend, it would just be impossible to only take classes that didn't clash. I'm sure others do mange it though.

It is a constant struggle to maintain balance between too much and too little time spent studying or parenting, but it is certainly doable.

Good luck with your decision and your studies.


Thank your Ferdinand for your reply.  I totally agree on the time spent on parenting and studying, I have 6 year old twin boys and it surely will be challenging thats why I am still hesitating to enroll. BTW amazing that you are studying with your son, does your live with you or far.  Thank you

#9 butterflydreaming

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I'm studying a bachelor degree part time, this semester I am doing two units on campus as I really need some me time out of the house and the chance to talk to other adults but I am also doing two units distance. I'm doing it with a three year old and a 12 week old and yes I think I was insane for thinking i could study in the early days of a new baby but was convinced i could do it as I did it with my first... I kind of forgot that it would be harder to find the time with two.

I think to study with children you have to be super organised and accept the fact that study is your 'me' time because you won't have time to do much else depending on the age and number of children you have. If you can get lectures recorded to listen too on an mp3 player i suggest you listen to them when ever you can, in the car, while doing housework or in my case while pacing the house with a screaming baby in my arms. Listening to them over and over again helps more of it stick in my mind.

#10 Wolffmumma

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I'm studying online (not the same field) because moving wasn't an option for me.  You could probably access after school care depending on what times lectures ran.
I would email the universities you are interested in studying with I'm sure they can give you an idea of what schedule the classes have run on for the last couple of years, it's probably not a guarantee that it how they will be but it should give you an idea.

#11 akkiandmalli

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

I studied master of teachin g in 2008-09. Full time is 5 days a week at melb uni. 3 days of 9-4 classes and 2 days of peac. It's full on..  I had a newborn and a 2 year old . It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. My children were in care from 8-5 every day. We survived . My DH was Amazing a huge support on weekends when I had to study ( lots of assignments and readings) Good luck pm me if you need further info)

#12 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

QUOTE (Fire_fly @ 25/02/2013, 11:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can't help you with the childcare at the university situation. I am however studying a graduate diploma of psychological sciences without any family support. My Husband is FIFO so I can not rely on him for regular help and my family all live in other cities.

It is possible if you want it bad enough. It does take a lot of organisation and discipline as well as many late nights getting things done after the children go to bed.

My daughter is in childcare 2 days a week and during that time I attend classes, study groups, grocery shop and clean the house. My social life goes out the window for the 12 weeks I am attending classes.

All that being said. I think it's a great thing for children to see a good work ethic and discipline. I hope I have answered some of your questions and not just waffled on.


Thank you fire fly for the insight, yes I want it bad and have set routines for my kids from young in such a way they do their homework while I am working on the comp or busy, they also go to bed by 7:30pm and wake up only at 7am.  I'll be an international student and my biggest concern is their school and lecture hour clashes.  I will not know anyone there so social life will be confined to fb lol:

I love the fact that you think its good for children to see work ethics and discipline:)

Thank you again

#13 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE (roses99 @ 25/02/2013, 11:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I add one more thing? And this is coming from the perspective of someone who works in a Faculty of Education.

Unless you are really keen to study on-campus, I would choose a course rather than a university. Find a course that interests you and that will set you up for what you want to do with it down the track.

Also, keep in mind that Masters in Education courses are in a state of change in Australia as they move from one year courses (we still have those) to two year courses. Some faculties offer 18 month courses. Considering you're studying with kids, you might want to keep the course duration in mind when choosing.


Great advice, thank you!  I have a bachelor of early childhood and have worked as preschool teacher for many years, I am looking for a masters program that will enable to me be registered as a teacher in Victoria thats why I am not very keen on online programs.  There are only two programs I can consider either masters in early childhood/pre-primary or special education, I love both.  If you have time I will greatly appreciate some insight into which uni in victoria will suit me.  I am fine with any duration upto 2 years.  I do believe I will get advance standing for some units.

#14 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

QUOTE (trishalishous @ 26/02/2013, 12:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Im looking at studying my masters in second semester, hopefully part time with 2 days on campus. Ive tried distance, and I just didnt get time with the kids at home


I understand about the distance learning with kids, thank you!

#15 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (aratiaw @ 26/02/2013, 12:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Online with daycare near home saves travel time and timetable clashes. You can study on whichever daycare days you can get. I don't think it would be doable without daycare/babysitting unless your kids go to bed early and sleep extraordinarily well.


To be honest I don't mind online with some face to face but I wonder if the degree will be accredited as a good teaching qualification in Victoria???

QUOTE (twinsmom @ 28/02/2013, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest I don't mind online with some face to face but I wonder if the degree will be accredited as a good teaching qualification in Victoria???


Thank you too for your input:)

#16 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

QUOTE (akkiandmalli @ 28/02/2013, 01:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I studied master of teachin g in 2008-09. Full time is 5 days a week at melb uni. 3 days of 9-4 classes and 2 days of peac. It's full on..  I had a newborn and a 2 year old . It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. My children were in care from 8-5 every day. We survived . My DH was Amazing a huge support on weekends when I had to study ( lots of assignments and readings) Good luck pm me if you need further info)


Wow! you studies with a new born? amazing:)

Thats a real full time program.  Thats exactly my concern, heard the primary school hours are 8:30 - 3:30 in Victoria and if classes run beyond that hour then I will have problem.  Its an excellent idea to contact the uni for past years schedule, will do that.  My husband won't be with me but my kids are pretty independent and are good at entertaining themselves within limits, thats why waited till they turn 6.  

Thank you for your offer, will pm you

#17 Chaos in stereo

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

.

Edited by Chaos in stereo, 26 August 2013 - 04:51 PM.


#18 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE (Chaos in stereo @ 28/02/2013, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi OP,

I did 2 subjects per semester last year (face to face) and had both kids in 2 days per week daycare (but short days because  DS' preschool finished at 3). The classes shift in the mid year break, there is no way you can line up your childcare to cover all your classes all year. Unless you are really lucky! I also did not line up childcare on campus - very in demand and I think staff get first dibs. I did find a very good centre quite close to uni though for DD.

I used a nanny/babysitter who lived locally and had her own little one (who she brought to our house) to mind my kids for an hour or two when I couldn't cover my contact hours with formal childcare. It is expensive but I kept it to a minimum.

I did all my study at night and on the weekend. It was a loooooong year but very rewarding.  original.gif

Good luck!

Thank you for your input! I am happy to hear that it was a rewarding year for you:) I am not an Australian and will be alone with 2 kids thats a little scary for me.  May I ask how much does nanny cost in general and how easy is it to find one? Do the uni allow having kids in the lecture room if they are quiet and and self entertaining?  

ETA clarification



#19 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

Pardon me everyone for the way I quote, I am new to the forum and learning my way around:)

#20 kpingitquiet

Posted 28 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

I'm doing a BASoc at 2 units per quarter (no breaks) so kinda full-time, kinda not. I just started this term so no real advice/experience. The only way on God's green earth that it works for me at all is that it's all online study with Macquarie.

I study before our 2yo wakes up. Get some reading done, when possible, while she plays after breakfast, then a bit more during nap and when husband takes her out to play before dinner, and still a bit more after she's in bed if I need to. It hasn't been too rough. When subjects get more advanced, we may put her in daycare 1 or 2 days per week so I can have silent study days. I strongly recommend finding a distance/online program if you can manage it. I think it's a LOT friendlier for parents, working or SAH.

#21 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:56 PM

Can anyone tell me if AITSL or any other assessing body recognize and accredit online degree for teacher registration.  I don't really know how it works.  

Thank you

#22 Chaos in stereo

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

.

Edited by Chaos in stereo, 26 August 2013 - 04:53 PM.


#23 twinsmom

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:57 PM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 28/02/2013, 04:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm doing a BASoc at 2 units per quarter (no breaks) so kinda full-time, kinda not. I just started this term so no real advice/experience. The only way on God's green earth that it works for me at all is that it's all online study with Macquarie.

I study before our 2yo wakes up. Get some reading done, when possible, while she plays after breakfast, then a bit more during nap and when husband takes her out to play before dinner, and still a bit more after she's in bed if I need to. It hasn't been too rough. When subjects get more advanced, we may put her in daycare 1 or 2 days per week so I can have silent study days. I strongly recommend finding a distance/online program if you can manage it. I think it's a LOT friendlier for parents, working or SAH.


Thank you! am now looking into finding out whether the online degree is recognized for registration or not.

Edited by twinsmom, 28 February 2013 - 07:58 PM.


#24 snowhite

Posted 28 February 2013 - 08:28 PM

Anything is possible.

I had 3 children while studying Medicine - involved a LOT of juggling but it all worked out just fine.

My best tip is to consider having an AuPair - that is how I made it work. In that arrangement, you have someone live with you, you provide room and board and weekly allowance of approx 200AUD. In return, she could drop the kids to school, pick them up when needed, help out with homework and even get dinner going before you get home. AuPair can also help with kids' washing, keeping their rooms tidy, help out with some basic housework. There are loads of AuPair agencies and websites that you can have a look at. If you would like more info just PM me.

Next best option would be before and after school care - most schools have this available and places ate not too difficult to come by. Just ask the school.

I hope it all works out for you.

#25 kpingitquiet

Posted 28 February 2013 - 09:04 PM

I know Curtin University offers Bachelor of Education for either primary or early childhood ed online through Open Universities. You could email the program contact and find out about registration but I would imagine it's a fully accredited program.




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