If there is one thing that would make any parent realize how worlds apart the Philippines really is from Australia, it’s the quality of childcare.
Especially if you have left your kids behind and are planning to bring them into Australia in the near future, it is important to understand the huge differences that could make or break that decision for you.
Childcare in the Philippines
When you hear the term ‘childcare’ in the Philippines, only three things come to mind:
One of the parents stays at home to take care of the child
The child is left with family or relatives while both parents work
The parents hire a nanny to look after the child
Such is the dilemma of every Filipino parent. There is always a need to wonder whether they are leaving their kids in good hands.
The luxury of hiring a nanny is limited to those who have a little extra left over from their monthly budget. Add to that the horror stories that you regularly hear from those who have had bad experiences from their yayas, and you find a lot of parents who would rather leave their kids with family, or leave work and take care of the little ones themselves.
What about day care centres?
Usually, the only options that Filipinos have when it comes to day care would be the free facilities offered by the government, or the private ones that could send you crashing on the floor when you hear the costs.
Government day care centres
Any Filipino would attest to the fact that public day care centres in the Philippines have a long, long way to go. Although there is a provision in the law that each community needs to have its own day care centre, the facilities are less than adequate to properly take care of children.
They often rely on donations for materials that they can use, and the fact that only private volunteers (who get a measly monthly allowance) come in to take care of the kids does not ensure that the kids are taken care of that well.
Private day care
As for private day care, this is often an option taken only by the upper class members who have the budget to pay for the service. Although there is an assurance that the facilities are amazing and the staff more than capable, the rates can range from 400 to 1000 pesos a day.
Compare that cost to hiring a nanny, who you can pay 3,000 to 5,000 pesos a month and lives with the family, and you have people choosing the latter every single time.
Of course, considering the economic situation, not a lot of Filipino parents have the luxury of quitting work to stay at home and taking care of the kids, let alone hiring someone else to take care of the kids for them.
Childcare in Australia
Australian childcare is a far cry from what Filipinos are used to. Yes, child care in Australia can be quite expensive. But the cost of childcare would also depend on the parents’ income, and the rest is covered by the government. A 50% rebate is also given for out of pocket childcare expenses.
What are the options for childcare in Australia?
Day care centres
Considering the costs that come with it, sending you kids to day care in Australia is definitely a far more enriching experience as compared to sending them to a day care in the Philippines. You have certified child carers looking over them, and the facilities are more than adequate for their needs.
For the older kids, there are often activities that prepare them for preschool. For the smaller ones and the babies, they get all the usual care that they need as if they were right at home, with nap times, story-telling, and everything else a baby needs.
Family day care
Basically, family day care offers the same thing as regular day care centres, only the child carer works out of their own home. They usually have enough space in their own house to accommodate a few kids, and would be taking care of their own kids at the same time they’re looking after the others.
A lot of parents in Australia also take the option of leaving their kids with the grandparents. In fact, around 26% of kids all over the country are also cared for by their own grandparents, and are not left at child care facilities.
At the end of the day, it would still be up to you. Child care in the Philippines is definitely a lot less formal, but it costs a whole lot less than it would in Australia. If you want your kids to take advantage of the rest of the perks that come with living in Australia however, then it’s up to you to decide what to do with them.
Remember that child care is only one of the many things that you would have to think about should you decide to take your entire family with you to Australia, so it’s all about looking at the whole picture, and not just on a small part of it.
Special thanks to Sabrina Smith for the main image.