Baby Boom Pressures For More Child Care Centers In Australia
Australia’s population is transforming: adults are being replaced for a massive number of children. Baby trolleys are invading public spaces and small hands and beautiful smiles with few teeth are hogging the Aussie’s culture. Yes, we are in the highest baby boom of the Australia’s history.
It is expected that the number of children aged fewer than 12 to grow by 500,000 by the year 2020. It means there will be increasing pressure on health and hospital infrastructure and competition for childcare vacancies.
For this reason and the new Government’s requirement about child cares are making this job as one of the most demanded around all the Australian territory.
Certificate III in child care has fallen short of this new landscape. There is currently a great variety of courses in child care, they are more intensive and professional, which means that job opportunities are real and are in boom as well.
According to territory regulations, long day care centers have to employ one adult for four children; it means that a higher number of professionals in child care are in demand nowadays.
Parents are taking professional child care more seriously. Plenty of parents are still relying on informal care by relatives, family or friends. However, many of them now prefer professional help or the combination of both.
The Department of Social Services of the Australian Government has written Number 40: Child care and early education in Australia – The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), which discusses the following findings of the two types of child care:
- There were notable differences in the use of formal and informal care by LSAC families. Long day care centres were more likely to be used by mothers who had a university education, were employed full‑time rather than part‑time and whose family income was higher. Relative care was less commonly used by older mothers (over 35) and more common when there was only one child in the family. Mothers using long day care centres tended to report lower levels of social support, parenting self‑efficacy and positive parenting behaviour, than mothers using family day care or informal home‑based care.
- Weekly hours of child care in formal care settings (average of 20 to 21 hours a week) were longer than for informal (average of 14 hours a week).
- Parents typically used child care to enable them to meet their employment, study, family or personal responsibilities.
- The majority of carers in long day care centres held a certificate or diploma (76.2 per cent) or university qualification (22.1 per cent) qualification, whereas only 54.9 per cent of family day carers and 26.6 per cent of relatives held a certificate/diploma qualification.
- Children who did not attend a formal early childhood program had lower scores for receptive vocabulary than children in pre‑Year 1 and preschool programs (whether this was in a single setting or with other additional care), and comparable scores to children in long day care.
- Quality indices were also associated with literacy/numeracy outcomes, particularly for children in pre‑Year 1. Language outcomes were higher when teachers held an early childhood qualification and ratios of qualified staff to children were lower. Literacy and numeracy outcomes were higher when teacher‑supported small group activities occurred often and child‑initiated activities occurred only occasionally. Quality indices made a minimal contribution to children’s cognitive outcomes in preschool and long day care settings, but suggested that literacy and numeracy skills were enhanced in settings with more teacher‑directed whole group activities.
Thanks to this research, parents have more reasons to accept help from child care centers in raising their children, but they want to be sure about the professionalism of the staff which is looking after their babies. For this reason these centers are employing trained personnel who can prove academically that they can contribute to the care, nurturing and developing of the next Australian adults.
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