Child care

Different Childcare Options for Sydney Parents

If you are looking for child care in the Sydney, you need to understand that different types of childcare are customised to meet the needs of different people. From babysitters to nannies, mother’s helpers, and daycare centres, it’s not difficult to find the right fit for childcare for your family.

Childcare Centres, Babysitters, or Nannies?

Whether you are looking for an extra pair of hands to assist you with your child or you are returning to work, child care providers can help you out. However, you may get overwhelmed with a wide range of choices available. The good news is that regardless of your budget, and whether you need part-time assistance or full-time care, there are providers who can meet your unique needs.

Childcare Centres

Childcare or daycare centres are the ideal options for many parents, giving children a rounded daytime experience in an established centre with other children, staffed by trained and qualified professionals. This approach to childcare offers a vast array of benefits to children as well as parents – a nurturing community, socialisation, early education, and highly trained professional carers. Children thrive in this type of quality daycare centre and studies show that children who have attended early daycare and preschool adjust better when they begin infants school around age five.

Some parents, however, need more casual care, or care outside of normal working hours. Others prefer their children to be cared for within their home.

Read on to learn more about different types of home-based child care to determine which is best for you.

Mother’s helper

This is a child care provider who entertains and watches a child while a parent is present at home. They are often younger than the parents and may lack the right experience to be referred to as established babysitters. They are usually not watching kids on their own, so their rates may range from free (i.e. minding kids on a volunteer basis) to just a few dollars an hour. They may offer their services to get the necessary babysitting experience. Your best bet for finding the right mother’s helper is to ask other parents in your social circle who have ever used a mother’s helper.


Babysitters are hired by the hour to take care of kids. They may work at night or during the day, and may watch the child at their home or at your home.  Babysitting is normally a part-time job that someone holds in addition to other things such as working other jobs or attending school or university. The main duty of a babysitter is to take care of your child. This may include responsibilities such as putting children down for bedtime or naps, preparing food, playing with them, providing transportation to activities, or, for older kids, assisting with homework.

The pay rates for a babysitter depend on the age of the children, the age of the babysitter, your location, the time of day spent sitting, and the total number of kids being watched. If you cannot get recommendations from family and friends, you should check reputable online sites. Some websites provide references and background checks and may also charge you a small fee to access the babysitter’s information.


A nanny is an in-home provider that takes care of your child at your home. In most cases, a nanny has a close relationship with the family and some families have retained one nanny for years. They have a consistent weekly schedule and may watch your child for hours or even days at a time. This is by far the costliest, most labour-intensive form of childcare available.

Some nannies have formal education related to child development. They have decided to dedicate their services to the profession and some of them have previously worked at professional centres for child care in the Eastern Suburbs NSW or worldwide.

The right approach to caring for kids while you work will vary for different people – finding the right alternative is important for your peace of mind and your child’s wellbeing.

Written by Guest Business Contributor Kara Owen.