Tag: childcare

Children Find Happiness in Current Situation

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of routines for families and young children has been made clear. During this time, Mary MacKillop Childcare North Queensland continued to offer quality childcare and education to all families across the Diocese of Townsville. They did so through their Early Learning Centres, Kindergartens and Outside School Hours Care services. Many centres were well aware of the differences in families lives. So, in addition, they put a number of programs in place to continue to offer support and care for the children.

The children at Mundingburra St Mary MacKillop Early Learning Centre shared rainbows as a way to spread joy and happiness. This was not only to those at the centre but to the wider community. “The children painted rainbow hand prints. Then educators decorated the trees that line our footpath at the front of our centre. The hope was to brighten the days of those in our local community as they drove by.” said Mandy Wassman, Mundingburra Centre Director.

“Bright colours brighten up a room. So why not share some brightness to the local community. This would let everyone know that we were thinking of them during this period.”

The educators used the opportunity to explore the meaning of the rainbow trail with the children. “The children were extremely excited to have people in our community see their group project,” Mandy said.

“Families that attend our centre and members of our community would walk by the decorated trees. They would all comment on how lovely and thoughtful it was,” she said.

Educators worked with children during the height of the pandemic to further enhance their abilities to express and show both empathy and compassion to others. By having children’s artwork on display, they demonstrated their resilience through these difficult and challenging times.

Mary MacKillop Childcare NQ’s Executive Director said “It was important for MMCNQ services to continue to operate during these challenging times. It provided families with support. And, of course, it allowed for children to continue their learning and access care.”

Mary MacKillop Childcare NQ Kindergartens are taking enrolment applications for 2021.

Email enrolment@mmcnq.catholic.edu.au to register your interest or call 4729 3299.

 

Read more from Mary MacKillop here. 

 

 

 

Your Guide to Childcare and Kindy in Mackay

Kidzplay and Learning Centre

This centre provides your child with a secure and safe “home away from home,” where they can play, learn, connect and grow. Qualified staff are caring from sunrise to sundown (6.30am to 6.00pm) and will help your children explore the wonders of this awesome world. The play-based programs are sure to challenge and excite young minds.

The centre provides nutritious meals within the innovative and fun facilities. Babies and toddlers are welcome from six weeks old to three years!

A 29 Huron Crescent, Andergrove

P 4918 8588

E info@kidzplay.com.au

A 80 Field St, West Mackay

P 4863 4711

E info@kidzplaywest.com.au

 

Adeona Mackay

Adeona is a unique service that combines the natural world and exploration, encouraging responsibility, open investigation and respect.

The centre offers all the essentials your child will need for the day, including delicious and nutritious morning teas, lunches, and afternoon teas, as well as hats and sunscreen for outside play. There is also a Japanese teacher engaging children in bilingual experiences.

Hours 7.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday

A 63 Celeber Dr, Andergrove

P 4942 5563

 

Goodstart Early Learning Centre

Goodstart lays the foundation for a lifelong love of learning through exciting early learning experiences. They focus on the importance of early language and communication, and encourage children to take risks in a safe environment to build confidence and self-belief. Goodstart will help your child to make friends wherever they go — a great skill for life. Goodstart knows how important it is to build secure relationships, which is why your child has a Key Educator, someone who is their primary person and attuned to their individual needs.

Goodstart will help your child develop coordination, creative expression, communication skills and social awareness through dance, creative play and intentional and inspiring learning experiences

A various locations

P 1800 222 543

E enrolments@goodstart.org.au

 

Kookaburra Child Care Centre

Kookaburra Child Care Centre prepare yummy meals daily, there are large spacious playing areas both indoors and outdoors and a minimum of three educators in each room. They build respectful, secure relationships with the children and each child is viewed as a capable and successful learner. Children are allowed to take the time to get to know themselves, face challenges and enjoy all the simple pleasure of everyday life. Play and real-life experience is valued as the most effective context for learning at a young age.

A 256 Bedford Rd, Andergrove

P 4955 2398

E admin@kookaburrachildcare.com.au

 

Snugglepot Kindyland Education and Care Centre

Located conveniently close to Mackay’s city centre, Snugglepot Kindyland provides an environment that recognises your child’s individuality. Featuring a grass play area, a wide range of natural toys with sunscreen and hats are provided. Programs are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework, focusing on children’s development. Give your child a great start to life in their nurturing, safe and secure learning environment. All children are precious. Because of this, extra services are provided such as inclusion support for those with additional needs, and there is a focus on developing relationships between both other children and staff.

A 51-53 Grendon St, North Mackay

P 4957 4466

E info@snugglepotkindy.com.au

 

Mackay Family Day Care

Safe, positive and inspiring services taking place in a home-based learning environment conducted by passionate, dedicated educators. The small care groups allow the educators to foster a strong bond with your child and guide them through early learning and social development. Flexible hours are offered to suit your family, from standard hours to after and before school care as well as school holiday care.

A (Office) Cnr Shakespeare and Rae St, East Mackay

P 4965 9999

E admin@mcdc.com.au

 

Wonder Kids Early Learning

Wonder Kids believe children develop best when their days are filled with play, learning and fun, and this is reflected in their service featuring a waterpark, sandpit and obstacle courses. Children from age 6 weeks to school age are accommodated and the comprehensive programs are delivered enthusiastically by the team of highly qualified educators. They strive to help your child develop a variety of skills and grow.

A 1 Youngs Lane, Walkerston

P 4959 3500

E director1@wonderkids.com.au

 

C & K Childcare and Kindergarten

C & K has educated and cared for over one million children since being established in 1907. They offer a strong play-based curriculum in large, natural and sustainable outdoor environments that encourage children to discover, explore and learn through nature. Programs include nature play, risk play, STEM, literacy and language and much more. Empowerment, respect, inclusion and fairness are all promoted and every child is provided with the foundations to be a life long learner.

A Various locations

P 1800 177 092

 

St Catherine’s Kindergarten

A caring learning environment is provided at St Catherine’s Kindergarten, where children are given ownership of their learning and are nurtured to ensure they have the best possible start to their learning. The focus is placed on helping children build social skills, resilience, friendships and good communication. Teachers, assistants, counsellors, literacy and numeracy advisors and speech pathologists all work together to support each child.

A 96 Renwick Rd, Proserpine

P 4726 3299

 

Pioneer Community Kindergarten

Both indoor and outdoor activities take place at Pioneer, presenting many opportunities for physical, social and emotional development. The outside play area has an abundance of toys and equipment to be enjoyed and there is a lending library, yearly excursions and annual events including visits from performers. The facilities and program are to the highest standards and enhance your child’s kindergarten journey.

A 10 High St, North Mackay

P 4942 3340

E admin@pioneerkindy.org.au

 

Green Leaves Early Learning

This is brand new facility providing innovative and flexible learning. Children have their voices heard and are encouraged to explore their own interests and ideas through play-based learning, challenges and meaningful experiences. There is a bike track, timber play fort and a performance stage. Family and community are central to Green Leaves Early Learning and are provided with a lounge to relax in. Here they can connect with each other over coffee and treats. A fully qualified chef makes nutritious snacks and meals for the children each day.

A 2-4 Discovery Lane, Mt Pleasant

P 4862 3584

 

Community Kids, Glenella Early Education Centre

Children’s individual religious, nutritional and cultural needs are catered for here and the centre is designed to meet the unique needs of every child. The outdoor environment includes native plants, vegetable and herb gardens, fruit trees, and well-loved pets which include chickens, a bird and a guinea pig! Children can get actively involved in feeding and caring for them. A friendly cook prepares nutritious meals, plus there are also fun excursions.

A 21 – 23 Schapers Rd, Glenella

P 4942 9486

E glenella@communitykids.com.au

 

Mackay Cubbie House

This locally owned centre ensures high quality care that is developmentally appropriate as well as providing meals. It is open from 6.15am to 6.15pm for parents who may start and/or finish later, and families are always welcome within the centre. Educators are dedicated, trained, experienced and qualified to help your child develop and grow.

A 16 Beaconsfield Rd, Beaconsfield

P 4942 7700

E mackaycubbiehouse@bigpond.com

 

 

Your Guide to Childcare and Kindy’s in Cairns 2020

Here is your ultimate guide childcare and kindy’s in Cairns, to make your life a little easier. If you see one that gains your interest – get in contact and/or organise to visit them for a look at the place! Your child deserve only the best care. 

Cairns Hinterland Steiner School, Early Childhood

The Cairns Hinterland Steiner School offers a Playgroup for toddlers, kindergarten for four and five year old children as well as a Prep program. They seek to foster a homely environment that is warm, secure and calm where a child’s imagination can come to life within their work and play. Children are encouraged to just be children rather than introduced to an academic program – to learn through self-directed play where a teacher can provide a watchful and loving presence.

A 46 Boyles Rd, Kuranda
P 1300 275 810

Cairns South Early Learning

Cairns South Early Learning is a long day care service in Edmonton. They have amazing long-term staff and their size affords them the flexibility to cater to even the most unusual care needs. They also have barn animals and wonderful extracurricular activities, like swimming lessons, gymnastics and dance classes, that they believe enhance your child’s learning and growth. Their facilities are fresh and inviting and even include a sun safe water park! Family oriented, inclusive and most of all, they love their kids.

Come in for a visit, they would love to help you with your child care needs. Open Monday to Friday 6.30am to 6.30pm.

A 31-33 Bruce Highway, Edmonton
P 4055 5534
E director@cairnssouthelc.com.au

 

Catholic Early Learning and Care

Catholic Early Learning and Care services in the Diocese of Cairns, cater for children aged from 6 weeks to 13 years. It includes Early Learning, Kindergarten and Outside School Hours Care (Before School, After School and Vacation Care). They pride themselves on being authentic, developmentally sensitive, community-centered, relevant and responsive. The love of Jesus Christ founds their services, as well as the the values of the Gospels, the significance of relationships, developmental excellence and quality learning.

A 130 Lake St, Cairns City
P 04 3979 7367
E admin@ccelc.catholic.org.au

Peace Lutheran Kindergarten

Peace Lutheran Kindergarten is situated on the foothills of picturesque Kamerunga. It offers an Approved Kindergarten program catering for 3.5 – 5 year old children, building upon their interests and explorations, developing a curious love of learning for years to come.

The Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines and the Early Years Learning Framework guide the Early Childhood Teachers and Educator in each classroom. The grounds of Peace Lutheran College are where Peace Kindy situated. It is centrally managed by Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Services (QLECS). 

A 50-60 Cowley St, Kamerunga
P 4039 9039
E peace.kgt@qlecs.org.au

Trinity Anglican School Early Learning Centre, Kewarra Beach

TAS Kewarra Beach Early Learning Centre is located in the beautiful Northern Beaches of Cairns. The staff are dedicated, experienced and committed to fostering a welcoming, home-away-from-home environment, rich in nature-based and enquiry-based learning. Children learn in a modern, open-plan environment, benefitting from the resources of the integrated primary school.

A Poolwood Rd, Kewarra Beach
P 4036 8263
E tas@tas.qld.edu.au

Trinity Anglican School Early Learning Centre, White Rock

TAS White Rock Early Learning Centre fosters independence, social learning, health, wellbeing, and language development. Here children benefit from resources of the integrated primary and high school that allows them access to modern technology, library resources, buddies, specialist lessons, and a complete perceptual motor program. Plus, the staff are dedicated and committed to fostering a welcoming enquiry-based learning environment

A 200 Progress Rd, White Rock
P 4036 8189
E tas@tas.qld.edu.au

Benevolent Society – Cairns Early Years Centre & Kindergarten

This kindy offers extra support to ensure your child has the best start to their education. It is supported by a qualified teacher and early childhood educators, as well as allied health and Child and Family Practitioners from the attached Early Years Centre. On top of this, the kindy is FREE for HCC holders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australian South Sea Islanders and multiple birth children.

A McLaughlin Rd, in grounds of Bentley Park College, Borrowdale Close
P 4034 6800
E cassy.bishop@benevolent.org.au

Cubby Care Early Learning Westcourt

Cubby Care see themselves as a big family were every member is valued. They can care for children from under two years of age to five years old. The experienced educators will help your child’s learning progress far, broadening their curiosity, strengthening their self-esteem and encouraging them to be leaders. The centre and team know how important the early years are and provides a relaxed, fun environment that promotes growth.

A 40-42 Tills St, Westcourt
P 4033 5170

Sheridan Gardens Childcare Centre

Sheridan Gardens is located in a quiet street in White Rock. Catering from ages as little as 6 weeks to 12 years old and operating before / after school and vacation care! Additionally, they offer flexible session hours and also have an hourly rate for families that just need a few hours to attend an appointment. Furthermore, they offer FIFO families alternating weeks! A cook is onsite so all meals are provided and catered for, and nappies and sheets are also always available in the nursery. This centre is a hidden gem with long standing staff, so go and check them out!

A 9 Brose St, White Rock
P 4036 1055
E info@sheridangardens.com.au

C & K Boopa Werem Kindergarten

Boopa Werem Kindergarten is committed to providing quality early childhood education that meets the developmental needs of all children, but especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the needs of their families. They are a service that provides an educational program delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for a minimum of 15 hours per week, 40 weeks per year.

A Queensland Government subsidy is available, paid directly to the service to reduce Kindy Support out-of-pocket expenses for eligible children and families who have a current approved concession card / have three or more children of the same age. Children must be enrolled in the same year or identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or South Sea Islander.

A 12 – 16 Barrett St, Bungalow
P 4051 4367
E boopawerem@bigpond.com

Miss Lolly’s Pre-Preparatory Kindergarten

Miss Lolly’s is a family owned and operated service located on the south side of Cairns. They cater from birth to Kindergarten and provide all meals as well as many specialty programs such as swimming, sport, dance and language programs. Their wonderful environment feels just like home! Their passionate Educators are leading the way in early childhood education. Visit them today!

A 24 Ravizza Dr, Edmonton
P 4055 5219
E admin@misslollys.com.au

Smithfield Village Early Learning

Their learning programs are dedicated to providing a supportive, consistent, safe and challenging environment for children. Children are encouraged to learn through hands-on exploration and challenges provide the development of problem solving and self-reflection. There are a variety of outdoor learning environments, including a garden world, waterpark, a bird aviary, barnyard station and much more.

A Cnr O’Briend Rd and Smithfield Village Dr, Smithfield
P 4057 8479

The Learning Cove Early Education

The Learning Cove is a family owned and run child care centre. The aim is to provide a home-like and secure environment where children develop through play-based learning and become confident learners. Parents and guardians can feel safe knowing that their children are receiving the best care. There are large outdoor areas with plenty of shade, spacious indoor areas for children to explore and the qualified staff are always enthusiastic to teach and help. Also, hats, bedding, nappies and nutritious meals are all provided!

A Coral Coast Dr, Palm Cove
P 4055 3977

Freshwater Christian College – Kindergarten

Centrally located on the grounds of Freshwater Christian College in Brinsmead, this Kindergarten is full of fun and laughter as the children learn about the world through play and discovery. Their newly built ‘Nature Playground’ creates a world of creative and imaginative play where toys are replaced with nature. Even better, the famous ‘Bush Kindy’ Program gives children the opportunity to explore the wonderful onsite bushland including a beautiful creek and rainforest ecosystem. This program is loosely structured enabling children to develop many important skills such as collaboration and creativity.

Additionally Kindergarten children are prepared for school by joining in with the ‘big kids’ for College events. Open Monday to Friday during the school term as well as an optional holiday program during term break.

A 369-401 Brinsmead Rd, Brinsmead
P 4243 3640
E kindergarten@freshwatercc.qld.edu.au

C&K Edmonton Community Kindergarten

C&K Edmonton Community Kindergarten welcomes children and families to join their innovative and inclusive pre-Prep program, with qualified and highly experienced educators in 2020 and beyond! Shorter days are offered from 8.30am-2.45pm (Monday, Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays), with longer days being 8.00am-3.45pm (Thursdays and Fridays). Prepare your child with an exceptional program where they will be happy, make friends, and learn through interesting and positive experiences.

A 19 Hartill St, Edmonton
P 4055 4402
E edmontonkindy@ozemail.com.au

Childs World Early Learning Centre

Childs World Early Learning Centre is Cairns’ most dynamic Child Care that operates four child care centres on site. Centres accommodate from the age of 6 weeks old (Nursery) to Kindergarten/Pre-School, along with Before and After School Care and Vacation Care programs.

Childs World also has its own Gold Accredited AUSTSWIM Learn to Swim School. All rooms are well-equipped and age-specific, offering children a stimulating learning environment. Learning is encouraged through playing and the spacious outdoor play areas have state-of-the-art playground equipment. 6:30am – 6:30pm, Monday to Friday

A 2 Borrowdale Close, Bentley Park
P 4045 4045
E info@childsworld.com.au

Goodstart Early Learning Centre

Goodstart lays the foundation for a lifelong love of learning through exciting early learning experiences. They focus on the importance of early language and communication, and encourage children to take risks in a safe environment to build confidence and self-belief. They will help your child to make friends wherever they go — a great skill for life. Goodstart knows how important it is to build secure relationships, which is why your child has a Key Educator, someone who is their primary person and attuned to their individual needs. Goodstart will help your child develop coordination, creative expression, communication skills and social awareness through dance, creative play and intentional and inspiring learning experiences.

A various locations
P 1800 222 543
E enrolments@goodstart.org.au

Lady Gowrie Waratah Drive Child Centre

High quality and affordable childhood services are provided by Lady Gowrie which promote a sense of emotional wellbeing. The vision of Lady Gowrie is for children to thrive in enriched and nurturing learning environments. Children learn through play and their knowledge and skills are expanded in the safe, stimulating environment. Resilience and self-worth are promoted here along with problem solving skills and cultural learning and awareness.
7.00am – 5.45pm, Monday to Friday

A 8 Waratah Dr, Manunda
P 4053 6803
E waratahdrive@ladygowrie.com.au

Read more parenting blogs here. 

 

 

A Working Parent’s Guide to Self Isolation

The advice from the Australian Government is encouraging anyone who can work from home, to be working from home – Easy enough to adopt, right? The spread of COVID-19 is forcing working parents to adjust to their ‘new normal’ which sees them work from home, all while household ‘management’ duties seem to be ramping up as the unprecedented set of circumstances unfold.

Whether its juggling toddlers and sleep schedules among video calls, managing a team remotely while simultaneously acting as your child’s tutor, or perhaps a combination of all of the above – there’s no rule book or guide to tackling our new roles as working parents.

Early bird gets the worm

Where possible, try and get up an hour or so earlier than usual to squeeze in some uninterrupted work.

Make self-care a priority

It’s all too easy to lose sight of boundaries and forget the importance of self-care. Try and separate work from personal and get into healthy habits such as having a shower before you start the working day, pop something else on other than your best trackies and remember to turn your computer off and close your laptop at the end of the day.

Create a schedule (for you, and your children)

You know what they say: ‘fail to plan, and plan to fail’ – which is why mapping out a thorough schedule to see you through the day is key. Try to capitalise on occasions where your children are otherwise occupied such as: napping, watching movies, or completing schoolwork to capitalise on more demanding work tasks.

Where possible, try and remain in a similar routine each day to help your children understand expectations. Getting them involved in the days prospect will help minimise tantrums and allow you to better navigate the work day too. Allow them to choose from a pool of learning and leisure activities to essentially let them design their day.

Another helpful tip is to plan and prepare meals in advance to avoid hungry, nagging children. This can easily be turned into a rewarding and time-effective activity which helps tick one more chore off the ‘to-do’ list as well as keep kids entertained.

Have a dedicated workspace

Where possible try and arrange a space where you can return to each day so you begin associating the area with work. Encourage conversation with your kids around boundaries and behaviour in this space to help them better understand your needs.

Lean on your community

Combine forces with parents in a similar situation and organise virtual playdates and parent pods to share the load. Take it in turns to facilitate learning opportunities in place of day care or school.

Have a ‘bag full of tricks’ just in case

Keep a box of puzzles, activities, books, and special toys near your workspace that can be used as you’re working. Keep them exclusively for ‘desk time’ to create a sense of exclusivity and desire. It’s always handy to have a couple of snacks ready to go too, in case of emergency.

Stay in touch with your colleagues

Many of your peers will be in the same boat. Make the time to catch up with them for a virtual ‘water cooler chat’ and share stories, and tips.


About the Author

Robert Rawson is the Founder of TimeDoctor.com – an SaaS time tracking and productivity app. Here he shares his top tips for navigating the tricky intersection of being a working parent while in isolation.

 

7 WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR STARTING CHILDCARE

7 WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR STARTING CHILDCARE

The first day of childcare is a massive milestone for both parents and kids. Sending your little bunny out into the world and entrusting them to others is a scary but essential decision. As your child enters into a new environment, they will be nurtured by other adults and children. Proper preparation will ease the tension and make you feel more confident on the first day of childcare.

1.    Select the right service for your family

The first step in easing the transition to daycare is choosing an option that suits your family. Whether that is preschool, kindergarten, or family daycare, make sure that it is a facility that makes your little one feel comfortable.

Before sending them off, take some time to visit the place together. It will help both you and your child to feel safe and explore the surrounding before settling. Consider visiting the school on a weekend so that your child can explore the playground and have a feel of the fun they will experience.

2.    Label the child’s clothes and other items

The number of clothes and things that are either misplaced or lost when kids go to childcare facilities is countless. The massive pile of lost hats, socks, bottles, and other stuff in school says it all. At the top of your to-do list before sending your child to school is to mark all the items. Labeling will save you money, time, and stress. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Laundry marker
  • Sew on labels
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic/vinyl stick-on labels
  • Iron-on labels
  • Fabric paint

3.    Tell your child what to expect

Hyping the idea too much might backfire on you. Kids see through adults quickly. Lying to them that they will have the best day ever and going to school will be a lot of fun is a bad idea, because your child will know you aren’t truthful.

Avoid putting so much pressure and expectations on your little one. Avoid statements like “You will love school” because if your child doesn’t like school, they will be confused and lose trust in you.

4.    Transition gradually

Consider doing a gradual daycare transition if the school allows. On the first day, take your child to the facility for a few hours and then increase the time as days pass. Depending on how he or she reacts to the childcare environment, consult with the teachers and agree on appropriate timelines. Ask them to introduce school activities gradually because doing otherwise might make them feel overwhelmed.

5.    Work closely with the childcare provider

The benefits of maintaining positive communication between the parent and the teacher can never be underestimated. Both the school and family set up shared responsibility towards the proper development of a child.

When your child joins the school, the facility is likely to ask you to fill a questionnaire that will enable them to learn more about your family. You are required to input your family’s interest routines and environment. That way, the teachers know how to help the kids to adjust to new schedules depending on their background.

6.    Don’t be afraid to check in when the need arises

Do not hesitate to visit your little one in school when you are worried if they settled in well. When picking them up, inquire how their day has been. Read their daily record sheet or programs to understand how well your child is coping with the new environment and routines. If they are having trouble fitting in, talk to them, and comprehend the challenges they might be facing. Find ways of assisting them to become comfortable while at school. If you feel the need to involve the teachers, don’t hesitate to consult them.

7.    Say goodbye confidently

Your child will read your bodily cues as you bid them farewell. Therefore, make sure you do not give them mixed signals. Always say a quick and confident goodbye. Only a few things are harder than leaving your child crying and screaming for you. If you stay and attempt to consult your little one, they will get stuck and have a difficult time moving on. If you are scared of leaving them behind, don’t be. They will calm down the moment you leave. 

Story Annabelle Short

A BALANCING ACT: CARING FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR PARENTS

A BALANCING ACT: CARING FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR PARENTS

So you grew up and had a family. You’re constantly running around chasing after your kids and you’re always tired but it’s rewarding so you don’t mind. But something else is niggling in the back of your mind – your ageing parents.

You always saw your parents as people who would always be around to look after you and give you guidance, but now they’re retired and getting on in life and you’re not quite sure how you should go about helping them.

While parents want to be cared about, they may not necessarily want to be cared for. The question is – how do you look after ageing parents while letting them maintain their independence and care for your own children at the same time?

 Well, there’s no one clear cut answer, but here are a few ideas that could help guide you in the right direction.

Let your children and your parents care for each other

Why not let your kids spend more time with their grandparents? If your parents live far away this could be difficult but you could fly or drive your kids to where your parents live during the school holidays and let them spend the summer together. Nothing makes people feel younger than being surrounded by youth. Your kids will also enjoy getting to spend time with relatives they don’t normally see and build strong relationships with them and be exposed to different activities. After all, love is the best way to learn.

If your parents live nearby you could plan a weekly time to drop the kids over at your parents’ house so they can do things together like baking or an outdoor activity. Everyone needs a break from their kids every now and again so you could plan to do something with your partner while your kids are visiting their grandparents.

Buy a personal alarm

Mum and/or dad is ageing and you’re worried about their personal safety. Falls are common in elderly people and as many as one in three have experienced one. What do you do when your parents need support but want to continue to live independently at home. There are many personal alarms on the market that are designed to let ageing people keep their independence.

Buying one for your elderly parents is a great idea especially when you’re pre-occupied with your children and can’t always check up on your parents. 

The safest type of alarm is a fully monitored one, where any alarm presses go through to a 24/7 response centre manned by trained professionals.  A personal alarm is a device worn around the neck or wrist that has a button on it that can be pressed in times of need. The alarm alerts the monitoring centre and they then call the client in distress to see what help is needed. If it’s not an emergency situation then the family or a friend  is called to help. In the event of an emergency an ambulance will be called to assist. A personal alarm can give you peace of mind when your elderly parents live alone.   

Check out if your parents are eligible for a Home Care Package

A home care package is one of the ways that older Australians can access affordable care and service to support them living at homeSearch for a local home care package provider.  From personal care, therapy and food prep to domestic assistance, home maintenance and assistive technology (such as personal alarms). Search for a local home care package provider.

Say ‘yes’ when people ask to help

Sometimes it’s fine to accept you have too much on your plate and need an extra hand. Next time someone offers to help – take them up on it. If your partner offers to take the kids to school in the morning, let them do it. No one is capable of doing everything and if you try and take on too much then it will only result in stress and anxiety. Your friends and family are there to help and often want to do more.

Especially as your kids get older, make them do more around the house to help you out. You may find that your parents are struggling to keep up with maintaining their house so you could think about hiring a cleaner to come around once a week just to give the place a tidy up. If hiring a cleaner is out of you and your parents’ budget, then encourage your kids to help out around the garden or dust down the house next time you take them to see their grandparents. You could throw in some pocket money as an incentive.   

With the ‘Sandwich Generation’ there’s certainly no easy way to care for both your kids and your parents but with these tips it could make it easier. Sometimes you can feel helpless and stuck in the middle but it’s important to remember that you’re never alone and there’s always someone to help if you really need it.

Story Karen Smith