Finding Childcare

KindiCare’s Childcare Search Tips

Kiddo makes it easy to find a babysitter or nanny at the last minute, but if you’re looking for centre-based childcare, you do need to plan ahead.

Long day cares, preschools, kindergartens and outside school hours care services only have a certain number of places, and when you factor in variables, like location, reputation, availability, affordability and feel, you might find that that perfect childcare place is a bit hard to pin down.

Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to tip the odds in your favour, and a free app that will make your childcare journey sooooo much smoother!

The app is called Kindicare, and this dad-created, data-driven and totally dynamic software package puts every Australian childcare service in the palm of your hand.



Introducing KindiCare

KindiCare makes it easy to search for childcare by postcode, location, centre or brand.

You can apply search filters around things like service type, fees and KindiCare Rating; and the Childcare Match feature enables you to personalise your childcare search even further by adding finer details, such as your preferred start date.

KindiCare will generate childcare search results in seconds, and you can then judge each centre on its merits, considering things like its reviews, ratings, estimated fee after Subsidy, value for money, and even your prospective childcare commute.

The KindiCare App allows you to save your favourite centres, compare multiple services side-by-side, and easily enquire with those on your shortlist.

You can organise centre tours and apply for a childcare place, all via the KindiCare App, and if you prefer a desktop experience, the KindiCare Childcare Comparison Website is awesome as well.

The website includes a  Child Care Subsidy Calculator to help you estimate your family’s Subsidy in different circumstances (so you can play around with childcare hours and days); and with a bit of luck, you’ll secure a place at a service you love.

If a vacancy is hard to come by. KindiCare can still help by offering these five tips for securing childcare when demand is high.

1.Their first tip is that you start your childcare search early.

KindiCare recommends that you start looking at childcare from about 10 weeks into your pregnancy, and although this may sound super early, a proactive childcare search will open up your options, especially if you’re looking for care in your baby’s first 12 months.

2.KindiCare’s next tip is to add your name to multiple waitlists.  

If you’re looking for childcare in a high demand suburb (or suburbs), they recommend that you get on several waiting lists as quickly as possible.

The earlier you join a waiting list, the sooner you’ll find yourself at the top of it, and as you get closer to your preferred start date, you may find that one list has moved much quicker than another, or that you have a couple of great places to choose from.

3.It also helps to be flexible when it comes to location. 

KindiCare says this means comparing childcare options close to home and close to work, or perhaps close to study, and seeing whether any particular suburbs contain more great options than others.

When considering different locations, it pays to have a think about the childcare commute, as well as the centre itself.

KindiCare shows each centre’s location on a map, with a ‘How to Get There’ link, and you’ll find that there are different ways to navigate your childcare journey, and you may even save some money by opening your mind to different areas.

4.Another great tip is to actively build connections with centre staff.

Making an effort to form a positive relationship with the Centre Director will ensure that you’re top of mind when a space becomes available. You can build rapport by introducing yourself in person, staying in touch with regular courtesy calls or emails. Also kindly asking them to keep you in the waitlist loop.

The Centre Director is a helpful contact because they know when children are transitioning between rooms, changing days, or moving to a new centre; and they can also give you intel about the length of the waiting list you’ve joined, whether it’s capped, and how long you might wait for a place to open up.

And, of course, you’ll do well to build rapport with everyone at your prospective centre, including the person looking after admin, and the people who will (hopefully!) be caring for your child.

5.KindiCare’s final tip is to be flexible around days, if possible.  

If you can’t get all the days you’d like, it may help to accept the days a centre can offer you. Then cross your fingers that more (or more ideal) days become available.

This might mean switching your work around or sorting some informal childcare (thank you, Kiddo!), and if you’re in a high demand area, it may be better to get your foot in the door for some days, rather than holding out for your specific ones.

All in all, proactivity is recommended in a hot childcare market, and knowledge is power!

KindiCare has tons of childcare centres you can explore and enquire with, plus lots of helpful advice and news in their Hints, Tips & Stories section.

Happy reading, and good luck with your enquiries!