Single mother welcomes 24-hour daycare trial

WHEN you're a single mum, a registered nurse on shift work, and doing your masters degree in midwifery, you tend to rely pretty heavily on family and friends.

The upshot of that scenario for Toowoomba mum Hayley Cox was a lot of stress, and often shifting her daughter between one carer and the next throughout the day.

For daughter Izabella, it meant a lack of routine and stability.

Life recently got a lot easier when she signed up to be a part of a 24-hour Family Day Care Australia Flexibility trial.

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The trial, run through Toowoomba's Kath Dickson Family Centre, is aimed at gauging the demand for around-the-clock day care availability for emergency services workers such as nurses like Hayley.

Instead of going through a daily juggling act, she phones family day care educator Debra MacAlpine, who is available to work around Ms Cox's hours at Toowoomba Hospital with early morning drop-offs and late night pick-ups.

"Before the trial, I think I had four different babysitters, and sometimes I had to use two in one day," she said.

"I really hope it works out, because there has been a huge difference to us already.

"Izabella has been in long day care since age one, but this is a lot more relaxed and more of a family environment."

Day care trial features

  • Non-standard care, including overnight and weekend care
  • Greater flexibility to cater for last minute shift changes
  • Trial sites were identified by police and nurses unions
  • The trial will be independently evaluated by the Australian Institute of Family Studies


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