If you have young children, child care can be a complex issue. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy involve periods where you are immune-compromised and your treating team will advise you to avoid exposure to possible sources of infection. Long Day Care or Family Day Care programs are not usually an option when you are in treatment, because there’s a risk of your child bringing home a virus or other form of infection. In-home care is a more appropriate option. Paying for in-home care can unfortunately be expensive and is often out of reach for many young women and their families.
If you have limited options for child care, you may need some extra assistance.
The Services Australia Child Care website provides information on government financial assistance for child care, such as the Child Care Subsidy. It also explains the terms and conditions of application.
You can also visit the Australian Government’s Child Care Finder website, which provides information on:
- the types of care available (e.g. long day care, family day care, occasional care and in-home care)
- the location of child care services in your area, and any possible vacancies
- the fees charged
- how to choose a quality child care service
- how the Australian Government can help with the cost of your child care.
It is so difficult sole parenting young children with little to no support. Managing the day-to-day housekeeping and cooking has been challenging. – Zoe
The Child Care Subsidy provides assistance to help with the cost of child care. If you are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy, you may get extra help with the cost of approved child care through the Additional Child Care Subsidy.
For more information on the Child Care Subsidy, visit the Services Australia website or call 13 61 50.
The Australian Government’s in-home care program provides child care in your home through an approved educator. The program has limited allocation places, and to be eligible you must meet a set of criteria. To find out more about your eligibility for the program, contact the Family Assistance Office or call 13 61 50.
Some local councils provide home help services, and may also be able to help with child care. You can contact them directly, or talk to your GP, oncology nurse or social worker to find out what services are available in your area.
Mummy’s Wish is a Queensland-based organisation that provides practical support to families with a child under 12 while a mother is having cancer treatment. Support provided includes help with child care options, housecleaning and housekeeping, provision of meals, financial assistance, and food vouchers. Phone (07) 3162 8265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.