While public holidays are a day off for many people, some people still need to work on these days, including nurses, call centre workers and hospitality workers. This can be challenging for parents who need to find childcare for public holidays. Here are some possibilities.
Friends and family
If you don't usually need to work on a public holiday, this can be a time to call in a favour from friends or family. As they are often not working on that day, there may be people who can help you out. If this isn't a common issue for your workplace, this can be a great option, but it can be challenging to co-ordinate child care on different public holidays if this is a regular issue. Additionally, some public holidays, such as the Australia Day long weekend, can be extra challenging for finding casual childcare, as many people travel at these times.
If you don't have friends or family close by, you can also hire a babysitter to cover this time. This is often expensive on public holidays, as many casual babysitters charge a premium for working on public holidays. This type of care is not eligible for government childcare rebates either. It can be useful if you don't have other options or if this is not a common occurrence, but this may not be an affordable option for regular care. If you do not have a regular babysitter, you can use an agency to find emergency care, which can be useful if you get called in unexpectedly on a public holiday and need to find a babysitter quickly. Some companies will offer a rebate for care through agencies if they do call you in unexpectedly.
You can also find some formal childcare through family daycare. These centres can be a great option for people who regularly need to work on public holidays. These centres operate out of a family home and can be more flexible in offering care for weekends, night shifts or public holidays. Child care through family daycare is still eligible for government childcare rebates, so it's an affordable and convenient option for parents who need care on public holidays regularly.
If you need to work on public holidays, there are a range of childcare options depending on your budget and how regularly you need to have child care on public holidays and nights. Chat with a child care agency or family daycare to explore your options.