A Ballarat centre is offering Saturday childcare for busy families.
Sesame Kids childcare centre owner Mageda Charrouf said demand from families already using the Sebastopol centre prompted her to introduce the Saturday care offering.
"While working closely with parents in our learning community it was identified that families needed care on a Saturday so they could for fill other commitments so we decided to offer it, to meet their needs," she said.
"Our families work shift work and by offering Saturday care we are able to meet their needs to provide for their children."
Although numbers so far are small, averaging seven to 10 children on a Saturday at this stage, Ms Charrouf said the community had welcomed the option.
Shift workers, particularly those in emergency services and health, and busy families trying to juggle multiple weekend commitments have welcomed the chance to have their children cared for at the centre.
"Families who work in emergency services and those who have second jobs who require Saturday care. We also get families booking their children in so that they can get away and have time to themselves," Ms Charrouf said..
"Feedback from families have been really positive. We have small numbers but families like to know that the option is there if they need it.
"It has also helped one parent in particular with her carer progression. Working on Saturdays was never an option, but with our care now available she is now able to secure her role with her current employer."
Unlike regular weekday care where children are divided in to separate rooms by age, the small group on a Saturday means children of different ages can play together.
There are several child care centres offering weekend care in Melbourne, but Sesame Kids is the first to offer it in Ballarat.
Staffing ratios on the weekend are the same as during the busy weekday sessions, and a member of the leadership team is on hand if further support is needed.
"The feed back form the Saturday staff has been really positive, they enjoy being part of the relaxed environment on the weekend," Ms Charrouf said.
While there are currently no plans to offer Sunday child care, Ms Charrouf said if families felt there was a need for it they would look to introduce it.
And with Christmas coming the the extra challenges of preparing for the festive season around work commitments, some will welcome the Saturday option.
"Families know the care is there so we would be able to offer it during this time if they needed," Ms Charrouf said.
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