Sydney pub offers childcare

Filed under: Work Life, Places To Go, Alcohol & Drugs, Childcare

I don't know about you, but I can't recall the last time I've been in an actual bar. Almost certainly, it was before the kids were born. Rachel doesn't drink and I don't drink much -- year-end holiday parties, annual vacation with Rachel's family, the odd summertime beer -- so there hasn't been much reason, really. I wonder, however, if that would be different if we lived in Australia.

The Mean Fiddler Hotel at Rouse Hill, a pub in Sydney, has introduced a new feature that might tempt even Rachel to throw back a few Fosters -- childcare. The kids can do crafts and have ice cream while the parents enjoy a quiet lunch or a few drinks in the pub. Parents do have to stay on the hotel grounds and be available by mobile phone.

Angela Conway of the Australian Family Association is not entirely sold on the idea. While she accepts that some parents do not have extended family nearby and thus must rely on childcare services, she warns "I would not want to be sending the message to parents that it's of no consequence to park your children in child care of dubious quality. Children need high-quality care from trusted carers who (should) have a relationship with the child." Specifically, she adds, "Any old setting in a creche or hotel is not helpful for a child's development and emotional wellbeing."

I don't know. We dump entrust our kids to the childcare at our local grocery store while we shop in peace and they always look forward to it. I suspect that if there were a pub around here that offered childcare, I might drink a fair bit more than I do. After all, I've got kids -- I could use a drink or two.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.