I’m passionate about home based childcare options, in Australia we call this sector Family Day Care and for the next month I will be highlighting some of the wonderful work that professional family day care educators do all around Australia. We’ll take a peek into their childcare environments, talk about why they love what they do and even share a few of the unique challenges that only this role offers. If you missed Part 1 you can catch up HERE.
If you are considering opening a family day care service from your home this series will be a valuable step inside what is really involved and the type of educator you need to be to make it work for you…and also your own family.
If you are a parent who is considering choosing family day care as your childcare option this series will certainly help to show why I personally believe this is one of the best options available today for children and families requiring care. You can also read THIS GUIDE to finding a quality family day care service.
If you are confused about what home based or family day care services offer I hope this series will answer some of your questions.
Let’s take a quick look at a few basics to guide both educators and parents about this child care option for before we get started on the educator profiles though.
What is Family Day Care?
- An approved form of childcare offered in an educator’s home environment.
- Childcare offered by early childhood trained, approved and registered professional educators.
- A service operating under a national framework, regulations and guidelines just like any other childcare service in Australia.
- Childcare for small groups of children (4 under 5 years) with most providers offering flexibility in hours and days of care offered. Educators can also choose to care for up to an additional 3 children of school age and many offer before and after school care options as well as vacation care during school holidays.
- Family Day Care educators are responsible for running their own business but they also work with approved schemes in their area who provide regular support to educators and the children in care. The coordination units or schemes ensure registration requirements and regulations are met on an ongoing basis and must also offer training and regular face to face support to educators.
- A child care option that allows parents the opportunity to claim federal government child care benefit and child care rebates subsidies to help with the cost of child care fees.
- A unique childcare option that allows for children to feel secure in a familiar home like environment often surrounded by siblings while they explore the fun of early learning and form strong secure attachments to their educator and small group.
I’ve outlined the basics here but if you want a more in depth look at the specifics required to run a family day care service you might like to read THIS ARTICLE.
What Does a Family Day Care Educator Really Do?
I’ve always believed that the best way to gain a broader understanding of something or someone is to actually take a walk in their shoes or at least a little visual glimpse into what happens behind the scenes, what makes people do what they do.
That’s why I wanted to share some wonderful profiles of educators doing what they love to do. These are real people passionate about what they do and the early learning opportunities they provide for many families. They are all diverse and bring different qualities and skills to their role.
I’m proud to highlight the fantastic work they are doing through this series and show readers why family day care is certainly not ‘babysitting’ or ‘Mum minding the kids at home’. It is a professional early years option run not only by trained and professional educators but also sole business owner/operators!
Home based child care providers can be found in many countries even though they are recognised under different names – I know that no matter where you live you will feel a connection with these educators and professionals so let’s get started with our first profile!
I’ve asked each educator the same questions and I’m going to share their answers and photos with you each article.
In Part 2 of this series I’d like to welcome an educator from Melbourne, Australia!
What is your Family Day Care service name?
Little Place Family Day Care
How long have you been a Family Day Care Educator?
Since June 2014
What qualifications & experience do you have?
I have a Bachelor of Early Childhood education and Master of Special Education. I have worked for 10 years in pre school and long day care before opening my family day care business.
Why did you choose to open a Family Day Care service?
I had maternity leave from my long day care centre job while my oldest attended pre school, and realized that if I went back to my job there when she started school, she would have to attend before and after school care everyday.
What is your philosophy regarding working with and caring for young children?
I believe every child is capable
I believe in being in the moment
I believe playing is the way children learn
I believe it's my role to work with children's ideas and questions to challenge them and make them ask more questions
I believe in mess
What do you love about being a Family Day Care Educator?
I love that there is no other educators running in and out and constant phone calls! That is the biggest thing I do not miss from working in centres!
I love that we have the freedom to plan our days at we please and can go out on excursions.
What is your biggest challenge working in this sector?
Running the business side of things (accounts,advertising etc) after care hours and at the same time being a Mum.
What do you feel are the biggest benefits to children attending a family day care service like yours that the community and families might not be aware of?
That the smaller group means your child actually gets noticed. They are not just another child in line to get nappy changed, lunch served to or observations completed on.
They are like your own children.
You can see more about Dina's service by visiting her Facebook page!
I just love the obvious dedication to messy, sensory outdoor play and learning at Dina's Family Day Care Service! Thank you to Dina for opening her home to us and sharing an insight into her work as a professional family day care educator. If you would like to contact Dina you can leave me a message in the comments below and I will get your message to her!
Are you a home based educator outside of Australia? I'd love to know more about your role and any differences in the profession – Leave your comments below!