Welcome to number 3 in my series on home daycare educators and the important work that they do with children!
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. and Part 2 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.
During this series I am featuring one Australian educator each week – I’ve asked each educator the same questions and I’m going to share their answers and photos with you in every article. There is such a wealth of experience, different personalities and interesting environments across the family daycare profession and this series provides just a glimpse into how a few local educators are doing a job they love!
In Part 3 of this series I’d like to welcome an educator from Orange, NSW, Australia!
What is your Family Day Care service name?
Kathy’s Family Day Care
How long have you been a Family Day Care Educator?
I have been an early childhood educator for 22 years, a Family Day Care educator for all but 4 of those years working as an child development officer and occasional care educator.
What qualifications & experience do you have?
- I have a Diploma of Children Services and a Cert 4 of Community Services.
- I have three sons and also offered emergency relief care to Department of Community Services (DoCS) when I first started in Family Day Care.
- I now work with new FDC educators to support their transition into our profession, and help them with the struggles they encounter along the way.
- I love to work with educators and develop systems for programming and ways to save time when keeping up to date with the documenting requirements of running our services.
Why did you choose to open a Family Day Care service?
I was part of a small community that relied on the Family Day Care educator I was currently using. She announced they were leaving due to her husband being transferred.
So many families were in turmoil with little else as options, I saw an opportunity to be home with my son, while helping many other families.
I have been able to be home with my three sons, during what I feel is the most important time of their development. I now have been able to share the experience of my journey with other educators.
What is your philosophy regarding working with and caring for young children?
My passion when working with young children is knowing I can make a genuine difference to them as individuals every day. Offering a safe, secure and nurturing environment with lots of snuggles whenever they need them.
But… it is also the ability to create an environment that facilitates learning at a child’s own pace, as well as being focused on each child’s individual needs.
I love that the children in my care are offered large open play spaces and a homely environment. I live on the edge of Orange on acreage and we love spending time exploring and being active outside. I believe children develop greater resilience and confidence in who they are, when able to enjoy being with in nature.
What do you love about being a Family Day Care Educator?
I get to form lasting bonds and connections with our very precious children and their families – I get Facebook messages from once a very tiny bubba, invites to 21st and pictures from school years and graduations.
Most of the children I care for stay for many years and being part of their lives is very humbling. I get to create experiences for the children in my own environment, as small and intimate or large and flamboyant as the individual children need.
I also love that I have been home for my sons whenever needed. They have a wonderful extended family through FDC, built lasting friendships. Having my own business has also opened my sons eyes up to the possibilities of them running their own businesses, in their chosen fields.
What is your biggest challenge working in this sector?
My greatest challenge is the guilt of having time off. Families are often dependent on our reliability and with limited to no relief it can be challenging to convey the importance of us having sick leave or time off.
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?
The individual bond the children will form with an educator as well as with the other children in care! Being one of four children really does mean the children become very confident. A great place to start in life – confident and learning.
You can see more about Kath's Family Day Care service by visiting her Facebook page!
Thank you to Kath for opening her home to us and sharing an insight into her work as a professional family day care educator. I just love all those wonderful outdoor spaces and opportunities to connect with living and non living things in the environment! If you would like to contact Kath you can leave me a message in the comments below and I will get your message to her or head on over to her Facebook page!
Are you considering running your own business and becoming a home based educator?
Visit my professional development shop here for resources to support your journey!