Get ideas and inspiration from real family daycare educator environments with this new blog series.
I’m passionate about home based childcare options, having run my own numerous times over the years, in Australia we call this sector Family Day Care and in this series I will be highlighting some of the wonderful work that professional family day care educators do all around Australia and the world (home childcare providers/home daycare).
We’ll take a peek into their home based early years 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 are a long time reader you may remember that we did a similar series way back in 2016 which you can read about HERE.
Exploring Family Daycare Educator Environments - Sai Family Day Care
I’m excited to kick off our new series by putting the spotlight on Anju Dewangan from Sai Family DayCare. Anju is a very active member of our Empowered Educator Facebook Community and regularly shares her wonderful setups and early learning environments.
What is your Family Day Care Service Name?
Sai Family DayCare
How long have you been an educator?
6 years. 3 years as a long Daycare educator and 3 years as a FDC educator
What qualifications and experience do you have?
I am a diploma qualified educator. I was a chemistry lecturer back in India, I worked 6 years in a community play group as a volunteer.
I am deeply connected to the community. I helped and trained more than 300 students for family daycare businesses and how to run it successfully. I help educators to open their own family daycare business.
I work as a motivational speaker, spiritual healer as I am Reiki master and healer and I run free meditation sessions for educators for their well-being.
What is your philosophy regarding working with and caring for young children?
Being a Mother, I always wonder ‘What are my expectations from any educator who look after my own children’ and I aim to change my perspective to fulfill My Parents (client) expectations.
The second thing that is always on my mind is that I want to become that Educator where children remember me, saying in their near future that "When I used to go Mrs Anju’s house that was my golden time”, or remember my love, my care and my teaching.
I believe on hands-on learning is the process of learning by actually doing and experiencing something, rather than just being told about it. Hands-on learning is particularly important for young children, as this is how they are programmed to learn.
Children learn from observing, copying, and experimenting with their hands and body as soon as they are born, and play continues to be the most important way of learning new skills until they reach school age and beyond.
An Inclusive & Engaging Family Daycare Environment is Important...
I believe each child develops at their own pace, and thus we should not compare them with another child. We have to respect their abilities and provide an environment that is safe yet stimulating for their development.
A positive approach always boosts children to accomplish their task, so I always use positive words to children; a bit of encouragement and appreciation can do magic.
Being in a multi-cultural community, making children aware of the cultural diversities, tolerance and respecting other cultural beliefs is very important. This is because I believe; being a lovable and a courteous person is the foremost quality that is necessary to lead a happy life.
During the early five years in a child's life, their brain is like a sponge which absorbs all water that is poured over it. So it’s our duty and responsibility to teach them all the good qualities, discipline, facts of life, the culture and religious beliefs, their social responsibility, their rights and to deal with the difficulties that they have to face in their lives.
I believe in a play-based learning curriculum. It's very effective with children. This is because a child loves to explore and imagine things and learns a lot through play.
Play expands children’s thinking and enhances their desire to learn more. I believe that educators have to participate in child's play, apply open ended questions, appreciate their work through positive conversation and thereby help them to extend their thoughts.
When a child feels secure and supportive, that’s when they reciprocate and interact with the educators. So, it is very important to make the child feel respectful and safe. Thus, the child develops confidence and feels valued. Providing consistent emotional support can assist the children to develop skills and understand that they need to interact positively with others.
Give children the opportunity to make decisions, provide them time to think over a problem and come up with a suitable solution for the situation. Provide experiences that would promote children to investigate, reason out and experiment new ideas. Also encourage them to share and speak to others about their theory through play.
Children have the tendency to copy or mirror the action of others. Show and teach good manners, best discipline, positive attitude towards each other, polite and gentle ways of communicating, respect and be responsible for themselves and their surrounding environment.
To conclude with, I believe that I am blessed to have my Family Day Care business and was given this great opportunity. I really love my job which you can see by my work.
I believe that when we share our knowledge and help other educators we build strong communities and build great citizens for our near future.
What is your biggest challenge working in this sector?
Balancing personal and professional life as we work from home.
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?
One on one interaction and closely follow their development and collaboratively work with families.
Working from home and being own boss.
What made you decide to work in early childhood education?
Being as a mum of my two children, I always believed that the educator role is very important after parents. We have a big responsibility to shape the initial step of their life, to make a contribution to make good citizens for our future generations.
For me children are like sponge. No matter how much knowledge or water you pour they will observe it. I try to provide a variety of experiences every day. I love to create a welcoming environment for children so they feel a sense of belonging in the environment.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to your first year as an ECE?
Work with your whole heart, don't be scared with anyone if you are doing the right things. Speak up for your rights.
You can find out more about Anju and SAI Family DayCare on her facebook page (I recommend checking out all her amazing setups!).
Thank you so much to Anju for taking the time to share her story and being our first Member Spotlight guest for 2022.
If you would like to be featured in this series you can register your interest HERE.
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.