Looking for realistic ideas to help setup your home daycare areas and activities? You will LOVE this series where I am sharing REAL LIFE educator environments.
In this series I have been highlighting some of the wonderful work that professional family day care educators do here in Australia and also overseas.
We 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.
Last month I put the spotlight on Mannu’s Family Daycare and this month I’m continuing to highlight some of the wonderful work that professional family day care educators do all around the world.If you missed last month’s Educator Spotlight you can catch up HERE.
Family Daycare Areas & Activities - Lil Critta’s Family Daycare
I’m excited to continue our family daycare areas series by putting the spotlight on Christie Doven from Lil Critta’s Family Daycare. Christie is a member of our Empowered Educator Facebook Community and she has kindly shared her story (and some beautiful images) with us.
What is your Family Day Care Service Name?
Lil Critta’s Family Daycare
How long have you been an educator?
I began studying in 2008 and started my first role in 2009. I currently run my family daycare service in Northern NSW.
What qualifications and experience do you have?
I enrolled in the diploma through Tafe online so I could study around therapy schedules and school hours.
Mostly studying through the night, dropping kids to school, getting some sleep and then starting the household cycle again after picking up the kids from school.
I smashed out my Cert 3 and quickly picked up work in long daycare. However study fell by the way as working full time and being a mum got a bit busy.
After 3 years I managed to get a role as casual ISS support in a community based preschool, which turned into an assistant position full time.
I enrolled in a face to face diploma with Tafe NSW and completed this at night over 2 years completing my prac in my workplace.
I loved working in community preschool, with so many opportunities for further professional development and an amazing environment, and stayed there for nearly 10years.
I began my journey in family daycare at the start of 2020. Just in time for a pandemic 🤭🤣
What is your philosophy regarding working with and caring for young children?
I believe children have the right to time. Time to play, time to learn, time to finish what they started. We are always in such a rush to stick to routines and get things done on time, that sometimes we forget to just pause and give them time.
I am an advocate for play based learning and sustainable practices in the early childhood environment.
I believe in spending time in the great outdoors and fanning curiosity into the fire of knowledge. Following up discoveries on the spot and supporting children to think of ways to extend on learning.
Challenges & Benefits For Family Day Care Educators & Children
What is your biggest challenge working in this sector?
Working alone can sometimes be a challenge. If a child is having a difficult day there isn’t someone to tag team with. You always have other educators to message and call but it isn’t quite the same as having another person to bounce ideas 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?
Smaller groupings and more one on one opportunity. As an educator in a larger setting it can be difficult to really get to know each child, however in family daycare you get to know each child as if they were family.
You get to know their families and create close bonds while supporting their children.
Growing and learning in collaboration with children. Working closely with families to achieve the best outcomes for their precious babies.
What made you decide to work in early childhood education?
My youngest child was diagnosed with ASD at 2 years of age. Throughout his first 5 years of early childhood we were very involved in early intervention programs, therapies, playgroups and community preschool.
I attended many parent groups and was always so grateful for all the work these early childhood professionals put into making a difference in the world that I knew that being an educator was the path I wanted to follow as I re-entered the workforce.
I had always worked in hospitality in one way or another and wasn’t keen to return!
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to your first year as an ECE?
Be strong, stand up for yourself. Know your worth and remember you are good at what you do and nobody can tell you otherwise.
You can find out more about Christie and Lil Critta’s Family Daycare HERE.
Thank you so much to Christie for taking the time to share her story and being part of our Educator Member Spotlight series 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.