Family Day Care

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Why Family Day Care

Are you seeking a smaller childcare service where your child will receive lots of one-on-one attention and a customised play-based learning program from a qualified and experienced early childhood Educator?

With only four children in care in the Educator's own home, Family Day Care is nurturing, small, safe and fun. It mirrors the warmth of a family home and the children develop strong connections with their Educator and other children in care.

If you're understandably anxious about placing your child into care for the first time, take a closer look at the many benefits of Family Day Care. There is no other Government-approved form of childcare which provides the same level of attention and customisation for children.

At drop off and pick up time, parents are greeted by the same familiar face who knows them and their child very well. Children thrive in this warm, secure and consistent environment.

Parents also receive considerable information about their child's day - the activities they engaged in, their learning areas of focus and how their child is building their strengths. Our Educators collaborate closely with parents on their child's program.

More than 200 children enjoy the benefits of our Family Day Care service, operating for over 40 years. We only take on the best Educators who meet our stringent quality and compliance standards. Many have been with us for a long time and we know them well. They're warm and caring individuals who are devoted to their profession.

Children's Health & Wellbeing

In the evolving COVID-19 climate we understand parents' concerns regarding children's health. The safety of everyone associated with our services continues to be our highest priority.

Our COVID-19 safety guidelines and procedures for our Family Day Care services is protecting the health of the children, family members attending the services and our Educators. We are also in regular communication with every Educator regarding health and safety practices in the evolving climate.

The smaller group size in Family Day Care may be of additional appeal to families, where there is less potential exposure to childhood illnesses.

Family Feedback

We check in with families in our service on a regular basis. Here is a sample of the feedback they share with us:

"Our Educator is exceptional and she gives her whole heart to the children in her care. What is amazing is the way she tailors learning experiences based on things they are passionate about. She uses these authentic interests to build into developmental areas. For example my son has recently been asking me a lot about the moon. I mentioned this in passing to our Educator and then over the next few days I was thrilled to hear my son explaining how he had learned about the different phases of the moon, he had drawn and cut out the shapes. They had been doing imagination and play time pretending to go to the moon and he had been learning about all the different planets. To me it shows how much she listens and values my children's perspectives on things and is interested in going on a journey of exploration with them. Our Educator also works incredibly hard, being so flexible in my shift-working hours, always so willing to adjust based on what is going on in our family life.”

"Our only regret is we did not discover our daughter's Family Day Care Educator sooner. She genuinely loves the children she cares for and takes great effort to teach them so many things."

"The Educator always goes above and beyond for my child. She has a beautiful nature with the children and is so kind and caring. I fully trust her with my son. She organises amazing educational and fun activities for the children."

In the News

Parents searching for the right care for their child will often take to local online forums to seek advice, insight and a heads up on vacancies from other mums and dads.  So we reached out to Mums of the Shire – an online community of more than 7,000 mums – to share information about Family Day Care and let their members know about this niche and personalised form of care. Here is the article published in full on the Mums of the Shire website.

Our Family Day Care Philosophy

Read about our Family Day Care philosophy and principles that guide our program.

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Ratios

Parents value Family Day Care's small group numbers, with only four children in care each day in the Educator's own home. 

Parents of infants and young children take great comfort in the knowledge their child will receive considerable one-on-one attention and a daily program filled with play-based learning and fun that specifically meets their age, needs and milestones.

In the words of a parent: "Our daughter's Educator provides the perfect balance of education, fun and adventure whilst also offering our affectionate little girl all the cuddles she needs. She loves the small group of friends she spends her days with and has built wonderful friendships."

Compliance & Safety

Parents can be assured that Council's Family Day Care services are safe, compliant with industry regulations and operating to a high standard.  

Our Children's Services Quality Practice team spends time onsite at each service, reviewing and overseeing operational processes and practices to ensure the highest standard of care and education for every child.

During the team's regular and systematic visits they examine different focus areas such as the education program, health and safety, physical environment, governance and leadership, and more.  

Our close collaboration with Educators leads to continuous quality improvements. Ongoing professional learning and training opportunities for our Educators also ensures we are at the industry forefront.

Government Approved

Family Day Care is a Government approved service, operating under the same national regulations and educational frameworks as other forms of approved childcare. 

The governing body for childcare assesses all childcare services against seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS) and gives each service an overall rating based on these results.

Our Family Day Care service has achieved an overall rating of 'Meeting' the NQS, which is a very pleasing result and a testament to the talented and experienced Educators we partner with.

Qualifications

All Council Educators hold formal early childhood qualifications, are fully insured, have a current first aid certificate and maintain a safe child care environment.  

Industry Recognition

Council's Family Day Care program has been recognised for its outstanding service.

We have been named one of only eight state finalists in the Australian Family Early Education & Care 'Early Childhood Service of the Year' Awards.

Among our team of 20 Educators is a former Family Day Care Educator of the Year award winner - an outstanding accolade awarded by Family Day Care Australia's Excellence in Family Day Care Awards. Some have also been named Regional Award winners in recognition of their outstanding service, and many receive parent nominations in the awards program each year.

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Infant Care (birth - 18 months)

We understand that placing trust in others to care for your baby is an anxious time and also a big decision.

Our Family Day Care Educators are ideally suited to meet the individualised needs and routines of infants. With only four children in care, they invest quality time in getting to know your baby.

Find out more about our Infant Routines

Toddler Program (18 months - 3 years)

Toddlers are moving through a crucial phase of development and our Family Day Care programs support their specific needs in a very nurturing and supportive educational environment.

With only four children in care, our Family Day Care Educators know each child very well – their unique personality, preferences and interests. They will partner with you on every aspect of your toddler's learning. One of the benefits is the ability to ask your child's Educator to reinforce learnings you are keen to focus on, such as road safety or sharing with others.

Find out more about our Toddler Program

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Preschool Program (3 - 5 years)

Our Family Day Care Educators tailor their preschool programs to suit the individual needs of each child. They consult closely with parents to ensure the children's own interests and any specific areas of focus are reflected in the program.

Preschool age learning includes a deliberate combination of intentional teaching and spontaneous learning.

Find out more about our Preschool Program

Fees

Our Family Day Care Educators set their own fees for the service they provide.

Each Educator's fee is based on a number of factors including their location, experience and qualifications, hours of operation, inclusions and business operating costs. There is not one standard fee across the board.

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) applies to Family Day Care, to help parents with the cost of childcare. Please visit the Australia Government's Services Australia website to determine your CCS eligibility and how much financial assistance your family would receive.

Families pay an hourly fee, with a minimum daily booking of between 8-10 hours (depending on the Educator). Council also charges families a small scheme contribution fee, based on hours of care enrolled.   

You are welcome to discuss fees and charges with Family Day Care Educators when a vacancy opportunity arises.

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Parent Communication

Our Educators collaborate closely with families on each child's holistic development. Parents receive considerable information about their child's time in care, both in writing and verbally at the end of each day.

Parents receive photos of their child's day in care and also information regarding sleeping, toileting, learning activities and outcomes, highlights of the day and so much more.

Importantly, our Educators empower parents with knowledge of childhood development. They will share not only what a child has been doing, but what the learning outcomes are.

It's a level of communication and connection unique to Family Day Care.  

In the words of a parent: "Our Educator goes above to provide a fun, safe and welcoming home for our daughter. She is extremely nurturing and caring and we love the detailed updates, reports and photos."

Children with additional needs

Successful childcare is about finding the right environment for each child's needs. Children thrive when they are in an environment which best suits their needs, strengths and challenges. 

Inclusive childcare is about valuing each child’s experience and ensuring all children actively participate in the service’s program. Inclusion is at the heart of each Family Day Care Educator’s philosophy and practices.  

Our Family Day Care Educators liaise closely with every family to learn as much as possible about the child’s needs. This information is critical, as it helps to develop a positive transition into care and determine whether the Family Day Care service is able to successfully meet the child’s needs.

  • Each Family Day Care Educator determines the enrolment based on the child’s needs, availability of positions, facilities and resources. The aim is to collaborate with families to provide a positive transition into care and ongoing participation in the program.
  • Our early childhood specialists within the Children's Services management team provide guidance to Family Day Care Educators to support practices that maintain the inclusion, safety and wellbeing of all children in the care environment. 
  • Decisions regarding placement take into account the safety, wellbeing and interests of all children using the service, the availability to adequately supervise the environment and the capacity for the service to access suitable resourcing.
  • Enrolment requests are considered in light of the capacity and capability of the respective service to safely and successfully meet the individual needs of the child prior to accepting an enrolment.
  • Once enrolled, Family Day Care Educators work individually with each family to develop strategies to strengthen the child's developmental and learning journey. 

Your Role

At the outset of applying for care, it is critical that families provide Family Day Care Educators with accurate information to support the inclusion of their child to the service. This includes additional needs and abilities, any challenging behaviours and medical needs (as requested in the enrolment form and agreement). 

The effective enrolment of children into the service relies on families providing clear and factual information about their child. A child’s enrolment or ongoing placement may be at risk where a family does not provide relevant information about the inclusion of their child in the service.

Families/guardians will provide:

  • Accurate information regarding their child to the Family Day Care Educator.
  • Updated medical or additional needs records to the service.
  • Open collaboration and communication with the Family Day Care Educator to ensure individual needs are met and the Educator has the knowledge and capacity to include the child in the program.

Families/guardians will be provided with:

  • Efficient, accurate and timely/current information about the whole child and family.
  • Time to meet with the Family Day Care Educator prior to the child commencing care.
  • Equal opportunities to be involved in decision making concerning their child’s program and its implementation.
  • Opportunities to share their own culture, knowledge and skills to help children appreciate and welcome similarities and differences.
  • Opportunities to express their expectations of the inclusive program through open and ongoing lines of communication.
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(02) 9710 0466


childrensservices@ssc.nsw.gov.au

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