Family day care is an early childhood & education care service that offers the same high-quality early learning in the comfort of the educator's own home. Our qualified educators are equipped with all the training and support necessary for providing quality childcare, that is both a structured and inviting environment. Early childhood education and care through family day care can accommodate children aged as little as six weeks through to 12 years of age.
Family Day Care is governed by and aligns closely with the standards found in the National Quality Framework, the National Quality Standards and the Early Years Learning Framework. Each of these frameworks coincide with the National Law & Regulations and is administered by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). Each service is assed with a rating that aligns with the National Quality Standards.
Family Day Care Educators:
- Provide professional early childhood education & care within their own home
- Are restricted to no more than four (4x) children under school age at any given time.
Educators may have an additional three (3x) school age children to bring the total allowable
number of seven (7x).
- Are registered with a an approved family day care scheme who facilitates their compliance,
performs regular visits and ensures structured planning & development is incorporated.
An approved provider meeting all eligibility criteria has access to the governments Child Care Subsidy (CCS) that families can utilise to reduce the fees they pay for care.
Family Day Care can offer more flexibility in care arrangements with educators being able to accommodate a full-time roster, part-time, outside school hours, evening, weekend or overnight care.
Smaller care numbers that are possible in family day care may be the more supportive option for children requiring 1-1 care. Children with disabilities or special needs flourish in an environment that can offer a tailored approach to their needs.
The Family Day Care scheme receives enquiries and allocate families to the appropriate educator based on location and care needs. Relief care for educators that take leave or are unwell is organised by the scheme whereby families are placed with an alternative educator in their absence.
Requirements stipulated by government legislation is closely monitored by the family day care scheme through consistent support and opportunities through professional development. The services facilitate play through stimulating learning experiences with resources and equipment.
How much does family day care cost?
The typical fee range is $7.50 to $16.80 per hour. Some educators are able to provide food, nappies and transport, which are included the hourly rates.
Quality and accreditation of family day care services
As mentioned above, family day care operates under the National Quality Framework and there are qualification requirements for educators, as in centre-based services. Family day care educators must hold or be actively working towards at least an approved Certificate III level in education and care qualification (South Australian educators must hold this).
All educators must maintain a clearance for working with children (including a police/background check) and they must be fully insured. Educators must also hold a current approved first aid qualification and have undertaken anaphylaxis and emergency asthma management training. They need to maintain a safe environment.
What will my child do at family day care?
Family day care offers a mix of education, care and recreational programs to suit children of different ages. A typical day in family day care may involve:
· Arts and crafts
· Completing homework
The home-based nature of family day care will provide children with the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities such as sand and water play in the backyard of their educator's home.
Educators will also often take children on excursions to local community events, playgrounds, libraries and organised playgroup sessions.
How do I find and choose a family day care educator?
When choosing a family day care, think about:
· When you need care
· Where you need care. How will your child travel to and from the educator's house?
· Your budget
· Your child's needs. Are there any special requirements for language, diet, behaviour or development?
· Your values and parenting philosophy.
Contact your local family day care service to discuss the type of care you require. You can also use our family day care search to find family day care and in-home care in your state or territory.
Before finalising your choice, it’s helpful to visit the educator's home to see how they interact with children and confirm the setting is right. You can also ask to see references from other parents or check parent reviews on the CareforKids.com.au website. Our family day care checklist suggests points to consider when choosing your educator.
Family day care can provide a safe, natural home-based environment for your child, with flexible routines and quality care. The smaller setting can also foster strong relationships between the children, educator and parents.
With a strong network of experienced family day care educators in Australia, it's definitely a type of child care worth exploring.