Tuesday, December 03, 2013

5 surprising things about starting a family day care

So things have been chugging along busily in the Family Day Care department…

  • I met with Jan, the educator support coordinator for an initial home visit.
  • I also had an informal interview with another educator support officer, which was essentially a get-to-know-you session to find out more about my background and values.

Other initial formalities I’ve been going through include…

  • An orientation session;
  • Business and administration training;
  • Visiting one of the play sessions at the Family Day Care centre; and
  • A home visit to an experienced family day care to observe and learn

Nathan had an absolute blast at the play session (we were encouraged to bring our own children to the session). His favourite corner was the ocean water play with miniature marine creatures where he spent a good half an hour there splashing around.

Marine ocean water play at our Family Day Care network's centre

Here are five surprising things I’ve discovered so far about setting up a family day care…

#1- The cost of toys and equipment can be relatively low. Most families have sufficient toys they can reuse and many family day care networks encourage use of recycled material or simple DIY play options: A basket of old scarves and clothes for dress-up play, A small table with some plastic bowls and pans for a play-kitchen, homemade modelling clay and even handcrafted shakers for music time.

#2- One of the most expensive investments in setting up a family day care is actually windows! For safety reasons, all family day cares need to have shatter-proof safety glass installed in all windows of rooms being used for the children’s activities. It costs around $200-$300 per window to upgrade the glass to the minimum safety standard and can add up to $1,000-$2,000 in total depending on how many windows need to be upgraded.

#3- Each family day care educator can care for up to seven children in total; four children under school age and an additional three school age children outside of school hours, including their own.

#4- A family day care educator is really no short of an early childhood education professional. Starting in 2014, all family day care educators will be required to hold or be actively working towards at least a Certificate III in Children’s Services.

#5- There are currently only about 18,000 family day care educators in Australia looking after over 125,000 children across the country (figures based on DEEWR Sept 2012 update and FDCA membership). Not as many as I thought there would be, and demand for family day care far exceeds the current number of educators.

 

Linking up to Mummy Mondays
and I Blog On Tuesday

This is an exciting new venture I am embarking on to set up my own family day care. Throughout this journey, I will be sharing about this project on my blog, what I’m learning, my home set up, craft and activity ideas and other related bits and pieces. Through this, I hope to connect with other fellow day care educators and also provide a little more awareness and insight for parents  on the set up and running of a family day care. You can follow along my updates under the family day care tag

12 comments:

  1. I had no idea about having to upgrade your windows! I had thought that the main costs would be in buying equipment and toys. I did know that the demand exceeded the number of educators though. That's good for you because your business should thrive quickly :) Are you going to have younger kids during the day or school-aged kids after school, or a combination?

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    1. Yes! It's good to know that demand exceeds supply in general. I'm still feeling a little nervous though, hope in my area the demand for family day care is alright. I'm going to start with a couple of younger kids and maybe eventually take on another after-school care child or two... that might come in as my older son eventually starts school so I can plan the school run schedule together

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  2. Wow, It is a mine field of rules and regulations. I am sure it will be all worth it for you Serene. The major cost of windows is one you would not think of. I really love the ocean pool what a great idea. Is that food colouring in the water? You must be so busy trying to get this all organised. Thank you for sharing. Family Day care is such a great option. My boy has being going to daycare since he was 11 months old, even this very day he had to be pulled out of my arms when I was leaving him, so heart breaking. I wonder if he was in a family day care environment would he be the same. I think he is getting lost now he is in the big kindy room with the 5 year olds, and so many other kids. I look forward to following you on this journey, I can tell you love being immersed in the magic of children.

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    1. Yup! Just food colouring. Such a simple idea but so brilliant. I tried it out on a small scale at home with my son and it was a blast! Kept him completely occupied for almost 40 minutes!

      Aaahhh... your little boy is growing up quick! Moving up to the big room. I'm sure he'll eventually find his way although I can imagine it must feel rather overwhelming to begin with. It's hard to say though about whether going to family day care might have made a difference. I'm inclined to say yes as I have been sending my son to one until recently. But there are really so many factors that come in to play that's difficult to say for sure.

      No matter what, I'm sure he'll find his way with the reassurance that he always has a safe haven to come home to at home and in your arms.

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  3. I never realised the window thing! I love family day care, although Little E is with me full time now, I had him in Family Daycare and it was the best. Good luck with it all!

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    1. I've always been a big advocate for family day care too! Though I'm sure for Little E, home is still the best place to be

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  4. Lots of progress for your new endeavour, very exciting Serene!

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Busy but definitely exciting!

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  5. I really admire you lovely! You are doing it - and that is very interesting about the glass, who knew? And you will be in big demand once you are up and running, this is the option I'd prefer if I was working full time and had to put kids in care - GO GIRL!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to cheer me on, Emily. I hope the high demand that's often touted about lives up in my area as well. I'm a little nervous but still excited.

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  6. I had always assumed setting up the equipment would be very expensive. I have a friend that does this and she is just amazing, I don't know how she does it! #teamIBOT

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    1. That's what I thought so at first too. Always something new to learn I suppose. I'm not sure how will be able to do this either... just taking it one step at a time!

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