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.
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