What is Family Day Care?
Family Day Care is an approved form of child care that is provided by experienced, qualified and registered educators in their own home. Family day care educators are early childhood education and care professionals, registered with a family day care service that is responsible for approving, supporting, training and advising its educators. Educators have been carefully selected, supervised and operate under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2011 and Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 for Family Day Care.
Family day care provides early childhood education and care services for children across Australia. Family day care operates under the same National Quality Framework (NQF) as other forms of child care; incorporating national regulations, quality and qualification standards, learning frameworks and an assessment and ratings process. Parents are eligible to the same Federal Government Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate subsidies.
National Quality Framework
The NQF is designed to give children the best possible start in life. It is a national system, designed to provide transparency and accountability.
Quality education and care shapes every child’s future and lays the foundation for development and learning. The early years are critical for establishing self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. Research shows quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. Children need quality care and attention that meets their individual needs. The two main influences on the quality of care are: caregiver qualifications, and lower staff to child ratios. These factors are particularly beneficial for very young children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The seven quality areas covered by the National Quality Standard are:
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management
The National Quality Framework (NQF) operates under an applied law system, comprising the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. The NQF applies to most long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and preschools/kindergartens in Australia.
The NQF and associated regulatory system is enacted through legislation establishing the national system. The Education and Care Services National Regulations support the legislation and provide detail on a range of operational requirements for an education and care service
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority ACECQA, the new national body is responsible for providing oversight of the new system and ensuring consistency of approach.
Why choose Family Day Care?
Family Day care offers a safe secure comfortable service which allows children to obtain quality education in small groups within the home environment. Family Day Care promotes the development of the whole child providing opportunities and developmentally appropriate activities and experiences that enhance social emotional, intellectual and physical growth and development. Family Day Care also allows for fun and relaxation, opportunities to learn through play and exploration, socialisation with mixed age groups, personalised care, stimulating activities to suit the child’s individual needs and consistency of care.
Family Day Care offers parents flexibility through:
Full-time, part-time, occasional care, before and after school care, vacation care, emergency care, respite care, evening and weekend care. Family Day Care supports parents in any employment, study situation and all other are situations. Our flexible service also can assist families in crisis or as a respite care option.
Ages and number of children
Family Day care limits children to each household and is set at : no more then four (4) children under school age and seven (7) total including school children ( excluding educators own school aged children until Jan 2016 ). Family Day Care offers placement to children aged between birth and 12 years.
What can you expect?
For parents, Family Day Care offers so much more than a fun, safe place to leave your child. Flexibility, stability, consistency, reassurance and family values underpinned by meaningful and often long term relationships are all key ingredients in building happy, well adjusted children.
For children, being nurtured and having the opportunity to develop in a secure, home based, family focused environment, and mixing with a diversity of ages and cultures is a great way to build self-esteem and social skills.
In Family day care, children learn through play and exploration while mixing within a small group. They participate in activities planned by educators to suit each child’s development and individual needs, such as story telling, singing, arts and crafts, games, and excursions. Learning in the home environment is as natural as can be structured with the real world an authentic experience for your child growing up in Family Day Care.
Early Years Learning Framework
Our qualified educators plan experiences which develop children’s skills in all developmental areas and are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). This framework puts children’s learning at the core and comprises of three inter-related elements: Principles, Practice and Learning Outcomes. All three elements are fundamental to early childhood pedagogy and curriculum decision-making. Fundamental to the Federal Government’s framework is a view of children’s lives as characteristics by Belonging, Being and Becoming.
Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. Relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. We focus on the development of relationships between children and staff, children and their peers, staff and families and staff and their colleagues. Belonging shapes who children are and who they can become.
Being recognises the significance of a child’s life in the here and now. It is important to acknowledge the present and encourage children to be aware of themselves; to build and maintain relationships with others, engage in all the exciting experiences life has on offer and understand that life is full of complex joys and everyday challenges. The early childhood years are not sole preparation for the future, but also about being who you are in the present.
- Young children are ever changing. With each new day, their identities, knowledge, skills, experiences, understandings and relationships evolve. At New Leaf, our focus is on providing a learning environment rich with stimulating experiences. It is our priority to support the process of rapid and significant change that occurs during the early years as young children learn and grow. Through this, young children learn to participate fully and actively in society.
The framework conveys the highest expectations for all children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transitions to school. It communicates these expectations through the following five Learning Outcomes:
- Children have a strong identity
- Children are well connected with and contribute to their world
- Children have a strong sense of well being
- Children are confident and involved learners
- Children are effective communicators
These outcomes are broad and acknowledge that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and will ultimately learn at their own pace. Over time children engage with increasingly complex ideas and learning experiences, which equip them for other environments and situations. Each Child’s individual learning in relation to the five key areas is influenced by the child’s current capabilities, dispositions and learning preferences and from the input and experiences with each child’s family and community. Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways. Learning is not always predictable and linear, we plan with each child and the outcomes in mind.
Play activities planned by our educators allow children to naturally develop and have the opportunity to guide their own learning.
Working in partnership with families, our educators use the learning outcomes to guide their planning for children’s learning. In order to engage children actively in learning, our educators identify the children’s strengths and interests, choose appropriate teaching strategies and design the learning environment.
Our routines allow time for individual play/learning, small group play/learning. Children’s language and literacy skills are further developed during these times, as children are involved in storytelling, drama, poems and games. Music also plays a large part during these sessions as children are able to experiment with dancing, singing and exercising their bodies
My Time Our Place
“All children have the best start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.”
The Framework has been designed for use by school age care educators working in partnership with children, their families and the community, including schools. It represents Australia’s first national framework for school age care to be used by school age care educators, and aims to extend and enrich children’s wellbeing and development in school age care settings.
This Framework is linked to the Early Years Learning Framework which focuses on children from birth to five years. It extends the principles, practices and outcomes to the contexts and age range of the children and young people who attend school age. The Council of Australian Governments has developed My time our place for school Age Care in Australia educators to provide children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in life. In this way, the Framework will contribute to realising the Council of Australian Governments vision.
Can I get government assistance to help with the costs?
Family Day Care Providers C & R Cowling-Scaife are a recognised child care service so you will be able to claim child care benefit and Child care rebate through our scheme. To find out if you are eligible to receive child care benefit and child care rebate contact the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 or visit their website- humanservices.gov.au
How do I get on the Family Day Care Waiting List?
Family Day Care does have a waiting list and you can put your name down by contacting the coordination unit
Sunshine Coast 07) 5476 3373
Fraser Coast 07) 41236274
South Burnett 07) 41621145
or complete our waiting list form.
When a vacancy is available we will call you asking if you are still looking for care and confirm your information provided.
How do I find and choose a family day care educator?
When choosing a family day care educator, think about:
- Your child’s needs. Are there any special requirements for language, diet, behaviour or development?
Your values and parenting philosophy.
- Contact us to discuss the type of family day care you require. The family day care co-ordination team will help you find the person to suit you and your child. Arrange to visit the educator in their home to see how they interact with the other children. Take a look around the home and see if the environment ‘feels right’ to you.
How do I place my child with an educator?
- If there is a vacancy with an educator the placement officer will provide you with the educators name and phone number.
- Contact the educator to organise an appropriate time for an interview.
- After you have visited the educator and made your decision on who you would like to provide care for your child, contact the placement officer and the educator to confirm that you want to proceed with the care.
Please do this ASAP so you do not miss out on the care for your child. Once the care has been confirmed by the coordination unit and the educator you can then contact the educator to organise and confirm the days/date and time that you wish your child to commence care.
From time to time you will see new faces at the home. Relief educators and volunteers are screened before participating in daily activities and must adhere to our services policies and procedures. All relief educators and volunteers (other than parents) must hold a current positive Prescribed Notice (Blue Card). At no stage will a volunteer worker be left in charge of a group of children.
Child Care Students/School Based Trainees and Teacher Trainee Participants
Child Care students, School Based Trainees and Trainee Early Childhood Teachers are welcome at the home. Their role is expected to be one of full participation in all aspects of the Program. These duties include active input into the Program, assisting with documentation and other daily routines and activities. School Based Trainees, Child Care students and trainee Early Childhood teachers will work under the guidance of trained educators at all times. All students and trainees are required to hold a positive Prescribed Notice (Blue Card) issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian and a current Senior First Aid Certificate including CPR. At no stage will an Child Care students, School Based Trainees and Trainee Early Childhood Teachers worker be left in charge of a group of children.
How do I enrol my child?
If you are interested in enrolling your child with Family Day Care providers C & R Cowling-Scaife you will need to register your details with a Coordinator. If there are no vacancies you will be placed on a Waiting List and contacted as soon as a vacancy occurs. If we can offer you a place we will give you our educators contact details so you are able to arrange an interview with the educator. Once you accept the placement an enrolment interview will be arranged at our office.
What to bring to the enrolment interview
1. Your CRN customer reference numbers from Centerlink for both you and your child.
2. Your child’s immunisation details. If you do not have a copy of your child’s latest immunisation records you can contact the Immunisation Register to request a copy of your child’s immunisation history. Alternatively you can register online with Medicare to access your child’s immunisation records online.
3. Doctors details, name, phone number, address.
4. Two emergency contact numbers and details that are not yourself or partner.
5. A $35 enrolment fee will be charge using our Debit process. ( Please note- This is a non refundable fee and is to be paid prior to commencing care)
6. Medicare Card number + corresponding digit to your child.