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Some facts about family day care

Family Day Care is perhaps the fastest growing sector of childrens’ services. August 2012 figures from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations show that the number of children using family day care and in home care services jumped 7% over the last 12 months. One of the attractions of family day care is the small group settings, the belief that this provides a nurturing environment and the flexibility that family day care offers. Family day care educators are as professional and committed as educators in long day care centres or preschools and they are supported by a Co-ordination Unit which is often managed by the Local Council. Educators must comply with the same national childcare regulations as centre based services. There are additional regulations applying to family day care, and some have been modified to take account of the home based setting and the fact that educators usually work alone. Some differences are:

  • an “educator assistant” can assist a family day care educator if all parents consent.
  • all residents aged 18 or over must have their “fitness or propriety” assessed.
  • there must be a record of all visitors to the home when the educator is providing care, and visitors must never be left alone with any of the children.
  • a family day care co-ordinator will regularly visit educators or regularly contact those who live too far away.
  • a Co-ordination Unit will regularly monitor and support educators.

 

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