This week is National Family Day Care Week, with the theme ‘Every Child is a Star’. We completely agree! We also believe that every family day care educator is a star too. In fact, all early childhood educators work hard to make a difference in children’s lives, whether they are in a family day care setting, long day care, sessional kindergarten, outside of school hours care or nannying roles.
Each childcare setting of course has its own unique approaches and challenges. In family day care, early childhood educators often work with one educator to four children and tend to have smaller spaces to utilise for their sessions. It is also common for a family day care educator to be caring for multiple children at different ages and stages. Without the support of a team of educators, family day care educators can feel isolated at times and documentation and assessments can be overwhelming to face alone.
We acknowledge the hard work family day care educators put in and commend them for all that they do! Committing their home environments to the care and education of children and increasing access to early childhood education in communities is admirable and deserves recognition.
All educators can take a leaf from the book of family day care operators in the way their own childcare services are delivered. For many families, choosing a childcare centre with a smaller number of children is preferable. After all, mums, dads and carers like to feel assured that their children will have the attention and individualised care needed to flourish and grow.
Similarly, all early childhood educators should focus on creating a safe, comfortable yet stimulating environment for children that feels like a second home to them. Combining your centre’s unique programs with progressive approach to teaching is advantageous too and will help you stand out in your community. For example, at Bonkers Beat Music Kinder in Aspendale, we offer families our innovative music and wellbeing programs delivered daily by passionate, high-quality educators! This is of course alongside an integrated Montessori approach with Reggio Emilia inspired environments and an art program.
Let’s all take a moment this week to recognise the contribution of family day care educators to early childhood education across Australia and consider the many ways we can all learn from one another to give children the best possible start in life!
For more information about National Family Day Care Week, take a look here.