With its intimate, home based setting and flexible hours Family Day Care is a very attractive child care option for many families.
Under the family day care model educators care for children from within their own homes. They are qualified and follow the same National Quality Framework Guidelines as child care centre providers.
“I accept the children into my home as if they were my own, and we celebrate their learning milestones together,” says Windermere Family Day Care Educator Danielle Williamson.
Danielle develops regular individualised learning plans for each child based on developmental milestones at half yearly intervals.
Due to the small group model Family Day Care options can suit children who feel comfortable in more intimate settings. Educators can look after a maximum of four pre-schoolers or seven school age children at any one time. Because of the level of support she provides, several of the children Danielle cares for have special needs. Danielle is able to draw on her own experiences in this regard as she is also the mother to children with special needs.
Windermere Family Services provides a Family Day Care service for infants, pre-schoolers and school age children.
The flexible hours mean that the Family Day Care option is particularly suited for working parents and carers who have non-standard work hours or school age children who require before and after school care. Danielle says she looks after children at all hours, including weekends, overnight, evenings and early mornings.
“Families love the flexible hours options. They can choose to do minimum blocks of two hours for school age children or five hour blocks for pre-schoolers” she says.
The comfort and familiarity of the home care based settings also allow children to enjoy a strong, highly supportive relationship with their educator. “It’s like an extension on being a mum. I love that the children can be in a relaxed setting. We focus on developing their independence and life skills, not just the academic,” says Danielle.
The small groups give children the opportunity to enjoy outings similar to what they might experience in a family group. For example Educators might take children on excursions to the park or library.
From a personal point of view Danielle says being a Family Day Care Educator allows her to combine earning an income while being available to her own children. “It is the best job on the planet for running your family and your own business,” she says.
Contact Windermere Family Services for more information about Family Day Care options in the Casey Cardinia, Bayside and Knox areas, or if you are interested in becoming a Family Day Care Educator. Visit www.windermere.org.au/childcare or call 1300 946 337.