How To Start Your Own FDC!

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J_hyland
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How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by J_hyland » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:30 pm

I really want to start family day care I am so passionate about it. Has anyone got any positives or negatives about this?
Last edited by Lorina on Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lorina
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Re: Family daycare

Post by Lorina » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:33 am

Positives are -

- you get to be your own boss (you're running a small business)
- it takes place in your home
- homely environment
- lower ratio
- go on regular outings with the children

Negatives are -

- may be hard to find business in the community if lots of centres
- need to be covered with insurance and lots of other paperwork needed before
- may need to renovate or make changes to your home

It's like with every small business there are both positives and negatives but if you really want to do it then the positives should out-way the negatives for you!

Hopefully you can start your dream soon!,

:geek:,
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Re: Family daycare

Post by Lorina » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:36 am

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Re: Family daycare

Post by NorthLight36 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:46 pm

I have my in home check and interview for family day care with my local council tomorrow at 2 pm. I'm really looking forward to it.

My advice for getting started is this.

First, if you're renting, talk to your landlord. There's no point in doing anything else if your landlord isn't going to sign off and give their approval.

Second, talk to your family and discuss the idea. With my council at least, the whole family has to be present for the in home meeting and need to show their support for the idea. (Easy for me, I live alone!) What you're doing will create a huge impact on everyone in the household. Also, do you have pets? If you do, they need to be able to be kept away from the children in your care.

Third, think about what the job requires. Do you have the room? With my council, I'm required to have a separate room for children to have their rests in. Do you have a shaded area in your backyard? Are you sure you could cope with four to seven children on your own? (4 children under school aged and 3 school aged) Are you willing to put up with baby proofing a large section of your own home? Can you cope with being at home a lot of the time or are you likely to go stir crazy with cabin fever?

Fourth, if you're certain you want to do this, contact your local council. You should find out if there's any need for another day care in your area, for starters. Also, if they don't oversee a family day care service, they can likely provide you with the information of someone who does.

Fifth, keep in mind the cost. I've spent thousands on getting prepared and I'm not all the way through the start up requirements yet. Don't count on your overseeing organisation to provide you with equipment. Most likely, if they have anything in the way of resources, they loan them out on a very, very short term basis. Insurance has to be brought before you can even interview your first parent. My advice is save like mad for months before you even consider starting. You'll need every cent and the less you borrow, the better.

Best of luck!

~Ann

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Re: Family daycare

Post by Lorina » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 am

Hi Ann,

That's so exciting! It sounds like you're rearing to go with your own FDC!

Have you added materials and resources into the room yet? Or are you waiting for confirmation?

Hope the meetings go well! And thanks for your advice! It will definitely give all those people wanting to start an FDC something to think about... Appreciate it!

:geek:,
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Re: Family daycare

Post by NorthLight36 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:58 am

Hi L.A,

Thanks for giving me a distraction from this morning's obsessive cleaning before I vacuum the carpet right off the floor. :giggle:

Yes, I've got a good number of materials and resources added to my rooms already. Including some wonderful cots (Max and Rosie's Ergonomic cots, which have the base of the cot at hip height) that I've missed since my placement days when I was a cert III student. Expensive, if I hadn't got them on sale, but I'm short and... large chested, so not having to bend over cot rails is a wonderful thing. I've also got some trikes, a sandpit, an indoor cubby house that I'll be using as a my Kimochis' Take-A-Moment corner, lots of books, blocks, trains, cars, dolls, art supplies, glue, cleaning supplies, ect ect.

Probably the hardest part about buying supplies is knowing you'll have different ages in the one room. You've got to keep in mind the safety of your babies at the same time as making sure there's plenty to amuse and challenge your preschoolers. Also, balancing resources is a challenge. You don't need to have an entire centre's worth of equipment, but you need enough for every age group to have choices. Planning is key. It's a challenge, because you also need to keep track of things that would normally fall to your centre director (Do we need more spare toddler nappies, are we low on paper towel and toilet paper, ect ect), but it's also a lot of fun if you're careful and take your time.

I'll keep you all updated on how the in home interview goes and what the next step in the process is.

~Ann

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Re: Family daycare

Post by NorthLight36 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:08 pm

Just as an add-on to my last post, I've added a half dozen or so photos of my indoor set up to the childcare room set up gallery if anyone wants ideas on setting up their own FDC.

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Re: Family daycare

Post by NorthLight36 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:24 pm

Well, I had my family day care interview. It was friendly, but also very intense.

Two people from the children's services department of my local council arrived at my house promptly at 2 pm. Having so many supplies and resources set up, as well as all my child proofing in place, earned me a lot of points straight away. For the next forty minutes, I was given a really intensive questioning session, with a lot of "What would you do if" scenarios, including things like children being seriously hurt or dealing with an angry parent. Most of the answers are pretty much common sense if you've spent any time working in childcare, but some needed a bit of thought.

After the questioning session, I was given a lot of information on what came next. Which in my case is a two day orientation and OH&S training at my council offices, then spending a day each with two other family daycare providers in my area. This is both a chance to see how the service runs, and to start forming networks with other FDC providers. After that, I begin interviewing parents for my own service.

Current estimation to actual starting work is 2 weeks from yesterday.

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Re: Family daycare

Post by Lorina » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:14 pm

Hi Ann,

So, this is it, you're on the home stretch! In just 2 weeks you're going to start your own FDC!!! :clap:

With your resources you've bought, are you going to display everything at once? Or set up a few things and once an interest arises add more experiences or switch up resources after a couple of weeks? Will you buy more resources depending on different interests? How have you set up your outdoor area? Did you buy any play equipment?

It's interesting to read about your interview... I would of been very nervous! Did they note down everything you say? Did they ask about EYLF, NQS? Did you have to show any documentation such as policies, procedures etc? Did they do a walk through? Do you have to change or add anything?

It will be beneficial for you to see how the other FDC settings are set up and run in your area... It's also a good chance to network with them rather be in "competition" because you have to support and help each other out. Maybe in the future if you are planning an excursion with your group you could also meet with the other FDC groups in a nearby park for other children to interact... Obviously you don't have to start thinking about that for awhile!

Thanks so much for sharing your photos I'm going to add comments in the gallery to your photos! My little one just woke up and is coming at the computer (she is computer obsessed) so will do so after her evening sleep...

The countdown begins,

:geek:,
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Re: Family daycare

Post by NorthLight36 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:14 pm

Hi L.A,

Outdoor equipment is on it's way, but isn't here yet other then a few balls, some ride-ons and a sandpit at the moment. Soon we'll have a couple of balance bikes, a climbing gym and some other playground toys as well, but the weather in Victoria at the moment is so awful it'll delay setting up anything but my sheltered area in any case. Assuming the house doesn't just wash away or freeze solid one morning! :lol:

What's shown in the pictures will always be available for the children, though I have another 60 books to rotate in the library corner. One of the reasons I chose to rent this house is because there is almost more storage spaces then there are rooms, and about two thirds of the storage is now packed with more rotatable experiences, which will change every week or two, depending on the experience. And of course, the home corner can be easily changed to a store, cafe or just about anything else as children wish - there's a cash register in my store cupboards and a whole lot more play food and other equipment for doing just that. The rocking horse and bug will be rotated with my music supplies regularly (to save my sanity. Those rockers make sounds when ridden!) and yes, new resources will be brought to support children's interests. Or borrowed, depending on what I need. I have three toy libraries in my area that will loan things to FDC educators for a few weeks for a yearly fee of about $30, so I'll probably be using that service a bit as well. It's a nice way of keeping things fresh and interesting without always making the bank account sob.

As to my interview, I was definitely nervous! Though it was a lot more comfortable sitting in my own kitchen with cake and coffee then in a stuffy meeting room. Yes, everything I said was noted down by one of the women who came to visit while the other questioned me. I've seen less detailed police reports after a break in. :lol: When I applied to become a FDC provider, I had to provide them with proof of my qualifications, two character references, an employment reference, my working with children check, a police record check and my first aid, CPR, Asthma and Anaphylaxis certifications. During the interview, I had to show an evacuation plan for my house, discuss how I'd discipline a child, show how I'd change a nappy and if I planned to cook for the children or have parents provide a packed lunch. (I'm only a half-decent cook, so I'm going with packed lunches!) More on policy and procedures will come during my orientation next week, so it was only touched on a little in the interview.

No, the EYLF and NQS didn't come up, which rather surprised me, but I suspect that it might be because I have just come from working in centres and I did cover it a lot in my application's cover letter. So they may have felt they didn't need to go over it again.

Yes, they did do a walk through of the house after the forty minutes of interviewing. This was an informal safety check, aimed at looking for things I'd need to buy or change before my formal, official safety check. In my case, I don't have to change or add much. Just the one thing I had already expected to need to do, which is have safety film installed on the low windows in the library/home corner area of the play room. I'm getting a couple of quotes on that in the next few days. Aside from that, I was told I'd could have passed the formal check then and there. Basically, baby proof, baby proof and baby proof some more and you're, ha ha, pretty safe with the safety check. I already had the shaded area and the secure fencing that's required for the outside of the house, and the locks on the doors of areas not accessible to FDC children such as my study, bedroom, laundry, garage and the cats' playroom (where they spend the day away from the children). The walk through took about ten minutes.

Yes, meeting some of the other FDC educators in the area is going to be really good. We're all encouraged to meet up at the local playgroup as well as getting together for things like trips to the park and story time at the local library. The nearest park, for me, is just across the road from my front door! Which was the other reason I picked this house! So believe me, I'm already thinking about that sort of thing for when the weather is a bit more reliably decent and my service is more settled and comfortable.

One thing I was really, really glad to have was my ergonomic cots and camp-stretcher sleep beds. I brought them because I'd loathe and hate normal cots (too hard on my back) and had had good experience with them during my placement when I was training in Melbourne. By complete chance, it turns out that they are EXACTLY what the council recommends for FDC, so they were very pleased to see them on my walk through of the house. A lot of people make the mistake of buying porta-cots and the council really doesn't approve of them for more then VERY short term use. And they strongly prefer that older children don't sleep directly on mats on the floor in case it triggers asthma or allergies, so they consider camp beds to be quote "perfect" unquote. I'm told that varies by state and council, however. NSW, for example, doesn't allow camp beds in FDC, so that's one of those things people should check with their local service.

Overall, it was a very good experience and I'm excited about what comes next.

~Ann

Edit: :lol: This turned into a bit of a novel. Oh dear. Hope it is useful at least.

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Re: Family daycare

Post by Lorina » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:22 am

I love reading all about your experiences so far! I have no experience or ideas in FDC so this has been a learning opportunity for me too!

Thanks once again for providing so much detailed information!

One question I want to ask is... how do you work out your wages? When working in an LDC, you get paid according to your position and your qualification. So how does it work in an FDC? Parents pay per hour? But even though will you make as much as you would working as a room leader in a centre?

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:32 am

Yes, parents pay me per hour. The average fee for FDC in this area is $8 an hour, though some FDCs charge more and some charge a little less. I'm going with $8, so with 4 children I'll be earning $32 an hour. Which is actually better then what I'd been earning while working casually and is also a good deal more regular work! Of course, that's as high as my payrate will ever be, unless I decide to take in school aged children as well (which I'm not going to do to start with). So it'd be possible to earn more per hour in a centre, but since there are no job openings in my area, an increasing population boom and an increasing shortage of childcare places, I'm a good deal better off then I would be trying to work in a centre.

Add into that some of the really unpleasant experiences I had working in centres as a casual, including being scheduled to cover breaks an hour before the time I was told to come in and start work for the day, and I think FDC is also going to be an improvement in terms of stress levels. But that's more down to bad management at my previous job then anything to do with FDC.

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:54 am

I should stress that the $8 an hour per child is only the average for this particular area. I know in some areas I've lived, FDC fees were as low as $4.50 an hour per child, so that's one of the other things someone looking to start an FDC should discuss with their council before deciding if they want to go through with the process.

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by Lorina » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:36 pm

Thanks for clearing that up...

So basically regarding fees you charge per hour and whatever you charge per hour you receive as your wages... That's actually pretty good... It is more than a minimum wage diploma qualified room leader would be earning within an LDC centre. It's more than an ECT and director as well! However, I understand that you need to fork out the cost for your start up including resources, materials furnitures etc. So, earning $32 an hour seems reasonable as you need to cover costs of managing your service.

Centre's are charging over $100 a day and FDC's are charging $8 or lower. A big difference!

There have been quite a few discussions on this forum on really bad working conditions within LDC centres. It seems like it's getting worse regardless of the changes to the regulatory authority and NQF. Most of it comes down to staff and management so for these educators FDC seems like a good option to those who can afford to get started...

Thanks for answering all my questions!

Would love to hear how you went at those other FDC settings!

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:52 pm

No problem, L.A. I'll be happy to share my experiences at the other FDC settings after I visit them.

Yes, the difference in cost between LDC and FDC fees is startling. Even if a child is there for my full, extended hours (I'm open from 6:30am - 5:30pm as there are a lot of people, particularly at the local hospital and the city commuters who need the early start time), the cost would be $88 a day. Sometimes you really have to wonder where the $100+ the centres charge is going, because it certainly isn't going to the educators and often doesn't seem to be being put back into the centres either!

Yes, $32 an hour seems like a lot until you start factoring in on-going costs, doesn't it? After you factor in those, you start feeling less rich. :lol: Still, I'll be able to pay my rent, feed the cats (so they don't eat me) and myself and feed my coffee and books addiction, so I'm happy. It's a good alternative to working in a centre and having full control over things is lovely. I can't wait to get started.

~Ann

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:24 am

Update on my progress: As part of my start-up requirements, I had to have a medical. This was reasonably trouble free and painless and was done by my GP in about 20 minutes on Wednesday morning.

I have my first orientation session on Tuesday at 1:30, then two visits to other FDC providers on Wednesday and Thursday. Then I have my final orientation session on Friday afternoon. After that, I'll have my final safety check and then I'll be good to start.

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by Laiorwyn » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:48 pm

I'm going to be starting up a fdc soon. Haven't got everything I need yet, desperately looking for more role play toys (especially cars and tracks) and need outdoor equipment. I've got a good big area for it, and the garage is a devoted supply room. Lots of books and craft things, at least for a couple of months. But I'm so nervous and excited!

Last thing I want is to start and discover I need to spend a small fortune because I haven't got enough. Been on ebay a lot, and found some real gems. Is there anything you'd recommend as absolutely essential?

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:02 pm

Hi Laiorwyn,

What have you got for children's sleeping? You'll want really good cots and beds for older children. Portacots don't last and aren't comfortable for educators or children, so the lower cost isn't really going to save money.

As far as toys go, you should make sure you have dolls of various races, a toy kitchen, lots of craft supplies and a good spot for children to go when they want a quiet moment. You'll need toys suitable for babies as well as older children. Ride ons, bikes and play gyms are great for gross motor skills. Making your own play-doh is both cheap, great for fine motor skills and can be done as an activity with children. It's hard to define one thing as 'essential' without knowing what you have already.

Generally, I find http://www.teaching.com.au/home to be a great site for either buying equipment or just browsing to see what you might like.

~Ann

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by Laiorwyn » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:56 pm

I have four beds (bellbirdkids) and a bouncer. Looking at cots, but want to get two matching cots. I'm a scrooge so will be going ebay. Actually, the majority by far came from ebay.

Lessee - I have:
- 150 books, half and half paper vs. board books
- 3x different kinds of construction/blocks, all small stuff, so getting my hubby to cut some branches up for the back yard.
- Soft Toys
- Some older style dolls with different clothing sets. All white, unfortunately.
- Heaps of craft. I'm the queen of recycling, so lots of newspapers, bottles, containers, cardboard tubes, egg cartons, etc. as well as paint, paper, stickers, glue, some pegs and other random crafting stuff. Going to bulk it out when I have more cash.
- Some baby toys, a walker, fine motor activities and colourful singing toys.
- Gardening equipment, gloves, watering cans etc. for a vege patch with the older kids.
- Play brooms, mops, vacumes, etc. for role play. Limited kitchen supplies, but working on that (once again, eyes open on ebay XD) I'm going to convert a used tv cabinet into a kitchen for indoors.
- It's a tile floor, so some rugs.
- 1x 4 seater toddler table.
- A kitchen for outside. I'm going to have a mud kitchen, not a sandpit. The mud kitchen is currently paved in the middle with ferns and other shade loving plants growing on the outside, so I thought I'd put some more dirt in there with some small beat up pots and pans, tin cups and old cuttlery.
- Some girls dress ups.
- a few musical instruments. I want to make a lot of musical instruments on the go, as craft before the music and movement group times.


It's a work in progress. I don't have a lot of gross motor activities yet, but I'm going to keep an eye out for everything. There's 2 months before I open, so I want to make sure everything's perfect.

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Re: How To Start Your Own FDC!

Post by NorthLight36 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:18 pm

You look pretty good, so far. But I really, really advise getting some dolls of other genders and races. For one thing, it counts towards meeting the multicultural requirement of the framework and the framework is as much of a requirement for FDC as it is for LDC.

If you're not going to have a sandpit, then I strongly, strongly advise getting a sand and water table. Big W has some for around $18. Not all children are going to want to play with mud.

Get some more unisex dress ups as well and I think you'll be reasonably well set. Whoever manages FDC in your area will have more NSW related advice and requirements.

Also, what have you done to baby proof?

~Ann

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