QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

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Butterflyblue
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QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:27 pm

If anyone has any questions on family daycare at all feel free to ask!
A little bit about me:
I've been an educator for 20+ years now, I have 2 kids of my own and chose fdc because I loved the idea of taking care of little ones and playing with them whilst teaching them as well! The industry has definitely changed a lot over the years but one of the few things that haven't changed is how little people know about family daycare as a childcare option whether that's to work in or send their little ones to or both! I'm very passionate about children, quality childcare and family daycare in particular -as you can probably see in my other posts and it's been great to find a forum like this to share, and ask questions and rant - thanks Lorina!

So if anyone has any questions of any kind, I'll be more than happy to answer :)


MumWithTeens
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by MumWithTeens » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:39 pm

Hi Butterflyblue,
Thanks for the offer to answer questions about FDC! Sorry I haven't visited here in a while so I didn't see your post earlier.

I have a few questions : )

1. How do you choose a FDC scheme?
2. What are the major difference between how the schemes operate? Pros and cons?
3. is it acceptable for a FDC educator not to drive ?

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:07 am

Hi MumWithTeens!
That’s ok, I’m usually checking in often 😊
Are you thinking of starting a fdc?
Answered your questions below, it’s a bit long 🙃
let me know if you have any other questions or need me to clarify anything, I’m happy to help!

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:32 am

1. How do you choose a FDC scheme?
Firstly you need to find a scheme which is recruiting and recruiting in your area
The best way to do this is via a government register:
https://www.childcarefinder.gov.au/
https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/national-registers
https://www.startingblocks.gov.au/find-child-care/

Use the above instead of google, social media and websites like care for kids, echildcare etc

Secondly you need to find out whether you think you are a good fit for the scheme and vice versa

2. What are the major difference between how the schemes operate? Pros and cons?
No 2 schemes are the same!
There will be differences in their quality, professionalism, ethos, administration, fees, levies and more
This is why it is crucial to do your research and take your time to find the right one for you
The pros you can look for include:
A high NQS rating - ideally majority of quality areas at least meeting the National Quality Standard
Experience and reputation - a scheme which has been operating for a while and or has experienced/ enthusiastic staff behind it who have an excellent understanding of FDC, early childhood education, laws and respect for educators
Support, home visits and compliance
What the scheme offers you:
For example
they take time to get to know you
offer help with programming, administration etc
Have professional development at least once a year or make suggestions for you
Assist you in dealing with any problems that arise etc
The easiest way to determine this is if they conduct regular (at least once a month) unannounced home visits.
How often they visit you shows their approach to different areas including OH&S, programs and compliance.
Do not go somewhere that visits every few months, this is inadequate especially in the current climate

COMPLIANCE
Choose a scheme which is compliant and takes measures to ensure they and their educators are compliant at all times
The scheme should keep you up to date on laws, regulations and standards


Cons
Low fee range A low fee range is usually indicative of a scheme which does not value their FDC educators who are ultimately independent contractors (under law)
No 2 FDC educators are the same! Their quality, professionalism, ethos, play spaces, experience, learning programs etc are different and as such you want to choose a scheme which not only allows but supports you in charging a fee depending on your circumstances and what you think your worth - ultimately no FDC educator will set a fee that is more than a parent is willing to pay for quality early childhood education.
A scheme which offers only one fee for example $7.00 per hour for every FDC educator is considered an outdated model for the reasons above.

High levies
High levies with little to no benefits is almost always pointless especially if you are charged a levy on top of a limiting fee range

No support, home visits and approach to compliance
Most importantly compliance, if they do not explain their policies and procedures to you, then ask. You will know from their response if they take the law seriously or if they don’t care if they end up on here: https://www.education.gov.au/child-care ... n-register



3. is it acceptable for a FDC educator not to drive ?
Yes, a FDC educator does not have to drive that’s entirely a personal choice
Usually it will depend on what type of care you would like to provide for example:
- School/kinder pick and drop offs
Unless you would like to walk and the parents gives permission and the child is able to (you can use a pram etc) then you can’t look after a child who’s parent wants pick up/ drop off
- Your learning program
Again if you want to visit the local library, park, shopping centre or perhaps the city, zoo, aquarium etc if you cannot walk then you won’t be able to do these things

Of course public transport is an option as well as walking but again the parent needs to give permission, you need to be able to take the child/children and manage everything

All the parents and children who you are looking after must give permission to leave your house for whatever purpose.
Many FDC educators do not leave their house for a range of reasons, it certainly is not a negative in terms of care or anything like that.

I know that’s a lot to take in so apologies if it is too full on! Let me know if you have any questions 😉

MumWithTeens
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by MumWithTeens » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:05 pm

Thankyou Butterflyblue. I really appreciate all that information!

I am a few years away from starting a FDC but I want to spend this time researching to make sure it is something which is really suitable for me and my family. I am a little worried about some of the things I have heard about dodgy schemes etc so it is great to have your thoughts on what to look out for it before I choose.

Just one more question .... from what I have read, some schemes collect fees from the families and then pay the educator instead of the educator having to deal with fees? Is this the norm? Is this something you personally like/dislike? I guess then those schemes have higher levies?

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:20 pm

For fee collection it just depends on what you’d prefer; to take the parents money directly (usually via cash or bank transfer - direct debit) or have someone else (the schemes admin team) do it all for you and then transfer to your bank account.
Because FDC educators are independent contractors you will find a lot of schemes (private and council) allow you to collect the money yourself. Depends on the scheme whether they offer one option or both. I think it depends on the educator, given the nature of fdc it may be easier to ask someone else to collect money on time and offer a debt collection service as security just in case. Personally I have been lucky to have parents that always pay on time but I’ve had a few who haven’t and heard of parents just don’t care. Really just depends like any small business these are all things you will have to consider as an individual.
Ask yourself will you ask for money, will someone’s circumstances mean you find that hard to do, what happens if they go without paying

Either way there will be paperwork including receipts & statements to be done, which is so important especially with CCS related contracts.

There is usually an admin levy for the educator and parent, but some schemes won’t charge the educator a levy even if they take care of fee collection. It really depends on the scheme but the general rule is;
Either a small levy or no levy for the educator plus a small levy for the parent.

Fees/levies & now compliance are what you want to ask about. Some schemes have huge levies the parent & educator simply can’t afford — always ask what it is and what it covers exactly then shop around
A lot of schemes have parent levy caps to entice you as the educator to join them .




In terms of dodgy schemes the good news is in response the government is becoming very strict and as a result any half decent scheme takes a lot of precautions not to employ bad educators or enter into care arrangements with families who abuse the system as it may costs them their license or worse


Despite everything I would still highly recommend family daycare to everyone, especially stay at home mums, there are a lot of ways to keep start up costs to a minimum nowadays and its just so rewarding it’s hard to describe.

If you want to see what educators get up to, what their setups and programs look like take a scroll through Instagram where you’ll find heaps of amazing fdc educators.
If there are private pages or you’d like to ask questions and there is no email etc consider making your own fdc page as whatever you like - maybe future fdc educator - the teaching Instagram community is very friendly!

https://www.instagram.com/familydaycareaustralia/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/ ... lia/?hl=en

MumWithTeens
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by MumWithTeens » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:06 am

Butterflyblue - you are a wealth of information! Thankyou so much. I am printing everything up for future reference. There is so much for me still to learn.....

81SmgArsenal
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by 81SmgArsenal » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:06 pm

Butterflyblue wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:27 pm
If anyone has any questions on family daycare at all feel free to ask!
A little bit about me:
I've been an educator for 20+ years now, I have 2 kids of my own and chose fdc because I loved the idea of taking care of little ones and playing with them whilst teaching them as well! The industry has definitely changed a lot over the years but one of the few things that haven't changed is how little people know about family daycare as a childcare option whether that's to work in or send their little ones to or both! I'm very passionate about children, quality childcare and family daycare in particular -as you can probably see in my other posts and it's been great to find a forum like this to share, and ask questions and rant - thanks Lorina!

So if anyone has any questions of any kind, I'll be more than happy to answer :)
You're so kind! I loved your thoughts of helping children of this generation. I know you are so passionate and lovable to teach young ones. I will surely count on you when I need some tips on childcare.

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:17 pm

You're very welcome!
Let me know if you have anymore questions or need more information,
happy to help :)

MrsWombat
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by MrsWombat » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:37 am

Hello!
Sorry if it has been answered already, I would like to ask a question about stuffing arrangements and qualifications. Does the FDC need a co-ordinator with at least a diploma or it can be run by just by one educator with cert III?

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:55 pm

Hi!
All family day care coordinators must hold an approved diploma level education and care qualification or higher. Ratios are set depending on the number of educators the scheme has. An educator with a certificate cannot be a FDC coordinator.
I don't believe services employ an individual as both a coordinator and a educator, either one or the other

Hope this helps! You can find more information below, let me know if you have any more questions :)

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childh ... aspx#link8

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Daniel-J
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Daniel-J » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:00 pm

You wrote a lot of useful information for me, too. Thank you. I am a novice teacher and it is important for me to know all the basics and nuances of this hard work.

Ms Vee
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Ms Vee » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:00 pm

Hello Butterflyblue,
Thank you so much for the information you have been sharing on this forum. May I ask a question regarding the FD. As a registered educator operating in my own home with a lot of space, will it be allowed to employ an educator assistant and also get more kids as per ratio? I was wondering about the possibility of employing a qualified educator to work with me, while we get more children. Or is it strictly 1:7 ratio . Please educate me on this.

Sunny Miller
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Sunny Miller » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:41 am

Butterflyblue wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:32 am
1. How do you choose a FDC scheme?
Firstly you need to find a scheme which is recruiting and recruiting in your area
The best way to do this is via a government register:
https://www.childcarefinder.gov.au/
https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/national-registers
https://www.startingblocks.gov.au/find-child-care/

Use the above instead of google, social media and websites like care for kids, echildcare etc

Secondly you need to find out whether you think you are a good fit for the scheme and vice versa

2. What are the major difference between how the schemes operate? Pros and cons?
No 2 schemes are the same!
There will be differences in their quality, professionalism, ethos, administration, fees, levies and more
This is why it is crucial to do your research and take your time to find the right one for you
The pros you can look for include:
A high NQS rating - ideally majority of quality areas at least meeting the National Quality Standard
Experience and reputation - a scheme which has been operating for a while and or has experienced/ enthusiastic staff behind it who have an excellent understanding of FDC, early childhood education, laws and respect for educators
Support, home visits and compliance
What the scheme offers you:
For example
they take time to get to know you
offer help with programming, administration etc
Have professional development at least once a year or make suggestions for you
Assist you in dealing with any problems that arise etc
The easiest way to determine this is if they conduct regular (at least once a month) unannounced home visits.
How often they visit you shows their approach to different areas including OH&S, programs and compliance.
Do not go somewhere that visits every few months, this is inadequate especially in the current climate

COMPLIANCE
Choose a scheme which is compliant and takes measures to ensure they and their educators are compliant at all times
The scheme should keep you up to date on laws, regulations and standards


Cons
Low fee range A low fee range is usually indicative of a scheme which does not value their FDC educators who are ultimately independent contractors (under law)
No 2 FDC educators are the same! Their quality, professionalism, ethos, play spaces, experience, learning programs etc are different and as such you want to choose a scheme which not only allows but supports you in charging a fee depending on your circumstances and what you think your worth - ultimately no FDC educator will set a fee that is more than a parent is willing to pay for quality early childhood education.
A scheme which offers only one fee for example $7.00 per hour for every FDC educator is considered an outdated model for the reasons above.

High levies
High levies with little to no benefits is almost always pointless especially if you are charged a levy on top of a limiting fee range

No support, home visits and approach to compliance
Most importantly compliance, if they do not explain their policies and procedures to you, then ask. You will know from their response if they take the law seriously or if they don’t care if they end up on here: https://www.education.gov.au/child-care ... n-register



3. is it acceptable for a FDC educator not to drive ?
Yes, a FDC educator does not have to drive that’s entirely a personal choice
Usually it will depend on what type of care you would like to provide for example:
- School/kinder pick and drop offs
Unless you would like to walk and the parents gives permission and the child is able to (you can use a pram etc) then you can’t look after a child who’s parent wants pick up/ drop off
- Your learning program
Again if you want to visit the local library, park, shopping centre or perhaps the city, zoo, aquarium etc if you cannot walk then you won’t be able to do these things

Of course public transport is an option as well as walking but again the parent needs to give permission, you need to be able to take the child/children and manage everything

All the parents and children who you are looking after must give permission to leave your house for whatever purpose.
Many FDC educators do not leave their house for a range of reasons, it certainly is not a negative in terms of care or anything like that.

I know that’s a lot to take in so apologies if it is too full on! Let me know if you have any questions 😉
WAW! Good job

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:30 pm

Ms Vee wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:00 pm
Hello Butterflyblue,
Thank you so much for the information you have been sharing on this forum. May I ask a question regarding the FD. As a registered educator operating in my own home with a lot of space, will it be allowed to employ an educator assistant and also get more kids as per ratio? I was wondering about the possibility of employing a qualified educator to work with me, while we get more children. Or is it strictly 1:7 ratio . Please educate me on this.
Hi Ms Vee
As far as I'm aware no you cannot have 2 educators and an increased ratio.
You can only have one educator per household (residence or venue) and the space you have is irrelevant.

The ratio in family daycare is:
1:7 educator to child ratio
Maximum of four children preschool age or under.
Ratio includes the educator’s own children younger than 13 years of age if there is no other adult to care for them. 


You can have an educator assistant following provider permission who may help with transport, during an emergency or if you have an appointment, event etc. There are more details in the regulations

An educator assistant may also help with education and care following provider and parental permission but the ratio remains the same for both situations.

Educator assistants require the same qualifications, checks etc as the educators by law

You can read the specifics in the Education and Care Services National Regulations

Ms Vee
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Ms Vee » Tue May 05, 2020 12:20 pm

Thank you so much @Butterflyblue. That makes sense now.

My other questions are:
Incase of incidents and medication, how does an educator fillout paper work part that requires a witness to sign?

Secondly, as a family educator who works by herself, what should I do with the children when I need to use the toilet?

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Wed May 06, 2020 10:18 pm

Family day care schemes and educators also follow the education and care services national laws and regulations.
Some things are identical others varied slightly to better reflect the differences in the setting.

Incident forms are filed by educators and signed by a range of people including the parent and usually a representative of the scheme.
Medication policies are similar to centres, schools etc
i.e
only given if a doctor has prescribed it
parents need to provide written permission and authorization for medication to be administered
Must be stored properly, checked and only used according to instructions etc
Complex proceeses with no formal training isnt allowed and so on

Schemes have policies in place in addition to the education and care services national regulations which you can read here:

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/vi ... 1/653/id95

And you'll find sample forms by ACECQA the national authority here:
https://www.acecqa.gov.au/resources/app ... -templates

Using the bathroom is exactly like any other professional work environment, you need to effectively manage your time, children's routines, consider their age, needs etc.

Are you thinking of becoming a family day care educator? Happy to answer any questions ;)

Ms Vee
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Ms Vee » Thu May 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Thank you so much @Butterflyblue. you have been of great help on this forum. Yes, i'm looking at becoming a family daycare educator. So i'm just doing some finding here and there to be well informed begore I venture into it. at the moment I work in a long day care as a lead ed. but another thing I might need to know is the rough estimate ($) to start up the day care and basic things I will need (in my own home) and how much I might earn at the end of the week or forthnight. Do I need to provide breakfast (toast and cereals), morning tea and afternoon tea, and if I do, is it adviseable and how much do you think my hourly rate should be? or if you don't mind can you give me an insight to what hourly rates are. I hold a diploma in the industry.

Are night (hourly) rates the same as during the day?
Do you mind sharing any idea about caring for children overnight?

Cheers.

Butterflyblue
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Butterflyblue » Sat May 09, 2020 12:52 pm

Start up costs
Personally I believe start up costs can be kept to a reasonable minimum if you do your research and budget. Don't buy everything, there'll be plenty of time for that later.
There are some non negotiables including paperwork (police check, first aid etc),
insurance, child proofing, basic equipment such as table, chairs, cot, mattress and general supplies eg art and crafts, play areas and items for those play areas.
When it comes to educational resources, toys and play equipment put your thinking hat on and get creative.
Build up your things slowly as money comes in, its tempting to go over board even years in (I buy things all the time!) General ball park is a few hundred dollars (insurance and child proofing are usually the 2 most significant costs followed by basic equipment and resources)
Its pretty cool when you can design your own mini childcare :)

Food
Whether or not you want to provide food is completely your choice.
Some educators do and others don't. Depending on your scheme it can be an additional charge or included in the fee.
Some educators provide complimentary morning, afternoon tea etc as well but its completely up to you.
If you decide to provide food you need to follow the regulations like menus
Depending on state and scheme food related certificates as well


Rates
Rates depend on a range of factors.
One way you can check rates is by taking a look at care for kids. Just look up your suburb and or neighbouring suburbs to see what childcare fees are like near you.
You can also see the kinds of care available including family day cares and what they offer.
Its also a good way to see what schemes educators are registered with around you.
You can then look up those schemes and check their fee schdules.

Generally speaking family day care rates are between 6 and 10 dollars per hour for standard hours care and more for casual, overnight etc.
The Government cap for CCS is at $11 something I believe.
The fees depends on so many things its difficult to give an exact number

Night time care rates are higher than day rates.
Again its up to you if you like to work overnight.
Similar to day time except most children will sleep longer.
Its always good to be on the same page with families about how their kids are at night, expectations and so, don't worry your scheme will guide you through this as well. I haven't had any issues with overnight care, most kids will sleep through till morning after dinner, brush teeth, pjs story and bed type routine. Routines are key, know what the kids needs are.

Popped some links down below with more information, hope its of some use :)

It might sound overwhelming (sorry!) but its an amazing job, you get to pick your own hours, have your own mini childcare, create your own program and look after kids from 0 to 12.
A lot of us often have families start their children at a few weeks old and they'll come back until they are in high school on the holidays, before you know it they are getting their first job, driving a car, graduating school and even uni, it really is something special :)

I'd recommend you take a scroll through social media to get an idea of what family day care is all about and get some inspiration and ideas (better seeing it than only having it explained)

If you have any questions let me know ;)

https://www.instagram.com/familydaycareaustralia/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/ ... lia/?hl=en

https://www.familydaycare.com.au/educator

https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/f ... 279#p42279

https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/f ... 280#p42280

https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/f ... 258#p42258

https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/f ... 242#p42242

https://aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au/f ... 257#p42257

Ms Vee
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Re: QUESTIONS about Family Daycare

Post by Ms Vee » Wed May 20, 2020 9:25 am

@Butterflyblue, you are simply amazing. Thanks so much for these head start. I will surely keep all you have explained to me in mind and do more research. If I have more questions and would be more than happy to seek your opinion.
Cheers.

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