Selecting an approved family day care service
What should you expect from a family day care service?
Your family day care service should have regular contact with you including home visits, training, meetings and workshops to support you in maintaining currency of skills and knowledge to deliver quality education and care to children. The working relationship between the family day care service and the educator is built on a professional partnership.
Getting started with the right family day care service often begins with a phone call to an approved family day care service in your area. Educators may wish to follow up on the initial contact with an interview with the service to get a better understanding of the organisation.
To find an approved family day care service near you can use our family day care locator.
Family day care services should support educators to:
- Understand their legal requirements
- Meet their obligations under the National Quality Framework
- Provide a quality learning environment that is safe, stimulating and inclusive
- Access professional development
- Be part of the family day care service network and work collaboratively
- Not feel isolated
Methods of support that services will have for educators may include:
- Regular face-to-face home visits
- Opportunities for educators to build their professional knowledge
- Access to resources and equipment to support children’s play and learning
- Regular playgroup sessions
- Clear guidelines relating to grievances or complaints
When contacting a family day care service, educators should have a conversation regarding the service provider’s philosophy and values. It is important for a successful partnership that the philosophy and values of the service align with the educator’s.
Educators may seek information from family day care services such as:
- The family day care service’s experience in the provision of family day care
- The service’s experience in meeting the National Quality Standards
- The process by which the service selects, trains and initiates new educators
- The process of assessing the suitability of the residence
- Employment or contract terms and conditions, including the contractor payment arrangements
- Information on small business and financial aspects
- The service’s fee charging schedule and fee collection process
- How care arrangements are made with families
- The service’s policies and procedures
Making the decision
Educators should gather research and reflect adequately when choosing a registered family day care service. In making the decision, the educator should reflect on their research:
- Was information clear and concise and provided in a timely manner?
- Did the service appear professional?
- Is there an induction process for new educators?
- Does the service demonstrate a strong understanding of the National Quality Framework and skills to support me in my role as family day care educator? What resources will be provided?
- Does the family day care service have a strong reputation?
- Will I receive regular visits/contact offering support, supervision and monitoring exchanges?
- How does the service set/negotiate educator contractor payments?
- Do they provide professional development opportunities that will meet my needs?
- Will there be peer learning opportunities? Are there regular meetings with other educators?
- Do they facilitate playgroup opportunities?
- Does the service philosophy match my philosophy in relation to caring for children?