19 January 2022

COVID-19 framework, impacts and recommendations

On 13 January 2022, the Commonwealth National Cabinet agreed to a national framework to promote a nationally consistent approach to the ongoing delivery of high-quality education for all students during COVID-19.

The National Framework for Managing COVID-19 in Schools and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (the Framework) aims to ensure education and care services, along with schools, face as little disruption from COVID-19 as possible.

The Framework is based on six national guiding principles:

  • ECEC services and schools are essential and should be the first to open and the last to close wherever possible in outbreak situations, with face-to-face learning prioritised.
  • Baseline public health measures continue to apply.
  • No vulnerable child or child of an essential worker is turned away.
  • Responses to be proportionate and health risk-based.
  • Equip ECEC services and schools to respond on the basis of public health advice and with support from public health authorities where required.
  • Wellbeing of children and education staff to be supported.

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) supports the development of a national framework to provide relief to education and care services. However, we continue to call on the Australian Government to implement specific funding measures to address the documented impacts of educator closures due to COVID-19 and falling attendance rates, as evidenced by the results of our recent COVID-19 Impact Survey.

COVID-19 Impact Survey

Last week, FDCA released a national COVID-19 Impact Survey to compile the experiences of members across the country and assess the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Omicron variant.

Despite the family day care sector’s inherent resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the satellite service delivery model which does not result in whole-of-service shutdowns, the sector is currently experiencing widespread and significant impacts as a result of the spread of the Omicron variant.

Of those surveyed:

  • 43.7% of educators report a significant to severe impact;
  • 44.9% of services report a significant to severe impact; and
  • 75.4% of services report a drop in attendance levels.

The survey results have formed the basis of an Impact Brief, which we have sent to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) along with our recommendations to address the issues raised by members. In addition, FDCA remains in close consultation with state and federal governments to voice the experiences of our members and advocate for family day care specific COVID-19 relief measures.

To those that completed the survey and provided their feedback, we thank you for your contribution and your ongoing support of Australian families during this challenging time.

Summer edition of JiGSAW available now!

The summer edition of JiGSAW has started hitting letterboxes and is available now in your FDCA Member Zone!

JiGSAW is Australia's only nationally printed magazine dedicated to the family day care sector and includes articles on professional development, early years development and behaviour and family day care issues at the national level. JiGSAW also includes educator and service highlights and member competitions.

This summer’s edition includes features on:

  • The election commitments requested by FDCA members of the next Australian government;
  • Enriching children’s language through family day care;
  • The journey of Choices Family Day Care to ’Excellence’;
  • Wellbeing in family day care from Be You;
  • and much more!

To access the digital edition of JiGSAW, click here to enter your Member Zone.

What if I haven't activated my FDCA Member Zone?

To activate your FDCA Member Zone, follow these five simple steps:

1.       Click here to activate your free account (for the best experience, use the latest Chrome browser)

2.       Enter your registered email address (this is the same email address that Family Day Care Matters is sent to)

3.       An email will then be sent to your email address; click on the 'create password' button

4.       Create and confirm your password

5.       ‍Click here to log in and enter your FDCA Member Zone.

Refresh your policies and procedures in 2022

The start of the New Year is the perfect time to refresh your policies and procedures.

To assist this process, ACECQA has prepared a series of guidelines for the preparation and ongoing review of policies and procedures required for education and care services.

They offer a starting point to develop or review your policies and procedures that are comprehensive and current, and offer family day care specific advice.

Whether you’re opening a new service or conducting a review of your existing policies and procedures, we recommend visiting ACECQA’s website here and making the most of this free resource.

As the guidelines have been prepared for use Australia-wide, services will need to remember any relevant state or territory specific requirements, for example, working with children requirements.

FDCA Member Zone - Your one-stop shop!

Available exclusively to FDCA Members, the FDCA Member Zone is your hub for family day care tools, resources and content, designed to assist in the day to day running of your business and support your long term career goals. 

What’s inside the FDCA Member Zone?

Through your FDCA Member Zone, you’ll have access to:

  • The “My Family” Day Care E-Book;
  • your Family Day Care Locator listing;
  • the Market My Business Hub, where you can access free, high quality and customisable marketing resources to help advertise your family day care;
  • insurance documentation;
  • a wide range of resources and factsheets, including the popular NQF Checkpoint series; and
  • the latest issues of JiGSAW Magazine and Family Day Care Matters.

NEW Professional Learning and Development space launching soon!

Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for the launch of our brand-new professional learning and development initiative.

This will include a significantly enhanced portfolio of professional development courses and content, available exclusively to FDCA members, supporting you even further to deliver quality outcomes and make the most of your family day care business.

Your insurance information is just a click away!

Did you know that FDCA educator members can download their public liability insurance certificate online in seconds?

It’s part of our commitment to providing fast and easy ways to access the information that’s important to you!

As an educator, you’re required to have evidence of your public liability cover available at your family day care residence, in the event it’s requested by your service or your Regulatory Authority.

You can access your public liability certificate through the FDCA Member Zone, in the dashboard section.

If you’re an educator and haven’t registered your online account yet, this is your sign to start!

To activate your account, simply visit our website and follow the instructions.