29 November 2023

2023 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards - National Winners Announced

Following an amazing Awards Season that saw more than 5,000 nominations placed, Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) was honoured to announce the 2023 Educator, Coordinator and Service of the Year on Saturday night.

The announcement of the 2023 National Winners took place at the Excellence in Family Day Care Awards Gala Dinner in Adelaide at the Pullman Hotel in front of more than 120 guests.

We thank our South Australian members for making everyone feel extremely welcome for what was a very special evening!

To see our 2023 National Winners, click here

You can also re-live the magic of the announcement of the National Winners on the FDCA Facebook page and also view some great photos from the night.

We thank everyone that participated in the awards in 2023, including those who attended the Gala Dinner and all that placed nominations. Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners in this year's awards.

We also thank our wonderful sponsors, who helped to make the 2023 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards possible.

Change of Date: FDCA Online Engagement Series - Episode 7

We would like to advise members that episode 7 of the FDCA Online Engagement Series, Incidents, Emergencies and Supervision, has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 6.00pm - 7.30pm AEDT.

Episode: Incidents, Emergencies and Supervision
NEW Date and Time: Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 6:00pm - 7.30pm AEDT
Special Guests: Julie Metselaar, Phillipa Hargrave and Rebecca Davey

The next episode of the FDCA Online Engagement Series will take place on Thursday, 7 December from 1.00pm AEDT and will examine the topic of Recruitment for Family Day Care.

Productivity Commission Releases its Draft Report into Early Childhood Education and Care

FDCA welcomes the release last week of the Productivity Commission’s (PC) draft report, ‘A Path to Universal Early Childhood Education and Care’. 

Significantly, the report’s draft findings and recommendations acknowledge that the current complex system is not working effectively to achieve the Australian Government's vision vision of all Australian children being able to have universal access to a high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). 

The report highlights numerous barriers and challenges to availability, affordability and accessibility that need to be addressed if all Australian children are to experience the many life-long benefits of taking part in high quality early childhood education and  care (ECEC). Pleasingly, a number of the issues highlighted in FDCA’s submission to the PC’s Inquiry,  for example our strong advocacy on the inequitable CCS rates for family day care, have been taken into account in the draft findings and recommendations.

Key findings most relevant to family day care include:

  • ECEC availability varies markedly around the country and tends to be poorer in regional and remote areas and in communities experiencing higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage, where there are often ‘thin’ markets.
  • Family day care can be an effective solution to addressing child care needs in ‘thin markets’, where there may be variable demand.
  • Complex ECEC subsidy arrangements can be a barrier to access for some families, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and those with low levels of English and/or computer literacy.
  • Additional costs of providing ECEC during non-standard hours are not reflected in the hourly rate cap.
  • Eligibility requirements for inclusion funding (e.g. Family day Care Top-Up ) create barriers to access. 
  • Increasing the funding allocated to the Inclusion Support Program (ISP) will be needed for universal access to ensure children have adequate support, regardless of a diagnosis. 
  • Recent changes to the CCS and ongoing demand from parents will further support increases in supply in some regions; but in other areas, more support, such as supply side funding will be needed.

Draft recommendations most relevant to family day care include that the Australian Government should:

  • Modify the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) to improve affordability and access. In addition, the Government should review the hourly rate cap associated with the CCS and set a new cap based on the average efficient costs of providing ECEC, subject to regular review. 
  • Introduce a higher hourly rate cap for non-standard hours. These higher rate cap rates should be set based on costs of providing ECEC during non-standard hours and subject to regular review. 
  • Support universal access  in persistently thin markets via supply-side funding. Centre-based day care, family day care and mobile care should all be considered for funding to help address the varying needs of thin markets. Support could take the form of:
    • Grant funding to establish a service in communities that are able to cover the operating costs of a service
    • Block grants to cover capital and operating costs in communities where the level of demand is too low to support all of the costs of operating a service or there are substantial barriers to accessing child care subsidies.
    • Specific arrangements for Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations to be co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Amend eligibility requirements for inclusion funding. Documentary requirements for receipt of ISP funding should be communicated more clearly to services, including the eligibility of children without a formal diagnosis. Evidence that a child has additional needs other than disability should be accepted in all circumstances for services seeking to access the Inclusion Development Fund Subsidy for an Additional Educator and the Family Day Care Top Up. 
  • Make information about CCS eligibility easy for families to find and understand.

You can access the PC’s draft report in full here. FDCA will be closely examining all the report’s draft findings and recommendations and responding via written submission in due course. 

Once all submissions have been received and reviewed, the Productivity Commission will finalise its final report and recommendations in early 2024. Findings from the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s Child Care Price Inquiry will also feed into the PC’s final report.

FDCA CEO Andrew Paterson Talks PC Report with ABC Radio

The Productivity Commission’s draft report into Australian early childhood education and care, makes particular mention of rural Australia farming families living in childcare ‘Black Spots’. The report states that the Government should be assisting these families in remote and regional Australia, who are struggling to access childcare due to availability, high out of pocket expenses and a lack of flexibility and inclusivity. 

FDCA CEO, Andrew Paterson says recognition of these issues should pave the way for better childcare options. Mr Paterson spoke with the Rural Report on ABC Local Radio and this interview can be heard here.

Andrew's segment can be heard at 1:19 into the clip.

New FDCA Board Directors Appointed - Olivia Moller

FDCA is delighted to welcome Olivia to the Board of Directors, who has been appointed as a Member-Elected Board Director.

For 10 years Olivia has been the approved provider of Let’s Go Family Day Care in Victoria, and from 2016-2019 was also the approved provider for Let’s Go OSHC Seville and Let’s Go OSHC Wandin Yallock. She started the OSHC programs to help these regional schools boost their enrolments, and when numbers took off, they were transferred to the relevant schools.

Building a quality FDC service from the ground up has been one of the most rewarding highlights of her career so far.

In 2016, Lets’ Go Family Day Care was awarded the FDCA service of the year award (The emerging star), and also wrote an article for the ACECQA newsletter on maintaining a quality service in FDC after achieving an exceeding rating at the time.

Olivia has a genuine passion for the FDC sector, and helping communities with access to child care (across metropolitan/ regional/ rural areas) is something high on her agenda, regardless if it’s from an In Venue or residential premises.

Being a hands-on provider and making a point of getting to know each of Let’s Go educators individually, allows her to provide the support they need, allowing them to provide the best possible care for all children and families.

ACECQA Release Approved Learning Frameworks Matching Game

ACECQA have released a new approved learning frameworks glossary of terms matching game that has been developed to support you and your team to actively engage with the refreshed approved learning frameworks and the revised terminology used throughout.

Using this game can help you build your understanding of the terminology within the approved learning frameworks and promote reflective discussions on how these words are evident in your educational programs and practice.

To download the new Matching Game for free, click here.