4 August 2021

A message from FDCA CEO, Andrew Paterson

As the challenges of the pandemic shift and change nationally and across jurisdictions, I want to take the opportunity to thank all members, educators and service staff, for your ongoing commitment to providing your truly essential support to children and families through the significant and varied challenges facing our sector and our society at large.

In particular, our thoughts are with those members operating in lockdown areas; Victoria just having emerged from its most recent lockdown, South East Queensland having just entered another from Saturday, and Greater Sydney for more than a month now.

Once again, you are proving family day care to be such a resilient and responsive form of ECEC, in the face of considerable and extended adversity. 

I also want to thank those members in the NSW lockdown areas that took the time out of their busy schedules to respond to multiple surveys across these last few weeks. The data is indicating a particularly variable impact on members, with educators in particular facing unique difficulties with both attending and non-attending scenarios. This evidence base is so important to our work in representing you, and feeds into our bi-weekly meeting with the NSW Department of Education and has also informed submissions to the Commonwealth regarding funding support structures. 

This morning I again met with the Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, and reiterated the unique structure of family day care and current key issues, which require well-considered and tailored solutions in any government policy responses. As outlined in the story below, the Australian Government has just announced increases to allowable absences for families in lockdown areas.

Thank you all for your commitment to your profession, your children and families and to our sector. As your national peak body, we strive to represent you and your issues as an FDCA member, so don’t be a stranger and stay engaged. 

Warm regards


COVID-19 update: additional allowable absences for hotspot areas

The Australian Government has announced all early childhood services in a declared COVID-19 hotspot can now access additional allowable absences, if the declaration extends for more than seven days.

This means that families will not have to use their 42 allowable absences during any lockdown that extends for more than seven days.

These additional allowable absences will be available until the end of the declaration.

You can find out if you are in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot on the Department of Health website.

Greater Sydney hotspot

Early childhood services in the Greater Sydney COVID-19 hotspot, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong, can now access additional allowable absences.

These additional allowable absences will be backdated to the start of the lockdown, allowing for at least nine weeks of additional absences.

Services in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) will have additional allowable absences applied from 23 June 2021:

  • Bayside
  • City of Sydney
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Randwick
  • Waverley; and
  • Woollahra.

Services in the following LGAs will have additional allowable absences applied from 26 June 2021:

  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Central Coast
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • George’s River
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hornsby
  • Hunter’s Hill
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Ryde
  • Shellharbour
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland
  • Hills Shire
  • Wollondilly
  • Willoughby; and
  • Wollongong.

South East Queensland hotspot

Services in South East Queensland under lockdown will have additional allowable absences applied from 31 July 2021, until the end of the lockdown.

These additional allowable absences will also be backdated.

Services in the following LGAs will have additional allowable absences applied from 31 July 2021:

  • Brisbane
  • Moreton Bay
  • Redland
  • Logan
  • Ipswich
  • Noosa
  • Gold Coast
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Scenic Rim
  • Somerset; and
  • Sunshine Coast.

FDCA Educator Tips and Tricks - Sit down with Olwen from Backchat Speech Pathology!

We are delighted to share the first post in a series of educational pieces on programming, as part of our new Facebook series sharing Tips and Tricks from educators and early years sector specialists.

In today’s post, we sit down with the charismatic Olwen Forker, Head Clinician of BackChat Speech Pathology and an expert in early intervention within the family day care environment, as she guides us through a simple piece of advice that educators can adopt within their day-to-day educational programming.

We'll be hearing more from Olwen over the next few Wednesdays as she shares her everyday expertise with us. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the Backchat Facebook page and the website for more information.

If you’d like to get involved in this series and share your knowledge with your fellow educators, simply message our Facebook page!

FDCA 2021 National Conference: Early-bird pricing here to stay

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) is pleased to announce our FDCA 2021 National Conference early bird ticket pricing is remaining open to all FDCA members until 3 October 2021.

We understand that for many of our members, the events of recent weeks have meant that a large portion of our members have not been able to consider taking advantage of the conference early-bird pricing.

Therefore, we have made this decision to ensure that our members have as much time as possible to make a decision regarding their attendance of this year’s conference.

This decision means that our early bird pricing discount will continue to save our members $150 on the cost of tickets.

To purchase your FDCA 2021 National Conference ticket, click here.

Book with confidence

Any FDCA members who are unable to attend the conference due to COVID-19 related circumstances will receive a FULL refund on their ticket purchase, up until three weeks out from the conference.

This means you can continue to take advantage of our early bird pricing knowing that we’ve got you covered!

Want to know more about the FDCA 2021 National Conference?

To find out more about the FDCA 2021 National Conference, simply visit for more information about:

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 and follow the instructions.