Are you a working parent? Here's why you should consider family day care for your child | HerCanberra

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Are you a working parent? Here’s why you should consider family day care for your child

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Finding the perfect childcare option for your children that is available, affordable, and conveniently located can be difficult, not to mention somewhere that is safe, has a great atmosphere, a great program and highly-trained educators.

If you are on the hunt for childcare, one option you may not have considered is Family Day Care.

Family Day Care is high-quality and flexible early education and care run in an educator’s own home within a unique small-group setting. Like with long day care, family day care educators hold the same high levels of education and training, with a more intimate setting. This means play-based learning can be even more tailored to each child’s developmental needs and interests.

If it’s your first time sending children to childcare, Family Day Care can be a less overwhelming experience too.

“Family Day Care provides care in a home environment, with an opportunity for families to build really rich relationships,” says Phillipa Hargrave, Assistant Director for Children’s Services at Communities@Work.

“So, if you’re feeling a little bit anxious about dropping your child off for the first time in care, that combination of the intimate setting of a home environment with the professional qualified educator really allows you to feel more comfortable leaving your child. The small group environment can also help the child to settle a bit more easily.”

Backyard activities at a Communities@Work Family Day Care.

As well as supporting almost 100 educators in their Family Day Care business operations across the ACT, Queanbeyan and Googong, Communities@Work supports several In-Home Care educators, offers Out of School Hours Care (‘before’ and ‘afters’) and School Holiday Programs, and runs 12 Child Care and Education Centres in the ACT. It is the region’s largest provider of education and care services for children, offering families a range of options to suit all situations and needs.

All Family Day Care educators, supported by Communities@Work’s Coordination Team, are highly qualified and adhere to the National Quality Framework (Australia’s system for regulating early learning and school-age care).

The coordination team also goes above and beyond by providing regular professional development opportunities and mentoring and guidance, including home visits, to the educators.

In fact, Communities@Work’s Family Day Care and In-Home Care is the only service of its kind in Canberra to achieve an ‘exceeding’ average across the National Quality Framework. This means they’re ticking all the quality regulation boxes—plus more.

The educators are always well represented in the Family Day Care Australia’s annual Excellence in Family Day Care Awards—27 Communities@Work Family Day Care educators have just been nominated by parents for the 2021 awards.

Communities@Work Family Day Care Coordination Unit.

Family Day Care offers flexibility for families. Depending on the educators’ availability,  standard, non-standard, weekend, and overnight care can be provided. Educators also provide before and after school care as well as holiday care. Rates are also more flexible and based on an hourly rate rather than a daily rate. This can often make Family Day Care a more affordable option for families.

And as for the children, their experience extends beyond the walls of their educator’s home, with Communities@Work playgroups available every day of the week.

“Each of our playgroups has a different focus, like the kitchen garden playgroup and an outdoor nature-based playgroup held in different locations across Canberra,” says Theresa Roberts, Manager Family Day Care and In-Home Care for Communities@Work.

“Playgroups provide opportunities for educators to network and create a Family Day Care community. This also allows the children to become familiar with their local community, and to meet other children and socialise in larger groups.”

Given the small-group nature of Family Day Care, educators can be agile about what they do. They can pick and choose the playgroup they attend based on the children’s interests.

Want to find out more about Family Day Care at Communities@Work or enrol your child? Click here.

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