Heading back to work or study and looking for childcare? Feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive about choosing the best care for your child? It’s all perfectly normal, especially for first-time mums who may have spent a long stretch of time caring for their child at home.
If you’re looking for a smooth and seamless transition to care, Sutherland Shire Council’s Family Day Care is a great option which many new mums aren’t aware of. Offering a niche and personalised setting, family day care closely mirrors the family home. Early childhood specialists work out of their own homes, providing high quality care and education to only four children under school age.
“My youngest son Phoenix is four and has been attending Kelly’s Family Day Care in Yowie Bay for more than a year; he absolutely loves it. So much so that he wants to be there on his days off!” Said Katie, a local mum of two boys.
She continued: “I really wish I’d known about family day care with my first son. It’s such a beautiful and nurturing environment, so loving, warm and happy. I have complete peace-of-mind knowing that my son is well cared for and gets all the cuddles and attention he needs when I am not there. He’s absolutely thriving and learning so much as a result.”
“And, there’s never been any clingy-ness at drop off, just a kiss and a cuddle then he skips off with his friends. I look forward to the daily updates I receive on what he’s been up to and how much he’s learning.”
A key benefit of only having four children is the volume and breadth of learning available to each child. Programs are all play-based and can be tailored to suit each individual child, planned meticulously for their own needs and milestones
Kelly Hedderman, runs Learning Tree Family Day Care in Yowie Bay said: “As an Educator who looks after four children each day, I love how I have the time to really bond with each child and organise specific activities for them.”
She continued: “For a child that loves dinosaurs we created a dinosaur diorama through painting and craft, we researched dinosaur habitats and different species to include. It grew over a few weeks and all the children loved using it in role play. We do lots of other dinosaur-themed activities like dancing and dinosaur races. This enables children to share their interests and get others involved through dancing, painting, craft or running around outside.”
WORKING HAND-IN-HAND WITH PARENTS
As a mum herself, Educator, Kelly knows how important it is to work hand-in-hand with a child’s parents. She added: “I like to complement the child’s home environment. Parents often mention things their child is learning, or that they want their child to learn, like writing their name, using scissors, buttons, socks, cutlery and so on… family day care allows lots of time for me to sit with each child and focus on new skills, often involving children of different ages and abilities. There is no one-size-fits-all” approach, each child is catered to on a one-on-one basis.
“All learning is documented and communicated to families daily, so they are directly involved in their child’s development. Each day parents send messages saying how much they appreciate the fun and learning their child is receiving, having a close relationship with the extended families is a great bonus.”
WARM AND NURTURING
A direct result of the intimate, homely environment family day care creates, educators, children and families develop a close connection and the children also develop strong friendships with other children in care.
It’s a great choice of care for babies and young children. Children get lots of cuddles, support, care and attention – just like they would at home. Educators are experts in baby care routines and many of them are mums themselves. The home routine can be transferred to care in this small childcare environment.
BACK TO BASICS
Educator Kelly is also passionate about encouraging children to enjoy the outdoors and explore their imagination. Technology is kept to an absolute minimum.
She said: “Children are free to pay indoors or outdoors throughout the day, but they generally prefer to be outside. I’m lucky to have a wonderful large green space, a veggie patch which children use to grow and cook our own veggies and herbs, a sandpit and outdoor kitchen. There’s also loads of opportunity to run around, play lots of games and, especially in summer, do lots of water play using sprinklers and slip n slides. Being outside also gives lots of opportunities to teach children respect for the environment and the importance of sustainability. Sustainable practices are embedded as we reuse most things, like cartons, boxes and lids in our games and craft, and we limit single use items as much as possible.”
FAMILY DAY CARE ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES
In addition to the wonderful benefits outlined, it’s also worth noting that the Government Child Care Subsidy applies to family day care.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you are looking for childcare options in the Sutherland Shire you are welcome to attend Sutherland Shire Council’s upcoming information session. You will get to meet family day care Educators, hear from a parent guest speaker and learn more about why family day care is The Shire’s best-kept childcare secret.
Date: 9:30am – 10:30am, Saturday 27 July 2019
Location: Gymea Bay Resource Centre, 276A Gymea Bay Road, Gymea Bay
Further details: www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/careinfo
Vacancies in Family Day Care are now available. To apply now for immediate or future care, visit www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/childcare