Information for Prospective Educators
Would you like to help children grow to be confident, self assure young people who have a grounding in social skills, pride in their culture and be happy and content.
Do you enjoy the company of children and want to make a difference in their lives by providing quality care and fun, learning experiences from your own home, then family day care may be right for you.
Educators with Ignite Minds Pty.Ltd. will work in partnership with the coordination unit where guidance, support and training are offered. The Coordination unit is responsible for ensuring that educators operate to a high standard within the Educational and Care Services National Regulations 2011 and the National Quality Standards
It is mandatory for all early childhood educators to have an early childhood qualification. The minimum acceptable is enrolment and actively working towards a Certificate III in Children's Services. Ignite Minds will always encourage educators to achieve higher qualifications. Educators can charge higher fees for care as the gain further, higher qualifications.
Opening your home to families and children takes a special kind of person who is able to adapt to different people, cultures and lifestyles. Your home will be safe, suitable and have enough space for children to play indoors and out, sleep and store all the equipment required for your service.
You will also need a stable family life and the support of your family.
Why work in family day care?
As an Educator within family day care you will be part of an established child care service of over 110 schemes and 4,000 Educators which operate in Victoria. You will be running your own small business under the umbrella and with support from Ignite Minds. Your home-based business offers tax advantages and the ability to spend more time with your own children. You can choose your income level and work hours to suit the priorities of you and your clients. Your family day care service forms part of the national quality standards for children’s services, and as such are assessed by regulatory bodies, so the parents using your service will know that their children are receiving quality care.
As an approved child care service, parents who use family day care can receive the full range of child care fee subsidies that are available through the Australian Government. This includes full Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate.(CCR)
Being an Educator
There are many reasons why people decide to operate a child care service in their home. Some find that caring for other children is a good way to provide playmates and companionship for their own children. Some need to add to their income without having to work outside the home; others may have started by offering to care for the child of a neighbour. Many others enter FDC because they truly enjoy the laughter and excitement that children bring to their home.
As with any small business, there are number of costs that you will need to outlay before you get started. Start up costs includes any home maintenance or changes required to meet safety standards; equipment and materials and training costs.
The safety and health of children is the number one priority. There are guidelines and standards in place to ensure that your home and garden are safe for children.
Costs to consider may include:
- Ensuring safe fencing, 1.35m high and unscaleable along with gates that have childproof locks
- Fire equipment, for example extinguisher, blanket, smoke alarms
- Safety glass, safety film or barriers to all accessible windows and doors
- Cots that meet Australian Standards
To fully equip your service you will need age-appropriate toys, books, craft materials and equipment such as bedding, baby equipment, small table and chairs and furniture for children to use
If you rent your home you will need written permission from the landlord to use your home to operate a family day care service.
If you plan to transport the children in your car, you will also need the appropriate safety checks, harnesses and booster seats approved by RACV or Vic Roads and less than 10 years old, as well as a stroller or pram.
Children’s access to pets is restricted so the family dog must be in an area that is only accessible to children under supervision and cats must not have access to children’s beds and play equipment. Adjustments may have to be made to the house and / or yard to make this possible.
Your home will undergo a safety check by a coordination unit staff member and must comply to all the guidelines before you can open your business. Please do not make any alterations to your home before being accepted into the family day care screening process.
Other business costs include:
- Public liability insurance (available from FDCA from around $565 per year) including member benefits!
- Police or criminal record check for all persons over 18 living in the home (around $42- $70 each)
- First aid certificate, Asthma and Anaphylaxis training (around $200)
- Swimming Pool compliance (check and certificate currently costs $50.00)
Please note that these costs are approximate and will vary from service to service.
Family day care Educators are self-employed, small business operators.
Ignite Minds Family Day Care has a fee schedule for care and education. This is based on the qualifications of the educator.
Currently our educators are charging between $8 and $15 per child per hour.
As a self employed contractor your income is reliant on the number of children you take care of and the hours of care that is booked for each child. There is no holiday, or sick leave payments and you would need to organise your own superannuation.
Business expenses are tax deductible so it's essential to keep good records. Ignite Minds can help with this by providing you with access to an accounting program, and help in starting the process. You will register you for GST and then will be able to claim a proportion of all costs that are used both in your family day care business and in your private life, for example electricity, cleaning products and mortgage interest, rent, car expenses.
The majority of your clients will be eligible for Child Care Benefit (CCB) fee subsidies and Child Care Rebate (CCR). The difference between the CCB, CCR and the full fee charged is called the gap fee. This is the proportion that the parents pay to use your service. Ignite Minds are responsible for collecting the gap fee from the parents. This will be done via direct debit or direct debit from parents every fortnight. So you, as the educator will be paid the full fee from Ignite Minds minus the very small administration charge of $2.00 per hour, per child.
A certain amount of paperwork is required in every business and family day care is no exception. Ignite Minds will help you, but typical paperwork will include:
- timesheets for each child in care; these are sent to the office for processing of payments fortnightly
- ensuring that service/parents/educators contracts are completed and booked hours forms are up to date
- daily/weekly/fortnightly plans that include age-appropriate experiences for each child
- written records and various permissions for each child
- documentation on children’s development for parents to view
- visitors records
- medication records
- incident records for insurance and child protection purposes
- income and expense records
- safety and compliance audits of the FDC home environment
- fire and emergency drills
It's a really good idea to have a computer for your business to help with your paperwork and store records. You will also need to keep your finances in order, Ignite Minds recommends the use of Xero accounting software and will help you set it up. We recomend you register for GST and we can provide support with taxation through our partners.
What do we expect from you?
Being an Educator means you are responsible for the children in your care at all times. Unless a serious medical emergency arises, you cannot leave the children with anyone else.
You will be responsible for:
- ensuring your home is safe at all times
- maintaining a high standard of hygiene
- providing a program of activities for the children
- ensuring your first aid certificate is current
- ensuring that your public liability insurance is current.
- ensuring you are contactable for parents as well as Ignite Minds staff
- following the policies and procedures of Ignite Minds
There are restrictions on things you can do while the children are in your care, For example you cannot;
- use a sewing machine
- cut the grass
- work in the front yard unless it is fully fenced
- leave children in the car alone
- allow anyone to smoke or drink alcohol in your home
- go out everyday – you will be expected provide a stable routine for children
- take children swimming.
Some knowledge and experience that you will need
- the ability to plan and provide play-based learning experiences for children in care
- a demonstrated ability to respond to children in an appropriate manner and use a positive, approach to behaviour guidance
- basic level understanding of spoken and written English to help guide children's learning, communicate with families, staff and essential services, and understand and complete administration tasks
- knowledge of good nutrition, health, hygiene and safety.
Personal skills that an Educator will need:
- Patience and have a sense of humour
- Ability to work cooperatively and positively within the family day care service
- Have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with children and adults
- Show an acceptance of diversity, inclusive practices and respect for families including cultural or religious practices, disabilities and additional needs
- Respect of the right of each child to learn and grow in an environment which is warm, safe, stimulating, respectful, caring and fun
- Understand effective child care practices and share experiences with other educators.
- A preparedness to attend professional development offered and continuously improve your service.
A commitment to learning
Ignite Minds has a overwhelming commitment to further education for everyone. Encouragement will be given to all Educators to formalise their skills and experience with ongoing professional development including offering training in formal qualifications for example Diploma of Children’s Services ECEC and with ongoing professional training offered on a needs and /or interest basis.
One of the key differences between family day care and other forms of child care is the ability to accommodate a range of child care needs. Family day care offers full-time care, when the same child comes to your home Monday to Friday or even Saturday; part-time care, when a child comes two or three days a week; before/after school and vacation care for older children; evening hours and sometimes overnight stays and weekends.
A flexible service will be appreciated by your clients, particularly those who have demanding jobs with long hours, and those who work shift-work or travel as part of their job. The greater your ability to offer flexible service, the more your service will grow.
If you are interested in finding out more the next step is to contact us or phone 1300 683 456 to arrange for an interview. We will contact you to invite you to an information session which is designed to help you through the steps of the screening and recruitment process.
If you are successful and continue with the recruitment to become registered with the service you will be given all the support and advice you need in setting up your family day care business.
It will be a pleasure for us to welcome you aboard!
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT FAMILY DAY CARE
Australian Government (formally DEEWR)
Department of Education
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD)
Family Day Care Council Australia
Ph 1800 658 699