All across the Northern Beaches, little groups of children are getting together every day to make big things happen. Family Day Care Educators care for up to four under-school-age children in their home; a different experience to large in-centre care – and a great alternative for many families.
Kerrie Ibbott has been running a Family Day Care Service from her home in Dee Why for just over a year now. Every day she shares her home with babies and young children who bring her great joy.
After working as a nanny for ten years, Kerrie decided to take the plunge and set up a business in her home as a Family Day Care Educator.
?I love working with children and I wanted to use all the skills and experience I gained from my nanny work and apply it to creating a wonderful Family Day Care Service,? she says. ??It?s great working from home too!?
?It was a big decision and a commitment to get started, however Council supported me in setting up my service by checking my home for safety and suitability, providing me with a comprehensive induction program and access to a huge range of equipment and toys.
?They continue to provide me with ongoing support, through regular visits, advice and professional mentoring,? she said.
?They also helped me commence my studies in Early Childhood Education and referred families to me, to fill all my vacancies.
?I have a lovely group of little ones! I started with children from 6 to 18 months of age.? It?s been so rewarding to be part of their journey as they grow and develop into pre-schoolers.
?Our days allow for lots of play-based learning, as well as ensuring that each child?s personal routine is met, including meals, sleep and rest.
?We have lots of free play which is tailor-made to the interests and suggestions of the children. There is also planned teaching moments and lots of child-educator interactions to enrich children’s play and learning experiences every day.
?We love to go on excursions! Each Wednesday we have fun at the Council-run ?Play Session? designed especially for Family Day Care Educators and their children. I also take the children on bus trips into Manly and we enjoy walking to our local playground.
?When you spend time with them, it is always exciting to see them meet certain milestones such as learning to talk and saying my name.
?I would certainly recommend Family Day Care as a career. Working with children is fun. I have the best days and love the small group dynamic. With a maximum of four children in care, it is wonderful to build strong relationships with the children and their families.
?Being a Family Day Care Educator really fits into my family life. You can work the days and hours that suit you and your family.
?I also feel that Family Day Care is a wonderful choice for families looking for care, as it offers a very personal and nurturing environment.? Kerrie added.