With our training and professional development focused on children. There is little room in the course for focusing on educators and the workforce. There are some tokenistic units, which by the way are electives in the course content. However, when students undertaking education and care training are assessed, they are assessed on the contribution to the children’s educational program and the operation of the centre or service, including family and community engagement, what is focused on us as individual is not about our wellbeing but our contribution to the sector and the value we have and commitment we have to the children, sector and professional development FOR the sector, we are conditioned into being ‘Team Players’ which hold value, but what about you and what you want? Where does that leave you? What if you career aspirations are different from the service or centre you are employed at? Does that mean they won’t benefit from your professional development. Image this “you are working in a long day care centre, but your interest lies in one day opening your own fdc service? (most centres have a professional development plan) but what if you were to study business? There is so much learning in business, let’s just say, worst case scenario, you study business, you are obligated under the centre’s policies to share any learnings with the group… business, what have you learnt, how will this support a centre based service? Well at minimum, it will inform your coworkers, how business works, the line of accountability, reporting and responsibility, so is this not beneficial? Studying a business related course will position you to:
Understand the hierarchy you work in (no ambition)
Prepare and add to your future development
Move into a management and leadership position
Support your team in understanding their position in the reporting and responsibility hierarchy
Don’t know their own worth
Do you know how much I hear “i do it for the kids” “I am ot in for the money” “we are not respected for everything we do? “ – I am FUCKING exhausted. Unless you have a charitable status – it is a job, career or business – why are we so scared to say that? IT IS NOT A FAVOUR!!! Because we are caring for children, we fell bad. Well, unless the governments make child care and aged care and patient care and the list goes on, free, then it is what it is and if you don’t have to pay your mortgage and feed your family, then volunteer your time. Just because you get paid does not make it bad! Suck it up princess! And this whole notion of ‘substituting mum’ ‘picking up parents slack’ ‘parents don’t want to be with their children’ WTF?
Don’t treat it as business
If you are exchanging a service for money. Then it’s a business, like it or not! So just fucking accept it. Let’s make YOUR business great. You can still CARE, You can still go above and beyone! You can still LOVE! – But LOVE your business!
Have you ever experienced going to a job interview or sitting an exam at school and you are so proud because you feel prepared only to be faced with a question that stumps you? When that happens, your confidence is rocked and you are left reeling. This happens a lot during ratings and assessments, and it is why articulation skills in family day care are so important.
Think about it, how many people in our sector are still petrified and intimidated by regulatory officers and assessors? How would your team react to a question they are not prepared for?
Let’s take a look at why developing skills in articulation will help you when it comes time to face a regulatory officer or assessor.
What is meant by 'articulation skills in family day care'?
To articulate means to express yourself readily, clearly, and effectively. it is the ability to make your thoughts and knowledge easily understood by the person you are speaking to.
In the context of family day care, ACECQA states that, “articulating professional values, knowledge and practice is also and ethical responsibility, and an important component of the communication that exists within services”.
In essence, developing articulation skills in family day care will help you synthesise your thoughts and help you to concisely structure your response when it’s necessary to participate in discussions around the work you do.
There are 3 critical reasons why you need articulation skills in family day care:
1) ‘Discussion’ and ‘collaborative decision making’ is mentioned in each of the quality standard’s exceeding themes.
Did you know that discussion and collaborative decision making is specified in each of the exceeding themes? When you come face to face with a regulatory officer or assessor, you will be expected to respond to questions they ask, and engage in a discussion about your role.
Are you ready to have that conversation? Is everyone at the service ready? Don’t forget, for most people, speaking to a regulatory officer or assessor can be intimidating. This only adds to the pressure of the situation and getting your response right.
It is important that leaders are able to articulate the NQF, and that each member of your team understands what is expected of them by law.
When being assessed, the questions you will be asked are designed to determine your understanding and knowledge of the National Quality Framework. So, the fundamental question will ‘always’ come down to the one question EVERYONE ‘should’ be able to answer and if not, the regulatory officer or assessor has no choice but to determine and record you ‘cannot adequately respond to the question’ affecting the entire service or application.
Often, when asked “What is the National Quality Framework?”, many professionals will explain it is ‘everything’ we need to do to make sure children are safe and the house is clean and so on”.
But that is the ‘purpose’ of the framework, not WHAT IT IS and NOT the answer to the question.
I cannot stress enough how terminology and articulation can improve an individual and/or service. How can we expect educators to learn, grow and develop as professionals, answer questions and engage in conversations with regulatory officers or assessors if they are not getting clear guidance and role-modelling from their leaders? (a massive gap in the sector in my opinion).
So, your goal should be to instil and develop professionalism, including the ability to articulate the National Quality Framework to lead others in the right direction.
2) To enable the communication of the values, policies, and procedures of the service to stakeholders, such as families, regulatory authorities, other team members, and potential clients.
No matter what role you play in family day care, there is an expectation on you to be able to articulate your understanding of the values, policies, and procedures of the service. This is not just so you can answer questions from the regulatory authority, but also, because questions are a part of every role we play in our lives.
Asking questions is the most commonly used, and most effective, method to measure another person’s understanding and views. In family day care, the skill of asking questions can confirm if a person is knowledgeable in their role and responsibilities.
That is why developing articulation skills in family day care is an underpinning aspect of an improvement strategy. Developing a shared language with all stakeholders should inform each team members’ self-reflection and the Quality Improvement Plan of your service.
3) The smooth transfer of knowledge between stakeholders will ultimately lead to better outcomes for the children in your care.
When there is a shared understanding of expectations and goals between everyone involved in the care of a child, your program will be on track to achieve the 5 learning outcomes.
Conversations through your service should focus on everyone’s understanding of the National Quality Framework. It is through these discussions with their team and with the families of children that educators can plan how they will deliver a program that incorporates a child’s strengths, culture, interests, and abilities that will help their social and emotional development.
Now that you’ve read these three crucial reasons why articulation skills in family day care are essential, can you imagine if everyone in your service spoke and communicated the language of the framework?
Let’s take a look at how I can help you achieve that.
How to improve your articulation skills in family day care
I’ve spent the past 12 years working with participants on their governance improvement journey and I love nothing more than when I speak to people and hear them clearly articulating the national framework in their responses, conversations and decision making, the way the Department’s Authorised Officers and Quality Assessors need to hear, which is another issue facing family day care.
With everyone in the leadership team having a sound understanding of governance for the role they are in, the issues I mentioned earlier can be gone, I promise, and it also won’t take long for the positive effects to be felt throughout the service.
When preparing for ratings, providers often tell me they are ready for assessment and are expecting to be rated as ‘Meeting’. However, after conducting a very quick assessment, I can identify where there are potential gaps that could affect the assessment outcome. I am a governance expert, it is what I do.
If you think articulation is a gap in your service, book a consult with me to find out how I can help (and check out my free videos on YouTube).
Coaching is not limited to approved providers and nominated supervisors, anyone in family day care leadership is encouraged to participate in coaching for their role. Coordinators and educational leaders have different obligations and responsibilities under the legislation, that link directly to quality area 7 – Governance and Leadership. Book coaching for your team members now.
Let’s dive in to some Facebook tips for family day care businesses!
These days, nearly every business needs a Facebook page. It is a great way to connect with potential clients, and also build relationships with your current families. Unlike a website, a Facebook page allows you to build a more personal and social connection with your audience. Overall, this all helps your audience to get to know, like, and trust, you – which is exactly what you want to do when trying to market your business.
Having an Facebook presence also gives you the chance to showcase your expertise, because you can create informative and educational content that helps your current and potential clients. This way, you will be the first person they think of when they need the services you provide.
Here are our top 5 tips!
Facebook Tips For Family Day Care: Build Your Business.
Make sure you have your logo and philosophy present on your page. People looking at facebook need to be able to see clearly what it is your are offering. Have your operation times and where are located so at first glance they know they can contact and access you. Choose the area you want to your facebook page to be ‘shown’ to, there is nothing worse than finding someone you want to get to know on facebook only to find they are on the other side of the world.
Make it easy for people wanting to contact you by including a contact number or email. You may even consider an ‘introductory’ offer to entice people to reach out, like a waiting list application or maybe you could offer a free downloadable for people to get to know you better. Your facebook page should be designed to build interest and drive enquiries.
Facebook Tips For Family Day Care: Talk To Your Audience
When posting, remember who you are talking to. For family day care businesses your target market will be families. So, make sure your posts align with your values and philosophies, and encourage discussion to try to build a sense of community (eg. “it takes a village” ). You have a common purpose, and that is to keep their child safe and happy.
Facebook Tips for Family Day Care: Your Branding
Remember to reflect your brand in your social media posts. Make sure you are consistent with your branding across everything you do, and everything you say.
One way you can do this is by creating a tagline and putting it in your Facebook “About” section. A tagline is a phrase or two that helps to convey your business values, purpose, or culture. A tagline should be short and easy to remember.
Your logo, brand colours, key messages, and brand voice should be clear and identifiable so your target market comes to know, like, and trust you. For example, you could create quotes in your brand colours so you stand out against other businesses or competitors. Here is a quote from the JPS Instagram page that uses our brand colours.
Facebook Tips for Family Day Care: Create a Human Voice for your Business
People use Facebook as a place to be sociable and to connect with each other. That’s why it is important to write your posts to sound the way you speak. What phrases to you use? Which words do you say a lot? What is your personality like – are you loud, shy, happy, ambitious, reserved?
Facebook Tips for Family Day Care: Promote Your Page
Don’t forget to promote your page on your business cards, in your newsletter, on your website, in your email signature, and on all of your advertising. Encourage comments, likes, and shares on your posts, and comment in related Facebook groups (like the JPS Advisers group!)
Looking for more facebook tips for family day care? Check out our marketing and branding packs.
Right. It’s time to get organised. You know what they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Here is how to prepare your family day care business for success.
As a family day care business, whether you are the service provider, part of the leadership team, or an educator, you need to be always striving to improve. Not just so the children in your care reach their fullest potential, but so you do, too.
Are you ready to roll your sleeves up and get to work? I am going to tell you how to prepare your family day care business for success.
How to prepare your family day care business for success.
1. Update your business plan: Having a business plan helps you develop a long-term vision and strategy. It is where you can set your goals for your marketing and finance, and help give clarity to the structure and operations of your business. Get a free copy of our business plan template here.
2. Create some professional goals: Setting and achieving professional goals leads to higher job satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment. But how do you know what goals to set? Well, having a mentor can help you map out a career path and identify the milestones you need to. Or maybe you are mentoring someone in your team? Either way, this Mentoring Pack will help.
3. Remember that knowledge is power: Working in the education industry, as we do, I know you understand the importance of learning. We need to ensure we are providing the best education program we can to children, and to do that we need to commit to our own self-education. Have a read of my 5 self-education tips for family day care professionals blog post and check out my YouTube Channel to get yourself inspired and excited about building your knowledge.
4. Review your program: As a family day care business, your program is your product. My YouTube video Assessing The Educational Program walks you through what you need to do to make sure your program is the best it can be.
5. Strengthen your strong foundation: Your policies underpin everything you do in your business. Every member of your team needs to know what their role is, including families enrolled in your service. Having sound policies and procedures means you can incorporate the relevant legislation into all that you do to help you remain compliant. I have a few options available to help you develop your own policies and procedures. You can use a template for providers here and educator policies and procedures template here. Or you can get a full set of done-for-you policies here.
6. Strive to improve your service’s ratings: Whether you are the owner of the service, an employee, or a contracted educator, it is in your best interest to always be striving to improve the ratings of the service. Why? Well, the bottomline is the better the rating, the more families will want to enrol in your program, which results in you making more money.
While we are all here to make an impact on the life of each child in our care, we are still business owners and we need to be making money to remain viable. If you want to improve your ratings or business practices, you can book an online session with me.
7. Simplify the legislation: It is absolutely imperative that you know and understand what is expected of you. However, there is no denying that legislation can be difficult to interpret. I put together The JPS Survival Guide for Australian Family Day Care Educators, a user-friendly book for educators to keep on hand for quick reference, and to take notes and brainstorm in. Take the time to make sure you are prepared for any challenge you are faced with, particularly a compliance or ratings visit from the regulatory authority.
8. Get inspired: We all go through periods of feeling like we’ve lost our mojo. The start of the pandemic was a particular low point for me. But, there are steps we can take to get ourselves fired up. I like to go back to the Top 3 influences as an educational practitioner blog post to help me think about the how the work I do adds value to the world. I seek out people who inspire me, and I am forever brainstorming ideas and goals in my journal. If you like the sound of using a journal as your very own tool for inspiration, then check out the incited media journal process here.
9. Build your brand: Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. It is your reputation.Whether you are a provider who is building the brand of the service, or you are an educator building your personal brand, it is imperative to have clarity around what you want to become known for (e.g. who are you? what are your values?)
I have put together packs you can download and print to help you build a brand that represents the soul of your business so you attract the right kind of customers to help your business grow. Click here for Service Providers and leadership team. For educators, building a strong personal brand means you can choose the service you register with (they will WANT you) Click here for Educators.
10. Connect with others in our industry: I am always learning from my peers. They inspire me every day. I’d like to invite you to join my Facebook Group – a safe space of like-minded people where you can share your wins, and your struggles, too.
So, hopefully you are feeling pumped for 2021. I hope these tips have given you drive to keep moving forward and shown you how to prepare your family day care business for success. Keep this blog post to refer back to or send it to your team, so you set yourself up for an epic year ahead. I’ll be here cheering you on!
Don’t forget to email me at email@example.com or book an online consultation to find out how I can guide and support you on your journey as a family day care business.
What business skills do family day care educators need?
Just like all other businesses, family day care educators need their own philosophies, a sound business plan, and must develop a marketing strategy to keep families coming in the door.
Planning – Proper planning helps you determine what your priorities are, establish what’s working and what isn’t, and maps out how you will manage obstacles you may come across on your journey. Your business plan should remain a live document that you tweak and update so it can evolve as your business does. (Everyone who receives my weekly newsletter can access my free business plan template. Get your template here.)
Financial Management – Financial management skills are essential even in the planning stages of your business. You need to think about cash flow, costings, tax, and even paying wages. Once your business is up and running, you’ll need to manage all of your financials to remain profitable.
Communication – Good communication skills are important when you are running any business, however, they are essential when you are caring for people’s children. You need to be able to build relationships with families so you can have calm, honest and professional discussions, and you need to know how to communicate your policies and procedures so everyone is on the same page at all times.
Marketing – Marketing is necessary to get people interested in your business. To make sure you are attracting the right people to your business, you need to do market research to understand what your ideal customer’s needs are, and how you can help them. You also need to build a personal brand that will help you stand out from your competitors. For more tips on branding, read this blog post.
Family day care is becoming the preferred option for child care for many families, as the benefits of children being cared for in a home environment with a qualified professional become increasingly apparent. With tougher expectations implemented over the past few years to weed out dishonest or substandard operators and educators, the industry is now in need of quality approved providers, coordinators and educational leaders to manage the service, as well as professional educators to educate and care for children in their home.
The aim of this article is to give you an overview of how to start a family day care business in Australia. We will look at why family day care is becoming an attractive option for families, and the opportunities this provides for aspiring business owners and managers, as well as early childhood professionals. We will also discuss the process of setting up your business and the support and resources available to help you if you want to work from home, or if you want to contribute the quality of the sector.
Family Day Care In Australia
Family day care is a government approved and funded child care option for families. It offers children the opportunity to be cared for in a safe and hygienic home environment, by qualified educators.
Over the past few years, family day care has gone through one of the biggest shakeups seen in Australian child care history. While fraudulent operators tarnished the reputation of family day care, tougher legislation introduced by the government is giving peace of mind to families and increasing the expectations on providers who must be compliant and meet the National Quality Standards or they will be sanctioned or shut down.
Education and care services are regulated by both federal and state government departments that hold the power to prosecute and sanction services and individuals. From the onset, you must be aware that under the Education and Care Services National Quality Framework, there are fines up to $10,000 for each non-compliant incident, including if a child is not protected from harm or hazards or not adequately supervised.
Having said that, whether you are an approved provider (the owner of the service) or an educator (who is contracted to the service) running a family day care business can help you to build a successful career and provide you with financial security.
It is also one of the most rewarding professions you can do from your home, surrounded by your own family. So, if you are committed to understanding the governance surrounding family day care, and you are excited by the prospect of running your own business, then I’d like to invite you to read on so you can consider starting your own family day care business in Australia.
Why is the demand for family day care growing?
There is no doubt that family day care is growing to be a popular choice for Australian families. Regular day care centres have long waiting lists, and no room for flexibility to work around schedules of the families the same way family day care can.
Additionally, many families are seeing the benefits of moving their children away from institutionalised care with large groups of children to a more flexible, nurturing home environment with small multi-age groups of children. Recent studies show parents prefer this model of care for their children.
So, if you have the qualifications and skills, then your community needs you!
Governance: The backbone of every family day care service
There is no doubt that the family day care sector has had to take measures to eliminate dodgy operators. For this reason, approved providers should choose educators from reputable training providers and develop strong governance to create and maintain processes to identify risks, rectify issues, and comply with legislation.
Each service is required by law to have a set of policies and procedures, which are customised to their service. Policies provide the framework and guidance from everything from emergency management, staffing, supervision and simply times for drop off and pick up.
It is important for anyone considering a career in family day care to understand the vital role governance plays in running a compliant and safe business. To this end, all education and care services in Australia undergo a ratings assessment.
Australian Services can be rated as:
Excellent: Service promotes exceptional education and care, demonstrates sector leadership and is committed to continually improving (Awarded by ACECQA)
Exceeding National Quality Standard: Service goes beyond the requirements of the National Quality Standard in at least 4 of the 7 quality areas, with at least two of these being quality areas 1, 5, 6, or 7.
Meeting National Quality Standard: Service meets the National Quality Standard.
Service provides quality education and care in all 7 quality areas. (this should be our minimum operational standard)
Working Towards National Quality Standard: Services provides a safe education and care program. There are 1 or more areas identified for improvement.
Significant Improvement required: Service does not meet 1 of the 7 quality areas or a section of the legislation and there is a significant risk to the safety, health and well being of children. The regulatory authority will take immediate action.
Preparing for an assessment of the program requires the development of a quality improvement plan (QIP), identifying your strengths and areas requiring improvement. Your QIP should be reflective of your service’s overall quality improvement strategy. Education and care services are assessed and rated by the state or territory regulatory authority. (To help you improve your ratings, I have developed online courses for both approved providers and educators)
While all this talk of governance and legislation can be scary, it is important to remember that they are there for a reason (keeping children safe), and are ultimately what will protect you and help you to build a successful and profitable family day care business.
Who are they? Employed or contracted by the service and hold a minimum Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (or equivalent)
What is their role in the service? Coordinators are responsible for ensuring they monitor and assist educators to meet the minimum requirements of the Education and Care Services National Regulations by:
Monitoring the service’s statement of philosophy is being implemented
Using policies to guide decisions, processes and behaviours
Using the National Quality Standards for guidance and assist educators to development and implement a quality improvement plan
Conducting themselves within the service’s code of conduct at all times
Monitoring educators’ homes for safety and compliance
Monitoring and ensuring educators’ credentials remain current at all times
Monitoring children’s files to ensure currency
Monitoring other documentation and records for compliance and quality control
Supporting ongoing communication between educators and families
Welcoming and supporting students and volunteers
Provide leadership and guidance to educators and report directly to the nominated supervisor
How do I become a coordinator?
Coordinators are employed or contracted by the service and hold (at least) a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Who are they? The educational leader is part of the leadership team of the service
What is their role in the service? Educational leaders are responsible to ensure they monitor and assist educators to develop an educational program for each child that is based on individual needs, strengths, abilities and interests. Documentation must reflect children’s learning over time and the program meets the approved learning frameworks by:
Implementing the service’s statement of philosophy ensuring the philosophy is reflected in the educational program
Using approved learning frameworks to guide program development
Using the National Quality Standards for guidance, and assist educators to continually improve their professional practice
Conducting themselves within the service’s code of conduct at all times
Monitoring children’s educational documentation for evidence of the 5 learning outcomes
Supporting ongoing communication between educators and families
Welcoming and supporting students and volunteers
How do I become an educational leader?
Educational leaders are employed or contracted by the service and hold ‘relevant’ qualifications and skills to guide and assess the educational program.
Who are they? An educator is an individual who holds (or is working toward) a minimum qualification of Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (or equivalent), registered with an approved family day care service.
Most family day care educators are contracted to an approved family day care service provider (sometimes referred to as a “scheme of agency”), although some educators may enter into an employment arrangement. An agreement or contract with an approved service should include mutual decisions regarding employment or contract conditions, such as hours and days of operation, remuneration or payments, grievance procedures, and matters to consider if terminating the contract.
The service you register with would be obligated to provide you with policies and procedures to ensure you deliver your education and care program within related legislation and the service’s statement of philosophy. Your service will be responsible for providing you with current training or support to ensure you meet the minimum standards of the Education and Care Services National Regulations.
What is their role in the service? Educators are required to develop and deliver an education and care program to children under 12 years of age that meets the Education and Care Services National Law, The Education and Care Regulations, The National Quality Standards and Approved Learning Frameworks, from their home (or venue) by:
Implementing the service’s statement of philosophy
Complying with policies and procedures
Ensuring children’s health and safety at all times
Ensuring accredited training and certifications are current
Developing the educational program to support children’s overall learning and well being Maintaining accurate records ensuring confidentiality
Utilising the National Quality Standards for reflection and service improvement
Participating in any the service’s quality improvement program
Collaborating with stakeholders
Conducting themselves within the service’s code of conduct
How do I become a family day care educator?
If you are looking to start your own home based child care business, answering these questions will help you to determine if you are eligible or suited to becoming a family day care educator.
Do you have the right to work in Australia ?
Are you over the age of 18 years?
Do you have, or are prepared to gain, the following:
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care?
A current working with children safety check?
A current police check?
A current Anaphylaxis Management Certificate?
A current Emergency Asthma Management Certificate?
First Aid qualifications?
Knowledge of child protection laws and child safe standards?
Permission from your property owner to work from your residence?
There are a number of places to search in your local region or area to locate a service. A good place to start is the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website to access the register of approved education and care services. A service with a minimum rating of ‘Meeting’ the National Quality Standards indicates they are complying with the education and care legislation.
A quality service will ensure you meet the educator eligibility criteria and will undertake an assessment of your home. They will determine the suitability of other residents in your home, and may require you to carry out changes or rectifications to your home prior to approving you as an educator. A quality service will also conduct reference checks with your previous employers.
Resources to help
The Business of a Family Day Care Educator online course: If you are a qualified educator you already know how to take care of children, and you were probably shown how to manage administrative tasks while undertaking your qualification. However, to be successful in family day care, you also need to know how to manage a business. The Business of a Family Day Care Educator online course can be done at your own pace, and covers:
Business planning: The what, who and how of what you do.
Policy development: How are YOU going to make sure everyone is on the same page?
Financial management: How much money do you need to turnover? What are your financial obligations and hidden costs?
Marketing and branding: How are you different or how do you stand out in your sector?
Succession planning: Plan and implement your long-term goals. What is next for you or your business?
Risk management: Stay and keep everyone safe.
The course includes a business plan, as well as budgeting and cash flow templates. It is a great starting point for you if you are wanting to start a business as a family day care educator, or if you already are an educator and are ready to take your business to the next level. Find out more about the course here.
Who are they? An educator assistant is an individual who holds (or is working toward) a minimum qualification of Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, and is registered with an approved family day care service.
What is their role in the service? Educator assistants are required to assist and support the educator to develop and deliver an education and care program to children under 12 years of age that meets the Education and Care Services National Law 2010, The Education and Care Regulations 2011, The National Quality Standards and Approved Learning Frameworks, from the educator’s home (or venue) by:
Implementing the service’s statement of philosophy
Complying with policies and procedures
Ensuring children’s health and safety at all times
Ensuring accredited training and certifications are current
Informing and supporting the delivery of the educational program
Maintaining accurate records ensuring confidentiality
Participating in any the service’s quality improvement program
Collaborating with stakeholders
Conducting themselves within the service’s code of conduct
Educator assistants can be recruited to assist with:
Supervising children remaining at the educator’s home whilst they transport a child to or from school
Supporting the educator to care for child requiring additional supports
Excursions or outings
Assisting in the development of the educational program
How do I become a family day care educator assistant?
Educator assistants MUST hold the required credentials prior to being left alone with enrolled children. You must provide copies to the service for the approved provider to approve an educator assistant and must include:
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (can be working towards acquiring in some states)
Proof of age – must be 18 years or over
Current police check
Current working with children check Awareness of child protection law
In addition, your relevant work experience and your ability to support the educational program must be considered.
Okay! Now that you have a good understanding of how to start a family day care business is Australia, I want to let you know how I can help you take the next step.
About JPS Family Day Care Advisers
Who are they? JPS Education and Care Advisers are specialists in early childhood education and care. The founder of JPS, Jodie Signorino (me), is a recognised expert in family day care governance, service delivery, and quality improvement. I have over 30 years’ experience in service delivery, management, governance, training, and consultation.
What do they do? JPS Advisers provides coaching, training, support, advice and resources for family day care services and educators. They work with family day care services to identify, rectify, and comply with state and federal legislation. They also guide the professional development of service providers and educators
Family day care is becoming a preferred option for child care for many families, as the benefits of children being cared for in a home environment with a qualified professional become increasingly apparent. With tougher legislation introduced to weed out dishonest operators, the industry is now in need of professionals to run and lead a service, as well as qualified educators to care for children in their home.
If you are passionate about giving children the right start, to play a role in shaping our future generation, and to help make those first memories beautiful and cherished, then it’s time for you to reach your potential and build a business that is going to make a difference.
Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch and to receive free templates and resources to help you build your family day care business.
Working in early childhood education we know the importance of learning. But for some of us, it can be hard to manage being both the educator and student at once. Today, I want to share a few self-education tips for family day care professionals, because if you want to truly make an impact on the lives of others, you must understand the value of life-long learning, and not limit your education to a classroom.
When education professionals undertake study to obtain their qualifications, we are taught how to care for children. But, what we aren’t taught in our training is how to manage a business. Most of us learn to do so through trial and error. However, the more self- education we do ourselves, the better chance we have of succeeding at becoming great business owners and service providers.
And the great thing is, the internet, books, podcasts, and online courses give us the chance to connect with experts. People who have been where we are and can offer sound advice on specific topics. Need to learn how to build a website? You can learn that from experts. Need to learn how to build systems for your educational program? You can learn that from experts, too.
This all means that YOU have the potential to make your business as big and wonderful as you want it to be. By being skilled and knowledgeable, you can offer a higher quality service which ultimately results in you being able to charge more, and operate at full capacity.
Additionally, the more you self-education you do, the closer you get to becoming an expert on any given topic. Then you can teach others if you choose to. Maybe you can write e-books on your area of expertise, become an adviser like me, or even sell digital products to help other education professionals.
While it can be daunting creating a self-education strategy for yourself, the rewards will be worth it. When you take control of your learning you are taking control of your potential and the direction of your career. For some people, they are happy in the position they are in, but they still strive to be the best they possibly can be in that role. For others, they may want to pursue new opportunities, and self-education can open new doors for them.
To get you inspired, here are my self-education tips for family day care professionals
5 Self-Education Tips for Family Day Care Professionals
1) Do a gap analysis: Take stock of where you are now, where you want to be, and how you will get there. For example, if you are an educator who hopes to one day become an approved provider, you are going to need to develop communication and leadership skills to enable you to manage a team. Consider the professional qualifications you will need, and also the personal qualities you will need to develop. A great place to do this, is in your journal. Check out some tips here on how to use your journal for business and self-education.
2) Carve out time for learning: I know we are all busy with our work and or families, so it can take a bit of planning ahead to fit in time for our own learning. Watch a few of my YouTube videos while you are making dinner or taking a bath. Listen to a podcast or audiobook while you are exercising or driving in the car, sign up to my newsletter (and read it). Dedicate some time each week to working on your self-education.
3) Quality resources: While the internet allows us to connect with many others in our industry, it is important to ensure you learn from expert, trusted, recognised sources. Make sure to check their credentials, and that they know what they are talking about. earn more about me here and read my Top 5 Strategies for Self-Education here
If you are striving for leadership in family day care, the best place to start is with the legislation surrounding family day care. I know it sounds boring and hard, but I’ve made sense of it for you and created The JPS Survival Guide for Australian Family Day Care Educators that helps simplify what you need to know. I give you practical tips on how you can apply the education and care laws to you and your business. You can access copies of the legislation here if you want.
4) Consider a mentor: Throughout my career I have had many mentors, Some formal, and some informal. A mentor can help give you direction and guidance, while also being an inspiration to you as you blaze your own path to success. I have mentors in the child care industry, as well as in business and leadership. Who knows, maybe you can help others by becoming a mentor to them.
If the idea mentoring others, or seeking your own mentor appeals to you, then check out my Mentoring Pack.
5) Make it fun: We all know that to reach our potential, we need to embrace self-education, however, that doesn’t mean the process has to be boring. You are more likely to stick with something if you find it enjoyable, so here are a few suggestions to make it fun.
Get a study buddy. Connect with a peer or a friend who wants to work on their own professional development so you can share your journey with each other.
Find out about a range of topics you may be interested in and follow the ‘topic’ that interests you most, you may want to become a coordinator, open your own service or pursue formal teaching qualifications, work toward your interest.
Check out Incited Media. Lynda Cahill uses her journal to document her learning using a variety of creative techniques such as lettering, photos, doodles, and magazine clippings.
Make your study time something you look forward to. Play some music, light a candle, or whatever you think will make your session enjoyable.
Just as we encourage children to learn through play, we too should enjoy learning.
If you are serious about growing your business then I want to help you. I am a recognised expert in education and care service delivery and offer a range of resources you can access. I have developed my signature program for Governance and Leadership in Family Day Care, you can check it out here which, in my opinion, should be used as part of your improvement strategy, understanding Governance in early childhood services sets the foundations for all future development.
So, connect with me so you don’t miss out on learning opportunities.
If you’ve read my last blog post “How COVID has affected my business”, you will know that over the past few weeks I have taken time to evaluate my business and plan how I can improve it. Doing this made me realise how important reflection in family day care is. So, I thought I’d share one of my reflection projects with you.
I thought I would start at the very beginning of my client journey, when they first subscribed to my email list. People would get a confirmation letter, and that would be it until they received a newsletter. But I was missing a really important opportunity to connect with my new community members and to let them know what I was all about and how I could help them.
So, I did a complete overhaul of my welcome email, and thought I’d share it with you so that you might consider doing something similar as part of one of your reflection in family day care projects. I also wanted to share it here so that people who had been subscribed to my email didn’t miss out on anything.
So, without further ado, here it is.
Reflection in family day care project: My welcome email
My name is Jodie Signorino and I am the founder of JPS Family Day Care Advisers. Those of you that already know me, know I take the ‘fluff and stress” out of understanding legislation and business strategy so you can get the best out of your education and care business.
I advocate for family day care as ‘the’ optimal child care model for early childhood experiences.
I make the ‘hard stuff’ easy by breaking it into ‘snippets’ of content, much of it free, so you can establish, improve or grow your family day care business through self-discovery and self-education, regardless of where you are on your journey.
I’m a recognised governance and management expert by our regulatory authorities and Chisholm Institute, and I use my skills to help you achieve what you want through my proven strategies. I’ve worked with hundreds of approved providers to help them get through the approval process and then to set up their service. I have now expanded to help family day care educators run a successful small home business.
I help you to grow in your own way, whatever that means for you, with downloadable resources, templates, free content and videos, a facebook group and direct access to me. Not to mention the free newsletter I send out regularly.
I pride myself on working ‘for’ the family day care sector and promise to bring you resources to guide you as you build your business.
The free JPS Youtube channel provides answers to common questions, tips and information to grow and improve your business (don’t forget to subscribe), the videos are designed to inform your self-education, or can also be used for group training ‘conversation’ starters, and to inform your quality improvement plan.
I also maintain a blog to inform you of what’s going on in the sector, strategies and tips for optimal business and quality growth.
I am available to answer questions, challenge or inform your thinking on strategy or a particular issue, it’s what I do best. Book a chat with me here.
Now, don’t worry, I hate getting too many emails, so you won’t get bombarded from me. If anything, you’ll come looking for me, which is what seems to happen!
So, welcome to my community. Join the rest of us in the JPS Advisers facebook group, where you can post your questions or experiences and get support from me and your peers. We all want to see the sector flourish.
I recently wrote a blog post called Setbacks and Silver Linings In Your Family Day Care Business. The aim of that post was to highlight how the perception of family day care has changed because people are realising how crucial we are to the community. You can read it here. Today, I want to talk specifically about how COVID has affected my business as a family day care adviser.
How COVID has affected my business as a family day care adviser
In more ways you can possibly imagine!And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Like many business owners, COVID stopped me in my tracks.
Like you, I work hard to achieve my vision. There are so many tasks to juggle, things to think about, jobs to be done, people to talk to, systems to create, clients to help – the list goes on. It can get overwhelming, hard, and downright busy at times. But, it’s not like we don’t love what we do; that’s why we do it, right?
When I started this business, I started with an already established client base, which was wonderful, but it meant I hit the ground running. That looked like working at nights and on weekends, which I’m sure you can relate to. I tried to do it all at once, just as you have probably tried to do as well. And, maybe also like you, I had a family to attend to – I was a mother to a child and I wanted to be good to her.
So when COVID came along, it stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t go and visit clients, which was the core way my business operated. How could I train staff, or work with service providers to improve their businesses if I couldn’t go to see them? My business came to a screeching halt.
I had a period of feeling low and lost, and then I decided to use the time for some reflective practice, trying to find the ‘silver lining’. First, I had to change my business model to move online. That in itself has worked out great, because I can still do what I love – which is helping to grow the FDC industry. In addition to that, COVID has affected my business in three further ways. Here they are:
1) It gave me time to work on my professional development
I knew from the onset that I wanted to ‘influence’ the sector. Early childhood is sacred and education and care is my passion. FDC was the intersection of my ‘two worlds’, professionally speaking. I believe we have a real opportunity to make early childhood great which, in my opinion, includes supporting and educating parents. Even if only for a short period of time, we can make sure they get the message of how important early childhood is to inspire them to do the best they can.
As professionals in the FDC industry, we need to develop the knowledge and skills to get that message across effectively. I hold qualifications, we all do, but that’s not where I got my ‘real’ skills from. I got them from self-education. I consider myself to be a life-long learner, and find ‘snippets’ everywhere to build on.
For example, when I was younger, I worked in bars in the evenings to make ends meet. I once had a manager say to me, “Remember! People like to hear their name.” For some reason, and I didn’t recognise at the time, but that was a ‘snippet’ which I built professional development around. What did that look like? In one of my roles in long day care, I had over 120 parents I needed to build relationships with. I made sure that I knew each parent’s or carer’s name. For me, doing that was an important aspect of my professionalism. It resulted in parent’s feeling welcomed and included.
Now, in my role as an FDC adviser, I have provided many ‘snippets’ for educators and service providers to build their professional development around. I hope you take advantage of them, because a ‘snippet’ can set you on a path of discovery. Never underestimate it.
2) It helped me focus on projects I had been meaning to do for long time
Another example of how COVID has affected my business is by giving me the chance to deep dive into some ideas I had put off because I had been too busy to work on them. I’ve got to say, I got so much done, more than I thought. I’m still not finished, but wow! I am so proud of what I’ve created during this period.
I have thrived in this quiet season. I had so many balls in the air, so to speak, that needed finessing. I was able to look at each project for its own merit – my online courses and policies and procedures are what I am most proud of. They are the products I have developed that I believe will help me achieve my goal in influencing change for the betterment of children, and the family day care sector.
3) It gave me time to reflect on how far I have come.
After I got over my initial anxiety of having my business come to a stop, I began reflecting on how I became to be where I am today.
I have a community of 4,000 followers overall, a 98% rate of getting people through the approval process, I’ve saved countless services from closures and sanctions, and I’ve helped improve quality standards.
Wow! I am proud of myself and what I have created. I have never felt better about what I do than right now in this present time.
So, that’s how COVID has affected my business. Here in Victoria we are just locking down again. I am not freaking out as much this time, because I know I am going to have another opportunity to work on my business and make it stronger.
What is the vision you have for your business on the other side of COVID? How can you use this time for self-reflection and self-education so you can build the business of your dreams while making a positive impact on the lives of the children in your care?
Please take time to look at my website to find things that may help you. All of my videos on YouTube are free, I have a free Facebook group you can join, and I have a free newsletter you can subscribe to that I always try to make informative and educational. Let’s come out of this better than ever.
Wishing you happy business x
Founded by Jodie Signorino, a recognised expert. JPS Advisers is committed to family day care as a quality child care option for families, with wonderful benefits for children. Read more...