Department of Education to explore support system for 430 FDC providers in SA
The South Australian Government has tasked the South Australian Department for Education with exploring “whether there is a better way to support the more than 430 small businesses offering family day care (FDC) and respite care” in the state.
Currently, SA is the only state in Australia where the State Government is the sole approved FDC provider, with various public servants and areas of Government tasked with supporting more than 430 educators with co-ordination, training, business and customer support.
In the coming months, the Department will liaise with local councils, non-government organisations and private companies to see if they are interested in becoming FDC or respite care providers.
Julieann Riedstra, Chief Operating Officer at the SA Department for Education, said “The experience elsewhere has seen local solutions flourish and we want to explore whether that can work here.
“We want to explore whether the model the other states use, which sees local government, NGOs and small businesses offering local solutions, would benefit South Australians.”
A statement issued by the Department reiterated the State Government’s commitment to continuity of services, regardless of the provider responsible, saying the maintenance of safety standards and service quality was a priority.
“If you use or run FDC or respite care there will be no change in the foreseeable future,” Ms Riedstra said.
She noted that other states and territories across Australia have a large number of smaller approved providers including councils, non-government organisations and small private providers that offer community focused support, and that her Department would explore options directly with interested parties in the coming months.