For Alison Burns being a FDC provider is about building generational bonds
The Sector > Practice > Family Day Care > For Alison Burns being a FDC provider is about building generational bonds

For Alison Burns being a FDC provider is about building generational bonds

by Freya Lucas

April 19, 2023
Happy children are catching bubbles

Alison Burns is one of 12 family day care (FDC) educators in the New South Wales town of  Eurobodalla, and says she “hasn’t looked back” since starting her own FDC business 15 years ago. 


“I left my retail job to start my own business in childcare so I could be there for my kids, because the cost of working and paying for three kids’ childcare (sic.) wasn’t viable for me,” she explained.


FDC is a popular option for Eurobodalla families, and Eurobodalla Council’s Children’s Services Coordinator Louise Hatton said more educators are needed to keep up with the demand.


“Learning in a natural home environment with flexible hours of care is becoming more popular, however, we don’t have enough educators,” Ms Hatton said.


The Council has a dedicated team to help new FDC businesses get started, with continued support in administration and professional development opportunities once established, Ms Hatton said.


While starting up a business can be overwhelming, Ms Burns said it was worth the effort.


“The paperwork was the biggest challenge for me, but it’s only as hard as you make it,” she said.


“You also don’t have to start with a massive library of books or big sets of play equipment, you can start small and build as you go.”


Ms Burns enjoys the flexibility that being an FDC provider offers, with educators free to choose their own work hours and the ages of children they take on. They can work with groups of up to seven children at a time.


“Because you are your own boss, you can lead the way without a director above you telling you how things are done,” Ms Burns said.


“We all offer different services, which can depend on the families and what works for them. There’s educators who are nature-based and get out quite often and others that stay in depending on the interests of the families.”


Ms Burns offers several options to the families in her care, tailoring her learning program to the needs and interests of each of them.


“I run a program driven by the children. I might find something I want to teach them, but they will tell me otherwise,” she shared.


“As much as I teach them, they teach me. Kids have such different interests – some I have never heard about!”


Ms Burns also loves the flexibility to go on outings and excursions saying “we aren’t bound to the house; I often meet up with other educators and their children. We get together at the library for story time or go to the park when events are on.” 


Those who are interested in starting their own service are invited to contact Council’s Children’s Services team via email to [email protected] or by calling 02 4474 7333. 


Start-up subsidies are also available before 30 June. For more information, visit the Council’s FDC web page.

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