ECEC Provider in Focus: Mother Duck Child Care
Mother Duck Child Care is a chain of long day care (LDC) services in the Moreton Bay and Brisbane region of Queensland which operates in a franchise model.
Each centre is owned and operated by a franchisee, the centre owner and director. Franchisees are qualified educators, many of whom “have hands-on experience with Mother Duck’s programs, values and approach.”
What is the history of Mother Duck?
The first Mother Duck service – Enoggera – opened in 1990, breathing new life into an old church hall, and the chain has since expanded to 12 sites.
Founders Ros and Denis Hinton played a hands-on role in building Mother Duck’s reputation for excellence in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Mrs Hinton worked as Director of the centre for nine years before retiring, whilst Mr Hinton continued on to lead the company and remains at the helm today as Chairman of the Board.
What is the Mother Duck vision and approach to learning?
The core values which underpin Mother Duck Child Care services are:
- Upholding the rights of all children and invite them to engage in meaningful experiences
- Recognising the family as the child’s first and most important community
- Understanding that educators are lifelong learners, too
- Advancing a collective understanding of children, childhood, and professional practice.
The educational programs are based on the belief that children are competent people who hold a natural sense of wonder, curiosity and awe of the world around them.
In each studio (infants, juniors, seniors and kindy) educators provide consistent care and attention to all children. Opportunities for play-based, real-life inquiry learning are carefully planned to suit the age of these children. Educators tailor interactions to meet the needs of each child’s individual strengths, interests and needs.
Families receive written reports for each of their children at three intervals throughout the year and regular meet and greet sessions are scheduled to provide opportunities for families to meet with their child’s educator and the Pedagogical Coordinator of the Centre.
What is the Mother Duck approach to employee growth and professional development?
A culture of genuine appreciation and focus on professional development and satisfaction is at the core of Mother Duck and has proven to be the strong foundation that Mr and Mrs Hinton envisioned years ago.
Mother Duck believes that educators should be valued and rewarded. Staff are supported with an ongoing development program of professional training, above-award remuneration and a culture of genuine appreciation.
“Many of our senior staff joined the company when they first left school and are now partners in the business,” Mr Hinton said.
“The team knows just how much their hard work and care is valued,” Mother Duck CEO Karen Prestedge added.
“Our Founder, Denis, takes the time to recognise the dedication and efforts of every educator. This personal touch really means something.”
Are there any unique aspects to the Mother Duck offer?
Those who work with Mother Duck report that the provider “feels like one big family”.
Kaitlin, who has worked with Mother Duck for 10 years describes her team as “being comfortable enough that any issues can just be spoken about freely, and it is a safe zone”.
“Mother Duck is like one big family – the staff, the families, the children, the delivery drivers,” she said.
“After having a baby and being at home for 9 months, during that time I still had so much support from my Mother Duck family, messages, lunch catch ups. It meant so much to still have that support. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. “
To learn more about Mother Duck Child Care, please see here.
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