Creating a place of belonging in FDC - Jo’s perspective
The Sector > Practice > Family Day Care > Creating a place of belonging in FDC – Jo’s perspective

Creating a place of belonging in FDC – Jo’s perspective

by Freya Lucas

March 13, 2024

Jo Pierce is an experienced Family Day Care (FDC) educator who has been running her service in the Victorian suburb of Langwarrin since 2021. 


In 2023 she was recognised as a Regional Educator winner in the Family Day Care Australia Awards, and recently spoke to her provider, Windermere, about her experiences in the FDC sector. 


An extract of their conversation appears below. To access the original please see here. 


Personalised service 


One of the aspects which drew Ms Pierce to working in FDC was the personalised nature of being able to work with a small group of children in a home based setting, which she believes provides the best outcomes.  


“Every child can feel seen and valued and they have a place where they can belong,” she said, comparing the experience of operating an FDC service with her previous roles in long day care (LDC) settings. 


While working in LDC, she felt that while the interactions she had with children were positive, developing relationships with them wasn’t practical due to the large number of children in attendance. 


“It was important for me to be able to build that relationship with them and I decided to start my own family day care,” she explained.


A bonus from this decision, as a parent, was that working in FDC allowed her to spend more time with her own young children, which working long hours in LDC did not allow for. 


“My son was still in primary school and I didn’t like not being at home when he was home,” she explained.


Time to explore


Ms Pierce runs her service for four days each week, with five children attending who have been with her from the start of her service. 


“We have become like a little family. I know them so well I can let parents know if I notice a difference in their behaviours and they are not themselves,” she said. 


Education and care at Jo’s Family Day Care starts at 8:30 am, and once all the children have arrived, morning tea is served outside. 


She programs based on the children’s interests, and a minimum of two new activities are introduced each month. 


“As they are all around the ages of two plus, they love playing dress up, so I (recently) set up a little shop with a toy cash register for pretend play and it’s been a huge hit with them,” Ms Pierce said.


Sensory games, pretend play, sandpit play and water play are also popular with the children. After morning tea there is outdoor play, singing and other activities, followed by lunch and nap time. 


The children also visit the library, park and other community activities. 


Relationships are key 


As well as her relationships with children and families, having a solid provider to work with is something Ms Pierce believes is central to her success. 


“We are a little family, away from home,” she said. 


Having Windermere as her provider has been helpful, she continued, saying she appreciates the support she receives from Windermere. 


“I feel very supported. I know that I can reach out for help with any admin questions, there’s always someone to give me advice.”


“Not only do I have the confidence to tell families to reach out to Windermere with any questions, I also appreciate that they handle all the financial aspects. That played a big role in my decision to choose Windermere,” she added.


Advice for others


When it comes to working alone, Ms Pierce meets the challenge of being the sole educator for four little children who demand her attention by encouraging independence.

“When they all need me at the same time, I help them learn to wait their turn. I sometimes ask them to try their hand at doing a task on their own, like trying their shoelaces,” she explained.


To other educators who are looking to start out in Family Day Care, she has a few words of encouragement.

“Just go for it. It seems like a big step and there are things you must have in place before you can start. I am so glad I pushed through any setbacks,” she says adding “I love what I do every day. This is what I was meant to do.”


For more information or to enrol visit here or call the Windermere Family Day Care team on 1300 946 337.


To enquire about becoming a family day care educator with Windermere, visit here.

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