Northern Beaches Council seeks to grow FDC network
The Sector > Practice > Family Day Care > Northern Beaches seeks to grow FDC network, as educator Kellie shares her story

Northern Beaches seeks to grow FDC network, as educator Kellie shares her story

by Freya Lucas

April 12, 2024

The Northern Beaches Council has launched a bid to expand its Exceeding rated family day care (FDC) provider network by sharing the story of one of its educators, Kellie Gielis. 


Ms Gielis operates a FDC business with the Council, and shared the inspiration behind starting in FDC, as well as what a typical day involves, and what she loves about working in this very unique part of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. 


“I started Little Gem family day care because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of young children and provide a safe and secure environment for them to explore, grow, learn and play,” she began. 


“Before that I worked for Council’s Children’s Services as a casual educator.  Having the opportunity to work in many of their services gave me a great understanding of their values, beliefs, cultural behaviours and educational outcomes.  This also meant I was able to replicate Council’s philosophy of care and development in my family day care program.”


On a typical day, she sets up early, so that she can give her full focus and attention to families as they arrive, and then to the children while in care. 


This typically means preparing for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea as well as setting up an exciting interactive play space.


“Every day is different because even with a plan, you’re always reacting to children’s curiosity and interest and adapting your program to their needs,” she explained.  


“To the outside world it looks like my day is spent playing with the children, which it is!  But I’m also continually observing what makes them tick and monitoring their development and growth. As a family day care provider, you’re always thinking about ideas and program activities for learning opportunities for the children.”


For Ms Gielis the best part about her job is spending time with the children, nurturing them and building strong relationships. 


“The early years are so formative for children, and it’s a privilege to role model positive behaviour and help them develop key life skills such as kindness, friendship, emotional regulation, empathy and joy,” she said. 


Being a local, bumping into children out and about once they have left her care, and seeing that  they have grown up to be compassionate and well-balanced young people is an extremely rewarding part of her job. 


For anyone else thinking of moving into an FDC role, she absolutely recommends “taking the plunge.” 


Many families are seeking more flexible and personalised home based care options, and on the Northern Beaches, demand for educators is high. 


The Council’s FDC scheme is rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard, and offers experienced mentors, a well stocked toy library and other resources and supports to set educators up for success. 


“Being supported by Council gives me confidence that my family daycare business is as good as it can be,” Ms Gielis said.


“The Family Day Care team is friendly and always available to offer advice and provide feedback and support. The most valuable thing for me is that they keep me in the loop about policy and procedure via emails, newsletters and monthly visits.” 


“It means I can adapt my programs or the way I do things quickly, and this in turn gives parents confidence that their children are in the safest and highest quality environment possible.”


To learn more about the Council’s early childhood services please see here

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