Time for Mum and Dad to head off.


We do our happy wave,

blow kisses

shout love you

and off mum or dad go!


Happy children in the morning is an absolute must. Children that are excited to come into care, that can’t wait to see what experiences are out for the day and are confident to wave bye to mum and blow kisses are well settled, ready to learn little people.



But how do we get to that point?


We all know the child that clings to Mum or Dad with a determined grip, it’s their “just not getting away this time” grip! My heart breaks for them (the parent and the child). This is the time for action, support and a joint plan to build trust, confidence and put fun back into the mornings.


Lets start with what we are
going to do…


Sneaking away

– this breaks trust and leaves the child feeling abandoned, children will often cry for longer once they realise a parent has gone.


Staying just until the child is settled

– this sets a precedence that can’t be continued and thus confuses the child in the long run.


Bribes/food rewards/toys/stickers/phones/cash

🙁 oh dear…I’ve heard them all!!




Now what will really work


If a parent needs to stay then encourage them to stay 🙂

Have several planned, well discussed, short visits with their child. They will be unsure at first but with the right encouragement, preparation and interactions they will start to be more comfortable and develop some interest in the experiences and surrounds offered.


Focus on a strategy with the parent

Discuss and offer favourite play experiences, colours, music and crafts.


For older children a picture

Of their family to hide in their pocket can add an extra feeling of security.


For younger children and babies

Encourage the parent to bring something that smells like mum or dad as well as comforters and familiar items.


A half day may need to be offered

So the child has a positive experience without being overwhelmed.

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

Above all…



– prepare yourself, the parent and the child.


Have a plan

– know who will be in care and share this with the parent.


Know what a parents movements will be

– draw their attention to something on offer for them to show their child.


I strongly encourage you to build a routine in advance with the parent to place lunch and drinkers in the fridge, sign children in, have a snuggle, kiss-kiss-kiss, happy wave, blow more kisses, shout “love you” and off they go.
Our happy wave uses both our hands and is as big a wave as they can manage without falling over, it’s a bit special and very funny and helps wonderfully with settling children in and building confidence.




Do you, as an educator or a parent have a ‘happy wave’ I d love to hear about it…



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Routine Revisited.


In my first post I gave a run down of my routine, I hope it will help when
planning your own.

But as with most things it just brings to light more questions to debate.

I’ve addressed a handful of them below and I hope they will help you when starting your family day care or needing to adjust your current routine….

?Would a less conventional work day work for you?

I know educators that work 5am -12noon, 5am-3pm, 6.30am-5pm, 9am-6.30pm.
From 2days to all 7days as well as rolling rosters. Monthly sleep overs to mini afternoon play sessions, FDC can be as flexible as your imagination and your clients needs.


?What time does your family start their day?

My Lach(Mr3) consistently wakes at 8.30am so I have worked for 2 hours before he gets up, this works well for our family but you may feel more comfortable with an opening time after your family is up and going.


?Are you willing to work with before or after school children?

This will effect your opening hours, school children also add a different dynamic to a FDC setting. You will also need additional age appropriate resources. A consideration is also transport to and from school, will you drive them or is a bus available?

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


?Will you be accepting Babies?

Often schemes place a maximum limit of two children under the age of two for new educators. But an option educators often miss debating is for all children to be the same age or over a certain age.


?Will you be offering food?

I take my hat off to those educators that are organised enough to offer a consistent, well balanced, portion and age appropriate menu. One that takes into account allergies, healthy food options, likes and dislikes. I personally need the children to bring their own food and place it in the fridge.


?What sort of network do you need?

Some educators are comfortable and thrive on creating a positive, high quality home based educational working environment. Others are more social and find being an educator very isolating and need to spend time with others at playgroups, mini playdates and excursions.


?What area of your home is suitable for FDC?

A suitable playroom, bathroom and sleep room are musts. But these can be your lounge room and bedroom. Preferably a sign in area and an area to cook and eat in as well. The layout of your home will have a huge influence on how you will be able to offer your service.


There are so many important questions to ponder and these are just a few, Id love to hear more of your questions……



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How controversial are pets in your Family Day Care scheme?

I believe in family day care we have an opportunity and an obligation to offer experiences to children that broaden their thinking, excite their emotions and develop an understanding on other creatures within their world.

When contemplating or programming, your scheme policies needs to be read & re-read and active communication and documentation is a must with parents and coordination units. It really is very doable to offer exposure to animals in a safe and positive way for your Family Day Care Children.

I thought I would document three of our favourite pet experiences but as you saw on Wednesday I quickly realised I have many more to choose from then I first thought. So I will give you a list of animals that have been a super positive experience with the children over the past few years and I will be offering these animal experiences in my FDC service again.

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


Frogs- Silk worms- Butterflies (Chrysalis kits)

Wonderful for life cycle awareness, easy to find, keep alive and to set free or give away when the children’s interest has moved onto something else.

Hermit Crabs- Fish-snails- worms

Super for adding when focusing on sea themes, or when wanting an experience to follow up from a holiday, or focusing on the environment.

Dogs/puppies – Pony

These are a much bigger commitment and if you are not already experienced or interested in these size and types of animals then maybe a polite visit to a friends or group excursion is in order.


Lamb- Guinea Pigs- Chickens

Now, when it comes to these three I am a complete softy, and we have had all three of these living inside in the cold weather. (They need an area away from the Day Care children).We care for a poddy Lamb for a friend and hatch chickens in the spring.


Galas- Goats- Donkey

Our elderly neighbours are very friendly and kind, they are welcoming to the children, we walk to feed their animals regularly.

If all else fails and you decide that offering a live ongoing project is too much why not include a visit to the local Reptile show or our Bird society often hold displays with their show birds.


We as educators have so many special gifts we can share with our Day Care children. An understanding of some of the other creatures in our world is, I feel, a very important one. I hope to instil in my Day Care Children a strong understanding of kindness towards animals, nature and a desire to explore our world.

I’d love to hear about your experiences and other animals you have shared in your service….

Does pets in childcare reflect part of your philosophy…



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Is your business a reflection of you ?

Why do you run your

Family Day Care?

I’ve been reading some of the questions coming through Facebook and it occurred to me – as our children grow and our businesses change our priorities change, do our motivations also change for running our Family Day Care business’s.?

The year is 1992 – After having my first son I needed work and to earn an income, my Carer – We were just changing from Day Care Mums to Carers back then – was leaving and there was no other carers in my area. My Carer was in a small town and leaving left a huge void that needed to be filled. My motivation was to prove, as a young mum, I could earn an income and continue to provide a quality service that other parents desperately needed as well.

Looking back I cared for children who needed Care that I had a position for, I worked the hours anyone asked me to work. We had regulated fees and very little flexibility or control of our business the only way to increase our income was to work more hours.


Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


Wind the clock forward to 2010 – My youngest son was born and my strong motivation for building a Family Day Care Business after we moved was being at home with him! My older sons had had the benefit and joy of their childhood, filled with friends coming to play and mum being home with them and that was what I wanted for all my sons.

Family Day Care has had many changes over the past 20 years, regulations, documentation, we are now truly educators. I interview parents and children, I’m much more precise on the hours of care I offer. We have deregulated fees therefor a much greater flexibility in how we run our business’s. A greater control over tailoring our business to our own individual areas and family needs.

As Educators and individuals our situations will always be different. My aim has always been to provide the best experiences for my sons and the children and families I care for. As time goes by we all change, develop and grow, our business’s are a reflection of us and our families.

I hope this stimulates your thinking on what motivates you when building your Family Day Care Business, I would love to hear… Why you started your business and what motivates you to offer a quality, home based early childhood education and care service? 🙂

I touch on my philosophy after attending Puzzles workshop – you can find more



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