Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee were among the hosts of a special Picnic in Wonderland organised by Bright Futures on 5 May to celebrate the unique benefits of family day care. The Family Day Care Australia event is held annually from 3 May to 9 May.
Children from local family day cares sat down to ‘tea’ alongside educators and staff dressed as Alice, the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat and, of course, the White Rabbit.
Bright Futures Children’s Services Acting Manager Lynne Brooke said families were often attracted to family day care because it offered continuity of care in a home environment with a small group of children.
“Research shows children thrive in small groups, and family day care is provided in a home setting with a ratio of one educator for up to seven children,” she said.
“Flexible hours also mean parents can access care early in the morning or late evening, overnight and on weekends.”
Ms Brooke said masks were required the week of the picnic but the staff and educators embraced the challenge with many incorporating masks into their costumes.
“The Family Day Care Sector was initially hit hard when the pandemic started, with many educators having to close, and families choosing not to place their child into care despite Bright Futures Children’s Services being deemed an essential service.
“Bright Futures Children’s Services and registered educators could not claim the Federal Government’s JobKeeper allowance during this period due to the service’s Approved Provider being a local government (City of Kwinana) and educators as sole traders.
“This meant many educators were working on a reduced income for about three months but now on the other side where life is back to the new normal, the service is slowly starting to rebuild, with new educators registering with the service.”
City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams welcomed news family day care services were returning to normal capacities.
“Family daycare is a valuable part of the various care options available to families in the Kwinana area and it is good to hear enrolments are healthy,” Mayor Adams said.
For more information about family day care visit https://www.brightfuturesfamilydaycare.com.au/ or Bright Futures Children’s Services at https://www.familydaycare.com.au/
Caption: Bright Future’s Children’s Service In Home Care Coordinator Jamie Frazer (Mad Hatter), Matilda Fairman (3), and Bright Futures Acting Manager Lynne Brooke (Alice).