Family Day Care vs. Child Care Centres: Comparison for Educators

Family Day Care vs. Child Care Centres: Comparison for Educators

In Australia, the two most popular childcare choices are either Long Day Care Centres or Family Day Care. Each comes with its pros and cons. So, they’re pretty different environments to work in. Before making a decision, it’s essential to research. Then, you can decide which one suits you best. 

Maybe you are considering a career path change. Or perhaps you’re at the very start of your career and still deciding your path. So, before making such a huge choice, let’s talk about the differences between the two environments.

What’s The Difference, Really?

There are many similar regulations between the two options; however, there are just as many differences. You should research and seek any clarification needed before starting your journey.

Family Day Care Educators require the same education level as those who work in Long Day Care Centres. It is much more than babysitting children. You are a professional providing care, support, and education to young children. 

As a Family Day Care Educator, you are essentially your own boss. You are responsible for the day-to-day operations, as well as the administrative tasks. This includes invoicing and collecting fees from parents.

Your home, both the inside and outdoors, become the care environment. Fencing, safety gates, and latches may need to be installed. This will vary depending on your locale. You can make certain areas of the home off-limits. You can choose to set up in just one section of the house or many.

The Working Environment

The Family Day Care is a more relaxed environment. You are an independent business operator, though you will have the support of your Service Provider. The support level varies significantly between Service Providers, so take your time to choose the one that matches your vision.

In a Long Day Care Centre, you are part of a team in a much larger environment. You report to a manager or leader. Also, coworkers can sometimes create drama and not be the best team workers. This can be trying. So, look at your personality. Do you thrive in that environment? Or do you have a more entrepreneurial vision with a strong need for independence?

With FDC, you can build relationships and bonds with your children and parents. With such a low turnover rate, you often have years to bond with families. Developing one-to-one relationships with your families helps you see the tremendous difference you make each day in their lives.

The Financial Differences of Family Day Care

Annual earnings can vary depending on what services are offered. The hours you offer or work can determine the wage, too. 

As a Family Day Care operator, the average daily rate is AU$100 per day per child. If you have four children, that works out to roughly $2000/wk. You can also decide to offer extra services. Long Day Care workers earn an average of AU$25/hour.

It’s essential to plan financially as a Family Day Care. Unlike Long Day Care Educators, there is no sick days or holiday pay. It’s also possible that you will have vacancies. A vacancy can temporarily cause a reduced income.

However, if you do a great job, the chances of operating a Family Day Care Business with a waiting list is very high!

In Long Day Care Centres, the larger groups of children, divided by age, often means a less individualised care plan. Also, you’ll be exposed to a greater variety of illnesses like colds and viruses. One of the benefits of Family Day Care is the smaller groups for individual learning. A bonus to Family Day Care would be less exposure to colds and flu.

The benefits of choosing to run your own Family Day Care are outstanding. I could be biased – I run my own FDC and love it!

  • Choose your own days and hours.
  • Choose what services you offer and what services you don’t.
  • You do not compete with other Educators for time off or vacation planning.
  • Set up your own activities and environments that align with your personal and professional values.
  • Smaller groups equal more interaction and engagement.
  • No commute
  • Use activity programming, forms, templates, and systems that work best for you.

Once you are ready to start opening your Family Day Care, “How to Start a Family Daycare Business” is our excellent course to set you up for a successful business!

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