Family day care educators who operate out of their own home may also engage in other home-based activities. They may:
- operate another business from home
- provide foster or kinship care
- offer respite care
- host meetings for community groups.
Note: A second home-based education and care service can't operate at the same premises. For example, a family day care educator cannot make their residence available to another family day care educator to operate in at the same time.
If you are an approved provider and you engage an educator who carries out, or begins to carry out, other home-based activities, you must consider the following impacts on the service being provided.
Availability of educator
Will the educator be required to attend appointments (other than a regular appointment) in exceptional or unforeseen circumstances? This may mean they engage a family day care assistant to provide education and care in their absence. The educator can do this if:
- the absence is for less than 4 hours
- the approved provider has approved the absence
- the parents of children who attend the service have notice of the absence.
Delivery of the educational program
- Will the educator be able to mainly focus on providing education and care to children attending the service?
- Will the educator be able to predict and prevent any conflicts between the activities in the home?
- Does the educator understand that the health, safety and wellbeing of children attending the family day care service are of paramount importance?
Visitors at the family day care residence
- How will the educator record and monitor visitors who may attend the residence as part of the operation of a business from the home or for the purposes of supporting/monitoring the provision of foster, kinship or respite care, such as visits by child safety officers, community visitors, or the parents of a child in foster or kinship care?
- How will the sign-in and out of visitors be managed?
- How will this management ensure the safety of children attending the service?
Capacity of the educator to appropriately supervise the number of children
National Regulation 124(5) enables the approved provider of a family day care service to approve, in writing, that a family day care educator can educate and care for more than 7 children, or more than 4 children who are preschool age or under, at any one time, in exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstances exist where:
- all the children being educated and cared for by the family day care educator are siblings in the same family; or
- a child to be educated and cared for is determined to be in need of protection under child protection law and the family day care educator is determined to be the best person to educate and care for the child; or
- the family day care residence is in a rural or remote area and no alternative education and care service is available.
Approved providers should also consider:
- Will the number of children cared for by the educator fluctuate?
- How will the management of enrolments occur?
- Do the children cared for by the educator have additional or complex needs that require more support?
The paramount consideration is the safety, health and wellbeing of children, including the suitability of the premises. Any part of the premises, furniture and equipment used to conduct other business activities must be safe, clean and in good repair if used by a family day care service (National Regulation 116
- Will the home-based activities impact on the upkeep of the home, including the safety and maintenance of the environment?
- Will visitors require a separate entry to the residence?
Informing the approved provider if the educator's circumstances change
- Will the educator be required to notify the approved provider if they start operating a business from their home, or become a foster or kinship carer?
- Will the approved provider maintain a record of educators engaging in other home-based activities (e.g. as part of the register of family day care educators (National Regulation 153)?
- Do the approved provider’s policies and procedures cover practices for these circumstances (e.g. policies and procedures about engaging and registering family day care educators (National Regulation 169(2) (b))?