Flags were flying high as Gunnedah Family Day Care hosted the recent regional conference for 22 delegates from Family Day Care services.
Manager of Gunnedah Family Day Care, Kerrie Patterson, said the region is quite extensive and covers an area from Port Macquarie, as far north as Ballina and west to Coonabarabran and Moree.
“It was wonderful to be able to showcase our own local scheme, which has been assessed by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority as exceeding national standards, to our peers,” Mrs Patterson said.
“Presenters included Alina Dan, from A-Z Consultancy, who is renowned in the early childhood sector.
“Alina presented a workshop on $0 Marketing Strategies for Family Day Care – the training kept participants spellbound as Alina covered areas such as promoting Family Day Care within the community, which strategies work best and the use of media such as facebook, Twitter and websites, which can enhance our profile within the community.
“It is vital that we keep up to date with facilitating these mediums to remain competitive within the early child care sector.”
The afternoon session, presented by Katrina McCumstie and Tania Perrett from Gunnedah Early Intervention Service, focused on Marte Meo, a strength based program that looks at what a child can do and where they might need extra support.
“Its goal is to give parent, teachers and professionals a different perspective to help understand the meaning behind children’s behaviour,” Mrs Patterson said
The second day of the conference brought representatives together at the scheme’s co-ordination unit in the Sugargums complex, where the delegates discussed in depth, current issues within the Family Day Care sector.
“Much time was spent discussing the reduction of ratios from 1:5 to 1:4 for children under school age, which will come into effect from January 2014,” Mrs Patterson said.
“There is great concern within the Family Day Care community about where the children will go and who will not be able to access care in a community which is already struggling to meet the needs of families.
“It is hoped that families can join with the Family Day Care sector and campaign the government to have this change postponed until 2016, while further studies are conducted to monitor the effect of this change on both families and services.
For further information, families can go to the NSW Family Day Care website nswfdc.org.au and read more information or complete the petition.
• Gunnedah Family Day Care is located at Sugar Gums in the TAFE grounds. Phone 6740 2281.