In family day care, coordination unit staff work in partnership with carers to share information, discuss issues and ensure families and children are provided with quality child care. Relationships between coordination unit staff and carers need to convey respect, equity and recognition of the diverse strengths and skills that each brings to the partnership.
The establishment of effective communication practices and procedures between coordination unit staff and carers can be a positive and trusting approach to promoting quality child care practices. It can facilitate genuine teamwork and encourage positive outcomes for children and their families.
Conducting visits to family day carers’ homes is an important strategy for coordination unit staff to support carers in developing procedures which reflect best practices and assist in maintaining an appropriate balance between home, family, and their professional responsibilities.
Visits to carers’ homes also provide opportunities for informal learning; encourages reflective thinking; and promotes the modelling of appropriate practices and behaviours. Home visits are an opportunity to share information about individual children in care, child development, early and middle childhood caregiving recommendations and the needs of families.
Link to CCQA Principles Family Day Care Quality Assurance (FDCQA)
Quality Practices Guide (2004) – 3.2
• The purpose of coordination unit staff conducting visits to carers’ homes is to: o support carers in their role and enhance the link between the coordination unit and the carer; o promote opportunities for two way communication between staff and carers to meet the needs of stakeholders; o assist carers to observe, collate and interpret children’s skills and interests; o discuss, plan and evaluate children’s experiences; o encourage an understanding of children’s and families’ culture, language and lifestyle; o provide assistance and access to information and resources such as current recommendations from recognised authorities, play and learning equipment, and information about quality assurance; and o identify and implement professional development needs and training opportunities.
• The policy also supports the service by: o ensuring that all persons are treated equitably; o protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of children in family day care; o communicating to carers and their families about their legal and/or licensing obligations to the service’s stakeholders; o maintaining positive lines of communication when collaborating with children, families, staff, carers and carers’ families; o strengthening the relationship between the coordination unit and carers; and o developing strategies that assist carers and carers’ families balance their needs and the needs of those children and families using care.
• The service defines ‘home visits’ as .
• The service defines ‘play sessions’ as .
It is important that services define the term ‘play sessions’. This policy only refers to the play sessions planned and conducted by carers in their homes.
All stakeholders should have a clear understanding of the types of visits the service plans for and this should be communicated either in policies; during enrolment, settling and orientation of children and families; or when employing and inducting child care professionals.
• The service recognises and acknowledges that staff and carers have varying knowledge and skills regarding the provision of family day care, and that all stakeholders’ opinions, ideas and comments are respected and valued.
• It is understood by staff, carers, children and families that there is a shared responsibility between the service and other stakeholders that the Coordination Unit Support Visit Policy is accepted as a high priority.
The rationale represents a statement of