You may be considering a career in childcare – alternatively, you may already have already carved out an enjoyable career as an early childhood educator one, and may be considering a change of scenery!
Either way, understanding more about the roles available in the sector may be of interest.
Two of the most popular roles in childcare are positions in childcare centres (more formally known as Early Childhood Education Centres) and family day care.
However, we find our aspiring childcare students (as well as parents) sometimes have a limited knowledge about the difference between working in these two different types of childcare facilities.
And the similar names certainly don’t help!
To help you understand more about the topic and how you too can enjoy a rewarding career, the team at Academia will share the differences experienced working in these two areas.
You’ll also learn how our childcare courses in Brisbane prepare you for both!
How a change in venue changes things up
If we’re going to talk about differences, we need to start with the most obvious one: namely, the location. That is, where the care is provided.
Childcare centres are dedicated childcare facilities, often with different rooms, play equipment, and areas for different age groups.
Family day care
A family day care centre is located inside the private residence of the owner/operator.
Naturally, the difference in venue leads to some pretty fundamental (as well as some less major) differences between the two across the board in terms of resources, opening hours and more.
However, there are also a lot of similarities.
Despite the difference in venue, many of the fundamental knowledge and skills you’ll learn in your childcare course in Brisbane are identical, and can be transferred between these two types of childcare.
Of course, you’re here to learn about differences, and we’re more than happy to oblige. Here are just a couple of those differences…
Difference #1: childcare vs. family day care hours
As we (briefly) mentioned above, family day care and childcare centres often involve different operating hours.
Specifically, childcare centres usually open from morning to evening on weekdays, although some may offer special extended hours.
On the other hand, family day care can cover a much broader range of hours.
They can include part-time, weekends and overnight care depending on your availability as a childcare educator and the needs of those you are providing care for.
You may find that working hours that are pretty close to a standard working week and free weekends works well for you. If so, a position in childcare centre might be a great place to apply your child care skills.
If you want or need something more flexible however, family day care may be a better fit.
Say you have a young child of your own – in this case, a weekend or overnight family day care can allow you to look after your kids during the day.
This isn’t to say family day care hours have to be different – it will ultimately be up to the operator of the business to set hours that work for them as much as they work for the kids in their care.
Difference #2: educators and children
Working in a childcare centre or family day care both involve working and interacting with a different range and number of people.
In a childcare centre other workers will work at the same time and in the same organisation as you. There will be a fixed ratio of early childhood educators to children, based on the number and age of the children in the centre.
Here’s a easy-to-read breakdown outlining the legally-required ratios, and in which states they apply.
In family day care on the other hand, the ratio is fixed. Workers nationwide must maintain a 1:7 ratio, no matter the state or age of the children.
Additionally, regulations currently permit family day care workers to look after a maximum of four preschool aged and under children, and three school-aged children outside school hours.
If you like the idea of working as part of a team, a childcare centre will give you this experience. You will also educate and interact with more children and families – if this speaks to you, seeking employment opportunities in a childcare centre could be the right choice.
If you prefer a more intimate carer-child relationship however, family day care might be just the ticket.
You may find the idea of focusing on a small group of children and parents more appealing.
You might feel more comfortable, enjoy the opportunity to provide more one-on-one care or like the idea of working independently as the sole worker and operator of your own childcare business.
Many family day care workers also care for their own children as part of their work – this could be another reason to consider making this choice. Just remember, though, that your own kids are included in that 1:7 ratio!
Difference #3: responsibilities
Being in a childcare centre or family day care location can make a world of difference in the level and scope of your responsibilities!
In the majority of instances a childcare centre, will be owned and managed by someone other than you. You will only have a partial role in the operation of the centre.
Instead, the bulk of your time will be spent carrying out the responsibilities of a childcare worker – great if you don’t really have an interest in the admin side of things, and want to focus on providing the best early childhood care you can!
As a family day care worker, you will have a much more direct influence on the running of the business. The different responsibilities you have as a family day care worker can include:
- Ensuring the home out of which the business operates is safe and suitable for childcare
- Being responsible for meeting general childcare approval and regulatory requirements
- Marketing and sourcing customers for the business
- Managing or overseeing financial aspects of the business such as charging for services, paying expenses and the profit and income of the business
- Planning all childcare services and activities on your own
And even if you aren’t the owner, you may find yourself helping anyway due to how much smaller most family day care centres tend to be!
You may feel comfortable taking on the responsibility of operating your own family day care business. If you’re keen on a role that offers greater independence and input, family day care might be just right!
Want to keep your focus on providing the best care you can? Don’t want admin duties distracting you? If so, you may be better off working at a childcare centre.
Want to study childcare in Brisbane or Melbourne?
Ultimately you need to make a choice about the type of childcare role that is best for you.
Whatever choice you make however, you need to be prepared for it. And our childcare courses in Brisbane and Melbourne are perfect for that, helping you prepare for any childcare role or career!
Whether you are looking to work in, own or operate a childcare centre or family daycare business, we can help. Our courses provide you with transferable skills that will help you excel, no matter where you work in the childcare industry.
Academia help you become the best childcare educator or operator that you can be. We offer childcare courses that make you stand out from the crowd, and which turn you into an attractive job applicant, care worker or employee.
You’ll learn all about childhood development, and how the theory translates into practice.
Our focus is on hands-on experience – when you study childcare in Brisbane with us, you won’t just learn in the classroom learning.
Each of our childcare courses incorporate practical workshops that replicate real world childcare challenges, as well as placements in licensed childcare facilities.
Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113)
Learn all about childhood care and development by enrolling in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
This course will lay the foundation of your career in childcare, teaching you the theory needed for you to start and advance your career in childcare.
You’ll develop essential skills needed to:
- Communicate with children and parents
- Create effective learning strategies
- Handle tantrums and other conflicts
- Adhere to hygiene and safety standards
- Provide healthy, nutritious meals
- Respond to medical emergencies
These are just some of the things you’ll learn when you enrol in the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC30113).
Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113)
Take your childcare career to the next level with Academia’s Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care!
This childcare course is offered in both Melbourne and Brisbane, and focuses on preparing you to own and manage your childcare centre or family daycare.
With a stronger focus on administration and management, you’ll learn all about creating a safe and comfortable environment for all children in your care, as well as the essentials of running your own business.
Be a leader in your childcare facility and give the best early childcare services while you’re at it!
Learn more about the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care (CHC50113).
Interested in Academia’s childcare courses in Brisbane?
Are you eager to take your childcare career to the next level?
Whether you’re figuring out your next step once year 12 exams are over, making a career change, or looking for ways to make your current childcare career even better, Academia would love to be a part of your next career move!
Want to learn more? Have questions? Get in touch with our friendly course advisors today: