Out there amongst society, Family Day Care is seen by most as the ‘cheapest form of child care’. Amongst other misconceptions are that its unregulated, dodgy, inflexible, just babysitting. There are some of these types of services, but many are pretty good.
We started I AM Montessori Family Day Care for two reasons:
- We believe that Family Day Care is the best form of care available, especially for children under 3. Because of this, we never aimed to be the cheapest option available. We wanted our Educators to earn what they are worth, for families to have access to high quality Montessori education in well resourced environments whilst providing a service to Educators that was professional, timely, and supportive.
When we say professional – we don’t want educators en mass. We want high quality, dedicated professionals who love what they do and love Montessori. We want educators who are continually working towards being better. They themselves, never stop learning.
When we say timely – we mean in our communication, in our visitations, efficiency in everything we do. We also mean up-to-date systems and functions that incorporate people and technology to run an effective scheme, maximising the support output we can give our Educators.
When we say supportive – we mean in all areas. Not just with the paperwork side, meeting the minimum legal requirements and coordinator visits on the absolute minimum. We mean monthly one on one meetings, monthly PD’s on relevant topics, quarterly Montessori training sessions and heavily discounted resources. We offer a toy library and in depth monthly themed curriculum with family excursions to give the concrete learning experiences. We collect all money and do all invoicing to families. You get paid Weekly and can spend your time concentrating on the children. We provide conferences and events throughout the year Educators can attend including an all expenses paid Christmas Party (sans children). We offer free anonymous counselling for our Educators with a qualified third party supplier so they always feel they can talk to someone, personally or professionally.
- To give families access to high quality Montessori services instead of getting stuck on a waiting list for three years.
92% of the positions we have available for our Educators are FULL, even though many of them are the most expensive Family Day Care provider in their area. This is because we don’t focus on the price to compete in the marketplace. We focus on quality. We focus on maintaining the health and wellbeing of our Educators so that they remain happy and motivated, thus ensuring all children in care are receiving the BEST possible educational opportunities and nurturing care out there.
Too many people try to market their service as only $7 an hour, or open however many days and hours families are demanding out of fear of losing business. Six months later, if not earlier, they end up burnt out, unhappy and working in a business they never signed up for, earning an extremely low hourly rate that doesn’t match the minimum wage.
Family Day Care is a business. When you approach starting your own, look at it from this angle. Its not a hobby, or just a thing to make a little extra money whilst my kids grow up (though this is a great reason to start). It deserves to be run like a business, with you as the central point in your planning, as a Professional Educator.
Once you have that right, then wait and take only the customers that suit your business for what it is. Don’t let them create it for you. We don’t take on every Educator that contacts us, or that we visit and if your first question is about fees, we know the relationship isn’t going to work. We are okay with being seen as too expensive, because we feel the service we offer is worth every cent, and so do the Educators that are with our service.
If you truly want to deliver a strong Montessori program, to become a professional in your field, earning what a professional should get paid then give us a call and look beyond the first question of “What is your Levy and Educator Fee?”.
We won’t take on more than 40 Educators, and we don’t just take on anyone. You need to have the Montessori heart, and a professional outlook. This is what Family Day Care is all about. This is what the children deserve.
Our fees are $1.50 an hour/per child for families and only $13.50 a week for Educators. These fees are currently the highest which will change in July 2016 as other schemes put their fees up. Our fees will stay the same until June 2017 at which point we should pretty much be on par with everyone else, in price only.