As the number of Australian children in child care continues to rise, government figures reveal more parents are turning to family day care.
New research from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) shows that the number of children using family day care and in home care services jumped seven per cent over the past 12 months.
The DEEWR August 2012 Child Care Update reveals that the number of children in family day care and in home care increased from 108,090 to 115,660 in the twelve months to September 2011.
Chief Executive Officer of Family Day Care Australia Carla Northam says the increase highlights a growing awareness of the benefits of home-based service.
“The Government figures are supportive of the fact that more and more parents are turning to family day care as a preferred choice of early childhood education and care,” Mrs Northam says.
“Parents are realising the benefits of the small group settings, the nurturing environments and the flexibility that family day care provides. Family day care enables children to receive more personalised care and build intimate bonds that are so critical to their early learning and social development.”
Ms Northam says the increase in demand is also due to the changing nature of the workforce and an increase in the number of parents needing care outside of standard hours.
“With more and more parents working shift work on weekends and after hours, family day care has become a preferred option because it offers families more flexibility,” Mrs Northam says.
“Family day care is well placed to provide working Australian families with flexible child care options and is the largest provider of regulated child care outside of standard hours.”
Nationally there are more than 14,035 family day care educators with more than 115,660 children in their care, representing 12 per cent of the total number of children in early childhood education and care settings in Australia.
Please click here to see the latest child care figures from DEEWR.