Council to transition Family Day Care educators to private operators

Published on 15 March 2023


Surf Coast Shire Council will no longer operate a Family Day Care management service from 2024, and will work closely with educators and families to help them transition to local privately-run service providers in the meantime.

Council made the difficult decision taking into account the increasing cost to ratepayers to run the service, difficulty in attracting and retaining educators and an increase in other privately-run Family Day Care options available.

Mayor Cr Liz Pattison said Council would support its six Family Day Care educators and families in their care to shift to privately-run operators if they wish.

“We will work with educators and families to find out their individual plans and help with the transition to local privately-run operators before the end of the year,” she said.

“We want to ensure the transition process is as smooth as possible for our educators and families, so that their current care arrangements can continue.”

“In previous years we haven’t always had private providers to run Family Day Care services across our shire. This has now changed and therefore there should be little change to the services that families can receive as they transition over to new providers.”

“As a mum of four young children I know how important it is to families to have solid day care arrangements in place, so our priority here will be ensuring that the shift is as seamless as possible for everyone.”

Council’s decision to no longer operate a Family Day Care management service from 1 January 2024 follows an independent review of Council’s early years services in 2016.  The review, which involved extensive community consultation, found that Council would need to maintain at least 15 educators in order for the service to continue operating. This finding was reinforced in a more recent service review received by Council in early 2022.

“Despite our best efforts to recruit and retain, we have experienced a decline in Family Day Care educators. We have gone from 16 educators in 2019 to now having six,” she said.

“We thank all of our educators who have provided quality care over the years and our families that have used the service.”

Mayor Pattison said there were no changes to Council’s other early years services.

“We will continue to operate all of our other early years services, including kindergarten and occasional care, as normal,” she said.


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