THERE are 145 families and 183 children affected by Mornington Peninsula Shire’s decision to stop administering family day care services.
As well as finding “redeployment options” for its two children’s services officers, the shire says it is “committed to supporting each [of 25 educators] to find a preferred [commercial] provider to ensure a smooth transition for themselves and their families”.
The shire says there has been a steady decline in demand for the service, which coincides with a rise in the number of commercial day care providers (“Shire closes door on family day care” The News 6/4/21).
The shire’s family day care service covered Frankston and the peninsula.
Of its 25 educators, 11 were based on the peninsula and 14 in Frankston. There were 76 families (92 children) using the service in the shire and 69 (91 children) in Frankston.
The shire says the initial report in The News caused “some misunderstanding” as it was the “educators who are moving to another provider, not the families”.
The shire’s 1 April news release said it had decided to “transition out of providing family day care on the Mornington Peninsula and in the Frankston area”.
“All our educators and families have been notified and we are committed to supporting each educator to find a preferred provider to ensure a smooth transition for themselves and their families over a period of 12 weeks.”
Cr Kerrie McCafferty was quick to go on Facebook declaring the report in The News as “factually incorrect” to say families had been given 12 weeks to find alternative care for their children. The report had “created unnecessary stress in the community”.
The shire’s communities Director Pauline Gordon said last week: “We know the relationship between educators and the families and children they care for is important and want to clarify this will remain the same.
“Children will continue to be cared for by the same educator in the same home. Families will not need to find alternative care.
“The only change will be the administration of the program, with the family day care educators moving to an alternative family day care provider. All alternative service providers must meet the same standards, compliance and safety requirements as any childcare provider, including the National Quality Framework and the National Law.”