History

Family Day Care and Sunbury Community Health

Summary

Since the beginning of Family Day Care, we have supported over 200 educators, three thousand families, six thousand children, and had 29 children’s Christmas parties!

The service continues to offer a highly experienced and well supported program spanning across the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges region, and in 2015 it expanded to Craigieburn (which we originally covered back in the early days!).

The service is stronger now than it ever has been – offering Educators varied opportunities to extend their skills, and support by an experienced management team.

In December 2016, Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Family Day Care was relaunched as Our Village Family Childcare. Our new name reflects the broad geographical coverage of the service and one of our core values – ‘It takes a village to belong and grow’.

How we Began

Family Day Care began in Sunbury in 1978 after Community Health Nurse, Frances Carstairs, identified the need for an alternative childcare
choice in the district. Frances visited and was very impressed with the Fitzroy Family Day Care Scheme. She convinced the Sunbury Community Health Committee of Management and Executive Officer, Jim Weatherill, to apply for a grant to establish a scheme.

In the years following, Sunbury Family Day Care had carers in Sunbury, Craigieburn, Gisborne and Macedon.

Eventually, due to growing demand and regional boundaries put in place by the Australian Government where only one Family Day Care Scheme could operate in specified areas, a new scheme was established in Craigieburn, supported by Craigieburn Community Health Centre and later the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Another new scheme was established in Gisborne. 

For approximately the next 20 years there were up to 100 not for profit schemes operating in Victoria.

In 2002, the first round of accreditation of Family Day Care services commenced. It was also around this time that the Australian Government removed the regional boundaries and granted approval for private Family Day Care services.

Today, there are approximately 400 Family Day Care Schemes operating in Victoria. Some of the changes for Family Day Care Schemes in recent years have been:

  • Regulated by Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Accredited under the National Quality Framework
  • Education and care for children is planned using the Early Years Frameworks

Sunbury Family Day care expanded in 2012 to provided education and care in townships across the Macedon Ranges. This brought on a change in name to ‘Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Family Day Care’. In 2015, we expanded to other areas in Hume including Craigieburn and Tullamarine, after the Brotherhood of St Lawrence concluded its Family Day Care scheme.

Currently there are 43 educators working with the service and six coordination unit staff. Sunbury Community Health continues to provide a high level of support to the program.

In December 2016, Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Family Day Care relaunched as Our Village Family Childcare.