Baulkham Hills Family Day Care gives working mums peace of mind
Two mothers are better than one, especially if the extra is a “supermum”.
That’s the experience of mother-of-three Kylee Peachey, who found a “second mum” for her children through family day care.
The busy professional now raves about the benefits of having children cared for and taught in small groups – the maximum is four under school age and three over – in a home environment rather than a centre or pre-school.
And she raves even more about the educator she found through Baulkham Hills Family Day Care, the largest organisation of its kind in Sydney’s Hills district and surrounding areas.
May Myo has looked after all of her children – Jaxx, 7, Willow, 5, and Kai, 2 – at her Kellyville home.
“May is like my children’s second mother,” she said.
“She treats them like her own children.
“She is the most calming, nurturing person and always speaks in a lovely, gentle voice. The kids will do whatever she asks.
“They will do their counting for her, but if I ask them, ‘What’s this number?’ they won’t do it for me.
“They might not have eaten their spaghetti for me but I will get a photo during the day from May showing a clean plate.
“She must have some superhuman power.”
Crystal Bowman of Riverstone is another busy mum who sings May’s praises, and is delighted at the attention her two-year-old daughter Harper receives in the home care environment.
“I think it helps her develop a lot quicker,” she said.
“It’s like having another family member. They spend so much time they really get to know each other.
“And her communication is excellent. I’ll receive pictures during the day of what Harper has been doing, how much she has had for lunch, and that helps me get through the day.”
The administrator for an online mortgage broker said she didn’t have to “feel guilty” about her daughter missing out on anything because of the variety of activities on offer – from library outings, music and storytimes, and gumboot painting right through to games with “spaceships” made of tents covered with stars and little astronaut suits for the occupants.
“Some of the things just blow my mind,” she said.
“Sometimes I wish I could go and play there, too.”
She said she once worked in a long day care centre but “wasn’t a massive fan of it”, and much preferred the personal attention and more flexible hours offered by family day care.
The not-for-profit Baulkham Hills Family Day Care has been operating for 40 years and caters for around 350 kids on any given day, spread far and wide around the Hills district.
Its 54 educators cover an area from Rouse Hill in the north to Parramatta in the south, from Cherrybrook in the east to Schofields in the west. It is an arm of CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Manager Peter Monger said: “The quality is high, and the care and education are individualised.
“Because the children are always with the same educator, that educator gets to know and build a relationship with them and their parents.
“There’s a relationship with the whole family, and that’s a big advantage for everyone.”
There was no changeover of shifts, or casual staff coming and going.
He described family day care as “mini preschools in an educator’s environment”.
Family day care operated under the same umbrella of laws, regulations and standards as any child care service.
Mrs Peachey said her children benefited from excursions to farms, parks and play lands, and special outings on their birthdays.
She said family day care proved a saviour for her when she ran the lending department of a big building firm, and remained so now that she worked at home doing the books and administration for her painter husband Craig.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.
“As soon as I walked in I thought, ‘This is it’. It’s like buying a house. You know straight away it’s right for you.
“I wouldn’t want my children going anywhere else.”
For more information please visit www.ccss.org.au.