Shoalhaven Family Day Care Celebrates 40 Years of Caring

Shoalhaven City Council are celebrating 40 years of Shoalhaven Family Day Care, helping shape and support Shoalhaven families since it began operations as Nowra Family Day Care on 1 September 1980.

Mayor Amanda Findley is proud of the legacy that Shoalhaven Family Day Care has built in the Shoalhaven.

“How our children are nurtured, developed and cared for helps shape our region, and I give my respect and gratitude to the many wonderful staff and educators who have, and continue to, care for Shoalhaven children over the past four decades.

“Currently there are 30 registered educators, and the Coordination Unit are keen to expand the number of educators to meet the demand for childcare. Educators enjoy the flexibility of family day care where they can set up their own hours and days, in their own home, creating environments that work for them. The key benefit of Family Day Care is the intimacy – the small group numbers allow educators to build solid relationships with the children and families and enable educators to have quality interactions with the children.

“Our educators have a passion for working with children and are qualified with minimum Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Educators also benefit from ongoing professional development resulting in excellent outcomes for the children in their care.

“There have been several inspiring and dedicated Nominated Supervisors over the 40 years, including Bev Wells, Jenny Gould, Sheila McMillian, Liz Daly, Winifred Sadlier, Helen Waterhouse, Cathy Ryman, Patrice Keegan and the current Nominated Supervisor Darlene Musgrove.

“There have also been several wonderful, dedicated Child Development Coordinators, who have shared their professional knowledge, skills, practical experience and early childhood expertise to the Educators and local families of the Shoalhaven.

“Just as importantly, the service couldn’t function without the support and dedication of the admin staff, who are the lynchpin that keeps the service running smoothly,” Mayor Findley said.

The service initially operated out of a small cottage on Council land adjacent to the main Administration Building located on Bridge Road in Nowra, before moving to a second cottage located next door to the original cottage, both of which have now been demolished.

Nowra Family Day Care merged with their sister scheme, Ulladulla Family Day Care in November 2006 and became Shoalhaven Family Day Care, supporting the Nowra and Ulladulla townships and outlying villages of both the Northern and Southern Shoalhaven.

2006 also saw the Coordination Unit move to a purpose-built building in East Nowra, equipped with a range of facilities including a large office space, playroom, toy library and meeting room. Many local community groups have used and continue to use the building over the past 14 years.

“The childcare sector has seen so much change over the years, and is a major element of the social and economic structure in Australia today, by allowing parents to continue to participate in the workforce and by caring for, teaching and preparing children for school and life.

“Congratulations to all involved with Shoalhaven Family Day Care over the past 40 years, in an industry that has seen so much change. Your commitment, adaptability and flexibility which has not been more apparent than in 2020, is to be commended,” Mayor Findley said.

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