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FDC and respite care market engagement - frequently asked questions

This page will be updated as a resource for all staff, educators and respite care providers.

If you have questions email education.fdcrcpmarketengagement [at] sa.gov.au.

Why is the department doing this?

Why is the department engaging with the market?

The government has asked the department test if other entities are interested in operating family day care and respite care services. There may be organisations located within the community that can deliver services at a local level. This would provide better outcomes for educators, care providers, families and children. The department is acting in accordance with the government decision.

What happens in family day care in other states?

South Australia is unique in that there is currently only 1 approved family day care provider – the department. In other states and territories there are a large number of smaller providers including councils, non-government organisations and private providers that are community focused and clustered around a small geographic area.

Has a decision been made to out-source family day care and respite care?

Family day care and respite care services are operated by self-employed educators operating a small business. The department is finding out if there are other organisations interested in becoming providers of these services and taking on the role of supporting the family day care educators and respite care providers with such things as coordination of the program, training and, business and customer support. We don’t know if there's interest in the market so we're going to have conversations with the non-government sector to find out.

What will happen during the market engagement?

Family day care and respite care services will continue as usual. The department will speak with organisations that already operate in the early childhood sector in South Australia, or other states, that may be interested in taking on the part or all of the department family day care/respite care services.

How long will the market engagement take?

It’s expected to take 3-6 months.

Who will decide if an organisation is suitable?

The department will assess interest from the market to provide services and make recommendations to the government.

What if there is no interest from non-government organisations?

The department will continue as the approved provider.

Is it possible that family day care and respite care will not be provided in South Australia in the future?

The government is committed to the continuity of these services in South Australia with either the department as the provider or another organisation(s).

What will happen to guardianship family day care?

We will work with the Department of Child Protection regarding the family day care Guardianship program.

Employment

What will happen with my job?

It’s business as usual. The government is committed to the provision of skilled and experienced employees in the education and care sector, and the retention of employee terms and conditions, as far as is possible.

What will happen to my job if another organisation is interested in being an approved provider?

It’s business as usual during the market engagement and for the immediate future. If another organisation is interested and are considered capable there is a considerable process to go through.  

Is this part of the department restructure or FTE savings initiative that’s been running across corporate office?

No, this is not part of the FTE savings initiative.

Educators

Educators, respite care providers and families will be informed of the intent to test the market. Family day care and respite care services will continue as usual.

The department remains committed to the development of a family day care marketing and communications plan, building educator and staff capacity through training and development, introducing ICT improvements and developing a family day care quality management framework. 

What will be the impact on my business?

There is no immediate impact on your business. The current arrangements with the department as the approved provider will continue while discussions occur with potential providers. We don’t know if there is interest in the market so we will have conversations to find out.  

Will I continue to be part of the same scheme?

Yes during this process it's business as usual.

Will I have the same coordinator?

This process won’t impact operational decisions made by the department and locally by the scheme managers and respite care manager. Educators and care providers will continue to be monitored and supported by our qualified staff, working at a local level interacting with the children, educators, care providers and families.

How will educators and care providers be informed?

Information collected through the market engagement process will be commercial in confidence. The department will keep you updated on the progress of the work and, in the future, if decisions that impact the department’s provider role are made. 

Families and parents

As an educator, you may be asked a number of questions by families. Some anticipated questions and suggested responses are:

Will my family day care/respite care service continue?

Yes it's business as usual. The government is committed to the continuity of family day care/respite care services in South Australia with either the department as approved provider or another organisation(s).

Do I need to change my care arrangements?

No its business as usual. The government is committed to the continuity of family day care/respite care services in South Australia with either the department as approved provider or another organisation(s).

Will my family day care fees go up?

Educators are small businesses and may choose to adjust their fees at any time.

Will the standards of education and care reduce?

Family day care educators must comply with the requirements of the National Quality Framework regardless of the approved provider.

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