All posts by @nurturing


National Family Day Care Week 1-7 May 2016

Nat-Family-Day-Care-Week Commencing on May 1 and concluding on May 7, National Family Day Care Week , organised annually by Family Day Care Australia is about recognising and promoting the important role family day care educators and services play in the development and wellbeing of more than 203,790 children across Australia. Family Day Care Queensland would like to acknowledge our Co-ordination Units and Educators for their commitment to quality outcomes for children. We appreciate the endless hours and dedication of each and every individual within our Family Day Care Queensland Co-Ordination Units. Their dedication to mentoring and advocating our high quality Educators and their desire and willingness to inspire wonderful childhoods help to fuel our mutual efforts of building positive and meaningful relationships with all families and children. To our Educators, we recognise that Family Day Care Queensland is the great organisation it is today because each and every one of you perform your vocation with passion, dedication and integrity. We know that the best lessons for all of the young individuals within your care are not learned from books, but from the hearts of truely great Educators like yourselves. There is nothing that gives us more satisfaction than when we accomplish so much together with you all, and for that – We thank you! National Family Day Care Week is your week to celebrate you. Through this blog we would like for you to comment and share below your stories as a Practice Mentor ( also known as a Co-ordinator ) or an Educator. You could perhaps share with us how –

  • As a Practice Mentor ( also known as a Co-ordinator ) or Educator you feel proud when …..
  • As a Practice Mentor ( also known as a Co-ordinator ), you best support Educators by …..
  • As an Educator, you best support Families and Children by …..

We would also like to hear directly from you how you celebrated National Family Day Care Week . Please send your stories and images for us to read and share to  


Regional South West Queensland Meeting at Kath Dickson Toowoomba


The Regional South West Qld Meeting was held at Kath Dickson Toowoomba on the 10 March 2016.

The highlight of the meeting was using the FDCAQ’s Practice Mentor – Capability Pursuit Cards with the group.

Each participant had to firstly choose a card that relates to an individual strength they have in regards to practice and secondly choose another card that is an area of growth. The participants then shared their reflection to the group about each card. This experience stimulated some questions and critical thinking.

Attendees at this Regional Meeting Included :

Six attendees from Kath Dickson Toowoomba FDC


One attendee from St George Family Day Care


Gooniwindi-FDCTwo attendees from Goondiwindi FDC 


Cathy Cahill from Family Day Care Association QLD


You too can experience the excitement of the highlight of the Regional South West Queensland Meeting . Simply visit the Family Day Care Association website and purchase your very own FDCAQ’s Practice Mentor – Capability Pursuit Cards .



Loose Parts Educator session at Kath Dickson

The Loose Parts Educator Session was held at Kath Dickson Toowoomba on the 10 March 2016.

The theory of loose parts is essential to any Early Childhood environment, if we are wanting to foster and build children’s competence, creativity and independent thinking we need to engage in this type of play. By offering loose parts play to the children in your environments children will gain a better understanding of free exploration and creation, problem solving and sustainability.

The Loose Parts session gave practical examples of how loose parts can be used in a FDC environment to promote open ended play, support independent thinking and to foster sustainability. During this session, participants took part in a hands-on workshop where they could jump in, take hold, pull apart, rearrange and invent using whatever materials they have within their reach.

At this session Educators were asked to reflect back to their favourite childhood memory and share this in the group. The group stated that their favourite memories all related to outdoor play, nature and a sense of freedom.  During this time an Educator from Bangladesh Tanima came to me and shared that the childhood reflection and playing with the loose parts took her back to her childhood where they would make their toys out of Loose parts.

In Tanima’s hands was a doll she had made out of the workshop loose parts materials (flowers, playdough and material and ribbon) – as a child Tanima would create the body of the doll out of clay from the ground and create the dress out of scape material and ribbons and flowers from the garden.

“Cathy the thanks really must go to you for such a fabulous presentation that truly engaged and enthused our educators. “
Debby Mogg – Manager Kath Dickson FDC



Broadcast media: TV and Radio and Print tips from an insider

Vivienne’s top tips when you have been asked to engage with the local media

This is follow up media information from FDCAQ Media training session held at FDCAQ on the 4th of November 2016 facilitated by Vivienne Wynter.

Broadcast media: TV and Radio and Print tips from an insider:


  • Wear simple clothes and avoid thin stripes dots and complex patterns which strobe in the lights and don’t translate well. Wear block colours and not too much black (funereal) or white (makes people look big and clinical). Ideally black pants or skirt with flattering top in a block colour. Nothing distracting like elaborate earrings or brooches. Dress simply and keep still, and keep a direct gaze for TV appearances. Imagine you are speaking to one person (who approves of you). Smile with your eyes as well as your mouth.
  • Don’t fiddle with your hands. Keep them still. (I hold mine behind my back in stand up interviews).
  • Be the Family Day Care brand: friendly, approachable, knowledgeable, trustworthy, plain speaking.
  • Be confident. Your experience as an educator means you are qualified to give expert comment.
  • Prepare your lines beforehand and review them – no more than three or you will probably forget them.
  • Pre-recorded TV interview – do again if you fluff your lines (we all do it).
  • Be prepared for a general question – ‘What is quality child care? What does it look like? Can put you off guard because there’s so much to say. Be prepared with your lines and try not to rave but make a key point or two. Media is not about telling the whole story – it’s about delivering a few take home messages so listeners form an impression of an issue and maybe want to find out more. Don’t give chapter and verse.
  • Pause. Pause.
  • Slow down. Slow down. Slow down.
  • Smile. Smile.
  • Watch and listen to yourself on TV. There is no better way to learn.
  • Be mindful of body language and steady eye contact.
  • Try be animated and passionate – it makes good TV.
  • Hair and makeup – do them. Spray loose hairs down so they are not a dancing distraction catching the light or the breeze. Lipstick defines your mouth. Viewers are looking at your eyes and mouth so defining them makes your face easier to read. Use your eyes and mouth to be expressive

Radio presentation

  • Listen to child care centre director Nicole Spark on The World Today about EYQF First time she did media – did well.
  • News, programs (breakfast program, drive program), current affairs – speak to time slot. Brekkie is chatty, short interviews. Use the small amount of time well. Drive is more hard news and current affairs with more in depth interviews. Match the tone of the program.
  • In a live radio interview, keep still in your chair.
  • Give short self-contained answers with pauses for the interviewer to come in.
  • Slow down.
  • Ums and Ahs. Slow down. Practice a 30 second spiel without um and ah. It’s a matter of being mindful of speaking clearly in complete sentences. Consciously eliminate ums and ahs from your media presentation.
  • Imagine one listener (one person will be listening).
  • It’s just a conversation – hopefully a lively one.
  • Pause – leave clean breaks between your sentences so you don’t get interrupted or cut off.
  • Give key points not the whole book. Smile – it comes across.
  • Use anecdotes (mini-examples).
  • Warmth and humour.
  • Get the presenter’s name right – ask the producer booking the interview. Nothing sounds worse than a politician from interstate calling a presenter ‘Caroline’ when regular listeners know her name is ‘Carolyn’.

Print tips

  • Pause while journalists write to give them time. Most don’t have great shorthand!
  • It’s fine to ask ‘read that quote back to me’ and if it’s not quite right, give them another one or rephrase.
  • On and off the record – don’t say anything off the record. It you don’t want to see it in print, don’t say it.
  • Newspaper photos. Like TV – simple clothing and hair is best. Smile and brighten your eyes by opening them a bit more than usual.
  • The photo is ALL about the eyes and the face. Be animated if you can.
  • Clothing and background. A little bit of colour pops. A touch of red clothing, a green background is great.
  • Photographers want photos showing relationships or natural action. Interact with children or environment around you.
  • You don’t have to do what photographers ask you to do. Remember Marilyn Monroe standing over the air vent? She regretted that. Remember Alexander Downer in fishnets? A Certain Prime Minister in speedos. Only agree to requests you will be comfortable with.
  • Branding doesn’t’ matter for news photos. Photographers and camera operators don’t want to run an ad with a brand or logo showing and they will cut out where possible. They want the photo to tell a story. Leave business names and Family Day Care logos out of the background.
  • Smile: it makes everyone look their best.