Supporting the mental health of children: An online program for family day care

To help build the capability and capacity of educators to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for children, Everymind has developed a six-module, self-paced online program for those who work in the family day care setting.

Informed by Australian family day care educators, managers, coordinators and early childhood education experts, the online program outlines the knowledge, skills and practices family day care educators need to support children’s wellbeing and provide early intervention when needed. The program also encourages those who work in family day care to reflect on their mental health and wellbeing.

The online program for family day care educators is part of our Children in Mind suite of programs and resources, supporting children and families.

Enrol in the program

Everymind is offering the Supporting the mental health of children online program nationally in early 2022, working with key stakeholders and experts within the family day care sector to promote the benefits of participating in the program. The program has been refreshed with an additional module specifically for managers and coordinators who play a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and educators, and who inspire a positive mental health and wellbeing culture within their services.

The short, self-paced program is free to access for educators, coordinators and managers.

Supporting the mental health of children online program

To register to access the program, visit the Family Day Care Australia website.

Learn More

The Supporting the mental health of children online program for family day care educators, coordinators,
and managers is kindly supported by Family Day Care Australia.

“Children who are supported in their mental health and wellbeing in early childhood are more likely to experience positive physical and mental health as an adult, and family day care educators are uniquely placed to provide this support for children in their care.”

Dr Sally Fitzpatrick, Program Manager, Everymind

Why an online program?

Historically, there has been a lack of professional development resources available to support practising Australian early childhood educators in mental health, with even fewer tailored for the family day care context.

Adapted from Connections, a hard-copy evidence-based resource, the online program fills the gap in quality, training and development in the family day care sector. The online format also improves its accessibility and reach for educators. The program provides information, resources and skills suitable for educators, coordinators and managers whose collective aim is to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of children are supported.

Furthermore, evidence suggests skills learned from the program support maintained mental health for educators, which is vital in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young children and others.

Family day care educators play an important role in the lives of children who attend their service, and educators must be supported to foster positive mental health and wellbeing.

Further information

“You need a ‘full cup’ to help with self-care, and educators often run on empty anyway. You can’t give what you don’t have yourself, at the end of the day.”

Kylie, Educational Leader, Family Day Care (2021)

The program has been developed specifically for Australian family day care educators, with the flexible online format designed to allow educators to complete the modules at a time and place convenient for them.

The program's six modules (plus a newly created supporting module for Managers and Coordinators) explore areas of early childhood education practice that are critical to achieving positive mental health outcomes for children, which were identified through research and expert opinion. Furthermore, it has been designed to closely align with the professional standards and principles reflected in the National Quality Standard, Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and My Time, Our Place Framework and will assist in working towards outcomes reviewed for assessment.

Each module includes information, practical tips, case studies and reflective questions, and each takes up to an hour to complete.

“The program aims to deliver professional development approaches that build educator confidence, while also encouraging educators to reflect on and look after their own mental health and wellbeing.”

Dr Sally Fitzpatrick, Program Manager, Everymind

The program includes videos and podcasts with currently practising family day care educators who share their own experiences and learnings from their work with children, as well as family day care coordinators, managers and mental health experts.

Evidence base

In 2019/2020 the program was trialled under Randomised Control Trial (RCT) conditions.

Results showed that educators who completed the online program within the study, showed a significant increase in confidence and capacity to support the mental health and wellbeing of children within their care, compared to the control group. Furthermore, findings showed that the program may be protective against increased distress and maintained wellbeing of educators.

Contact

For more information about the Supporting the mental health of children online program for family day care, reach out to Project Lead, Yohana Franklin.

Yohana Franklin
Yohana Franklin
Project Lead (on maternity leave)
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