Supporting mental health and wellbeing in family day care

In 2020, an online program for family day care was developed by Everymind as part of the Children in Mind suite of programs and resources. The program provided family day care educators knowledge and resources to support children’s social and emotional development and mental health.

An initial trial of the program with 258 family day care educators found that those who completed the program reported a significant increase in their confidence and capacity to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. These increases were maintained when we surveyed participants again three months after completion.

The program’s second phase was launched in 2022, adding a specific module for coordinators/managers. The program focused on implementing and evaluating the existing program in a real-world setting, with 45 additional participants.

The program results showed:

  • 100% of coordinators (from phase two of the study) thought the program helped support the mental health of educators and the children in their care.
  • 98% of participants across both studies would recommend the program to other family day care educators.
  • 97% of participants across both studies found the program engaging and would recommend it to others in the family day care sector.
  • 96% of participants across both studies found the program easy to understand.

Educators told us:

  • The program contributed to their confidence in understanding and supporting children’s social and emotional wellbeing. This led to feelings of empowerment and reaffirmed what they were doing well and that they were doing a good job.
  • The program contributed to awareness and the importance of their own mental health and wellbeing. They perceived an understanding that the prioritisation of their own mental health and wellbeing would have a positive effect on children and their families, making them better placed to support the children in their care.
  • The online program was feasible and appropriate for their lifestyle and working conditions, noting that the program was available online, educators did not have to do the program all at once but could do sections when they had time and pick up right where they left off.
  • The program structure was engaging and enjoyable.

Coordinators told us:

  • The program helped them feel confident to communicate with educators about the importance of mental health for children in their care.
  • Due to the nature of the work with limited opportunities to discuss workers mental health directly, the program provided relevant resources and training for coordinators to support educators mental health.
  • They would like more information about services or sources to support educators wellbeing.
  • The program highlighted the importance of the relationship between coordinators and educators.

Thank you

Over 400 family day care educators and managers/coordinators have participated in the development and evalution of the Children in Mind program. Everymind thanks all our participants.


Please reach out to Everymind Project Lead, Dr Philippa Ditton-Phare, with any questions.

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