Jen Van Praag operates Mid Hartley Family Day Care from her rural property. Her approach is gentle and nurturing, allowing the children in her service to explore through play, at their own pace. Jen spoke to us about why she loves operating a Blue Mountains Family Day Care service:
How long have you been long an educator in Family Day Care?
Over 12 years now. When I had my first child I wanted to stay at home with her so I decided to start Family Day Care. I absolutely loved it and the bonds that my children had with the children I looked after was amazing. So I just kept running from there.
I now have three children who have all grown up with family day care.
Now they’re all at school, I could branch out into other work, but I just love it too much.
What do you love about being a Blue Mountains Family Day Care educator?
I love working with little kids and the relationships you can have with a small group. The bonds they can form in such a small service is important. I’ve worked in long day care off and on over the years in short stints and it’s great, and you do have bonds with the kids, but it’s not as close and you really get to know the families in this environment.
What are the advantages of Family Day Care?
Those connections you have in a small environment and even the connections the children have with each other. They form these close friendships and outside of care, there are a lot of friendships made from here.