Shoalhaven City Council celebrate 40 years of Family Day Care
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Shoalhaven City Council celebrate 40 years of Family Day Care

by Freya Lucas

November 11, 2020

Shoalhaven City Council are celebrating 40 years of Shoalhaven Family Day Care in 2020, recognising the role and importance of family day care (FDC) educators in supporting families in the district since the inception of the service, then known as Nowra Family Day Care, on 1 September 1980.  


Mayor Amanda Findley said the City is proud of the legacy that Shoalhaven Family Day Care has built in the Shoalhaven, giving her “respect and gratitude” to “the many wonderful staff and educators who have, and continue to, care for Shoalhaven children over the past four decades”.


There are currently 30 educators registered with the scheme, a number that the Coordination Unit are keen to expand as the region experiences a growth in the demand for early childhood education and care services in the region. 


The key benefit of FDC is the intimacy, Ms Findley said, outlining the small group numbers which allow educators to build solid relationships with the children and families and enable educators to have quality interactions with the children. 


“There have been several inspiring and dedicated Nominated Supervisors over the 40 years, including Bev Wells, Jenny Gould, Sheila McMillian, Liz Daly, Winifred Sadlier, Helen Waterhouse, Cathy Ryman, Patrice Keegan and the current Nominated Supervisor Darlene Musgrove,” Ms Findley said. 


Child Development Coordinators were also acknowledged by the Mayor for the role they play in sharing their professional knowledge, skills, practical experience and early childhood expertise with the educators and local families of the Shoalhaven. 


“Just as importantly, the service couldn’t function without the support and dedication of the admin staff, who are the lynchpin that keeps the service running smoothly,” she concluded. 


When the scheme began operation in 1980, it was located in a small cottage on Council land adjacent to the main Administration Building on Bridge Road in Nowra, before moving to a second cottage located next door to the original cottage, both of which have now been demolished.  


Nowra Family Day Care merged with their sister scheme, Ulladulla Family Day Care in November 2006 and became Shoalhaven Family Day Care, supporting the Nowra and Ulladulla townships and outlying villages of both the Northern and Southern Shoalhaven.  


2006 also saw the Coordination Unit move to a purpose-built building in East Nowra, equipped with a range of facilities including a large office space, playroom, toy library and meeting room. Many local community groups have used and continue to use the building over the past 14 years. 


“The childcare sector has seen so much change over the years, and is a major element of the social and economic structure in Australia today, by allowing parents to continue to participate in the workforce and by caring for, teaching and preparing children for school and life,” Mayor Findley said. 


“Congratulations to all involved with Shoalhaven Family Day Care over the past 40 years, in a sector that has seen so much change. Your commitment, adaptability and flexibility which has not been more apparent than in 2020, is to be commended,” she added.


To learn more about the work of Shoalhaven Family Day Care, please see here

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