When we first chatted with Krystle from Mini Monsters Family Day Care, it was an obnoxiously beautiful spring morning in September; being a weekday, many of us could only stare longingly over our computer screens at the cloudless blue sky...
Not Krystle, though.
Krystle was about to set off on the family holiday she’d organised for her son’s 16th birthday. As the business owner of Mini Monsters, the decision to holiday mid-week was an easy one to make. It’d meant some careful planning to fit her schedule, sure, but it hadn’t meant kowtowing to a cranky boss to negotiate a few days off.
So that she can spend more time with her family is one of many reasons Krystle decided to start her own childcare business. Apart from flexibility, this career also offers her more stability and control.
If you’ve completed your childcare qualification, it may be a career that interests you, too.
Here’s how to know if self-employment in childcare is right for you.
Why own your own childcare business?
“You know when they say do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life? That’s how I feel right now,” Krystle says.
“These last few months that I’ve been caring for the kids, I actually feel like I’m not working. I feel like I’m just living my life and enjoying it.”
For someone passionate about working with children, owning a childcare business is a great way to love what you do every day. And if you love working to your own schedule and free from said cranky boss, this career path becomes more enticing still.
Owning your own family day care like Krystle, for example, offers you:
- the control to operate your day care how you like (within regulations)
- the freedom to implement your own ideas and activities
- the flexibility to work to your own schedule
- scalability, meaning that if you aspire to grow your business, you can
- the opportunity to give back to your community by providing a much-needed service.
According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, “The [children’s education and care] sector is large, diverse and growing.
“Child carers are expected to experience the largest surge in jobs, reaching 27,600 jobs by 2023.”
While childcare services are in high demand and offer a stable career, being self-employed in the space requires an extra level of dedication and support.
Here’s how Krystle got started.
What's the process for starting your own family day care?
For Krystle, starting her own family day care was easier than she expected.
Because rules, regulations and fees apply to childcare service providers, Krystle operates through a third-party organisation that takes care of this for her in return for a small portion of her income.
Still, she says that patience and perseverance were key.
“Initially, I did a lot of research. I called several community organisations and YMCAs to learn more about starting a family day care. I decided it would be easier for me to allow a third party to help me stay compliant and up-to-date with all regulations in Queensland, so I eventually became registered through an organisation,” Krystle says.
“Of course, I started a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care with Amazing Education and Training first. Actually, it was my Amazing trainer, Penbe, who gave me the idea of owning a family day care and even helped me get started!
“Then I took my time to develop a plan to get my new day care up and running. We renovated part of our house to create a space for the children, created a name and logo, and I began to network.
“It’s important to remember if you’re doing this for yourself that you don’t have to have everything done straight away; it’s better to slowly build up.”
What if you don’t feel ready to start your own childcare business?
Krystle’s story is a great reminder for all of us procrastinators out there: don’t wait until you feel like you have the time and space to pursue your passion. Do it now.
Working three different jobs - and raising three children - didn’t dilute Krystle’s determination to study childcare.
“Working in retail, I grew tired of fighting for a full-time job,” Krystle admits. “So, I decided to take control of my own future, and I began to study childcare in every spare moment I could.”
Krystle is where she is today because of her own self-belief, and the steadfast support she’s received from her Amazing trainer, Penbe.
“After I started my Certificate III in childcare and considered starting my own family day care, I was certainly nervous about going out on my own,” Krystle says.
“But then I remembered that no one else was going to do this for me. This was totally up to me and I had to believe in myself - I had to believe that I could do it, and I did.”
Studying with Amazing, though, meant that Krystle never felt alone in her endeavour.
“I can’t speak highly enough of my trainer, Penbe, who supported me all the way,” Krystle says.
“She’s amazing; she knows what she’s talking about and she was always available for me to call or text or book an appointment to see her.”
What does a typical day look like for a family day care owner?
“We have a bit of a routine,” Krystle explains. “Around 9.30 a.m. we have morning tea, around 11.30 a.m. we have lunch and a nap, and then we wake up around 2 p.m.”
However, a rigid structure isn’t necessary, and Krystle likes to let the children lead where she can. Early learning happens naturally in a variety of ways, particularly when you allow children to explore what piques their interests. There’s no need to plan the perfect educational program.
“I always have a bit of a plan, but if the day doesn’t go exactly to that plan and the children are happy, I just go with it,” Krystle says.
“It’s important to give them some structure, but at the same time to let them lead. I like to do what they love to do and follow their own interests. That means we play outdoors, we read lots of stories, and do puzzles.
“I understand that it is not my job to force teaching on them, but to engage in incidental learning.
“In this way, I’m actually teaching them all the time; for example, to button up their own clothes, go to the toilet, wash their hands. They’re always learning new words and phrases through stories.”
Krystle’s methods seem to be working, too.
“The children that come to my day care hadn’t ever been left with anyone before. Of course, they cried the first time, but now they often don’t want to leave.”
What can I do right now to get started?
A CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care is the minimum qualification required to work in childcare services across Australia. If you are interested in self-employment like Krystle, this would be the best place to start.
With Amazing, the certificate can be completed in just 12-18 months and combines flexible online study with practical training on the job. And, of course, you’ll have the support from brilliant trainers like Penbe along the way.
Thank you Krystle for chatting with us about your study experience at Amazing Education & Training and your amazing career!