The death of any precious baby is an absolutely tragic event, especially when that child is in care at the time. On Wednesday morning this week in Brisbane a Family Daycare reported a baby boys death in their care. The Family Daycare was licensed by Moorooka Family Daycare, fully accredited and running for three years without any incidents reported and police were quick to report it was not a suspicious death as the Emma Griffiths reported on 612abc radio a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The Courier Mail report “The Brisbane house where a baby boy died was in a messy state of disrepair and some neighbours didn’t realise it was being used to run a family daycare service.” Well that’s no surprise as they don’t for very obvious reasons apart from being in a residential area advertise there is a Family Daycare. Police told Seven News children in the house had been locked in bedrooms.
When a mum called Clara phoned into 3:10 drive with Emma Griffiths we heard a completely different side of the story. Clara’s child was present at the time the baby was found. She criticised the sensational reporting of TV and print broadcasters and has nothing but praise for the Family Daycare operators which her daughter went to after her friend referred her. She said she hoped they would open up again early next year so her child could return to the Family Daycare. Clara explained that because of a breakdown in communication Police couldn’t ascertain why the children were locked in rooms and she said they put into a room out of the way while they had called the ambulance. If you have read any of the online reports this voice is not represented.
Childcare is a hot topic for parents and the trust we place in our childcare educators is immense. Luckily in Australia we have the support of regulated care which is assessed in 7 different quality areas in our National Quality Framework. We live in a commercialised world and that is no exception even when it comes to childcare. A fabulous website, yoga, tennis and another language and a $160.00, per day price tag are not all predictors of quality. We often make assumptions about care based on our own personal backgrounds but these things do not define quality. Two main areas to define quality:
So process is all about child to child and child to adult interactions and the children’s education program and structural is all about the qualifications of staff, numbers of qualified staff, staff to child ratios and requirements like group size, health, safety and space. Also as parents if the staff are warm, caring and nurturing and know the children they can effectively engage them in play-based activities that help to be, belong and become. The three core themes of the National Quality Framework. Check out www.startingblocks.gov.au, for more information and reflect on your perceptions and choose childcare on quality indicators and your gut feeling.