Meet Chloe Weir, awarded 'Emerging Star Award' in the 2022 Day Care Australia Awards

We sat down with Chloe Weir to talk about being an educator and the value she brings to children’s lives in her role. Chloe was nominated for the prestigious Excellence in Family Day Care awards 2022 as Educator of the Year and was awarded the 'Emerging Star' award. The award nomination recognises all the support and hard work she has put in as an educator to her families. The awards are a nationwide recognition scheme that is the only one completely dedicated to family day care. 

Chloe’s background

Chloe has worked in the childcare industry for nearly eight years, starting in early learning as an assistant and later as a room leader. Later she combined working as a Director of Out of School Hours care as well as long day care.

Chloe decided to move into Family Day Care because of the flexibility it offered her to be available for her own family after her daughter was born. “I know what a huge impact the early years can have on children, so I really wanted to be able to combine having a career while also being there for my daughter. Family Day Care was the perfect choice for me,” she says.

Family Day Care is run from an educator’s home. It is popular because it provides a family-style atmosphere as well as small group sizes which facilitate individual care and support. Chloe now runs her Family Day Care business registered as an educator with Windermere.

Family and individual care is also a core aspect of Chloe’s Family Day Care philosophy towards the children she cares for. “I treat them as if they were my own children;” she says.  Chloe currently educates three preschool children along with her daughter in her Family Day Care.  

What do you find rewarding about being an educator?

Watching the children develop friendships and confidence. The small class sizes, which are a wonderful feature of Family Day Care, means that I can give attention to all of the children individually. I can also cater to their different interests with different play spaces according to their interests. I can also give the parents daily updates about their child.

Having a small group means I can really cater to what each child needs and have activities ready so they can be engaged and happy right from the start of the day.

I’m also really lucky to be able to have the opportunity to work and be with my daughter. I’ve gotten to watch her confidence increase. She used to be nervous and shy and now we can see she’s a different child, much more comfortable in different environments and more confident.

What do you think is important in early childhood education?

Setting children up for the future. They will use everything they learn now when they’re older so it’s important my program reflects life skills. I use a lot of role play activities. Currently we have an animal hospital set up where the children can learn about medicine and patients. Some previous examples include role plays activities with a grocery store using recycled materials, an ice cream/desert shop as an extension of this a few weeks later, and our home corner (play kitchen and baby accessories and dolls) which is always set up as it is much loved by the children. 

I don’t just see these role play and activity areas as only toys. I am giving the children actual experiences that have meaning so that the can be involved in and understand their worlds.

What are the benefits of Family Day Care?

Being able to have those small group sizes. It means I can adapt the program to the individual child and their interests and skills while setting appropriate challenges. It makes programming much easier too because the activities can be planned with one child in mind.

What are some of your favourite activities to do with the children in your FDC?

I try to make sure my experiences reflect life skills and variety. So we do things with books, crafts, sensory play and role play. Messy play is always fun and it’s something the children wouldn’t normally do at home. We always do one sensory play a day, like colouring or pouring rice.

What do you enjoy about being a Family Day Care educator with Windermere?

I love being a part of the community. My supervisor Jayne (from Windermere) is very supportive, she’s always available and willing to help. Her support visits are very in-depth and her focus is on developing and supporting me as a person.

Windermere was the best move career-wise for my Family Day Care. It’s such a welcoming environment and I feel so supported. Windermere is a wonderful organisation to work with.  

More information

Visit our Family Day Care page or Become a Family Day Care Educator page to find more or call the team on 1300 946 337