Childcare centre group finds a key to balancing the welfare of families & educators

AMAZE Education

Queensland childcare centre group, AMAZE Education, says the key to balancing the welfare of families & their educators is to create a stress-free supportive community.

According to the DESE, in the June quarter of 2021, there were almost 1.4 million Australian children in child care centres Gold Coast, from over 1 million families. With an average of three days per child, per week, Care for Kids reported that the average fees during 2021 was $177 per child, per week. In a recent study conducted by Savvy, Australia’s cost of living is 86% more expensive than any other country in the world; and one in six Australian families are ‘very concerned’ about their current financial situation, while 77% said they are concerned about their future position. Childcare is an unavoidable expense for most families; And the cost of living has increased. February 2022 overall Average Daily Spend is up 10% from January 2022 at $241 per day, provoking financial strain for many. A recent study by Dr Marg Rogers suggests that Early Learning Educators carry a heavy mental load; the educators curriculum and accompanying educator handbook, also asks educators to recognise the knowledge and strengths of parents. Lucy Cook, founder and director of family-owned childcare centre group, AMAZE Education, says Early Learning Educators are witnessing the emotional ups and downs by parents and that there is a greater need to address the welfare of families and children which ultimately supports educators. “AMAZE Education was created as a holistic approach to care for families; we feel care doesn’t need to stop once the children have left the centre”, Ms Cook reports, “the key to ensuring children have the best learning environment is create a stress-free community – this means for care-givers and educators”.

According to Lifeline, financial stress can cause arguments with others, changes in mood, irritability or anger and feelings of guilt about spending money on small treats or unnecessary items – all which can be triggers for secondhand stress. Research suggests that even the youngest of children can sense tension from parents, it also suggests that children who are mentally healthy are better able to meet life’s challenges. They are also better learners and have stronger relationships. “In addition to including all food, nappies and extra-curricular activities in our fees, we have implemented partnerships with Parent TV and Nurch childcare loyalty rewards to support our families at home too. By offering this extra support, we hope to reduce general at-home stress for families”, says Ms Cook, “we believe how our families feel has a flow-on effect for our educators giving them a head-start on their mental wellbeing as it creates a stronger foundation for open interactions and communication with parents. Nurch recently surveyed their members which indicates that a staggering 49% use the loyalty rewards program to reduce their household and child/children’s essential spending. Interestingly, 50% of Nurch members reported their annual household income to be $120,000. The overall consensus from this recent survey is that it is now not just low income families feeling the pinch on affordability. We all are in our own way. Steph, mother of four boys, says that while her family expenses are considerable, the most important aspect of childcare is that her children are happy and in the right learning environment.

“I have three children attending AMAZE childcare center in Gaven; We recently moved and have a childcare centre 15 minutes from our house but choose to drive 45 minutes each way so they can stay at AMAZE – the educators are like our extended family”, Steph says, “My husband and I earn full-time wages but daycare is considerable expense, and while the CCS changes have helped, Nurch will help to cover the $450 we spend in groceries each week and never-ending clothes costs that come with having young boys”.

ABOUT NURCH: Nurch is Australia’s first childcare loyalty rewards program where families earn 1 point for every dollar spent at their partnering childcare centre. Points can be instantly redeemed for eGiftCards to spend at over 100 Australian retailers. The multi-award winning program has a proven record that the product helps centres to retain and attract new enrolments – which creates a consistent learning environment for children.

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