If you are a “bigger picture” type thinker and have the willingness to support a small (sole trader) start up business in the child care industry located in Adelaide, South Australia, please keep reading.
My name is Sarah Giddings the Approved Provider of Little Petal Child Care (Approved Provider number RPR-00009353). On 26/11/2021 I received my Service Approval from the Education Standards Board SA (Service Approval number RSE-00016555).
Little Petal CC is an in-home child care service that was developed out of necessity to support busy working families who cannot otherwise access traditional child care due to their working hours, location and personal circumstances. Our service is delivered in the child’s home by qualified and skilled Educators who arrive equipped with travelling resource kits packed with fun and interactive activities to engage with the children. Educators also support families with school/kindy/childcare pick up and drop off's, transport to activities (sport etc), home work support, meal preparation and light house duties. Essentially, the service is designed to afford parents/caregivers quality time with their children when they arrive home, because everything else has been taken care of.
Little Petal CC vision is: "All children will be afforded the highest quality of in-home care that encompasses their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing needs. With the understanding that children desire to have secure relationships with their carer’s and it being the carer’s responsibility to promote safe and positive opportunities to build secure relationships with children".
Little Petal CC is more than just attending to the child’s basic needs, it extends to fostering and promoting positive, secure attachments with children in our care. We do this by gaining an understanding of a child’s holistic needs through interactive and fun engagement, empathy, and demonstrating a safe and calm approach when addressing their needs.
Why did I embark on this journey on a road less travelled?
I am a qualified social worker with 14 years’ experience supporting individuals, families, and communities across South Australia (regional, rural and metro areas) and prior to creating Little Petal CC I worked in the child protection field for 4 years. As it is a common occurrence, the program I was employed in underwent a tender process and was reshaped to address Government determined KPI’s and essentially at that point in my career, I knew I needed to forge my own path and create a service that benefits children and families, and that I can be proud of. I resigned from the social work field and started working with a wonderful family as a sole trader offering in home child care support. This experience allowed me to gain a better understanding of the child care needs for families in Adelaide (you learn a lot during school pick-ups from parents and grandparents), and shape what Little Petal CC is now and what it will become. I also quickly realised that many families are desperate for quality in-home child care support and often, through lack of options, resort to enlisting the help from unqualified and inexperienced babysitters, that are without the relevant clearances, or training related to working with children.
I commenced the state approval process in May this year and received my final service approval late November, a very intensive process to say the least, and understandably so. Up until this point, I was not permitted to advertise, market or recruit eucators, however I continued to ensure that other systems were in place up until I received that “green light”, including, HR support, payroll/accounting support, paying for insurances, renting an office space, subscribing to various memberships (relating to worker safety apps, Xero, Onehub workspace etc), and outsourcing work to create my logo and put together a very basic landing page. I had to be resourceful balancing various business expenses whilst receiving a NEIS allowance (one learns about their resilience under pressure) and this is why I am here. I require financial support to launch my business and get this wonderful service well off the ground. With school holidays in South Australia fast approaching the time is of the essence to be ready and available to families.
In order for me to take Little Petal CC to the next level and fully operational the funding will be delegated to the following areas:
· Website development that is responsive and caters for a booking system and is an information hub where families and potential employees can refer to policies and procedures, child related resources, for example.
· Marketing including social media support, advertising, and merchandise.
· Resource kits. The resource kits are aids to encourage positive interactions with children. Educators will bring along their kits to each shift, that are packed with fun activities to do with children. For example, making sock puppets, creating nature art, and other fun age-appropriate activities that encourages children to learn and improve various skills according to their developmental needs. Little Petal CC service is not about doing the bare minimum and placing the child in front of a screen until parents arrive home; educators engage with the child through play and support and positive role modelling.
· First Aid kits. All educators are expected to hold a current first aid certificate applicable to administering first aid treatment to infants and children. It is vital that educators are provided with appropriate resources to carry out first aid treatment whenever necessary and therefore must have their own first aid kit to bring along to every shift.
I have utilised government funded support in the ways of accessing free consultation sessions with business advisors and accessing shared working spaces, however I require financial support to address the abovementioned areas, which to date I have experienced various barriers. For example, when speaking to business advisors in local councils to apply for available funding it has been explained that because my ABN is registered in one council area, and my physical office is located in a different council area I am ineligible for a grant, that could be utilised for the costs associated with the website development. As I do not currently have any employees (in the process of recruiting) and I am not generating an income that satisfies most funding criteria, options for financial support are very limited at this stage of business.
To get Little Petal CC to the point where it is “all systems go” the time has come to reach out to interested people on this platform. One small step at a time, and with your support, Little Petal CC will become the service I have always envisioned it to be: child focused, infused with social work values and secure attachment principles, high-quality and safe care for children, because that is what they are entitled to. Together we can get the wheels in motion.
Thank you for your time, interest and backing my vision!