Get to know your AO: Amy Midson
Based on Dharug land, Amy Midson, a Senior Field Officer working in the Family Day Care Team, shares her insights on Quality Area 3.
27 September 2022
With extensive sector experience in a variety of roles across long day care, out of school hours care and family day care, Amy shares how family day cares can be innovative in creating and maintaining physical environments through Quality Area 3 that are safe, inclusive and engaging for children.
“Family day care educators can provide education and care for children aged 0-12 years and this often occurs in smaller spaces, which means they face unique challenges and must consider all aspects of Quality Area 3 on a much smaller scale and with potentially a larger age range,” Amy said.
As some family day cares may have limited access to outdoor areas , Amy has observed creative approaches to expanding the environments they provide to children.
“In metropolitan Sydney, I see some units and townhouses with limited access to outdoor spaces. In these situations, children and educators often engage in excursions to local parks and reserves where they become connected to these spaces,” she said.
Despite the smaller nature of this service type, Amy has been impressed by some particularly exceptional and engaging environments family day care educators have been able to create.
“I recently visited a family day care educator on the South Coast of NSW who had created amazing indoor and outdoor learning environments for children,” Amy said.
“The two environments worked seamlessly together and were surrounded not only by a lush garden, but also had a number of animals in the environment, including rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, leaf insects, cats and an axolotl.”
Amy shared that her key advice for family day care educators is to keep safety at the centre of every decision about the design, upkeep and use of physical environments.
“I regularly discuss with educators the importance of making time in the morning and throughout the day to thoroughly assess their home-based learning environments for any harms or hazards,” Amy said.
“As family day care services are often in shared spaces with the educator’s family, it’s important household members are aware of all safety requirements and have a commitment to supporting the safety of the children in these spaces.
“Children’s safety in the learning environments must be paramount.”