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Family day care is a network of educators who provide flexible care and developmental activities in their own homes for other people's children, supported and administered by an ‘approved family day care service’. Both not-for-profit and for-profit approved family day care service providers may operate a family day care service.

An approved family day care service is responsible for the effective operation of all components of family day care, including recruiting, training and supporting educators, monitoring care provision and providing advice, support and information for families. The service also assists in matching the individual needs of children and families with an appropriate family day care educator.

An approved family day care service can provide flexible care, including all-day care, part-time, casual, before and after school care, and care during school holidays, overnight and on weekends.

In order to establish an approved family day care service there are a number of processes that must occur.