Family day care educators' ability to support children's mental wellbeing and the impact of COVID-19

Zoi Triandafilidis*, Ashleigh Old, Tanya Hanstock, Sally Fitzpatrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The childcare setting is a critical environment to observe, and also influence, children's mental wellbeing. However, little research has examined the experiences and ability of Australian family day care (FDC) educators in supporting children's mental wellbeing. The present study aimed to explore how training, COVID-19. and partnerships influence FDC educators' ability to promote children's mental wellbeing. Seven FDC educators engaged in semi-structured interviews, and thematic analysis identified six themes. These were (I) more than a babysitter; (2) experience is the best teacher; (3) close and supportive relationships, which included a sense of exile as a subordinate theme; (4) it takes a village to raise a child; (5) fear and uncertainty; and (6) business and relational difficulties. The research suggests that support for FDC educators through adequate training and strong partnerships more effectively promotes children's mental wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-523
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • children's mental wellbeing
  • family day care educators
  • partnerships
  • training
  • COVID-19
  • qualitative
  • children’s mental wellbeing


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