Work and Wellbeing in Family Day Care


‘Work and wellbeing in family day care’ was a mixed methods research project that aimed to understand the relationships between educator mental health and wellbeing, working conditions and care quality in family day care to inform the development of workplace mental health promotion interventions.

Key papers

Project summary

Family day care (FDC) educators work alone, under challenging conditions with high responsibilities- characteristics that mean their mental health is both critical and at risk. This mixed methods research investigated the relationships between FDC educators’ mental health and wellbeing, psychosocial working conditions and child care quality. It revealed the extent of poor mental health in FDC, the importance of educator mental health to care quality and the influential roles of policy, relationships and the fair exchange of effort for rewards (esteem, income) to educator mental health. The study provides evidence for systems-based workplace mental health promotion in FDC.

Funding source

National Health and Medical Research Council PhD scholarship 2010-2014

Research team

The research team included academics from other departments at the University of Melbourne as well as from other universities across Australia, including:

  • Dr Lara Corr
    Dr Lara Corr, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Dr Elise Davis
    Dr Elise Davis, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Vale Prof Elizabeth Waters
    Vale Prof Elizabeth Waters, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
  • Prof Anthony LaMontagne
    Prof Anthony LaMontagne, Deakin University
  • Dr Kay Cook
    Dr Kay Cook, RMIT
  • Prof Collette Tayler
    Prof Collette Tayler, Melbourne Graduate School of Education