Enrolment & Orientation

Enrolment Procedures

Come and see the centre

If parents are interested in our centre, they are invited to visit and view the centre in operation. The Coordinator meets with parents to discuss information about the centre and answer any questions. The centre information booklet is also available for parents to read.

If the parents decide to take a position for their child, they will need to fill out an enrolment form and child profile sheet. Parents will also need to provide children's immunisation records for evidence of immunisation history. An orientation process will be discussed with the parents in order to gradually settle their child into the centre. A non-refundable $50.00 deposit will need to be paid in advance and confirmed starting date and days of attendance. The deposit will be deducted on the first week of fees.

Opening Hours

The centre is open Monday to Friday 6:30am - 6:30pm.

The centre is closed on all recognised Public Holidays and also closes for one week from Christmas Eve.

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Waiting List

The centre maintains a waiting list for parents for positions that are not available. Once a position has become available, the centre will contact the first name on waiting list and work down the list as more positions become available. Siblings of children that already attend the centre take precedence over those children on the waiting list. Once the centre has offered a position to a family, they must accept the offer and pay a deposit within 2 days, otherwise the position will be cancelled.

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Notice of Withdrawal

Parents are asked to give two weeks notice when they no longer require position for their child.

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Priority Access

The Australian Government has priority Access Guidelines for allocating places in these circumstances. These guidelines apply to centre-based long day care. They set out the following three levels of priority, which childcare services must follow when filling vacant places:

  1. A child at risk of serious abuse or neglect
  2. A child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the work/ training/ study test under section 14 of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance ) Act 1999
  3. Any other child.

There are some circumstances in which a child who is already in a child care service may be required to leave the service. Where a service has no vacant places and is providing child care for a child who is a Priority 3 under the Priority of Access Guidelines, the service may require that child o leave the child care service in order for the service to provide a place for a higher priority child, but only if:

  • The person who is liable to pay childcare fees in respect of the child was notified when the child first occupied the child care place that the service followed this policy, and
  • the service gives that person at least 14 days notice of the requirement for the child to leave the child care service.

When filling vacancies, outside school hours care services must give school children priority over children who have not yet started school. When an outside school hours care service has not vacant places and is providing care for a child who has not yet started school, the service may require that child to leave the service so that the service can provide a place for a school child. (Reviewed & Modified 28/4/08) Department of Human Services, 2007-2008, Child Care Service Handbook).

Within these main categories priority should also be given to the following children:

  • Children in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • Children in families which include a disabled person
  • Children in families on low incomes
  • Children in families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Children in socially isolated families
  • Children of single parents

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Orientation Procedures

First visits & settling in

Families are asked to visit the centre prior to their children starting. Each child settles differently. We recommend that parents and the children visit the centre together for the first couple of times. The first time your child is left we encourage it to be a short stay, 30min-1hr. The next visit then can be extended gradually to ensure your child is comfortable. We encourage to make leaving a happy experience because your child will pick up on any negative feelings.

Parents are asked to visit the centre with their child a few times before leaving them. This allows time for children to become familiar with surroundings, the staff and some of the routines. This also allows time for the parents to get to know the child's primary caregivers. We feel that is it is important that parents are staff together display a positive attitude towards attending the centre as children are very perceptive.

During these short visits, staff will be able to discuss any concerns the parents may have and learn more about their child from them. We recommend separations at first only be for short periods e.g. 1hr and slowly extend as the child becomes more confident.

Parents are asked not to leave without saying goodbye. It is best if the parent explains that they will return at a certain time of the day. We also feel it is best to make departure swiftly, the child’s primary caregiver will be available to give comfort to the child and direct them into interesting experiences when they are ready.

Parents are encouraged to phone the centre during the day to find out how their child is settling. However if staff feel the child is too upset and is not settling, they will ring parents and ask if they would like to come and pick up their child. Parents are welcome to drop in at any time of day to spend time with their child.

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Meeting the staff

During your orientation you will be introduced to the staff and your child's primary caregiver. This is a great time to share any information you feel will be useful for caring for your child.

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Parent Participation

If parents would like to contribute suggestions or be involved in a activity with their children e.g. cooking, a traditional meal, music or story telling, etc - please know that you are more than welcome and these experiences can be arranged through staff. Parents are invited to all special activities arranged for children, e.g. mobile farms, puppet shows, chicken hatching and wild action animal show.

(Reviewed & modified 13/12/06: Source "Settling In- A new beginning in childcare" L.Cramp-Lady Gowrie Child Centre (Melb) Inc 2004).

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Confidentiality

Your Child's Records

The centre respects the privacy of family's records and information ensures these are strictly protected.

The parents of the child can access Child progress records at any time through asking a staff member to obtain them. No family can read the file of another child.

All staff can contribute to the child's records and obtain them through the staff member in charge of the child's room.

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Security

Pick-up Procedures

No child will be released from the centre to persons other than the parents or nominee authorised by a parent.

Children will only be released to parents and nominated people documented in the child's enrolment record by the parents. If there is a legal custody agreement the centre must be provided with a copy of this. If a person comes to the centre that is not recorded in the child's enrolment book they will be asked to show some form of photo identification and the parents will be called to confirm the pick-up. If parents cannot be contacted the child will not be released.

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