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Parent Handbook

Welcome to Angels Childcare Early Learning Centres!

Angels Childcare is a boutique childcare company consisting of four centres located in Parramatta and Rosehill. All our childcare centres are beautiful old period homes converted into boutique childcare centres. There is a warm home like feel to each centre, where children feel like they are in a home away from home.

At Angels Childcare we aim to provide children with a warm, safe, loving, anti-bias, nurturing, inclusive home like environment that stimulates a love of learning and curiosity.

Fee Relief

Under the Childcare Assistance Scheme, the Federal Government subsidises approved long day child care centres, family day care schemes and occasional care services so they can reduce the fees parents pay.

The amount of help you can get depends on your family income, the number of dependent children you have and the number of these children in approved childcare.

To register for fee relief parents must contact the Family Assistance Office either in person, over the internet or phone (02) 136150 or (02) 131202 for multilingual services. You will receive a customer number for you and your child and both must be given to the centre. When you receive a letter of approval from the family assistance office, please give the centre a copy to stay on file.

Your fees will be charged at a full rate until your childcare assistance is approved.

Withdrawal of Children

Two weeks notice must be given. Withdrawal from the centre must be in writing, or the director must be notified. Please be sure that all fees are up to date. If your child does not attend in this two week period full fees are charged. You will not be eligible for fee relief. If for some reason you cannot give two weeks notice, your deposit will not be refunded, but will cover the two weeks notice. Any monies owed to you will be refunded by management

Orientation

We recommend you make a time to visit the centre with your child leading up to the date you will start care. Orientations are held between 9:30-10:30am each day. This gives you and your child an opportunity to become familiar with the centre and carers. We will also give you a routine form to fill in and return when starting care.

What your child will need to bring when you start:

  • Formula, water bottles.
  • Comforters for bed e.g.: dummy, soft toy, blanket
  • Change of clothes for accidents or weather changes (including shoes for toilet trainers)
  • Cot sheets and small light blanket in winter.
  • Piece of fruit for each day your child attends the service

Settling Children

Visit the centre before you start care. Lead up visits of one hour at a time at playtime (9.30am to 10.30am) helps you and your child become familiar with the centre.

*Give staff key words in home languages to use with your child. You may wish to pack foods from home your child is familiar with when starting care. Give staff information on your child’s likes and dislikes. You can also bring in favourite music from home.

*Bring in a family photo. Children enjoy being able to visually identify with family members when you are away.

*If possible, try to plan for shorter days in care to start with.

*Develop a predictable routine with caregivers. You will need their support and involvement as they are used to dealing with separation issues. The routine starts from the time your child wakes in the morning to the time you say good-bye at childcare. Use the same words every day, something simple like “ We are going to see the kids at school today.” Do not deviate from the routine if this can be avoided. If you have a late start or a day off from work, although it would be tempting to have a more relaxed morning, it may only serve to worsen your child’s separation anxieties. Try and do the drop off as usual.

*Follow the same predictable routine upon arrival. Greet the children and caregiver, put your child’s belongings in the assigned locker, help your child select an activity/toy/playmate, or bring something special from home that may comfort your child. For smaller babies, something that carries your scent, such as a hankie or scarf, might be useful. Make sure staff are aware what the special toy or item is.

*Involve the caregiver in being ready to help you say good-bye to your child. Tell your child good-bye, kiss and cuddle and say and when you will be returning, such as after sleep or afternoon tea. Your child might like to wave to you from the window, safe and secure in the arms of a caregiver.

*Then GO. It is difficult, but it is also necessary to confidently leave the room. It’s not easy when your child is screaming and clinging to you, but the consequences of changing the routine at this stage can be confusing for your child. Leave the room and go to work, or spend some time with the centre director or a friend to calm down. Remember the childcare workers are experienced and only to willing to support and assist you at this difficult time.

*The entire routine should generally be no longer than ten minutes and no shorter than five. Once your child has stopped experiencing separation difficulties, a more relaxing and longer time can be taken.

*If it helps phone to see if your child has settled once you have arrived at work or at home. However, it is OK not to call as well. Staff will always contact parents and families if they are concerned about the child’s well being.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER.

*Plan ahead for separation time with infants particularly if it is a new environment, or with a new caregiver.

*Choose a small circle of caregivers with whom your child has contact.

*Give your child time to become familiar with new situations and new caregivers.

*Develop a consistent routine when you leave your child.

*Let your child know that you are leaving and make sure you are clear on who is looking after them.

*Don’t sneak out with out saying good-bye. Your child will be upset seeing you leave but they understand that you have left. Sneaking away when they are not looking is confusing for your child, as they do not know where you have gone. It is better that your child understands you have left or gone to work, than not knowing where you have gone.

*Reassurance and lots of hugs when you return is highly recommended. Children learn after a short period of time that you leave and always return.

*Once you have taken the step to settle your child into daycare, don’t give up. Some parents attempt childcare for a few weeks then decide to try it again later instead. If your child has started the process of settling then follow through. Your child will go through the same process no matter when you start and at any age. If you have made the decision to start the settling process then see it through.

*All children settle at some point. Your child may take a week, your child may take longer, but all children at some stage settle into childcare and love it!! It worth the tears now for lots of fun

Grievance

Should you have any issues, questions or grievances please speak to the staff or director. The centre staff/director will help resolve the issue immediately.

Sun Protection

Apply sunscreen twenty minutes before going outside if possible and reapply every two hours

Make sure every child is wearing a hat and T-shirt and that staff set a good example by wearing hats as well.

Minimize the child’s sun exposure on extremely hot days and between 10:30am and 3:00pm during summer.

Encourage children by introducing the sun smart program to parents.

Parents are encouraged to:

  • Apply sun screen at home before coming to the centre
  • Provide a wide brimmed hat (Legionnaires) and T-shirt with long sleeves

which is to be kept at the centre.

It is recommended by the Cancer Council that babies under 12 months shall not wear sun screen, but instead stay out of the sun between 10:30am and 3:00pm and should wear protective clothing before and after these hours.

Smoke-Free Environment

A non-smoking environment has been established at the centre. Staff and parents are made aware of the non-smoking policy maintained at the centre.

Parent Participation

Parents are encouraged to participate in the running of the centre and in making the important decisions. To achieve this, we urge parents to attend gatherings, participate in the children’s program and voice their opinions at committee meetings.

The centre encourages parents to be involved in our centre and the programming as much as possible. We invite parents to spend time at the centre and be involved in fun days, volunteer days, shows and concerts.

Meals

The Centre provides a nutritionally balanced menu of morning tea, hot lunch, afternoon tea and a late snack. Formula must be supplied by parents and clearly marked. We will supply cows milk, soy milk, and water.

The centre also provides Halal meats, vegetarian menus and special diets on request. No use of peanut or shellfish is permitted. Biscuits may contain nut traces.
If your child has allergies please notify staff on enrolment.

Each parent is asked to provide one piece of fruit per day for the fruit basket.

Fire and Emergency Evacuations Procedures

We have regular trial fire emergency evacuations to ensure that all staff and children know the drill in the case of an emergency. Staff are able to operate fire-extinguishing equipment, so that no person is put at risk in the event of a fire. The centre displays full Emergency Evacuation Procedures near the main entrance. You are encouraged to read and become familiar with those procedures.

Records

On enrollment, a copy of each child’s birth certificate and a copy of their immunisation statement from Medicare must be presented ,this information will be kept on file. When your child receives a new immunisation, this information must be provided to the centre. All records and information are kept confidential.

Centre Management

The centre is privately owned. The centre holds regular staff and OHS meetings to discuss the operation of the service.

Staff Qualifications

Staff hold various degrees and diplomas in Children’s services and asthma management and anaphylaxis. Each staff member also holds a first aid certificate; a staff member on each shift holds qualifications in safe food handling and hygiene. The director holds qualifications in service management and OHS.

Pre-school Program

Our pre-school class is actively involved in our preschool program. We involve our children in academic learning each day and send home homework sheets for families to get involved in their child’s learning.

Nappies and Toilet Training.

When your child is ready the centre will discuss with you a plan for toilet training. The centre will be actively involved in toilet training your child. Nappies are supplied by the centre for under 2 years olds only. If your child is over 2 years you need to provide at least 4 nappies per day.

Hours of operation

The centre is open from 7:00am – 6:00pm (Monday to Friday). Please try to arrive in time to collect your child and ask questions before we close at 6.00pm. We are open 52 weeks a year and only close for public holidays.

Programming

Our program is based upon our philosophy and the Early Years Learning Framework. We encourage parents to participate in the development of our program. The staff observe a focus child and implement this observation into the program. We also incorporate experiences your child may have had out of the centre to encourage learning. If you have any concerns or are interested in your child’s development, please don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s caregiver

Absence from the Centre

Please notify us by 10:00am if your child will be absent from the centre. If your child is absent for illness please provide a doctors letter. If your child is absent for holidays, sick days, public holidays ect, you are still changed for your childcare place. The centre can not hold your childcare place if you leave for extended holiday periods. You may contact the centre when you return from holidays and we will try and give your child any available places we may have at that time.

Payment of fees

Our fees are charged one week in arrears after all centerlink rebates have been entered into your account. Our fees are then collected via direct debit from your nominated bank account or credit card.

Any days your child does not attend, including public holidays and sick days, must still be paid for.

If going on holiday, fees must be paid in advance. Please try not to fall behind with fees. More than two weeks behind will result in assessment of your child’s position at the centre. If you are having difficulties,

please talk to the supervisor or management.

Delivery and Collection of Children

On arrival and departure to the centre, you must sign in and out. Inform staff of any medication, and complete the details in the medication book. Bottles to be labelled and handed to staff or placed in fridge (not left in children’s bags).

Please notify staff if someone else will be collecting your child. If another person is collecting your child, they will be required to produce identification.

Be sure to read the information on the notice board in regards to your child’s routine and check your child’s information pocket in the foyer.

Please ensure your child is at the centre by no later than 10am. The children do craft, outdoor play, indoor play, pre-school work and group times in the mornings before 11.30am. If you bring your child later they often arrive for lunch and bed (not much fun) and they miss out on activities for the day.

Collection of Late Children

If for some unforeseen reason you are going to be late:

  • Contact the centre as soon as possible
  • Try and arrange for another person to collect your child
  • Two staff members will stay with your child until he/she is collected
  • A late fee will be payable to the two staff members caring for your child

A late fee will be charged for any child picked up after 6:00pm. This fee is payable to the staff members on duty. Two staff must remain on the premises until your child is collected. The fee applicable is $1.00 per minute second offence, $2.00 per minute third offence and so on.

Sickness

If your child becomes ill during the day, we will attempt to contact parents to collect their child.If your child is sick at home, we ask that you don’t bring him/her to the centre. We have to consider the other children, their parents and the staff when deciding whether your child is well enough to attend day care. If your child is sich he./she requires care or comfort of loving parents in their home environment. If your child has any of the following complaints they should be kept at home:

  • High temperature
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe skin rashes
  • Productive cough (MUCUS)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Measles
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Cold sores
  • Ringworms
  • Impetigo
  • Hand and foot infection
  • Chicken pox
  • Diphtheria
  • Infectious hepatitis
  • Mumps
  • Whooping cough
  • Head lice
  • Scabies
  • Excessive discharge from eyes/nose/ears.

There is varying isolation periods for infectious disease and parents will be made familiar of these at the time of such infection. A doctor’s certificate must be produced before the child is allowed to return to the centre after such illnesses. The Centre Manager has total discretion as to whether or not the child will return, even with the doctor’s certificate.. Refer to “Exclusion Policy & Guidelines” in centres’ policy book if unsure.

** Please Note** Most children who have not been exposed to a group care situation will most likely become unwell when they first start in care. This will happen whether your child is an infant, a toddler or in the pre-school class. The reason your child will become unwell is due to the fact they have not developed anti- bodies to many common viruses that children and adults can carry. Your child will build up a resistance to many viruses after starting in care. If you are unsure of your child’s health at any time please seek your doctor’s advice.

Vaccinations – When your child starts care, you will need to provide a copy of your child’s immunisation statment from Medicare. Each time your child receives a vaccination you need to provide a copy of this update to the centre. When an outbreak of any infectious disease occurs the centre will let all families know by newsletters, posters, signs and verbally. The centre will try and provide parents with as much information about diseases and prevention. If your child does not have a current immunisation record they will be counted as un- immunised and excluded from the centre until the disease is no longer present. Your child’s immunisation schedule can be obtained by calling 1800653809, through medicare online services www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/online , by requesting a statement by emailing acir@medicareaustralia.gov.au or by visiting the local department of human services centre, Medicare office or Centrelink office.

Confidentiality

All records will be kept in a secure place. Access to individual files will be limited to staff and licensing authorities unless prior permission from parent(s) or guardian is obtained.

Clothing

Here at the centre, we try to insure that children are adequately clothed according to the weather, sickness and hygiene. We therefore ask our parents to provide a change of clothes and trainer pants and name all items of clothing, hats and shoes. Staff will endeavour to: dress children accordingly to the weather or remove clothing if running a temperature and, ensure that children are adequately dressed for bed. Please ensure all your child’s belongings are clearly labelled.

Enrolling

Should you chose to enrol please contact the centre to either pick up an enrolment form, have one posted to you . When offered a spot, payment of the Bond and Administration fee must be paid to ensure your spot is secure. A copy of your child’s birth certificate and Statement of Immunisation from Medicare must be presented, before children are allowed to commence care.

Fee Relief

The family Assistance office provides guidelines for the priority of children on enrolment. A copy of these guidelines can be provided to you from the staff at the centre or on the DEEWR website. If you are a non -working parent, and the centre is required to change your days to accommodate working families, this may be deemed necessary to do so.

Priorities

  • Priority 1 – a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
  • Priority 2 – a child of a parent (or both parents if you have a partner) who satisfies the Government’s work, training, study test (for the purposes of the priority of access guidelines)*
  • Priority 3- any other child