We understand that often there are many questions not included in general service information, however they may be questions that families would often like to know about when selecting or enrolling their children in a service. These are a few we have responded to previously and which may be helpful to your family:
*How do we enrol in the centre and how long until a position is available for my child?
The best way to enrol in the service is to make a visit. Look around the facilities and gain a general ‘feel’ for the setting and the staff. If this is a service you feel meets with what you would like to offer your child, then you can print off the enrolment forms and agreement forms included on this website and email or take them in. If you are wait listing for a position we encourage you to regularly contact the centre by phone and we can keep you updated about positions that may be coming available.
*What do I bring and what is provided by the service?
The service provided morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and supper for all children (please see nutritional information regarding meals). Children can eat their breakfast at the centre however breakfast is supplied by the family.
All linen is provided for our cots and beds in the 0-2 year old rooms however the children in age groups from 2-5 years must bring a sheet for their rest time.
Nappies are supplied for 0-2 year olds, children in the older age groups who are not toilet trained need to bring their nappies to the centre each day. Wipes are provided for all age groups.
Children must all be provided with a hat for outdoor play that has a broad brim to cover the face and neck.
A piece of fruit is to be bought in each day and taken to the kitchen for a shared morning tea platter.
Sunscreen is supplied.
*Service hours and who can collect my child?
Umina Kids Club is open from 7am-6pm. Both centres are closed on public holidays. We are open for 50 weeks a year, closing only for 2 weeks over the Christmas period and open on all school holidays.
Children must be collected each day before 6pm by an authorised person. If you choose to send someone different to collect your child, the staff must have this in writing and identification of the person will be checked before any child is allowed to leave the centre.
*How do I know if the centre is right for my child?
Families all have different needs for their lifestyles and are looking for different things being offered from their child care service. The best way to know if a centre is the right fit for your child and family is to make a visit. You do not need to book a time to visit the centre, however, it is best to come after 10am in the morning and before 3pm in the afternoon. The reason for this is that while we would like to commit to showing you around our services, we must give priority each day to settling and talking to the children who are enrolled before their parents leave and when they are picking up. This is a big part of our ongoing relationships with our children and their parents and we do not wish to unsettle these children either.
When you do visit, you need to gain a feel for the atmosphere, how children interact with the staff, the tone of the settling, the relationships on display between staff and children and staff themselves. Are they friendly and approachable, willing to share information, do the children appear relaxed in the environment??? Ask friends for their opinion, do you know others who use the service? You will gain a good parent instinct about a centre simply by being inside it.
*How do I settle my baby or toddler into a new centre?
The best way to settle in is by becoming familiar. Children sense when parents are apprehensive and they will respond to this. You also know your child very well and hence you will know if they need lots of time to settle or if they will adjust quickly. Obviously visits before commencement will help, come in and stay with your child, play in the environments with them, talk to the staff, develop a relationship of trust as this will help you! Share anything and everything you can about your child, their routine, habits, likes and dislikes, it will all come in handy for the staff.
Complete the family page from the enrolment package as this is a great quick reference for staff when in the room and shows the children their family reflected in this new environment.
Call….when you do leave your child for the first time, remember to ring and find out how they are going. The staff are happy to share any information with you during the day and this is usually a better solution than worrying about them when they are fine!
Bring in any familiar items that we can use to provide comfort, this may be more photos, a soft toy, mum’s scarf, dad’s jumper, the grow bag they sleep in at home…anything is useful.
*How do I claim child care benefit?
The services are registered and approved for child care benefit. This means that you may be entitled to fee reductions off your daily fees or tax rebates. Before commencing child care you must call the Family Assistance office on 136 150 and ask to “Be assessed for child care benefit”, the customer reference numbers (CRN) for the family assistance office are included on your child’s enrolment form and we will match this in the online data base, you need to be sure which parent your child is linked to for child care benefit and provide parent dates of birth as well.
This is how the service is informed of the amount of child care benefit that will be paid by the Government on your behalf and it is reflect on your service statements. The centre will email you’re your account statement every 2 weeks.
*What do I do on the first day?
The first day of leaving your child in a new setting can cause any parent to feel very anxious. We strongly suggest that you follow the information about how to settle your child by getting to know the staff. Stay for a little while, let your child know that you will be back and always say goodbye…never leave by sneaking off for them to discover you are gone later, this only helps you and not them and will extend the settling process greatly as you are breaking their trust.
Try not to worry if your child gets upset, part of their establishment of a trusting relationship with the staff is for the staff to work out ways to settle your child, things they like to do and new arrival routine.
Keep in contact with the centre during the day, you may be choosing to have a short day for their first day but when you ring they are going great…leave them til your regular pick up time and develop that routine immediately. If they are unsettled, then an earlier pick up may help where possible as often when children see other parents arriving this can be unsettling until they are confident that their parent is coming back. Just talk to the staff as many times as necessary during the day and they will share this information with you. We understand that every child is an individual and all will need a different settling in process.
*How can we be involved in the centre?
Our services really appreciate family involvement and there are so many ways that you can be a part of what we do.
You can be a family who collect materials for the programs, natural materials for the classrooms, comes and helps on excursions, evaluates policies or anything in between. One of the most rewarding parts of being involved in your child’s learning is seeing how well children achieve when they are confident in the relationship between the school and the home. You may like to come and help care for the animals, teach the children a new song, read a story or do some gardening…we love to see families loving what they children are doing so even just reading through your child’s work on display in their classroom helps them to see you care for and respect their learning!