NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
|QUALITY AREA 6: COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS|
|6.1||Supportive relationships with families||Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role.|
|6.1.1||Engagement with the service||Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in their service and contribute to service decisions.|
|6.1.2||Parent views ae respected||The expertise, culture, values and beliefs of families are respected, and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.|
|6.1.3||Families are supported||Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.|
|6.2||Collaborative partnerships||Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing.|
|6.2.3||Community and engagement||The service builds relationships and engages with its community.|
|EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL REGULATIONS|
|77||Health, hygiene and safe food practices|
|78||Food and beverages|
|79||Service providing food and beverages|
|90||Medical conditions policy|
|93||Administration of medication|
|97||Emergency and evacuation procedures|
|99||Children leaving the education and care service premises|
|100||Risk assessment must be conducted before excursion|
|101||Conduct of risk assessment for excursion|
|102||Authorisation for excursions|
|157||Access for parents|
|160||Child enrolment records to be kept by approved provider and family day care educator|
|161||Authorisations to be kept in enrolment record|
|162||Health information to be kept in enrolment record|
|168||Education and care service must have policies and procedures|
|173||Prescribed information is to be displayed|
|177||Prescribed enrolment and other documents to be kept by approved provider|
|181||Confidentiality of records kept by approved provider|
|183||Storage of records and other documents|
We aim to ensure children and families receive a positive and informative enrolment and orientation process that meets their individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Service to promote positive outcomes for children whilst adhering to legislative requirements.
This policy applies to children, families, staff, management, and visitors of the Service.
According to the Child Care Provider Handbook (June 2019) ‘enrolling children is a requirement under Family Assistance Law for all children who attend child care (or have an arrangement for care) regardless of their parent’s or guardian’s eligibility for Child Care Subsidy. An enrolment links the child, the individual claiming the subsidy and the child care service.’ An enrolment notice is required for each child attending the service. This reflects the type of arrangement that is in place between the provider and the family/individual or organisation.
Our Service accepts enrolments of children aged between 6weeks- 5 years of age.
Enrolments will be accepted providing:
- a) the maximum daily attendance does not exceed the licensed capacity of the Service
- b) a vacancy is available for the booking required
- c) the adult to child ratio is maintained in each room
- d) priority of access guidelines is adhered to.
PRIORITY OF ACCESS
Our Service aims to assist families who are most in need and may prioritise filling vacancies with children who are:
- at risk of serious abuse or neglect
- a child of a sole parent who satisfies, or parents who both satisfy, the activity test through paid employment.
To secure a child’s position families are required to pay two-week bond which is calculated at full fee x number of days per week to secure the position. When the required withdrawal notice is given, the bond will be refunded. (Please refer to our withdrawal policy – 6 weeks’ notice is required in the first six months and 4 weeks after the first six months on enrolment).
Children with disabilities will be enrolled, if in the opinion of management, the Service can meet the child’s needs. Additional resources and funding may be required through disability and inclusion programs.
When a family has indicated their interest in enrolling their child in our Service, we will organise an enrolment meeting to share information and build relationships.
- Families will be provided with a range of information about the Service which may include:
- the service philosophy, inclusion, programming methods, menu, incursions, excursions, fees, policies, procedures, SunSmart requirements, regulations and the licensing and assessment process for our State, signing in and out procedure, the National Quality Framework, room routines, educator qualifications, introduction of educator in the room the child will be starting in, and educator and parent communication strategies.
- Families will be invited to ask questions and seek any further information they may require
- Families will be provided with possible vacancies and start date
- Families will be invited to bring their child into the Service at a time that is mutually convenient to familiarise themselves with the environment and educators as part of the Orientation process
- Any matters that are of a sensitive nature, such as discussing a child’s medical needs, Court Orders, parenting plans or parenting orders, will be discussed privately with management. Families will be required to bring any documents required in relation to court orders, medical needs or plans.
- Families will complete the enrolment form informing management of their child’s interests, strengths and individual needs
- If a family or child uses English as a second language or speak another language at home, we request that families provide us with some key words in the language/s the child speaks so that educators can learn these words. Educators may use visuals to assist the child’s understanding and be able to communicate with others.
- Families must complete a Child Care Subsidy activity test to check eligibility and entitlements for CCS and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS). This can be completed online through myGov website.
- The Complying Written Arrangement (CWA) will be discussed with families which states the fees charged in exchange for care sessions.
- Information about gap fees and absences will be discussed.
- Where there are certain changes to the individual Complying Written Arrangements (CWA) for care between the provider and an individual, the provider must update the arrangement in writing, and the families are required to confirm the changes through myGov.
- It is a legal requirement that prior to the child starting at the Service we have all required documents including
- the completed enrolment form
- medical management plans (if relevant) completed by the child’s general practitioner
- birth certificate or passport
- a current Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) showing the child is up to date with immunisations for their age and
- details of any court orders, parenting orders or parenting plans
- It is a requirement of the Family Assistance Office that immunisation information held by the Service is kept current. Parents are reminded mid-way through the year to provide any immunisation updates to the Service in order to continue receiving childcare benefits
- Parents must notify the Service if their child is not up to date with their immunisations for their age via the enrolment form and attach the required documentation on their AIR immunisation history statement.
- Families are advised that since January 2018 children who have not been immunised due to parent’s conscientious objection cannot be enrolled at the Service.
- If a child cannot be immunised due to a medical condition they may still be enrolled at the Service with supporting documentation (Medical Exemption Form).
- If a child is on a ‘catch-up’ schedule for immunisations they may still be enrolled at the Service.
- Unborn children may be placed on the waiting list to avoid the unfair allocation of places that may occur if children can only be placed on the list after birth. If an unborn child is placed on the waiting list, the family must advise the Service of the expected birth date. It is the responsibility of the parent to inform Management of the name and date of birth of the child within three months after the expected birth date. If this information is not provided, then the child and family details will be removed from the list.
- It is the family’s responsibility to keep the Service informed of any changes to the information recorded on the application form.
FAMILIES WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
- Full name/s of parent/s (or the person legally responsible for the care of the child) residential address, place of employment and contact telephone number
- Each parent’s occupation, work hours and educational qualifications [delete if not required in your state/territory]
- The full name and contact telephone number of a person or persons, authorised by the parent who may be contacted in case of an emergency concerning the child if a parent is unable to be contacted (authorised nominee)
- The full name and contact telephone number of any person authorised by the parent to collect the child from the Service (authorised nominee)
- Full name of the child
- Child’s date of birth
- Child’s birth certificate or passport
- Child’s residency status
- Child’s address
- Gender of the child
- Cultural background of the child
- Provision of care – if care will be a routine and/or casual etc.
- Session start and end times
- Complying Written Agreement on fee information
- Immunisation History Statement
- Any court orders or parenting agreements regarding the child
- The primary language spoken by the child; if the child has not learnt to speak, the child’s family’s language
- Any special requirements of the family, including for example cultural or religious requirements
- The individual needs of a child with a disability or with other additional needs
- A statement indicating parental permission for any medications to be administered to the child whilst at the Service. [Only a parent on the enrolment form can authorise the administration of medication.]
- Authorisation and signature by parent/authorised person for the approved provider, nominated supervisor or educator to seek:
- medical treatment for the child from a registered practitioner, hospital or ambulance service
- transportation of the child by an ambulance service
- Child’s Medicare number (if available)
- Specific healthcare needs of the child, including allergies and intolerances
- Any medical management plan for a specific severe healthcare need, medical condition, or allergy, such as an Anaphylaxis Emergency Management Plan or Risk Minimisation Plan.
- Details of any dietary restrictions for the child
- The name, address and telephone number of the child’s doctor
- Authorisation for regular occurring outings/excursions
- CRN for child and claimant
- Child Care Subsidy Assessment confirmation
ORIENTATION OF THE SERVICE
During the initial orientation of the Service, families will be:
- provided with the enrolment form to be completed or shown how to complete this through an online platform
- Child Care Subsidy is explained to families and assistance may be offered to assist with the application process. https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy
- provided with an outline of the Service policies which will include key policies such as: Payment of fees, Sun Safe, Incident, Illness, Accident and Trauma, Control of infectious diseases, Sick child policy and Administration of Medication
- shown the signing in/out process
- advised of appropriate clothing for children to wear to the Service, including shoes, hats and sunscreen
- informed about policies regarding children bringing in toys from home
- introduced to their child’s educators
- taken on a tour around the Service
- invited to visit the service at different times during the day
- provided with suggestions for developing and maintaining a routine for saying goodbye to their child
- asked to share information on any medical management plan or specific healthcare needs of their child (if applicable)
- informed of the daily documentation of the learning program and how parents can view this on our online platform App we use
- introduced to the room routine and Service program, including portfolios and the observation cycle
- informed about Service communication strategies including meetings, interviews, newsletters, emails, etc.
- given the opportunity to set goals for their child
- confirm preferred method of communication.
Once the enrolment fee and bond has been paid, families will be provided with an enrolment pack which consists of:
- Parent Handbook, which outlines the Service’s operation and philosophy
- current fee structure and payment details
- Child Care Subsidy information
- Information about the online App or platform (if applicable)
- Information on the National Quality Framework, National Quality Standards and the Early Years Learning Framework
- ECA Code of Ethics brochure
- Lunchbox and Snack ideas
- Munch and Move Fact Sheets
MANAGEMENT WILL ENSURE:
- the enrolment form is completed accurately and, in its entirety
- authorisations are signed by both parents/guardians
- a child with medical needs does not begin at the service unless a medical management plan is received and medication is brought to the service each day
- the child’s Medical Management Plan is recorded, and this information is shared/distributed to Educators
- Action Plans are completed in full (if relevant)
- Administration of Medication forms are completed (if relevant)
- Risk Minimisation Plans and Communication Plans are requested/completed with parents for children with medical needs
- the appropriate Room leader is informed of the new child including any medical conditions, interests, developmental needs, and strengths.
- immunisation history statement and birth certificate have been sighted and photocopied
- the child is added to the Observation cycle
- the enrolment is lodged through QIKKIDS with Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE)
- a file for the Child’s information is created
- families are provided with an orientation survey to complete within the first 6 weeks of starting to gain feedback about the orientation and enrolment process.
CHILD CARE SUBSIDY
Child Care Subsidy (CCS) offers assistance to families to help with the cost of childcare for children aged 0-13 years. The number of hours of Child Care Subsidy a family is entitled to per fortnight is determined by an activity test. The more hours of activity parents do, the more subsidised care they can access, up to a maximum of 100 hours per fortnight for each child.
Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will start again from 13 July 2020. Some families affected by COVID-19 may be able to access more CCS. Activity test requirements will be eased from 13 July 2020 to 4 October 2020.
- CCS is based on the combined family income, activity test and the type of early childhood education and care service
- Families must complete the Child Care Subsidy activity test online through the myGov website
- Documentation may be required such as Australian driver licence, Australian passport, Foreign passport, Australian birth certificate, Australian Marriage certificate, Australian citizenship certificate
- Families are provided with a Customer Reference Number (CRN)
- Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction
- Families will contribute to their childcare fees and pay the Service the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount- generally called the ‘gap fee’
- Families may also be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy depending upon their circumstance
ENROLMENT RECORD KEEPING
Our Record Keeping and Retention Policy outlines the information and authorisations that we will include in all child enrolment records.
ON THE CHILD’S FINAL ORIENTATION DAY
Consideration will be made to each family regarding the initial settling in period and strategies may be offered to assist both parents and the child. Parents will be reassured that they are able to stay with their child for as long as they choose in the early days; speak to their child’s educator at any time; contact the service during the day to ‘check’ in on their child and request help with separation if this is a problem for their child.
During the final orientation day , the child and their family will be welcomed by the Director or Nominated Supervisor and shown where or how to sign their child in/out of the service
- They will be greeted by an educator and walked to their room
- The educator will discuss what is happening in the room, and show where the child’s locker is located
- Information about collecting their child at the end of the day will be discussed
- Educators will ensure information about the child’s first day is shared with parents (through online APP or day book)
- Management will ensure the orientation checklist has been completed and all required documents and information has been received from families.
Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority. (2014).
Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. (2019) Care Provider handbook
Australian Government Services Australia https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/australian-immunisation-register/how-get-immunisation-history-statement
Department of Human Services (Centrelink): https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy
Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2020).
NSW Government Health. (2019). Questions and answers about vaccination requirements for child care: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/childcare_qa.aspx
Revised National Quality Standard. (2018).
Victoria State Government. Requirements for all early childhood services. https://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/providers/regulation/Pages/reqallservices.aspx
|POLICY REVIEWED||JUNE 2020||NEXT REVIEW DATE||SEPTEMBER 2020|
|MODIFICATIONS||· resumption of CCS and ACCS from 13 July 2020
· additional information included about enrolment, CCS application process, Activity Test, Complying Written Arrangement (CWA), and immunisation requirements
· rewording of some content
· deleted sections that were repetitive
· order changed for some items required for the enrolment of the child
|POLICY REVIEWED||PREVIOUS MODIFICATIONS||NEXT REVIEW DATE|
|SEPTEMBER 2019||· Priority Access Guidelines removed -new information added
· Grammar, punctuation and spelling edited.
· Additional information added
· Points re-ordered for better flow
· Sources/references corrected, updated, and alphabetised
· References to ‘conscientious objection’ updated
· New reference/source added
· Related policies alphabetised
|SEPTEMBER 2018||· Included a statement referring to CCS Written Arrangement updates/changes on page 5.||SEPTEMBER 2019|
|MAY 2018||· Updated to comply with Child Care Subsidy changes.||SEPTEMBER 2018|
|OCTOBER 2017||· Updated the references to comply with the revised National Quality Standard
|AUGUST 2017||• Changes made to comply with Department of Human Services. Included information about benefits for families||SEPTEMBER 2018|