When is Happy Feet ELC open?
We’re operating all year, Monday to Friday 6.30am to 6.30pm, but are closed weekends & public holidays. Please note that if you arrive to collect your child after 6.30pm a late fee of $15.00 per 15 minutes or part thereof will be incurred. In addition, parents must notify the centre of all absences by calling the centre by 8.00am.
How do I enrol my child?
Parents must complete an enrolment form before their child commences care. Private information on the enrolment form will not be made available to unauthorised persons.
Parents will be able to bring their child to the centre before care commences to meet the staff, the other children in care, and to familiarise themselves with the centre and its environment so that their child’s transition into care is a smooth process.
What are the Childcare Fees?
At Happy Feet Early Learning Centre fee increase’s occur at the beginning of every financial year. By making the increase at this time, it reflects normal CPI increase, and changes in the government rebate, through child care (CCB) and child care rebate (CCR) that occurs at the start of the financial year, thus making the impact for families as minimal as possible.
At Happy Feet ELC, we have a commitment to the children in our care and recognise the responsibility we have in providing each child with an experience of quality and value every day.
We will continue to make investments at the facility, to improve and add to our resources, to keep our Service well maintained, provide ongoing training and support to Educators and keep them up to date with current trends & changes that are occurring in our profession.
Families will be notified in writing 2 weeks prior to any fee increase.
Please contact the centre manager for further current fee structures.
What options are there for payment?
When you enrol your child, a two week advance of your child normal gap fee is required to be paid. This payment is considered to be your child's last two weeks fees.
Fees are to be paid by direct debit ONLY. A form is included in this package and needs to be handed in prior to enrolment. Should a payment be rejected for lack of funds, then a dishonour fee of $25.00 will be charged. If you suspect you may not have sufficient funds then please let us know so an alternative payment method can be arranged.
Please note that no cash is taken at the centre.
The childcare benefit (CCB) is available from the Commonwealth Government to all parents who meet the eligibility requirements. Parents who are working, studying or training are also eligible for the Childcare Tax Rebate of 50% of out – of – pocket expenses. Application should be made with the Family Assistance Office (FAO) before or immediately after enrolment. Full fees will be charged to the parent until the centre receives your child's assessment and then adjusted accordingly. You can contact the Family Assistance office (FAO) on 13 61 50 and tell them you would like to register for Childcare benefit (CCB)
What happens when we’re away on family holidays?
Happy feet Early Learning Centre will offer families up to 4 weeks at a 50% discount off their Gap fee whilst on holidays per finacial year. This does not include public holidays. Families need to give two weeks notice in writing prior to taking holidays and all families fees need to be paid up to date prior to the 50% discount being approved.
What happens on public holidays?
Families will be charged a normal fee rate for all public holidays.
What are "approved and allowable absences"?
Fees are still payable for everyday that your child is enrolled into the centre, including all absences, even if your child is away sick. However, these fall into two groups:
- Allowable absences – the FAO will pay the CCB portion of your fee for up to 42 allowable absences for each child per financial year. An allowable absence can be taken for any reason. Parents are still required to pay their gap fee for these days to the centre. The FAO will NOT pay the CCB portion of your fees if you use all 42 allowable absences. Parents are required to pay full fees for these days.
- Approved absences – The FAO will also pay the CCB portion of your fee for the days off because of illness, parent RDO, court ordered shared custardy, local emergency, exclusion due to non – immunisation, and public holidays. There is no limit but all days must have documentary evidence e.g a medical certificate. Parents are still required to pay their gap fee for these days.
What if I need to change the day of care or withdraw from care?
If you are intending to change (increase / decrease) or withdrawal your child’s days of care at our centre, you must give 2 weeks written notice. If you choose not to send your child during this time fees for this period will be charged as a full fee rate. The family assistant office (FAO) will not pay the childcare benefit if your child does not attend during the last 2 weeks of care. Parents must notify the centre of all absences by calling us by 8.00am.
What are centre’s operational procedures?
All families will be given a code to access the centre and we ask that you please be deligent with this code as the staff and management value your child’s safety & security. Upon arrival with your child you must sign in the attendance book, assist your child if age dependent in putting their belongings in their lockers and deliver your child to a staff member. When your child is being collected the attendance book needs to be signed and time of departure noted as well.
We will not give your child to any other then the person/people you have authorised on your enrolment form. If a person picking up the child is not recognised by staff, photo identification needs to be presented. Their identity will be checked against the enrolment form before they are allowed to take child.
Children will not be given to anyone under the age of 18 years, nor to anyone who is intoxicated, on drugs or in a distressed state. In this situation the relevant emergency services will be contacted.
How do I notify you of custody arrangements?
Any court orders regarding custody and access arrangements must be certified and provided to the centre.
How do I settle my child into Happy Feet?
During your child’s first day of care we encourage parents/guardians to spend some time in the room with their child/ren, showing them where they will be playing, sleeping and toileting etc. Always say goodbye to your child and reassure them that you or someone else will return later i.e. after lunch. Please do not sneak off this may cause your child to become anxious and you need to build their trust.
We recommend that you:
- Always leave your child with a carer.
- Allow your child to bring a security toy to the centre if necessary.
- Feel free to ring during the day to see how your child has settled in.
Settling into care can be quite distressing for both parent and child. It does take time for children to develop a sense of trust in new people and to adjust to new environments. The Happy Feet staff are always available to comfort a distressed child and help them settle into care.
What should I bring for my child?
Please bring a labelled bag for child every day containing at least 2 changes of clothes i.e. 2 socks, 2 singlets, 2 undies, 2 pants, 2 tops. In the warmer months shorts and t shirts are best, a sun hat and suitable closed toe shoes (please no thongs). Sunscreen 30+ is provided by the centre for all children, however if you prefer your child to use a different type then please label and place it in your child’s bag. In the cooler months Track suits are best, a beanie and warm jacket. Casual play clothes are best for children so they can have freedom to play, move and explore. Please remember to label all items of clothing so staff can place items of clothing on the correct child and return to their bags or lockers.
Do I need to bring bottles?
For babies who are still on formula, we ask that you prepare your child’s bottles from home.
What is your Sunsmart policy?
Happy Feet Early Learning Centre has a Sunsmart policy and we encourage all children to wear hats outside. The most appropriate is wide brimmed hat. Sunscreen will be applied and reapplied throughout the day.
On extremely hot days outside play may be limited, however children will be offered alternative activities during these times. When dressing your children during the warmer months please remember no shoe string tops.
How do you plan your education program?
Using intentional teaching methods, we create an environment which our children will find enjoyable yet challenging. Our staff encourage and assist children to play and learn successfully, safely and progressively, and in a manner that is age-appropriate.
How many rooms are there at Happy Feet?
The centre has 6 large rooms in which children will be grouped according to their age and developmental needs. Each room will offer age appropriate programs and these will be displayed on the noticeboard in each room for you to view. Please feel free to discuss your child and his/her progress and needs with the staff any time.
Some parents ask “Does my child just play all day?”. It is important to understand that children learn through play, as it gives children the opportunity to explore the world around them and learn how to cope in different environments and gives them a chance to be creative and develop their own interests.
Children’s play can be enhanced by sensitive and aware adults who help children develop their potential by working with them.
Play based experiences provide children with opportunities to build their personal identities as successful and responsible learners. In play children are able to learn through their:
- Make connection with prior knowledge
- Practice and master learning
- Sustain concentration
- Take risks
- Stretch them selves in an enjoyable way.
In these rooms, we will encourage each individual’s emotions and social development through providing a nurturing environment that builds on trust & security. We will focus on fine & gross motor skills by designing a program which enables each child to learn and develop to the best of his/her ability. We will achieve this by helping each child to become aware of his/her self and others abilities by caring, sharing and praising each others work. We will focus on building their self esteem so they can gain confidence and we will build on the children’s language skills by incorporating songs, poems, stories, language games and puppetry in their programs.
In these rooms, we will encourage each child’s social, emotional, intellectual & physical growth through providing play based experiences. We will encourage this by providing children with choices relating to their interests and we will encourage children to participate in large/small group activities that will enhance their creativity, language, literacy, music & movement. We will foster communication between children and others and support its development through encouraging listening, sharing, empathy and friendships. Through our kinder program we will also focus on supporting your child to equip them with the skills, abilities, confidence and independence for the preparation of school. As a centre we will support the multi cultural community and aim to foster this diversity through our programs that nurture sensitivity and an appreciation of other cultures. We believe that ‘FREE PLAY’ is important and will be encouraged in all age groups.
Individual records and charts are kept by staff on all children. This information is used to build a portfolio of your child which includes your child’s strengths, needs and interests.
Progress reports will be given to families twice a year on your child’s developmental needs, however parents may view these records at any time throughout the year. These records will not be available to any anauthorised persons.
Daily activity books:
Each room will have a daily activity book on display that will inform you about the children’s day. The book might include photos, samples of work, conversations & pictures. This book not only informs parents of what the children did during the day but also can be used as a conversation booster with your child on the drive home, at the dinner table or before going to bed. We would also love and encourage parents to contribute to this book by providing us with comments & feedback.
Tell me about your Kinder program.
A government approved kindergarten program run by a qualified kindergarten teacher is available everyday to all children 4 years of age. (Please note the program is available to children in childcare and not on its own)
How do mealtimes work?
We provide regular meals for all the children in care; this includes breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea & a late snack. The centre meets the nutritional needs of the children and we promote health eating habits through education. Each meal is prepared by trained kitchen staff and the menu is on display in the foyer and each child’s room. Our menus are updated regularly to accommodate seasonal changes and fresh produce availability and is planned to reflect the likes & dislikes of children & cultural diversity. The centre will respect the needs of any special dietary requirements and children’s allergies. Staff and parents are to consult with each other regarding individual children’s nutritional needs. Milk is supplied by the centre.
Do I need to bring nappies?
The centre will provide disposable nappies.
What about rest/sleep time?
The sleep/rest time is extremely flexible for all individual needs. Children who are in care will be provided with either a cot or mattress. All linen is supplied by the centre and washed on a weekly basis or immediately if soiled. Children are welcome to bring comforters from home such as dummies, teddy or blanket for sleep time. Infants have their own sleep patterns so our routines will be guided by them. Majority of children will be encouraged to have a sleep/ rest after lunch. Kinder age children will not be sleeping unless their parent/guardian request that they do so. Children not sleeping will participate in quite activities during this time.
Can my child bring toys from home?
Apart from special comfort toys, teddy, etc children should not bring toys from home. Unfortunately these only get lost or broken, and more often then not cause arguments. If your child does bring a toy from home they will be asked to place it into a box and it can be collected at the end of day. Kinder children should be encouraged to bring their special toy or item on their nominated “Show n Tell” day.
What happens on my child’s birthday?
Birthdays are special days for young children. We welcome and encourage celebration of children’s birthdays at our centre. The Centre will provide a cake for your child, however if you prefer to bring your own it must be purchased and in the original packaging with all ingredients listed to ensure children with allergies are safe. You are welcome to attend the centre and take photos. If you are unable to attend, staff can take photos for you. Staff cannot be responsible in handing out invitations or receiving RSVP’s to a child’s birthday party. Parents can place invitations near the sign in/out books or in the wall pockets.
Are special days/holidays celebrated?
The centre will participate in many celebrations through out the year and some of these might include different cultural events for example, Chinese New Year, Ramadan and Hanukkah. When your culture celebrates a special event please share it with us at our centre. This will allow children to understand other cultures and the diverse country we live in.
What additional programs do you offer?
Throughout the year, our children enjoy incursions such as chicken hatching, fire, police and dentist visits and fitness classes, to name a few. Excursions are organised depending on the children’s interests. All of these are developed and run at no extra cost to you.
How do I find general information at the centre?
In addition to our notice board, parents will be informed of current issues and news via our monthly newsletter. Our notice boards include other useful information and policies. We also have a parent library that you can borrow books, DVD’s or information sheets from and use them in your own time. Please ask the Centre Director if you would like to use this service.
What about Health & Safety?
If your child becomes ill at the centre the parent/guardian will be notified and asked to collect their child. Staff will plan appropriately for his/her comfort needs for example sitting quietly, sleeping etc. until child collected.
If your child has any of the following you should keep him/her at home. Please inform the centre if your child has one of the following condition/disease.
- Consistently high temperatures
- Excessive discharge from nose, eyes or ears
- Green discharge from nose
- Ear infection
- Server or constant cough
- Chicken pox
- Hand, Foot & Mouth
- Parvovirus (Slap Cheek)
- Head lice
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Whooping Cough
- Impetigo (School Scores)
- Urinary Track Infection
A medical certificate may be required upon returning to the centre.
What do I do if my child needs medication?
Centre staff will administer medication for your child ONLY when the following rules are adhered to.
- Medication is in it original container, bearing the original label with specific instructions & expiry date
- The medication is prescribed for your child
- The Medication book has been completed by parent/guardian correctly
- The medication has been handed to a staff member (medication is not to be left in a child bag)
Parents/Guardian should collect their child’s medication at the end of the day and sign medication book.
What if an accident occurs?
Many incidents that occur at the centre will only require minor first aid. Parents will be notified of any serious incident. All Incidents are recorded. The well-being of your child is our first priority.
Do staff hold First Aid Certificates?
All staff on the premises will hold a first aid certificate & update CPR yearly.
What if my child has an allergy?
It is important the centre is informed of any allergies that a child may have prior to commencement. Allergies may include certain foods, products, materials or insect bites etc. An allergy information sheet will need to be completed, so please ask for one if this applies to your child.
What if my child has anaphylaxis?
All staff on the premises will be Anaphylaxis trained. Please note that no child who has been prescribed an EpiPen will be permitted to attend the service or its programs with out the EpiPen.
What if my child has asthma?
If your child suffers from asthma you must supply an action plan completed by your doctor so it can be used in the centre. Please inform the centre if the plan changes.
Does my child need to be vaccinated (immunised)?
Under Government law, all children must be one of the following:
- fully immunised for their age
- on a vaccination catch-up program
- unable to fully immunised for medical reasons
Exemptions cannot be made for children who are not immunised due to parental objections, under the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation. This ensures all children are kept safe from the spread of disease.
What happens in case of an emergency?
The centre will practice a monthly fire drill so that staff & children will become familiar with the evacuation routine. Evacuation plans are located in all rooms.
Do you have a child protection policy?
Childcare workers are all mandatory reporters. This means by law if a staff member suspects risk of harm to any child they need to report to the appropriate person.
Do staff have Working With Children checks?
All staff prior to employment will provide a current police check & working with children check (WWC).
Parents who wish to volunteer their time at the centre will also be required to provide a WWC.
With increasing demand for childcare places, we encourage you to secure your child's place early.