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What time should I turn up? expand_more
Families are welcome to turn up anytime they please as they should have conducted a number of orientation days before their start date and therefore know their way around and what to expect. We do like to encourage families to turn up on their first day at the time they would normally be dropping off their child going forward so they become used to that drop off time.
What do I need to bring? expand_more
At Guardian, we provide everything children might need during their day. However we do ask families to bring a water bottle for their child to use throughout the day, some spare clothes as some experiences can get messy and any comforters such as a dummy or sleeping bag/blanket the child might need to make them feel more settled. To find out more on what to bring, head here.
Who should I ask for when I arrive? expand_more
When arriving on your first day the Centre Manager (or 2IC) and Room Leader will be there to greet you and settle your child in. What will happen when I arrive? When families arrive they will be assisted to sign their child in, find their child’s locker and put their bag away as well as meeting the rest of the room educators if this didn’t happen during orientation. The Room Leader (normally) will settle the child in by taken them over to an experience, introducing them to the other children in their room or offering breakfast (if it is a morning drop off). Sometimes mum and dad need some extra support and a tissue or two!
What’s the best way to say goodbye to my child? expand_more
If you have time it is comforting for your child when you take some time to settle them in rather than run off quickly at drop off. It is important to always say goodbye and remind your child that you will be back to get them later as this provides them with a sense of security especially when they see you at pick up time just like you promised.
My child seems upset, how do you settle them in after I leave? expand_more
If you leave after drop off and your child seems upset we will reassure them that you will be back and encourage them to explore the environment and engage in experiences. A specific educator will stay close by to settle your child as well as build a relationship to help them feel safe and confident in the space. We can also use StoryPark to communicate what your child is doing and to show them any replies you might make. This is a nice way for children to share their first few days with their families. For example, a child once sent a voice note to their parent who answered with a voice note which the child listened to.
What will you do with my child on their first day? expand_more
On your child’s first day we will work on building relationships between their educators and other children in their room to help them create bonds which will make them feel secure and safe. Of course we will also support them to get to know their new environment by encouraging them to engage in some fun and creative experiences which are of interest to them.
Choosing the Right Childcare Centre
How do I choose the right childcare centre? expand_more
Choosing the right childcare centre is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. To help you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions to ask:
About the centre
How long has the centre been open for?
Has the centre been through assessment and rating?
What are the operating hours?
About the staff
How long has the Centre Manager been employed?
What qualifications do the staff have?
What training and development do you provide for your team?
What is the Educator retention like?
What’s the staff to child ratio?
About your child
What kind of learning opportunities will my child have?
How can I be involved in the children’s program?
What are the children eating?
Can I see a meal plan?
What is your exclusion policy in relation to children’s illness?
If I had a grievance, how would I raise that?
Does the centre have a late fee?
Do you have any online blogs or programs to access children’s learning?
What communication do you have for families?
Are there extra fees for excursions or events?
Can I claim Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate?
What's the best way to find a centre I like? expand_more
Don’t be afraid to request a visit before committing to any centre. In fact, at Guardian, we encourage tours as you can get a true feeling of the centre and get to meet some of the educators.
When you arrive, look around at the centre at the available experiences. Does the space resemble the natural environment with lots of light, natural materials, and engaging spaces? Do other kids look happy and engaged? Or is it a Lord of the Flies situation?
Ask about staff ratios. It’s okay for a centre to meet minimum requirements for their educator numbers, but what matters more is whether educators look engaged and whether they’ve built quality relationships with the children around them.
Booking a tour is easy. Find the centre you would like to take a tour of and either book through our convenient online form or call the centre directly to arrange a time that’s convenient for you.
Does proximity of a childcare centre matter? expand_more
As a general rule, if your service is conveniently located to your home or workplace your days will likely go a lot more smoothly. Drop-offs and pick-ups will be so much less stressful when you don’t have to factor in things like traffic that might make you late for a morning meeting, or a huge distance to cross should your child fall ill and you need to get to him or her quickly.
These things matter to your day and they filter through to your child every time you say goodbye. Use Google maps and track the travel time to and from your chosen centre to ensure you leave yourself enough time for a proper goodbye.
When do I need to start looking for a childcare centre? expand_more
Don’t leave it until it’s too late. It can be heartbreaking to miss out on a place at your top centre so remember to put your child’s name down on the waitlist early and confirm your requirements as regularly as possible.
What is the childcare subsidy? expand_more
From 2018, accessing childcare was made more accessible. Providing higher levels of financial support to the families who earn the least aims to make the process of returning to work less financially draining. More importantly, this initiative will give your child an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of an early childhood education. Family life is busy – in between juggling work and family life, there’s not a lot of time left to catch up on legislative changes, so we’ve outlined them for you.
There’s the Child Care Benefit (CCB), Child Care Rebate (CCR) and the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). As you can see, the current childcare landscape is a myriad of acronyms and a sliding scale of rebates.
From July 2018, the current Child Care Rebate and the means-tested Child Care Benefit was completely scrapped to make way for a new income and activity based system. The new activity test will give families access to either 36, 72 or 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight and will be calculated based on the hours of combined hours of work, training or study. To be eligible for the new subsidy, both parents must work or study at least eight hours a fortnight.
How much will I get back? expand_more
Families Earning Less than $65,710
With the current $7,500 cap now redundant, the new Child Care Subsidy will cover up to 85 per cent of childcare costs. A family earning $50,000 with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week will be approximately $3,295 better off each year.
Families Earning Over $65,710
Under the new CCS, the current $7,500 cap is scrapped for families earning above $65,710. With the per hour subsidy tapering down 1 per cent for each extra $3,000, a family earning $80,000 with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week will be $3,424 better off each year.
Families Earning Over $185,710
An annual subsidy cap of $10,000 per child will kick in and the subsidy will taper down to 50 per cent.
Families Earning Over $340,000
A cap of $10,000 per child will apply and the subsidy will taper down to 20 per cent.
Families with a combined income over $350,000 won’t be able to access the subsidy.
Help for Disadvantaged Families
The new package also offers additional support for children at risk of serious abuse or neglect. It also offers contributions for families where grandparents on income support are the principal carers as well as families experiencing temporary financial hardship. An additional $61 million dollars has also been allocated to provide remote Indigenous families with better access to childcare.
The new reforms also include a ‘Child Care Safety Net’ which provides better support to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs such as disability.