Parents are our biggest support. Their encouragement and assistance, in whatever way, such as coming to a parent night, collecting bits and pieces for the craft corner, help with fund raising and helping at busy bees, would be of invaluable assistance. You are encouraged to become involved with the program of the Centre and your ideas and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. We are always happy to have people come into the Centre with interesting things to show and share, sing, teach, and make with the children, especially activities of a multicultural nature. You can be involved by discussing your child’s temperament, strengths, likes and dislikes and any special interest with the educators. Even though a parent’s life is very busy, we would appreciate a few minutes when you bring and collect your child to talk about how he/she is enjoying/participating in the program. To give the children the best opportunity for positive involvement in our program, Centre staff and parents work hand-in-hand. We want children to gain the best that is possible from our Centre, so please do keep in touch and discuss any problems, concerns and/or feelings you may have with the staff.
Settling Your Child into the Centre
Our service caters for a wide range of Primary School age children. Children may have had little previous experience of multi-age groupings. Some of the younger children, in particular, may need time to settle and feel secure within the service. Our staff are experienced in encouraging children to feel at home and make new friends, and ensure that children of all ages treat each other with care and respect. If you are concerned about your child in any way please telephone the service during the time your child is attending for reassurance of your child’s well being. The staff will always tell you honestly how your child is. Our staff are also happy to discuss your child’s emotional needs with you, if any issues arise.
Hours of Operation
The Centre is open from:
- 7.00am 8.45am ( Before School Care)
- 3.00pm to 6pm (After School Care)
- 7.30am to 6pm (Vacation Care)
The Centre will be closed between Christmas and New Year and on Public Holidays.
Arrival and Collection of Children
Our primary concern is the welfare and safety of your child. We therefore request that you comply with the following requirements. The Centre is committed to providing a safe, efficient and affordable transport system to collect children from school and take them to the Centre.
Arriving at the Centre
We request that children be brought to a staff member upon arrival. There will be minimum two staff on duty at all times. Please keep to the attendance days requested on your enrolment form as this enables the Director to compile accurate staff work rosters. If you wish to change your days please speak to the Director.
The Centre’s primary concern is for the safety and welfare of your child and will therefore only release your child into the care of the custodial parent or authorised persons identified on your child’s enrolment form. Any changes to these authorities must be advised in writing to the Centre as soon as possible. If an unauthorised person arrives to collect your child, the child will not be released until your authorisation (preferably in writing) has been obtained.
If you are unavoidably detained and unable to collect your child at the agreed time you must telephone the Centre and advice of your expected time of arrival. If you need to arrange for another person to collect your child you must provide full details about this person to the Centre. If you have not contacted the Centre and your child has not been collected by closing time the Centre will attempt to telephone you. If this is not successful, the emergency contact people listed on your child’s enrolment form will then be contacted to arrange for immediate collection of your child. The centre has a policy of charging a fee to parents who are late to collect their children from the centre. This fee is to cover the costs of staff overtime hours. The centre’s policy requires that Crisis Care and the Department of Child Protection are contacted to advise them of the situation if a parent is more than 30 minutes late without explanation and no-one else can be contacted. The centre has a policy of charging a fee to parents who are late to collect their children from the centre. This fee is to cover the costs of staff overtime hours.
Children’s Safety on the Roads
In the case of a parent or guardian arriving at the centre to collect their child in a visibly intoxicated or unfit state to drive, they will be encouraged to contact an alternative adult to drive them and the child home, or the centre will offer to call a taxi at the expense of the parent/guardian.
Collecting/Dropping Children from / to School
Educators will collect/drop off children from year 2 and below from/to their class each afternoon/morning. Children from year 3 and above will walk across the oval with their peers. Parents are required to contact the Centre to advise of their child’s inability to attend as soon as this is known.
Signing In and Out Record
Accurate attendance records will be kept and checked each day. Whoever brings your child to the centre or collects your child at the end of the day is required to initial the child’s times of arrival and departure. Signing IN and OUT sheet have been developed for this purpose. This is a legal requirement of the Family Assistance Office. If you do not complete these records you will not be eligible to claim Child Care Benefit.
Suspension/Termination of Care
In keeping with the Subiaco Children’s Centre (SCC) community spirit which emphasizes the importance of cooperation, sharing and appropriate behaviour; Failure to observe the below conditions may result in immediate suspension of enrolment pending management committee enquiry. Supervisor discretion will be invoked.
- Aggressive, bullying behaviour
- Bad language or other inappropriate gestures/actions
- Not following direct instructions from SCC staff
In extreme circumstances it may be necessary to terminate a child’s care. Exclusion of children from the service will only occur after all other avenues of communication and support have been exhausted and when:
- Professional advice confirms a child is in psychological danger as a result of an unusually prolonged inability to settle into care away from the parent.
- A child puts the majority of children at risk through inappropriate behaviour.
- The parent continually fails to observe Centre hours of operation and/or continuously fails to pay the required fee.
Please let us know if you are not satisfied with any aspect of the service we provide for you and your child. We welcome all parent feedback, including your grievances and complaints, as these will help us to improve the services we provide. All concerns or complaints will be dealt with in a prompt, positive and sympathetic manner. If you have a complaint or a concern, you may discuss your problem with a relevant staff member or with the Director. If you feel the problem is not being resolved, you may take the matter to the Management Committee for resolution, either through the Director or by writing directly to the Management Committee. Parents are also entitled to direct their complaints to the Education and Care Regulatory Unit. Ph: (08) 6551 8333 (metro)
The Centre will maintain high levels of supervision of children at all times. The staff to child ratios contained within the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012 will be strictly adhered to at the Centre. The ratio is 1:13 or 1:10 (with kindy) during normal contact hours. This ratio does change accordingly during the lunch time period and on excursions. There will be a minimum of two staff on duty at all times. This is to ensure children are appropriately supervised at all times. Staff will position themselves where they can see all the children under their supervision, listen carefully to what is happening and know the children individually so they can anticipate their needs. Staff will join in the children’s play and encourage them to try new experiences. Children outdoors will be appropriately supervised and will be given opportunities for self-discovery and freedom of choice. Children will be regularly reminded of safety procedures for play equipment. Children will be encouraged to try new challenges as appropriate. The Centre plan, which clearly defines the boundaries and areas where children may safely play, is displayed in the reception area. Parents are asked to become familiar with the plan and reinforce with their child that they must stay within the boundaries.
Guiding Children’s Behaviour
Learning appropriate behaviour is part of your child’s social development. Our staff aim to help children to be responsible for their own behaviour and to develop an understanding of what is appropriate in different situations. You are encouraged to discuss your child’s behaviour with Centre staff to ensure consistent behaviour expectations, both at home and at the Centre. Limits to children’s behaviour will always be clearly expressed in positive terms and reinforced consistently in a developmentally appropriate way. Children will be encouraged to settle their differences in a peaceful manner. The staff will focus on positive behaviour, providing praise and encouragement where appropriate. Wherever possible, problems will be prevented before they arise by using methods such as diversion and providing enough equipment for all.
￼￼￼We find the following limits/rules necessary to protect the safety and well being of every child and ask parents to reinforce these with their child:
- Respect for other people and their property.
- Noisy play is to be conducted outside.
- Please stay within the boundaries.
- Take care of the equipment.
Developing a supportive relationship with the children encourages them to learn skills in self discipline. Punishing a child stops the negative behaviour for a while but does not teach the child self restraint. When “cooling off” is used as a consequence of negative behaviour the reasons will be discussed with the child and the “cooling off” period will be no longer than 5 minutes. A “cooling off” period may be needed so the child can calm down before discussing what happened and sharing their feelings with the educator, who will in turn talk about their own feelings and responsibilities with the child. Educators will always talk to the child quietly and as an equal. No further punishment will be given and the child will be reminded in positive terms of the expected behaviour. At no time will a child receive any form of corporal punishment e.g. smacked, or be placed in a room alone, made immobile, frightened or humiliated in any way, verbally or emotionally punished, nor will food or drink be withheld as a form of punishment. If children consistently display unacceptable behaviour the Director will ensure:
- The expectations of the child’s behaviour are realistic and appropriate to their developmental level and culture.
- The child understands the limits.
- There is no conflict between Centre, school and home expectations.
- The child’s needs are being met.
- The child has no impediments which may be causing the unacceptable behaviour e.g. dietary problems, poor hearing, poor co-ordination, communication difficulties, illness or emotional distress.
- The child is not copying observed behaviour.
- Events at the Centre have not encouraged the behaviour.
- Consequences of the behaviour do not encourage it to persist.
- Strategies are consistently followed by all educators in contact with the child.
Members of staff are always available to discuss and assist with any concern a parent may have in respect to the child’s behaviour or participation in the program, and will work with parents to address any persistent behaviour problems.
After the child has been given every chance to respond positively and parents have been provided with written reports regarding the strategies used to improve their child’s behaviour, and if all methods fail to result in a positive change, the Director will discuss alternative care with the parent, in consideration of the health and safety of other children in care.
Addressing Bullying Behaviour
The centre does not accept any behaviour that is intimidating to other children. Our staff aim to ensure all children are accepted for themselves and are able to express themselves without intimidation. All children who attend the centre have the right to enjoy their play and friendships, and participate in the activity program within a supportive environment and among people who are caring and co-operative. The service will assist children to establish a network of people they can speak to about any concerns they may have and will ensure the program reflects and encourages core values such as friendliness, acceptance, respect, kindness, tolerance and co-operation. Staff will always listen and respond to children when incidents of bullying are reported or observed, and will act to eliminate bullying at the centre. Staff will discuss the issue of bullying behaviour with the children and make it clear that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable at the centre. Children will be encouraged to speak to staff if they see, or are subjected to, bullying behaviour, and to refuse to be in any bullying situation. Parents are asked to tell a staff member about any bullying incident, or if they suspect that bullying has occurred. Parents are also asked to support the centre’s policies and emphasise the importance of courtesy, consideration and co-operation in everyday life, with their child.
Health & Safety Issues
In group care situations one of the most troublesome problems is to control the spread of infections among both the children and the staff. The application of universal hygiene procedures will be followed at the Centre at all times to control the spread of infection within the Centre. Staff role model a high level of personal hygiene at all times, and place emphasis on the children learning and understanding why hygiene is important. Hand washing is central to this system and children will be asked to wash their hands before all clean tasks (eg. snack time) and after all dirty tasks (eg. after using the toilet).
Immunisation of children who attend the Centre will help to limit the spread of infection. ￼￼￼￼ We encourage parents to immunise their children against all diseases appropriate to the child’s age. Children who are not immunised will be excluded from care during outbreaks of some infectious diseases in accordance with the National Health & Medical Research Council Exclusion Guidelines (on display in the reception area), even if the child is well. This is to limit the spread of infection and to protect all children.
As a protection for all children and staff the following exclusion policy applies to all children enrolled in the Centre. Children with infectious diseases will be excluded from the Centre in accordance with the National Health & Medical Research Council Exclusion Guidelines (on display in the reception area). A medical certificate is required after contracting diphtheria, hepatitis A, polio, tuberculosis, typhoid and paratyphoid before your child can be re-admitted to the Centre. If your child is unwell at home please do not bring him/her to the Centre. Children who have more than a slight cold should not be brought to the Centre and may not be accepted at the Supervisor’s discretion. Fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea or unexplained rashes are some of the indications that a child should not be brought to the Centre.
Unwell Children at the Centre
The Centre operates to provide care for well children and aims to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all the children in its care. The centre is not able to care for children who are ill. The following policy has been developed to protect your child and the other children attending the Centre. It is important that the Director/Supervisor be notified if your child has been unwell or received an injury since last attending the Centre. In the event your child becomes ill whilst at the Centre, you will be contacted and asked to collect your child. Where the Director/Supervisor has asked you to seek medical advice regarding your child’s health, you will be given details about your child’s symptoms and information of any illnesses that have recently affected children and/or staff at the centre to relay to the doctor. The doctor will need to provide a Clearance Certificate that pronounces your child fit for care before they can return to the centre. On your child’s enrolment form you have given approval for an ambulance or doctor to be called if urgent medical attention is required. Every effort will be made to contact you or your nominated emergency contact people as soon as possible. All medical and ambulance costs are the parent’s responsibility. In the event of an outbreak of a communicable disease at the centre, families and the Health Department will be notified.
The giving of medication to children will be strictly monitored to ensure the child’s safety and welfare. Whenever possible, medication should be administered by parents/guardians at home. However, this is not always feasible. Therefore, to ensure children’s safety and welfare, the giving of medication at the centre will be strictly monitored. Parents/guardians should consider whether the child who requires medication is well enough to be at the centre, and to keep the child home if unwell. Medication will only be administered by Centre staff if:
- It is prescribed by a doctor and has the original pharmaceutical label detailing the child’s name, the name of the medication, the required dosage, the date of dispensing and the expiry date; AND
- The parent has completed and signed an authority to give medication form on the day that it is to be administered.
Medication is NOT to be left in a child’s bag. It is to be given directly to a staff member. Only prescribed medications, or medications accompanied by an explanatory letter from the child’s Doctor will be administered by staff at the Centre. This is to ensure an accurate dosage of appropriate medicine is given to children at all times. Before medication is administered, the staff member will check the correct dosage with another staff member. After the administration the staff member will fill out a form detailing the date, time, child’s name, medication, dosage, person who administered and person who verified. Self administration by an enrolled child is not allowable without direct supervision from a staff member. Where medication is needed for long term treatment (eg. Asthma, epilepsy, ADD), the centre will need a letter from the child’s doctor detailing the medical condition, correct dosage of medication and how the condition is to be managed. If a child is receiving medication at home but not at the centre, the centre should still be notified of the purpose of the medication, its nature and the possible side effects it may have on the child while they are in care.
Occupational Safety & Health
Our Centre is concerned with protecting the health and safety of children and staff at the Centre. In the interest of Occupational Safety and Health, and the well-being of the children, the Centre is a smoke-free zone. This includes all indoor and outdoor play areas and anywhere that is within sight of the children. We request that parents adhere to this. Staff are vigilant to identify and remove any hazards that may create a risk to children or themselves. All equipment, toys and play areas are checked regularly to ensure they are clean and safe for children’s use.
To ensure all children attending the Centre are protected from skin damage caused by harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun the following applies: Children will wear a hat which protects the face, neck and ears whenever outside and will be encouraged to use available areas of shade during outdoor activities. SPF 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen will be provided for children and applied 15 minutes before going outside. Outdoor play will not occur in extreme heat or at the hottest time of the day. Staff will act as role models, by wearing hats, applying sunscreen and seeking the shade wherever possible.
Safety drills will be run to ensure that children and staff are familiar with the procedures should an emergency occur. Emergency evacuation and safety drills will be run at the Centre with staff and children during each school term and Vacation Care period. Evacuation procedures are displayed in the reception area and in each activity room. Parents are asked to familiarise themselves with these procedures.
Despite every precaution, accidents will occur at the Centre from time to time. The following policy will be implemented to protect your child and keep you informed should an accident occur. You are required to provide written authority (included in the enrolment form) for staff of the Centre to seek medical attention for your child if required in an emergency. In the case of a minor accident, staff who are qualified in First Aid will attend to the injured child and apply first aid. Depending on the injury, you will be contacted at the time of the accident or informed about the incident when you arrive to collect your child. If a serious accident occurs which requires more than simple first aid treatment you will be contacted immediately or, if you cannot be contacted, your emergency contact person will be phoned. Your child’s injuries will be assessed and either an ambulance will be called or your child will be taken to a local clinic or medical practitioner for medical treatment. A staff member will accompany your child until you are able to be there. You will be asked to sign the accident report completed by the person in charge at the Centre at the time of the accident and be provided with a copy of this report.
First Aid Qualifications
It is a requirement that at least one staff member with a current First Aid and CPR qualification is on duty at the Centre at all times when the children are on the premises. First Aid will only be administered by qualified first aiders in the event of minor accidents or to stabilise the patient until expert assistance arrives. A fully equipped First Aid Kit is maintained at the Centre.