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What time should I turn up? expand_more
Speak to your Centre Manager about the best time to drop off your child on their first day to ensure they can support you with the best possible experience. We do like to encourage families to turn up on their first day at the time they would normally be dropping off their child so everyone becomes familiar with the routine. However, we know that first day can be hard for parents and children, so we work in partnership with families to find the best solution for their individual needs.
What do I need to bring? expand_more
At Guardian, we provide almost everything your child might need during their day. However, for hygiene reasons we ask families to bring a name-labelled water bottle as well as a change of clothes, as some experiences can get messy! If your child uses any comforters such as a dummy or sleeping bag/blanket to help them feel more settled at rest times, please send that along. We want them and you to feel as comfortable as possible.
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? expand_more
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 already during orientation. The Room Leader (in most cases) will settle your child in by taking them over to an experience, introducing them to the other children in their room or offering breakfast (if it is a morning drop off). We’ll also take care of you, because we know that 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
It’s comforting for your child when you take a few moments to settle them in, rather than running off quickly at drop off. We know mornings can be busy and you’re often in a rush, but it is so important to always say goodbye and remind them that you will be back soon. This provides them with a sense of security, especially when they see you again 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 our StoryPark app to communicate with you about what your child is doing and to show them any replies you might send. This is a nice way for children to share experiences with their families and feel reassured that everyone is there to care for them until you return.
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 with their educators and other children in their room. This will help them create bonds which will make them feel secure and safe in the space. Of course, we will also support them to get to know their new environment by encouraging them to have some fun and enjoy creative experiences which interest them – such as drawing, gardening or sand pit play.
Choosing the Right Childcare Centre for your Family
How do I choose the right childcare centre? expand_more
Choosing the right childcare centre is one of the most daunting and important decisions you will make for your child, and your family.
To help you make the right decision for you, we have compiled a list of questions to ask when you attend a tour of your local Centre.
About the Centre
- What are your operating hours?
- How does the pick up and drop off process work at your Centre?
- Do you have a Preschool or Kindergarten program?
- Do you offer casual care bookings for when I need them?
About the Educators
- What qualifications do your educators have?
- Do you have qualified teachers in your rooms?
- What training, development and mentoring do you provide for your teams?
- What curriculum do you follow for children of different ages?
About your child
- What kind of learning opportunities will my child have?
- How can I be involved in my child’s learning?
- How will you help prepare my child for school?
- Will you keep me up to date during the day with what my child is doing?
- How will you let me know if my child is experiencing any difficulties or issues in care? And how will this be managed?
- What will my child be eating on a daily basis?
- Can I see your current menu?
- Do you have any online blogs or programs to support children’s learning?
- What communication do you have for families?
- Can I claim the Child Care Subsidy?
- Can you tell me what my fees will be after I claim the Child Care Subsidy?
- What is your policy in relation to children’s illness?
- Do you have sustainable practices in place throughout the Centre?
- What resources and facilities do you have for children of different ages?
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 the space and at the experiences children are engaged in. Does the space resemble the natural environment with lots of light, natural materials, and engaging spaces? Do the children look happy and engaged?
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 with Guardian 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
Generally, if your service is located close to your home or workplace it will make your days easier. 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.
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. If you have time for a proper goodbye each morning it will make you feel less rushed and stressed and your child will settle more easily.
When do I need to start looking for a childcare centre? expand_more
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 (some people do it when the child is born), and confirm your requirements as regularly as possible.
What is the childcare subsidy? expand_more
The Child Care Subsidy is provides higher levels of financial support to the families who earn the least, in order to make the process of returning to work less financially difficult. More importantly, this initiative gives 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.
The system is income and ‘activity-based’, giving families access to either 36, 72 or 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight, based on the hours of combined work, training or study undertaken.
Read more about the Child Care Subsidy and what it means for you.
How much will I get back? expand_more
Your CCS is calculated using three components:
- Your combined family income
- Your level of ‘activity’
- Your childcare provider’s hourly rate
Our Child Care Subsidy Calculator will help you determine an accurate estimate of the financial support you may be eligible for.
The amount of subsidy you receive depends on your circumstances. To discuss your individual circumstances and how they relate to your CCS entitlements, please contact our Concierge Team on 1300 001 119. They will be able to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Will COVID impact my CCS? expand_more
Temporary changes have been made to help families whose activity levels have dropped as a result of COVID-19.
From 13 July 2020 to 4 October 2020, impacted families can access up to 100 hours of subsidised childcare, per child, per fortnight. To be eligible, families must have experienced a reduction to their number of hours of recognised activity compared to pre COVID-19.
To access this, you must update your activity levels with Centrelink via your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
Read more about COVID and the Child Care Subsidy, see our COVID FAQs or COVID Latest Updates for more information.
Help for Disadvantaged Families expand_more
Depending on your circumstance, there may be additional assistance your family is entitled to. As always, to discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our Concierge Team on 1300 001 119.
Extra supports is available to:
- Families experiencing temporary financial hardship
- Grandparent carers on income support
- Parents transitioning from income support to work
Read more about these additional financial assistance programs.