We encourage families to visit the Centre and meet with the Centre Manager prior to enrolment. Once a position has been confirmed for your child/children it is important that you become familiar with the following information. Please do not hesitate to contact your Centre manager if you require any further assistance or clarification about any concerns.


Orientation mornings

As part of your child’s orientation to Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre, we encourage and recommend that parents bring their child and stay for an hour or two in the room that your child is enrolled. Parents are able to bring their child/children for as many orientation visits that they feel is necessary to ensure a smooth transition into care- some children are comfortable after one visit other children require several. The aim of our orientation mornings is to:

Help your child feel more comfortable with the environment and aid in a smoother transition to child care

Help your child become familiar with the staff and other children

Have activities set up for your child to freely explore and investigate with the other children whilst still having parents nearby

Provide the opportunity for new parents to meet other parents

Provide the opportunity for parents to meet the Centre Manager and educators and to discuss settling strategies and any concerns that they may have


What to bring

As part of your child’s orientation to Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre, we encourage and recommend that parents bring their child and stay for an hour or two in the room that your child is enrolled. Parents are able to bring their child/children for as many orientation visits that they feel is necessary to ensure a smooth transition into care- some children are comfortable after one visit other children require several. The aim of our orientation mornings is to:

A backpack or similar bag with your child’s name clearly marked on it

A favourite comforter (if they have one) either a toy, blanket or dummy- please no dummy chains

Two sets of seasonally appropriate clothes. Please ensure these are clearly labeled with your child’s name

Please note, nappies are supplied by Smart Cookies

We encourage parents to visit the centre

What to wear for a busy day at Smart Cookies

Smart Cookies educators recommend that you send your child in play clothes as this allows for your child to be able to play happily, freely and to enjoy the activities, especially as sometimes we can get dirty and messy when having lots of fun. Play clothes need to be simple in design, so as to encourage independence in toileting and dressing. Please ensure your child’s shoes offer protection for their feet. Please do not send your child in thongs or Croc style shoes, as these are slippery and often dangerous when climbing


Children’s belongings

Please ensure that all clothes, shoes, toys, comforters, bottles, blankets, back-packs, etc, are clearly and permanently labeled. It’s best not to bring items of value or special toys to the Centre as these can be lost or broken. Educators do their best to ensure that possessions brought into the Centre are treated with care and respect, but this is not always possible. Each foyer has a Lost Property box where we leave unlabeled clothes, toys etc. This box is cleared out at the end of each school term and the items are given to the local Charity box eg, St Vincent de Paul, The Smith Family.


Parent involvement

Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre recognise the importance of parent involvement, and we understand that not all parents have the time to be involved. Family and community members all have unique interests, ideas, skills and talents. We actively encourage all people to contribute to our programs and therefore each child’s development wherever possible. Parents can choose a day or a few hours, and come to our Centre and spend time by:

Playing with their child

Discussing their occupation

Singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, reading, dancing or demonstrating whatever your interest or hobby may be

Participating in activities both indoors or outdoors with their child

Assisting the room educators within their daily routines

Smart Cookies believe in open communication and have an OPEN DOOR policy. We value the daily contact with parents as this contact is vital in ensuring quality care and education for your children. We strive to achieve great parent communication through:

Parent and educator interviews

Having a coffee with the staff

Talking to other parents

Meeting their child’s friends

Discussing any concerns with staff

Viewing the classroom and their child’s work

As we value parent input, we will email our daily journals each afternoon to families. These daily journals showcase our day’s events and often include information about current interests we are investigating and ask for any books/resources on the interests to share as well as important reminders about events and Centre happenings. We encourage parents to give us assistance in reviewing our policies throughout the year.


Dropping off and picking up your child

Upon enrolment you will be required to provide Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre with a completed enrolment form and this includes the names and telephone numbers of authorised contacts to drop off and/or pick up your child. We ask that you notify us immediately of any changes or alterations to these authorised contacts. We also request that you inform the Centre if someone other than a parent will be picking up your child. It is preferred that you complete a written form when you drop off your child but we understand that at times this can be done over the phone during the day, but you must provide the person’s name and phone number. This person who is collecting your child must be over 18 and will be asked to provide some form of identification. This is for the safety of your child and the educators. By law, we require your child to be dropped off and picked up (as well as signed in and out) by an adult(over 18). Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre is open between 7:00am – 6:00pm. Late fees will be charged to your account (and do not qualify for CCB) after closing time ($3 per minute). If you are unavoidably delayed, please ring the Centre. Parents will be contacted if children are not collected by 6:00pm; failing this, the emergency person/s will be called. If no contact is to be made by 6:30pm, the Department of Community Services Helpline and the Police will be notified.


Illness

Please exercise discretion if your child is unwell (e.g. green runny noses, fevers) and it is likely to transfer the illness to other children. If in doubt, please seek medical advice or consult your Centre Manager. To ensure that all children are safe from sickness, the Centre follows the guidelines set out by the Department of Health in regards to diseases such as chickenpox, impetigo, measles, etc. Please understand that at times you will be asked to supply a medical clearance before your child is able to return. Our own educators also must adhere to these best practices when they are sick too. By all following these practices it will help minimise the spreading of infections throughout the Centre.


Medical information

If your child requires medicine when at Smart Cookies, families must complete a Medication Form. These forms are located in the foyer or please ask your room educator for a form. Please complete the form – all sections to be completed otherwise the medication cannot be administered. Once form is completed, please hand form and medication to your child’s educator. The medication bottle must state the name of the child as well as the dosage. All medication is to be removed from your child’s bag and given to an educator for correct storage. If your child suffers from a condition that requires constant medication, eg. asthma, a letter and management plan from your child’s doctor is required. The letter must contain the reason for the medication as well as the type and dosage. The letter needs to be signed by the doctor . We will also ask that families complete a Long Term medication form. Upon enrolment we require to sight and photocopy your child’s current immunisation details. If your child is not immunised for whatever the reason, and there is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, your child will be required to remain at home for the duration of the disease. Fees are still payable during this time.

Safety is paramount

Accident and illness

If your child is involved in an accident whilst attending Smart Cookies, an accident report form will be filled out by an educator. The report will contain a description of the accident, the injury and the treatment given. When collecting your child, parents will be able to read and we require a signature on the form.

If the Centre Manager believes the child will need extra treatment or is more seriously injured, a parent will be notified immediately. Similarly, if your child becomes unwell whilst in care at Smart Cookies, parents will be contacted to arrange collection of the child. If the parents cannot be contacted, our Centre Managers will use the emergency contacts from the child’s enrolment form to locate a person to collect the child.

 

Sun protection

Smart Cookies Early Learning Centre has a Sun Protection policy that requires all children and educators to wear a hat and sunscreen when outdoors. As part of your enrolment package each child receives a Smart Cookies hat to wear. The hats are labeled to ensure no sharing of hats occurs .Our hats have UV sun protection and a full flap to protect your child’s neck and ears. It is necessary for you to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your child’s skin before, or on arrival, to Smart Cookies. We have 30 plus sunscreen in our foyers and within each room and outdoor areas. If your child is allergic or sensitive to sunscreen please provide the sunscreen you wish to have applied to your child/ren. Educators will re-apply sunscreen throughout the day. A hat is compulsory even on cloudy days as the risk of damage is still present.


Withdrawal

Once your child has commenced, 2 weeks written notice is required should you wish to withdraw your child or reduce your child’s days.


Childcare Assistance

Families will need to contact the Family Assistance Office (www.humanservices.gov.au or PH 13 61 50) to have their eligibility for Child Care Benefit assessed. In order for you to receive reduced weekly fees via your CCB subsidy, you need to provide us with both CRNs as well as your and your child’s Date of Birth (DOB).If these details are available, we will complete the child’s formal enrolment. Should a family still need to access this information, we will complete an informal enrolment until these details are finalised.

If your Assessed Family Income is too high to receive the CCB subsidy, you may be eligible for the Government’s 50% Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR) if you and your partner meet the CCTR’s work/study/training requirement. To be eligible for the CCTR, you must first be assessed by the FAO for CCB eligibility and then provide us with your and your child’s CRN and DOB. For more details please contact the Family Assistance Office (www.humanservices.gov.au or PH 13 61 50).

It is the responsibility of families to fill out the necessary forms with Centrelink and to update their assessment every 12 months, or when there are any changes to the family income. If you do not obtain a Child Care Benefit Assessment, full fees will be charged.


Complaints

We are here for you and your child. We encourage families with any concerns to bring them to the attention of the Centre Manager immediately so they can be dealt with promptly. We aim to address all concerns immediately, with the emphasis being placed on resolving issues in a professional manner. Alternatively, families can complete a Comment/Concern Form and pass it to the Centre Manager.


Child Abuse

All our educators are aware of and are committed to our Centre’s duty of care to ensure that child abuse does not occur in the Centre, and that suspected or detected abuse is appropriately reported.

Each educator signs a Prohibited Employment Declaration and is subjected to a Police check. Our Centre Manager and educators are legally required to report suspicion of child abuse or child sexual assault to the Department of education and Community Services without notification to the parents. All suspected abuse will be mandatorily reported to the Helpline on 13 36 27.

Your child will be connected with, and contribute to, their world