Handbook

 

Summary of our Family Handbook

Research shows that a child’s experience in their first five years sets the course for the rest of their life. At Emmerick Street Community Preschool we believe that families and educators can work together to provide the best foundation for the growth and development of each child.

Our aim is to bring out the best in your child, to foster self-confidence and a love of learning. The Preschool provides a warm, caring, respectful, stimulating, and inclusive environment. We promote a program that supports children to build positive attitudes of acceptance, tolerance, and respect for diversity in its many forms in Australian society.

We look forward to working in partnership with you and your children, and we hope that the preschool experience is a rewarding one for both you and your child.

Team Emmerick

The Preschool caters for 26 children (Mon-Wed) and 24 children (Thursday-Friday), taught by one university-trained Early Childhood Teacher, Monday to Wednesday, and two ECT’s on Thursdays and Fridays.  We have a qualified educator who assists with the daily routine and supervision.

All trained educators have current first aid certificates and regularly attend in-service training to maintain our preschool’s level of excellence.  All educators undergo appropriate probity checks to ensure that they are not Prohibited Persons as described in the Child Protection Prohibited Employment Act 1998.

Director & Nominated Supervisor B.Ed (ECE) - Monday/Tues/Wed (Office/Programming Days)- Tuesday the Director works from home. Thursday/Friday (Teaching days) 

Teacher B. Ed (EC) – Full time

Teachers Aids (Certificate III in Children’s Services) 

Accounts & Administrative Assistance – Monday and Thursday

Our Philosophy

Emmerick Street Preschool has grown from its humble beginnings. We started off in Birchgrove in 1978 and ever since then the spirit of community is alive and thriving. It is almost as if the preschool has its own pulse.

Today, you can see the strong foundations of the past still active in our everyday curriculum through the consideration paid to relationships and connection.

Relationships are at the core of what we do. We take time and care to know staff, families the community, and most importantly the children. The uniqueness of each child is of utmost importance, celebrating their offerings to the preschool.

It is each child’s right to a stimulating, challenging, and interesting curriculum. The team strives to get to know each child deeply through recognising their talents, personality, sense of humor, and life story to plan accordingly.

We authentically embed ourselves in children’s play, reflecting on our own experiences of our childhoods. We work in partnership with the children to learn about what they know, what they would like to know. The potential of each child is held in high regard and this is reflected in our planning and the set-up of the curriculum spaces with and for the children.

A sense of pride amongst the team reigns deep. The team value research to guide and scaffold their thinking. Critical reflection is key to supporting our desire to discover, learn and understand diverse perspectives of each child as well as the curriculum.

Over the years we have developed a pedagogy of friendship to support children’s growing skills in making and being a friend. We offer children invitations to respond to an interest, connect with a friend, learn new skills and revisit past learnings.

The creative and expressive arts play a crucial role in children’s learning. When we sing, dance, paint, draw, and weave, our brains are able to think in deep and reflective ways. Emphasis is placed on teaching children to be critical thinkers, to dream, and wonder in a multitude of ways.

Acknowledging the Gadigal land and paying our respects to Indigenous culture as well as celebrating the diversity of the world’s cultures is embedded in our day. To learn about culture is a gift and helps us to understand more about the world we live in.

Being sustainable and caring for the land go hand in hand. Children are immersed in learning how to care for and love our planet and take good care of it.

We are witnesses to children being brilliant at least 1000times a day, we take each individual child very seriously and recognise the privilege of guiding and supporting them to explore and develop a love of learning for life.

 

The Preschool Daily Routine

8.00 am to 9am Educators set up the Preschool environment/meet to discuss children’s development & learning/Critical Reflection time
9am to 10am Children arrive and are dropped off at the door, free outdoor play (weather permitting)
10am to 10:30am Morning tea , outside play,  small group experiences
10.30am – 12 pm Indoor play
12pm- 12:30pm Group Time
12:30pm- 2:00pm Lunch outdoors,-  free play inside/outdoors
2.00pm to 2:30pm Relaxation/Meditation/Yoga/Mantras followed by storytime
2.00pm to 2.45pm OR- Afternoon activities, large & small group experiences inside/outside
2.45pm to 3.00pm Children get ready for home and pack away
3.00pm to 4pm Educators prepare for the next day/Meet to discuss children’s development & learning/Critical Reflection time

The Waiting List

To apply for a position at Emmerick Street, your child’s name will be placed on a waiting list for a fee of $40.  The Director begins enrolments in August/September each year. These are generally finalised in October/November.

The Director or Administrator will contact each family whose child is accepted for enrolment. Upon acceptance of the position, the enrolement information will be sent to you via e-mail.

There will be an orientation evening for new families to attend in November , this will be conducted via Zoom depending on restrictions at the time.

Orientation play sessions for small groups of the new children, starting the following year. This will typically be 1 hr.  Forms will be sent out to you to fill in and bring to the visit with your child.

Please Bring the Following to the Orientation Visit: 

  • Your child’s current immunisation records
  • Medicare card
  • Birth certificate
  • Doctors details
  • Details of people authorised to pick up your child
  • Completed forms in the enrolment package, placement holding fee, and enrolment fee
  • 6 x 4 sized  family photo to be put up in the preschool (see below)

Positions may also be offered throughout the year if they become available.

Attendance Days

The Preschool caters for 3-5-year-olds.

3-4-year-olds attend on Thursday and Friday

4-5-year-olds on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Preschool Hours

Preschool hours are 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday, during school terms.

Preschool dates follow the school calendar and, as these dates vary, this information will be sent to all families at the beginning of each year.

Children cannot be left before 9 am and must be picked up by 3 pm, as the preschool is not licensed outside these hours.

Late Collection of Children

For children who are collected after 3.00 pm, a $1.00/minute fee will be charged. This fine will be payable separate to term fees.

Preschool Holidays

Preschool terms are the same as for the NSW state schools. There are four terms each year.

Arrival and Departure

To ensure that children are dropped off and picked up in a safe manner and that all information is effectively shared between yourself and educators, please adhere to the following guidelines during arrival and departure from the preschool:

  • All children are dropped off at the front door. The team will support your child using an approach called Playspaces®. This method works to hold your child’s feelings with them. This method is very successful and honours all emotions as important and to be acknowledged so that your child can process them with the support of their teachers in predictable ways. 
  • Until your child moves inside the front door please Supervise your child and any siblings or other children you are dropping off.  Please ensure children are not climbing on the handrails or running up and down the ramp. 
  • When you sign your child in/out on the attendance register, please let the teacher know if there are any important messages we need to know about your child. 
  • Close all gates as you use them and ensure that no child other than your own exits the preschool as you leave. 
  • Do not open the front gate for any unauthorised/unknown person/s
  • Inform educators if anyone other than yourself will be collecting your child, and make sure that the Preschool has written authorisation for the identified person to collect your child.
  • Please note: Children will not be released to anyone under the age of 16 years.

Sign In/Sign Out Book

The sign-in/sign-out book is located in the foyer. This book is an important way of recording each child’s attendance and records must be kept for 25 years! It is a legal requirement so please make sure you sign your child in and out each day.

If someone else will be picking up your child, you must write it in the sign-in book and fill out the Authorization pick-up form (please ask a staff member for a copy). There is a copy available in the front foyer. We will add this information to your child’s file.

It is also helpful if you verbally let the educators know what is happening.  If these steps are not in place, we can refuse to let your child go.

Fees

The daily fee is:  $58.00 per day for children turning 4 on or before the 31st of July of the current year, $75.00 for children turning 4 after the 31st of July of the current year, and $29.50 per day for children from Aboriginal, Torres Straight Island and/or low-income families.

Fees are calculated by the term and are payable even when the child is absent for sick days, holidays during term time, and public holidays.

Invoices for fees are issued in Week 8 of each term prior to the following term and invoiced to families’ email addresses.  

Fees are to be paid within 14 days from receipt of invoice. Payment can be made by cheque or BPay.

The BPay no.126268C and is our preferred method of payment. Please make cheques payable to Emmerick Street Community Preschool and place them in the safe in the locker room.

Absences

We ask that you notify the preschool prior to 9 am if your child will be away for any reason. Please e-mail or phone the preschool to let the team know your child will not be attending. There is no reduction of fees if your child is absent for any reason, including sickness.

Withdrawal Policy

Parents are required to give 4 term weeks’ notice in writing if they intend to withdraw their child/ren from the preschool.  This is necessary to ensure that sufficient notice can be given to the next family on the waiting list.

Failure to do so in term 4 will result in loss of the placement holding fee paid at the start of enrolment.  Please provide notice of intent to the Director.

Termination of Enrolment

The Preschool is a not-for-profit organisation and we are committed to keeping fees as low as possible. The fees are used directly to finance the running of the Preschool so it is imperative that fees are paid promptly by the due date.

The BCA reserves the right to terminate the child’s position at the Preschool if there are outstanding fees.  If you need a special payment plan, please see the Director or Administration Officer.

Our Preschool is a learning environment. If a child continually disrupts this environment and exhibits unacceptable and inappropriate behaviour that cannot be managed by the Preschool’s educators, pursuant to our Developing Social Competency Policy and our Inclusion Policy (see Preschool Policy Manual), the parents or guardians of any such child will be consulted.

What to Bring on Preschool Days

Please bring a large backpack containing:

  • A change of clothes – appropriate according to changing weather
  • Snack box labeled with their name – Piece of fruit /vegetable to have for morning tea- You can send any fruit (fresh or dried) or vegetable, eg. beans, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, snow peas etc.
  • Lunch in a separate lunch box with your child’s name labelled on it.
  • A water bottle – we leave this out so that children have access to water throughout the day

Bags are kept in the locker room, and lost property will be placed at the front door a few times throughout the term.

Children will have their own locker, designated with their name on it. This will remain their locker for the 2 years of the preschool program.

Settling Your Child into Preschool

We understand that starting Preschool can be an anxious experience for both family members and children, and quite often it is the first experience of extended separation. Developing trusting relationships with educators, and familiarising yourself, and your child with the preschool routine, environment and procedures will help alleviate some of these anxieties.

We have developed a ‘Social Story’ to help settle your child into preschool and for your child to get to know the teaching team.

We encourage you and your child, where possible, to spend some time at the preschool before your first day and to shorten your first formally enrolled days; this will help promote a gradual orientation into the Preschool. Please talk to the Teaching Director regarding suitable times for attending orientation visits.

Although the experience of starting and settling into preschool will differ for each individual, there are also some general strategies and information that all families may find helpful during this process:

Many children experience some anxiety about separating from their parents or caregivers when they start preschool. This is normal and may take a little time to resolve depending upon your child’s age and temperament. The team will use an approach called Playspaces® to support and honour your child’s emotions at drop-off time and throughout the day. Families will be sent information regarding this fabulous approach that works to support the best interests of your child.

When children first attend care they are often susceptible to illnesses. This is because their immune system has not yet developed to cope with exposure to the larger number of other children that they come into contact with at preschool.

  • Work with the teaching team to plan strategies to assist you and your child to manage separation. For example, your child may have a special toy or comfort item, or your child can wave goodbye at the window which can be incorporated into the separation ritual
  • Explain to your child how the drop-off process will work so they can predict what will happen next. This will help to reassure your child and help them to process the moment more fully. Say ‘goodbye’ calmly and confidently, reassuring your child that you or someone they know will collect them later.
  • Leave when you say you are going to leave. Continuing to stay for ‘one more minute’ can increase your and your child’s anxiety.
  • Always say goodbye to your child. While it may be tempting to leave quietly, this can cause children to feel anxious and distrustful.
  • Please feel free to ring the preschool to check on how your child is settling into the service. If educators are unable to talk when you call due to supervising the children, you will receive a call back when ratios and time are permitting.

On the orientation days, the team will ask you important questions to get to know your child more. These questions will assist the team to meet the individual needs of your child and will assist educators to settle your child into preschool.

The First Day- Thursday /Friday Group

The children in the Thursday/ Friday Group have a particular settling-in schedule that will be shared with all families. This schedule has been developed in the best interests of your children to ease them into preschool and give them an opportunity to develop trusting relationships with your children.

Preschool Calendar

The Preschool calendar is e-mailed to all families at the beginning of the year. Preschool term dates, as well as working bees and Management meetings, are all planned in advance (dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances).

www.emmerickstreet.com.au

Family Photos and ‘All About Me’ Profiles

Please supply a 6 x 4 sized family photo to be put on display at preschool. By displaying these photos educators aim to foster a sense of belonging for the children and to create a sense of community for all families.

You will also receive a profile for your child called ‘All About Me’ upon enrolment. Please fill this out and return it to preschool so that we can collate all the profiles of the children to make a special book. We will then use this book to assist the children to learn about each other, and educators will use these profiles for programming purposes.

The ‘All About me’ profiles also become a travelling connection between families and children (permission is sought) throughout the year from Term 2 or 3 onwards.

Toilet Training

We do not have nappy changing facilities. Children are to be toilet trained to commence their enrolment at the Preschool. If you are having challenges with supporting your child to become toilet trained prior to commencement, please talk to the Director to work out some strategies to help your child.

What to Pack for Lunch

Healthy sandwiches or salads are a suitable lunch.  You can provide variety by including cheese sticks, fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables.  Please keep ‘treats’ such as cakes, chips, lollies, or chocolate to a minimum, as we aim to promote healthy eating habits at preschool.

We are working towards a Sustainable Preschool and when your child is enrolled you will receive a re-usable yoghurt pouch. We encourage you to use this if your child enjoys yoghurt rather than buying individual yoghurts.

We can all work to be more sustainable together!

Please do not send nuts or products containing nuts to preschool as we are an ‘Allergy Aware’ Preschool. 

Home Toys

The Preschool has an extensive range of educational and play equipment. We discourage children from bringing toys and other precious items from home because if they get lost or misplaced, we spend a lot of time searching for the items and comforting distressed children.

Rest toys must be kept in children’s bags until rest time.  These should be soft, safe toys to have on their beds. No toy guns or weapons are allowed at Preschool.

Hats, Clothing, Sunscreen, and Insect Repellent

In order to assist educators to implement the preschool’s Sun Safety Policy all children’s hats stay at Preschool.  At ‘Big School’, the usual rule is ‘No Hat, No Outside Play’, so we encourage them to get used to this idea. Children must also have their shoulders covered to protect them from the sun.

We also ask that you please apply sunscreen and mosquito repellent each day before your child arrives to help protect your child.

We do provide sunscreen for the children’s protection, and we encourage them to become familiar and independent in the care of their skin. If your child suffers allergies to any skin products please notify educators.

Spare Clothes

In your child’s bag please send a change of clothes, a couple of pairs of underpants, a raincoat every day for rainy weather and a jumper every day for if the weather turns cool. You may store the raincoat at the Preschool. Comfortable play clothes and shoes with a strap help ensure relaxed, happy, and safe play at preschool.  Please remember to label all clothing.

Artwork by Children

Artwork is filed for us to use in our programming for children’s learning and then will be left in the locker room in an individually labelled folder in a box.  Artwork is labelled with each child’s name and when it is made available we ask that you take it home as a record of your child’s progress and because preschool does not have unlimited storage.

Collage Materials

Donations are appreciated of any material such as boxes, paddle pop sticks, coloured paper etc. for the children to use for creative collage. Your rubbish maybe someone’s piece of art! Please speak to the director if you have something to contribute.

A Community Preschool

Emmerick Street Community Preschool is a non-profit community-based Preschool and is therefore reliant on the enrolled families to perform a wide range of managerial, administrative and maintenance tasks.

It is this participation that enables the preschool to run smoothly and remain cost-efficient.  We cannot stress enough that your help in any of these areas is greatly needed and appreciated.

We look forward to working with you and helping you into any role you can help out with.  It is a wonderful opportunity for parents to be involved in a ‘hands-on’ way in the educational environment of their children.

Organisation

We are licensed and funded by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities to accommodate 29 children per day.  We operate at lower numbers as this is in your child’s best interests to receive high-quality learning opportunities.

The children are aged from 3 to 5 years, we allocate spots according to the guidelines stipulated in the enrolment policy. This can be found in our policy manual.

Administration of the Preschool

The role of The Birchgrove Community Association

The preschool is governed by a corporate body known as the Birchgrove Community Association (BCA).  It is comprised of parents of the children attending the preschool.

The preschool is proudly a community-based venture which began as Birchgrove Community Preschool in Birchgrove in the mid-seventies to provide an alternative educational option for the local preschool children. Due to leasing issues, relocation was necessary and the new grounds in Lilyfield were purchased in the late eighties.

The Management Committee

All the members of the Preschool Management Committee are elected by the parents of the preschool. The Management Committee (BCA), which consists of the President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer, and general Committee Members together with the Teaching Director, are responsible for all decisions pertaining to the day-to-day running of the preschool.

The Committee agrees on the yearly budget and all expenditures for maintenance and upkeep of the preschool. In the event of hiring new staff for the preschool, the Committee is responsible for managing the recruitment process.

The Management Committee reports all activities to the parents at the Parent Meetings and major decisions are brought to the attention of the parent body at these meetings so that parents can share their ideas and ask questions.  Budgets are set by the Treasurer, President, and Director and at the end of each year, the accounts are readied for auditing.

Parent Management Committee meetings are generally held in week 3 and week 7 on a Thursday during Terms (dates may change).

Birchgrove Community Association Membership

To entitle you to vote on issues at parent meetings and to hold a managerial or director position you will have to join the (BCA). This is mandatory for at least one parent/ guardian per family. Your application form and a fee will be collected at the time of enrolling your child.

Parent Involvement

The preschool recognises the importance of parent involvement within the program and welcomes you to visit the preschool at any time. Some of the ways in which you can become involved in the preschool community include:

  • Story reading
  • Sharing a talent with the children such as playing an instrument
  • Attending excursions and incursions
  • Completing surveys
  • Attending Parent Meetings/Committee Meetings
  • Social functions
  • Input into the weekly program, policies, and procedures
  • Fundraising

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM is held in May each year. At least one parent or guardian from each family MUST attend this meeting as a condition of their child’s enrolment. When signing the Parent Agreement at the time of enrolment you are agreeing to meet this condition.

Sharing the Load- The Emmerick Street Community

It must be understood that when you accept a place for your child at Emmerick Street that parent participation in meetings, working bees, fundraising, and general organisational activities is essential. These contributions ensure the smooth running of the preschool and assist in maintaining staffing levels.

Tasks include such things as the washing of children’s table linen, website updates, fundraising, social coordinating, administrative tasks, and garden-related jobs. Any special skills, talents, or interests you can share with the children or the preschool are also appreciated. Please see the Teaching Director for more information about how you can assist.

Although the commitment you are asked to give may first seem daunting we never ask more than what suits your family situation. Your effort means that your child will greatly benefit from attending a preschool to which you have the opportunity to contribute, that is well organised, superbly equipped, has dedicated trained educators, and has a healthy community atmosphere.

Many parents have remarked on how much they enjoy the camaraderie and doing their bit for the community.

Working Bees

In order to maintain a safe and clean environment for the children, it is imperative that each family participate by donating their time to working bees. These are held twice a year on Saturdays, in the morning and the family needs to provide one person for two hours or two people for one hour.  Children are not permitted to attend.

Working bees dates are in the Preschool calendar and parents are notified in the Newsletter or by email. A working bee levy will be charged to families who do not attend the working bee, in order to cover the costs of paying for services of independent contractors. Contact the Director if you can’t make the working bee due to unforeseen circumstances or work commitments. This fee is currently $100.

Executive Management Committee members are exempt from attendance at working bees.

Fundraising

Occasionally, we find the need to raise funds for unplanned financial commitments.  One of the volunteer roles for parents is fundraising coordinator. The committee, along with the fundraising coordinator, will organise a subcommittee of volunteers to decide on the best way to achieve what we need and we expect that all families contribute their time.

Parent Communication

Parents are the primary caregivers of their children.  Communication between parents and educators is very important; as we are here to complement what you already do at home. There are a number of ways in which communication between the preschool and families can occur.  These include:

  • StoryPark
  • Goal setting meetings in Term One via phone
  • An Intuitive and Professional detailed report on your child’s overall development in Term Three- Meeting with families via phone
  • Documentation around the Preschool
  • Conversations – both formal and informal
  • Individual parent/teacher meetings
  • Preschool Parent Meetings
  • Parent Management Committee meetings that all families are welcome to attend
  • The Annual General Meeting
  • E-mail
  • Communication Board in the foyer

The Preschool Program

At Emmerick Street Community Preschool we believe that an early childhood curriculum does not simply refer to the teaching of specific facts or information, rather it includes the processes that are connected to learning and teaching, as well as the intentions of the early childhood professional and learner. This idea is reiterated by the educators of Reggio Emilia in the North of Italy, who view the child as an active participant in their own learning. At Emmerick Street, we are highly inspired and influenced by the philosophies and practices of the educators of Reggio Emilia.

Our program relates to all aspects of children’s experiences whilst at the preschool and involves both planned and spontaneous activities. The preschool’s programming style is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.

Our educators believe that ‘Children learn best when the curriculum is connected to their everyday lives and interests. (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett and Farmer, 2005). We see the child as constructing knowledge through their interactions with their; peers, teachers, families, and their environment.

We strive to offer an interest-based and child-negotiated approach (meaning that staff and children work together through the learning journey). The foundations of the curriculum come from the children themselves, whom teachers observe closely to discover what it is that they are interested in and what investigations they are pursuing.

As educators we are researchers. We make notes and jottings, take photos and gather other traces of children’s learning, and then work in collaboration to develop an understanding about the children’s theories. We need to know where the children ‘are’ before we know where to ‘take’ them. We then make plans for the next steps aimed at extending and sustaining the child’s or children’s pursuits and deepening their exploration.

We use a range of documentation to make the children’s learning visible to families, children, and the community. This includes anecdotal observations, learning stories, pedagogical documentation, work samples, collated observations around a project, and developmental summaries.  The documentation can be found displayed on the walls, or in children’s portfolios on Storypark. This documentation we use emphasises to children that we believe they are truly capable and resourceful and that they are active contributors to their own learning.

Our environment is designed to facilitate children’s learning and exploration through the provision of resources and materials which offer choice, possibility, and discovery. We acknowledge that in play the emphasis is on the process and not the product and we value the learning that is gained through experimentation and investigation. We also feel that it is important that all children feel safe and secure at the preschool; therefore we strive to provide a home-like environment, by using materials and furnishings that are often found in homes.

We are a very well-resourced preschool and resources are regularly rotated in the environment to reflect the children’s current interests and capabilities.  Learning areas such as art and craft, a writing centre, music corner,  block corner, books, and puzzles in the ‘quiet room’ and home corner are set up in a way that encourages the children to make choices and decisions. Low open shelves with a variety of resources allow the children to take on an active role in their own play and learning.

We use a pedagogical journal to record our decision-making for children’s learning. This is where you will find the preschool program. All educators record observations of children in their personal reflective diaries. These are used to gather evidence of children’s learning and to create a picture of your child. We use these observations to create the program that is in the pedagogical journal as well as to write documentation about your child’s learning.

Each child also has a digital portfolio (story park) in which we assess and document their learning. Families have access to it and can add stories, comments, and feedback to it.

Supporting Social Competency

Our aim is to facilitate a just and equitable learning environment by supporting children to express themselves appropriately. This means using strategies that build children’s confidence and self-esteem, and provide children with support, guidance, and opportunities to express their feelings and emotions appropriately and interact with others positively.

This approach to managing behaviour is based on a theoretical approach that aims to teach children or guide children so that they can learn to direct their own actions from the inside (Porter, 2003). We endeavour to foster and enhance positive self-esteem, and to support children to develop the skills to engage in socially acceptable and successful behaviours. We believe in encouraging independence and self-control in children and aim to develop skills that will enable children to become self-disciplined and solve problems for themselves.

Each child is supported to manage their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviour of others, and communicate effectively to resolve conflict. (National Quality Standard, Quality Area 5, standard 5.3.1)

Furthermore, we believe that the use of punishments, threats, and rewards are counterproductive, and only elicit short-term compliance in most situations.

When supporting children through conflicts or emotions, staff use positive guidance, re-direction, positive re-enforcement, and provide children with appropriate language and support to control their own behaviour, solve problems and express themselves. Children will be presented with clear alternatives to help them develop their ability to make decisions and direct themselves.

We encourage parents to discuss with staff any behavioural difficulties they may be experiencing with their child at home so that families and staff can be consistent with practices used.

The strategies we use to support social competencies preserve the dignity and rights of the child at all times (National Quality Standard, Quality Area 5, standard 5.3.1)

Please see our Policy Manual for more details on the above policy. Please note our Policies and Procedures are updated by the team and families when needed.

Additional Needs

Emmerick Street Community Preschool has a commitment to mainstreaming children with additional needs in the Preschool setting.

If your child has any special needs please discuss these with the Director.

General Information for Parents

Excursions

All excursions will be carried out in accordance with– the Education and Care Services National Regulations. Part 4.2, Div 6 Regulation 99-102.

Written permission will be sought for all routine and non-routine excursions and a risk assessment will be carried out before any excursions take place. Please see the Preschool’s Excursion Policy for more information.

To ensure adequate supervision on outings, parent involvement may be sought.

Home Visits

We offer families the opportunity to invite an educator and a small group of children from the preschool to visit their home for approximately 1 hour during preschool hours. This is a special experience for your child to share their lives with their peers and teachers which helps to build relationships and your child’s sense of belonging at Emmerick Street.

A home visit involves time for the children to play, a shared morning tea, and time is taken to look at family photos and share your child’s favourite story. You need to live close enough to walk or catch a bus. Please see one of the educators if you would like more information on hosting one at your house. If you do not live close enough we can also visit a cafe or park that your child sees as part of their life.

Security

We all play a part in providing a safe and secure environment for the children at Preschool.

The child-proof gate at the front must always be shut when you enter or leave the preschool. This also applies to the side gates.

Parking at Preschool

The Preschool is located in a residential area and it is important to maintain a good relationship with our neighbours. Please ensure that you park legally at all times and do not park across driveways.

Double parking is illegal and dangerous to other parents and children crossing the road.

Birthdays

Although the educators are happy to acknowledge and celebrate each child’s birthday with the group, no parties are held at preschool. You may like to send in 28 mini-cupcakes, but it is preferable that you make them as healthy as possible.

Social Functions

One of the major benefits of parents being part of a community preschool is the opportunity for social interaction between children, families, and staff. Over the years many long-standing friendships have been formed, and the happy social climate of the preschool is of benefit to the children and families alike.

A variety of social functions are organised throughout the year such as picnics, parent visits (rostered), and various fundraisers. A Christmas celebration is also organised in December. There are also parent social nights. If you would like to volunteer as the social coordinator please see the Teaching Director.

Health, Sickness and Medication

We hope that your child will enjoy good health all year. We realise however that all children have colds or other illnesses from time to time. If your child has any contagious illness we ask that you be prepared to keep him/her away from the preschool for the period of time set down by the Department of Health (for more information on such illnesses please see the health and hygiene folder in the foyer or visit the National Health and Medical Research Council web page at;

http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/fullhtml/excluson.htm.

Conversely, you may talk to one of the teaching staff. If your child becomes ill at the preschool, we will contact you so that we can both make a decision about care for the rest of the day.

Administering Medication

Whenever possible, medication should be administered to children by their families, at home. However, this will not always be possible. Therefore to ensure children’s safety and welfare, the giving of medication at the preschool will be strictly monitored.

The Preschool will adhere to the following procedure in relation to administering medication:

  • Families must give the medication directly to the educator and not leave it in the child’s bag or locker.
  • Families must fill in a medication record form for any medication (including prescription, over-the-counter and homeopathic medications) that needs to be administered to their child at the service.
  • If the parent/guardian is unable to fill in the form they may write or email the permission to administer the medication stating the name of the medication, the dosage, last time it was administered, and the time of day for staff to administer it. This will be kept in the child’s file and the parent will fill in the medication record when at the service.
  • Unless a medical emergency, medication will not be given to the child without written permission from the parent (see Medical Conditions Policy and First Aid Policy). *
  • All medication will be stored in the medication box, in the kitchen, out of reach of children, but readily accessible to educators/staff, and in accordance with the medication requirements.
  • All medication must be administered:
      • only if prescribed by a registered medical practitioner
      • if non-prescribed it must be accompanied by a letter from a registered doctor
      • by a staff member with a First Aid Certificate
      • from its original container/packaging
      • In accordance with the instructions on the packaging,  written on the medication or provided by a registered medical practitioner and
      • taking into account the last time the medication was administered to the child  (this should be filled out on the medication record)
      • non-prescribed medications (not listed on the enrolment form) must be from the original packaging, applicable to the child’s age, with clear dosage instructions, within the expiry date of the medication.
      • prescribed medications must be administered from a container that bears the original label with the name of the child to whom it is prescribed
      • with a second person checking the dosage of the medication and witnessing its administration
      • recording the details of the administration in the medication record

*Please note that the Preschool has an EpiPen and Asthma kit on-site in the case of an emergency where they are needed and the child has not brought one to Preschool and/or is having their first asthma attack or anaphylactic reaction. This is only in an emergency and all staff are trained in anaphylaxis and asthma first aid training. Please see the director if you have any further queries about this.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD MEDICINE BE LEFT IN YOUR CHILD’S BAG!

If your child has been unwell it is important that we are aware of it. If medicines such as paracetamol have been administered in the morning before attending the preschool please tell an educator upon arrival.

The Director is also required to have your child’s vaccination records on file. You will need to provide copies of these when enrolling and when new vaccinations are received. Details can be printed out from the Medicare website: www.medicare.gov.au.

Please keep your child at home when he/she is sick both to ensure a quick recovery and to avoid spreading infection.  Please notify an educator if your child will not be at preschool.

Your enrolment application will include contact telephone numbers for yourself, family, and friends who can be contacted in case of an accident or if your child becomes sick during the day. Please ensure that these are kept updated throughout the year. The telephone number of your doctor is also required to be kept on record in case medical advice or treatment is required.

Child Protection

It is mandatory for educators to notify suspected abuse and neglect of children to the Department of Education and Communities. All primary educators have been trained in issues relating to child protection.

Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Act) allow government agencies and non-government agencies who are ‘prescribed bodies’ to exchange information that relates to a child or young person’s safety, welfare, or wellbeing, whether or not the child or young person is known to the Department of Education and Communities, and whether or not the child or guardian consents to the information exchange. In these instances, the care and protection of the child supersede rights to privacy.

The preschool has a Child Protection Policy that identifies the types of abuse, indicators, and educator’s responsibilities for the rights of children.  It is important for parents to be aware and have read this policy.

Confidentiality Guidelines

The Preschool acknowledges and follows confidentiality guidelines as outlined by the Department of Education and Communities, The Australian Early Childhood Association (AECA) Code of Ethics, and The Privacy Act.  These guidelines are abided by in every, procedure and practice.

Safety and Emergency Procedures

Emergency evacuation procedures in case of a fire etc are displayed in each room and throughout the preschool.

Educators are trained to deal with such emergencies and at regular intervals, fire drills are practiced with the children.  All staff have first aid training and are equipped to handle emergency First Aid situations.

Grievance Procedure

The Preschool encourages all families who use the service to feel comfortable to comment on, complain about or appeal any action or decision that has an impact on the service provided. Educators will respond to complaints in a positive and optimistic manner and will use the knowledge gained from complaints in developing or refining the policies and practices of the preschool.

The following is the Grievance Procedure that will take place:

  • Parent/s or guardians make a time to talk to the Director.
  • The discussion will be documented for both sides of the party to check for accuracy.
  • Depending on the type of grievance, it may be brought to the attention of the Approved Provider i.e. the President of the Management Committee.
  • Families can expect the following when making a complaint:
  • To be kept informed of progress regarding the resolution of the complaint
  • That the complaint be dealt with promptly
  • That families, and children, in particular, should not be discriminated against or suffer any retribution as the result of a complaint.

Policies

The Preschool has policies that reflect our philosophy.  These policies are in place to ensure high-quality care and education for the children who attend.  These policies will be adapted as necessary to meet changing needs of children, families, and government bodies. Full copies of the policies are available for reference in the foyer.

Students

During the year students from training institutions may complete practical placements at the preschool.  The experience students gain is invaluable to their studies.  We do however limit the number of students we place at the preschool. Students are never left alone with the children, and they are not permitted to give advice to parents.  The Teaching staff closely supervises all students.

The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care

In 2009 all Australian Governments agreed to a new National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Child Care. This means that all Australian children, regardless of their location, will get the best possible start in life through high-quality early childhood education and school-age care services. The National Quality Framework will put in place a new National Quality Standard to ensure high quality and consistent early childhood education and school-age care across Australia.

What is the National Quality Framework (NQF)?

The National Quality Framework has three parts:

  • a National Quality Standard, that gives families clear information about the quality of early childhood education and school-age care services they can expect their children to receive;
  • a national quality rating system with five levels Including a quality rating for seven key areas of childhood  development; and
  • an Early Years Learning Framework that guides educators and carers in developing play-based learning and development activities for children in early childhood education and school-age care settings.

For more information about the NQF you can also call the National Quality Framework hotline on 1800 181088 or email ECECquality@deewr.gov.au to lodge a question. Please also visit http://www.deewr.gov.au/Earlychildhood/Programs.

 

What is the Early Years Learning Framework?

The Australian Government has developed the Early Years Learning Framework to ensure your child receives quality education programs in their early childhood setting. This is a vital time for them to learn and develop. The Framework’s vision is for all children to experience play-based learning that is engaging and builds success for life. It is a compulsory guide for early childhood educators who work with children from birth to five years.

Educators will use the Framework in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators, to develop learning programs responsive to children’s ideas, interests, strengths, and abilities and recognise that children learn through their play.

The Early Years Learning Framework describes the principles, practices, and outcomes which enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. It has a strong emphasis on play-based learning as play is the best vehicle for young children’s learning providing the most stimuli for brain development.

The Framework also recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development.

Fundamental to the Framework is the view that children’s lives are characterised by belonging, being, and becoming.

‘Belonging’ refers to children developing a sense of identity and an understanding of where and how they belong within their family, cultural groups, and community. ‘Being’ recognises the here and now in children’s lives, and ‘becoming’ reflects the changes and development that children experience during their early lives.

The framework communicates expectations regarding high-quality care to early childhood professionals through the following five learning outcomes which must be reflected within the preschool’s program and practices:

  • Children have a strong sense of belonging
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Children are confident and involved learners
  • Children are effective communicators

A copy of this framework is available in the preschool foyer.

Useful Websites

Raising Children Network. 

This website provides a range of information and resources for parenting and caring for children, from newborns to school age children.

http://raisingchildren.net.au

Kids Matter

This website provides quality information and resources for parenting and supporting children. E.g. childhood anxiety, transition to school, education, families and community and, schools.

http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Preschools NSW

A website resource to enable families and people working with families to understand and search for not-for-profit, community-based preschools in NSW.

http://www.preschoolsnsw.org.au

NSW Public Schools

Please see this website for information regarding school readiness and transitioning your child from preschool to primary school, including a guide on how to prepare your child for school.

http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/gotoschool/primary/primaryindex.php

Department of Education (DoE)

The department regulates and funds education and care services. Parents can find information on the types of services available for children and can search for services.

https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/what-we-offer/early-childhood-education-and-care/for-parents

Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

ACECQA is the new national body ensuring early childhood education and care across Australia is high quality.

http://www.acecqa.gov.au