Handbook

Emmerick Street Community Preschool

PARENT INFORMATION HANDBOOK

 

Welcome to Emmerick Street Community Preschool

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.

 

Our Staff

The preschool caters for 24 children per day, taught by two university trained Early Childhood Teachers and a Teacher’s aid 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.

Teaching Director & Nominated Supervisor B.Ed (ECE) – Leigh Coutman

Teacher B. Ed (EC) – Antonella Panuccio

Teacher B. Ed (EC) – Megan Ball

Teachers Aids (Certificate III in Children’s Services) - Helen Flowers and Maria O’Connell

Accounts & Administrative Assistance – Bonita Nelson

 

Our Philosophy

We believe that young children flourish when:

  • they have positive relationships and know they belong,
  • they are treated with respect and are recognized as individuals,
  • they are free to discover more about their world through play,
  • they have plenty of space and a rich variety of stimulating materials to engage with,
  • they are allowed to make mistakes,
  • they are able to interact with and care for their environment,
  • they are taught in small groups by highly trained, experienced educators in a well-established team,
  • their families have strong relationships with their educators and with other preschool families,
  • their educators communicate clearly about their progress and needs, and
  • they know they are valued members of their local community.

 

The Preschool Daily Routine

8.00 am to 9am Educators set up the preschool environment
9am to 10am Children arrive, free outdoor play (weather permitting)
10am to 10:30am Morning tea , outside play,  small group experiences
10.30am – 12 pm free Indoor play
12pm- 12:30pm Group Time
12:30pm- 2:00pm Lunch outdoors,-  free play inside/outdoors
2.00pm to 2:30pm Rest time story time
2.00pm to 2.45pm 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 next day

 

The Waiting List

When applying for a position at Emmerick Street, your child’s name will be placed on a waiting list for a fee of $20.  The Teaching Director begins organising enrolments in August each year. These are generally finalised in October. The Teaching Director will contact each family whose child is accepted for enrolment. Upon acceptance of the position the Teaching Director will send families an enrolment package.  There will be an orientation morning tea for new families to attend in November and 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.

To this visit please bring:

  • Your child’s 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, and 4-5 year olds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

Preschool Hours

Preschool hours are 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, during school terms. Preschool dates follow the school calendar and, as these dates vary, this information will be included in the preschool newsletter, at the beginning of each year.

 

Children cannot be left before 9am and must be picked up by 3pm, as the preschool is not licensed outside these hours. We are also busy setting up and packing away outside of these times. In the afternoon children can also become anxious if parents are late.

We understand that emergency situations do arise from time to time and we ask that you ring us to let us know if you are going to be delayed.

Late collection of children

For children who are collected after 3.00pm, a $1.00/minute fee will be charged after 2 verbal warnings. 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:

  • Supervise all other children (i.e. siblings) that accompany you to the preschool to ensure that the safety of children and equipment is not compromised. These children must stay in direct presence/vision of parents at all times.
  • Check your child’s locker or above their locker for any correspondence from the preschool
  • Sign your child  in/out on the attendance register
  • Close all gates and doors as you use them and ensure that no child other than your own exits play spaces or the front door as you are leaving.
  • Do not open the front door for any unauthorised/unknown person/s
  • Inform educators of your child’s arrival and departure and share/gather all relevant information
  • 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 send written permission to allow us to release your child into someone else’s care.  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.  If there is going to be a regular arrangement, please send a written permission letter which we can keep on file which states this arrangement.

Fees

The 2016 daily fee is:  $56 per day for children turning 4 on or before the 31st of July of the current year, $68 for children turning 4 after the 31st of July of the current year and $28 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 2 of each term and invoiced to families chosen email address.  

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.

 

Child Care Benefit for Registered Service

Emmerick Street Community Preschool is a ‘registered’ not ‘approved’ service therefore our families are eligible for the Child Care Benefit for Registered Care not the Child Care Rebate. The good news is that you can still get money back! If you meet the work, training or study requirements outlined by the family Assistance office you can be paid Child Care Benefit for Registered Care directly when you lodge a claim and provide your child care receipts.

Take your receipts along with the form ‘Claim for benefit for Registered Care’ available at:

http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/forms/fa018.htm to any Family Assistance office, located in all Medicare offices and Centrelink Customer Service Centres. Claims must be made within 12 months of receiving the care.

 

Absences

We ask that you notify the preschool at 9am if your child will be away for any reason. There is no reduction of fees if your child is absent for any reason, including sickness.

 

Exit 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 Teaching 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

 

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 Teaching Director (Leigh)  or Bonita  (our accounts manager).

 

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 bag containing

  • A change of clothes – appropriate according to changing weather
  • A sun hat- broad rimmed or legionnaires style
  • Snack box labelled  witha 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 name labelled
  • 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 is also located here.

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 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 care. This is normal, and may take a little time to resolve depending upon your child’s age and temperament.

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 educators 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
  • Spend some unhurried time with your child at preschool and then say ‘goodbye’ calmly and confidently, reassuring your child that you will collect them later.
  • Leave when you say you are going to leave. Continuing to stay for ‘one more minute’ can increase yours and your child’s anxiety.
  • Always say goodbye to your child. While it may be tempting to leave quietly, while your child is happily engaged in play, 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.

Upon enrolment you will also be asked to fill out an orientation questionnaire. This document will assist educators to meet the individual needs of your child, and will assist educators to settle your child into care.

The First Day- Thursday /Friday Group

We ask that the parent or guardian of each child spend some time helping their child to settle into preschool on the first day.  Please allow enough time to participate in an activity or explore with them if your child is a bit upset or unsettled.

The children in the Thursday/ Friday Group go home at 1.00pm on their first day.

 

Preschool Calendar

The preschool calendar is available on our website. Please check this to make sure you have the dates for preschool events and parent commitments, such as working bees, parent meetings and fundraisers.

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.

 

Toilet Training

CHILDREN MUST BE TOILET TRAINED TO COMMENCE THEIR ENROLMENT

We do not have nappy changing facilities so children must be toilet trained to commence their enrolment at the preschool. If you are having challenges with supporting your child to become toilet trained please talk to the teaching 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.

Please place lunch boxes in the fridge,  fruit/veggies/yogurt for morning tea in the esky outside the kitchen door and drink bottles in the container in the ‘quiet room’.

Please do not send nuts or products containing nuts to preschool as we are a nut free service.

 

 Rest Time

Rest time is from approximately 1:45pm- 2:30pm. We do not pat children to sleep but if they require a sleep we can place a bed out for them in a quiet spot in the room. Please let us know if your child has a specific requirement to sleep or not to sleep. The rest of the children listen to stories. Please avoid ringing the preschool between these hours except in an emergency.

Home Toys

The preschool has a wealth 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 are required to bring a hat each day to wear outside.  At ‘Big School’, the usual rule is ‘No Hat, No Outside Play’, so we encourage them to get used to this idea. Children without a hat will be asked to play inside or in the shade. 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 comes to preschool 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 everyday 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.

Blankets and sheets

Please send in a sheet to put on your child’s bed. If you attach elastic to the sheets this helps to keep it attached to the beds. If you are unsure about this please talk to one of our teachers who can show you an example.

 

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 may be 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 centre 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 24 children per day.  The children are aged from 3 to 5 year, we  allocate spots according to the guidelines stipulated in the enrolment policy. This can be found in our policy manual.

 

The 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.  It is 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 and at the end of each year the accounts are readied for auditing.

Management Committee meetings are held week 3 and week 7 on a Thursday during Terms.

Birchgrove Community Association Membership

To entitle you to vote on issues at parent meetings and 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 $3 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:

  • Spending time with the children at the preschool
  • Story reading
  • Attending excursions and incursions
  • Completing surveys
  • Attending Parent Meetings
  • Social functions
  • Input into the weekly program, policies and procedures
  • Fundraising

 Parent Meetings

Attendance at parent meetings is a vital part of your commitment to the preschool. Meetings are structured around topics of interest for parents and provide the opportunity for the preschool teachers and often local professionals in the community to disseminate information. It is a great way to find out more about the preschool and information that can help your child.  There number of parent meetings per year depend on topics of interest of parents, however there are generally 2 per year.

Notification of meetings dates will be given at least three weeks in advance and at least one member from each family is expected to attend.

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 centre, and assist in maintaining staffing levels.

Tasks include such things as 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. We have a list of term jobs and volunteer roles displayed in the foyer. This can be claimed by writing your name next to the role/job. Get in quick to use your particular talent.

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 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 three times a year on Saturdays, between the hours of 9am-1.00pm and each family needs to provide one person for two hours or two people for one hour.  Please do not bring your children along.

A garden maintenance team also operates during the holidays. This usually consists of 3-4 families. They water the garden and meet at the preschool on the last weekend of each holidays to clean up the playground and get it ready for the children to return. Families who participate in this do not have to attend the working bee.

Working bees usually come up near the beginning of each term. The 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. However please see the Teaching Director if you can’t make the working bee due to unforeseen circumstances or work commitments. This fee is currently $100.

Management Committee members are exempt from one working bee per year.

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.

As the preschool is a registered charity, all donations to the building fund are tax deductible. Fees are not tax deductible.

Parent Communication

Parents are the primary caregivers of their children.  Communication between parents and educators is very important; as we are here to compliment 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
  • Pedagogical Journal
  • Documentation around the preschool
  • Conversations – both formal and informal
  • Individual parent/teacher meetings
  • Preschool Parent Meetings
  • Management Committee meetings that are families are welcome to attend
  • The Annual General Meeting
  • E-mail
  • Daily Diaries
  • 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, in our pedagogical journal, or in children’s portfolios. 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 process and not 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 ‘quite 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 a 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.

 

Special Needs

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

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

The preschool’s front door is kept locked at all times. Please use the pin code to get in.  Please do not let people into preschool unless you know them personally.  If you don’t know the person, leave it to the educators to open the door.  The children are taught not to stand near the front door during drop off and pick up times but if you see a child doing this please notify a staff member.

 

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.

 

Siblings at Preschool

Parents and carers are welcome to bring their younger children to the preschool when picking up or dropping off your child. However, please keep in mind that the program and equipment is set up for 3-5 year olds and younger children require close supervision when visiting.

Please return any pieces of equipment which your child may inadvertently take home as pieces are precious, expensive and often irreplaceable. Often pieces get taken home accidentally in pockets etc., and the educators would be happy to accept their return.

 

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 cup cakes, 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 beginning with an orientation evening in February to welcome new families.  During the year there may be picnics and various fundraisers and 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.

Written confirmation of these dates will be provided after your child is enrolled and you will be kept informed via the newsletter and the website.

 

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 an educator. 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 centre 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 Puffer on sight 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 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 Teaching 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 supersedes 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 practised 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 Teaching Director.
  • The discussion will be documented for both sides of the party to check for accuracy.
  • The grievance will 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 which 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 student’s 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 Director 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 and Communities (DECS) – formerly DoCS

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




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