Garfield has developed policies and procedures relating to the National Quality Framework (NQF).

The NQF has been designed to encourage continuous improvement of education and care services across Australia. One of its important features is that it sets out a series of National Quality Standards (NQS) against which all early childhood education and care services will be assessed and given a rating.

The seven quality areas are:

  1. Educational program and practice.
  2. Children’s health and safety.
  3. The physical environment.
  4. Staffing arrangements.
  5. Relationships with children.
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities.
  7. Leadership and service management.

You can find more information about the NQF and NQS at http://acecqa.gov.au.

Families are welcome to view our policies and procedures in full at our Wentworthville centre.

For your convenience, a summary of some of our important policies and procedures is provided below.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our policies, please feel welcome to contact our main office on (02) 9631 4400.

Waiting Lists & Enrolment

The waiting list at the centre is kept in order of the date of application and is updated on a regular basis. To ensure the system of allocating vacant places is fair, the Australian Government has “Priority of Access Guidelines”. These are used when there is a waiting list for a childcare service or when a number of parents are applying for a limited number of vacant places. The guidelines are:

Priority 1 – A child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.

Priority 2 – A child of single parents who satisfies, or of two parents who both satisfy the work/training/study test under section 14 of the Family Assistance Act.

Priority 3 – Any other child.

Within each category, the following children are to be given priority:

  • Children in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders families.

Orientation

We believe orientation is an important process where educators are able to get important information about the new child’s needs and those of the family.  This process helps to make the transition from home to care as smooth as possible with the aim to maintain continuity between home and the service, which helps the child adjust to the new setting.

The Nominated Supervisor or Assistant Director will arrange for the new child to attend the service (together with parents/s) to visit and meet the educators and familiarise with the environment.  The child may participate in the activities if they desire to. A number of young children prefer to just watch, rather than do. Positive interactions at this time (between parents, educators and the child) are important for the children to build positive attitudes to the service environment. Educators are aware that some children respond to new experiences faster than others and will adapt to the situation.

At this time, the daily routine and curriculum can be discussed, as well as any special requirements for the child that may need to be accommodated. Educators will also discuss how best to tailor the child’s settling-in period. It is advisable for families to gradually build up to a full day of care, beginning with around 1 to 3 hours, depending on the behaviours observed during orientation.

Arrival at the Centre

All children need to be signed in and out at the beginning and the end of each day by a responsible adult over the age of 18 years. This is not only a Government requirement, but also very important for the safety of children attending the centre. The person collecting your child each day must be listed on your child’s enrolment form. Photo identification will be asked for if educators are not familiar with the person who is collecting your child so please notify any person on your collection list that this may occur.

You are required to lodge attendances electronically every day. It is important for us to have a record of your child’s attendance for safety reasons as well as for submitting to Centrelink for the CCS (Child Care Subsidy, more information on page 12 of this Handbook). For this, we have an iPad in the foyer of each building. You are required to sign your child in when they arrive and out when they leave every day. Educators are available to assist you with this if required.

Fees

Fees must be maintained at two weeks’ in advance. On enrolment, families will be required to pay a bond which will be 2 weeks of fees.  This bond may be carried over onto your child’s fees when 2 weeks’ notice is given for withdrawal from the centre or it will be reimbursed where required. Your child should attend the centre for at least 6 weeks before your bond will be returned. Your position at the centre will not be secured until a bond has been received. For your convenience, fees are payable via Direct Debit. Fees can be paid further in advance by direct deposit or EFTPOS. Please note that we do not accept cash for children’s fees and there is a 1.5% surcharge for credit cards.

Account statements are emailed weekly.

Absences

Under CCMS, there will be provision for 42 absence days for each child per financial year which can be used for any reason and without any proof required. Additional absence days above the initial 42 days will be approved for permitted circumstances. There will be no limit on the number of these additional absences that may be claimed if they are taken for specific reasons and supporting documentation, where required, is provided. Absences longer than 8 weeks (13 weeks from 13/01/2020) will cause your enrolment with CCMS to cease and full fees will be payable. Your child must attend Garfield on their first and last booked day to be eligible for CCS. For further information regarding this, please contact the FAO on 136150

The centre will be closed on all public holidays and fees are still payable if it is your child’s regular day of attendance.

Birth Certificates & Immunisation Schedule

It is a requirement that a birth certificate and your child’s immunisation schedule are provided for photocopying in the main office or emailed to garfieldchildcare@bigpond.com when enrolling a child.

Parents who wish to enrol their child are required to provide evidence of their child’s immunisation record. This information allows children at risk of catching a vaccine preventable disease to be identified if there is a case of that disease at the service.

Acceptable immunisation records are –

  • An immunisation record is a written record of the immunisations that your child has received and the date that they received them.
  • An Immunisation History Statement provided by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) is a valid immunisation record.

The Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) maintains immunisation records for children up until their seventh birthday. You can obtain an ACIR Immunisation History Statement for your child by calling 1800 653 809.

Helpful information regarding Immunisation can be found at:

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aging Immunise Australia Program –

1800 671 811 or www.immunise.health.gov.au

NSW Health

Local NSW Public Health Unit Contact Details –

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/PublicHealth/Infectious/phus.asp

Catering for Children with Overseas Immunisation Records

Overseas immunisation schedules often differ from the schedule recommended in Australia and a child may require extra vaccinations to be up to date with the Australian schedule.

Parents are responsible for having their child’s overseas immunisation record transcribed onto the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), if your child is less than seven years of age.

A medical practitioner, registered nurse, registered midwife, enrolled nurse, or a person authorised by the state/territory Health Officer may transcribe overseas immunisation records.

Exclusion Periods

  • Whilst the service actively encourages each child, educator and family member using the service to be immunised, we recognise that immunisation is not compulsory.
  • If a child’s immunisation record is not provided upon enrolment and if it is not updated by the parents, or if the child has not been immunised against certain diseases, then the child will be recorded as being not fully immunised by the service.
  • If there is a case of a vaccine preventable disease at the service, your child may be excluded from school or childcare for a period of time or until the evidence of immunisation in an approved record is provided. Fees are still payable to keep your child’s enrolment secure.
  • If you cannot provide an immunisation record for your child, you may provide a statutory declaration stating either that your child has been immunised or that you don’t know if your child has been immunised for each disease on the schedule.
  • To be fully immunised your child needs to have received all vaccines recommended for their age as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
  • Homeopathic immunisation is not recognised.
  • If a child is not fully immunised and has been in contact with someone with a vaccine preventable disease outside of the service, they may need to be excluded from the service for a period of time.
  • It is the responsibility of families to inform the service that their child has come into contact with someone with a vaccine preventable or infectious disease.
  • Occupational recommendations apply for the immunisation of educators at the service. As there are no mandatory requirements under the law for educators to be immunised, educators who are not immunised will be excluded from the service until the Nominated Supervisor or Owner provides instructions for the educator to return to education and care duties at the service.

Immunisation Related Payments for Parents – Child Care Subsidy

The Subsidy applies to children who are fully immunised or have an approved exemption from immunisation. This initiative ensures families are reminded of the importance of immunising their children at each of the milestones. For families to receive benefits without their child being fully immunised your healthcare provider needs to certify that:

  • your child has a medical reason not to have a particular vaccination; or
  • your child has had a disease and has a natural immunity; or
  • a particular vaccine is unavailable.
  • Information on how a child’s immunisation status affects payments made to a family, and more information on exemptions is available on the following website -http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/public/services/acir/family-assist.jsp#N10059
  • Parents are responsible for payment of fees while their child is excluded under all circumstances.

A copy of the current Immunisation Schedule is available to view in the main foyer at Garfield or at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Publications/nsw-immunisation-schedule.pdf

Child Protection

Children have the right to be free from harm, and to play, learn and be cared for in a safe and secure environment. Our educators are committed to the protection and physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing of your child and are committed to complying with Mandatory Reporting regulations.

Our educators and families visiting the centre are required to be aware of all gates and doors as they enter and exit the premises, and to be conscious of children’s safety when using the car park and driveway entries and exits.

Excursions

Periodically, we may conduct excursions with some groups of children at Garfield. Prior to these events, there is a detailed planning procedure and risk assessment conducted to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children. We also provide our families with this information to help them decide whether or not to allow their child to participate in the event.

Family Rights and Responsibilities

Educators at Garfield ensure practices in the centre respect families’ rights and responsibilities. Equally, our families have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful, safe and responsible manner, respect the rights of others, and use appropriate language. Poor behaviour towards any other person is unacceptable, including: all forms of bullying, harassment, abuse, discrimination, actions that put another person at risk of harm, or threats of any kind. Garfield’s Code of Conduct is available to view upon request or in hard-copy in our Policies & Procedures folder.

Collection of Children

Only parents/guardians and authorised nominees are permitted to collect your child from Garfield, and we encourage all families to ensure these contact details and arrangements are kept up-to-date. So we can ensure the safety of your child at all times, photo identification will be requested from any authorised nominee who is unknown to our educators. If your child has not been collected from the centre by closing time and we are unable to contact you, we will contact the authorised nominees listed on your child’s enrolment form. In extreme circumstances where we are unable to contact one of your authorised nominees by closing time, we will contact the necessary authorities for the safe collection of your child. This is why it is important that your contact details and those of your authorised nominees are kept up-to-date at all times.

Students and Volunteers

Periodically, Garfield may allow students who are working towards childrens services qualifications to complete their work placement at Garfield. During work experience students gain practical experience through interactions with our educators and children. In keeping with our commitment to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of children in our centres, students at Garfield are required to hold relevant working with children clearances and insurance from their college or training institution. All Students participating in work placement at Garfield will provide an introduction letter including their name, photograph and other relevant study information for families to view in our main foyer.

Allergies & Medical Conditions

If your child has any known allergies or medical conditions that educators at Garfield should be aware of, this will be requested on your child’s enrolment form. At any time during your child’s enrolment if you need to make updates to this information, you may do so by speaking with the Nominated Supervisor or your child’s educator, who will request amendments to the enrolment form in writing. There may be other forms required, depending on the allergy or medical condition. The forms provided via the links below are our most commonly required. Please speak with the Nominated Supervisor or your child’s educator if you need assistance in completing any forms.

Please note that it is very important for any medications to be given directly to educators each day as required and the correct forms completed for administration. Under no circumstances should medications be left in a child’s bag.

Anaphylaxis Action Plan (EpiPen)

Allergic Reactions Action Plan (No EpiPen)

Asthma Management Plan 

Epilepsy and Seizures Management Plan