FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the 'Frequently Asked Questions' we receive at the Centre are answered below.If you require any further information please do not hesitate to ask. Further information can also be found in the Centre's Policy and Procedures Manual – there is a copy in the foyer or a copy can be emailed to you.
- What are the operating hours of EBKCC?
- What is the staff to child ratio?
- How many children are there at any one time?
- Who runs the programs?
- Who runs the Centre? How is it funded?
- How does EBKCC communicate with families?
- How can I be involved?
- How does the centre handle food allergies?
- My child is sick. Can they attend?
- My child requires medication. How will this be handled?
- What happens if my child has an accident?
- How is positive behaviour promoted and modelled at the Centre?
- Do the children go on excursions?
- What happens if I am late to collect my child?
- What does my child need to bring each day?
- What is the drop off/pick up procedure?
- Can I stay with my child at the Centre?
- Can anyone collect my child?
- Can my child start before turning 3 years old?
- Must my child be toilet trained before commencing at the centre?
- How can I pay fees?
- Are we charged for absences?
- Are we charged for public holidays?
What are EBKCC's operating hours?
The Centre is open 48 weeks of the year (minimum) on weekdays from 8am to 5.30pm. We are usually fully closed in the late December – late January period. The State funded Kindergarten program (for 4 year olds) only operates during Victorian Public School Terms, but additional holiday care may be arranged if spaces are available. See the Calendar for 2013 Term Dates.
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In the 4 year old Kindergarten program there is a Kindergarten Teacher (ECT) and two Educators for each kindergarten group – that is, a staff ratio of 3:22 for the majority of time. This is above regulation.
In the 3 year old Early Learning programs and the Long Day Care program, the ratio of staff to children is 3:22 for majority of time.
If a child is assessed as having additional needs, an Inclusion Support Worker or an additional Educator may be employed to ensure that the child can participate fully in the group’s activities. There is always a minimum of 2 staff with the children at any one time.
How many children are there at any one time?
EBKCC is licensed to have up to 25 children in each session in the Kingfisher room (4 year old Kinder
EBKCC has three separate classrooms all of which are licensed by the Department of Education and Training, up to 22 children in each session in the Pobblebonk room (3 year old Early Learning program and Long Day Care sessions), and up to 20 children in each session in the Platypus room (integrated 3 year old Early Learning and 4 year old Kindergarten programs and Long Day Care sessions) .
Who runs the programs?
EBKCC has a team of Early Childhood Educators. Their photos are in the front foyer, so please take a moment to familiarise yourself with all Educators at EBKCC.
The Centre is run by a Kindergarten Director and a Childcare Director. These Directors lead their respective teams of kindergarten and childcare staff, and complete all administration tasks with the support of the Committee of Management. There are qualified Early Childhood Educators that work within all rooms and programs.
Who runs the Centre? How is it funded?
EBKCC is a not for profit community based Centre managed by a voluntary Committee of Management. It is funded by fees and Victorian Government assistance (primarily through Kindergarten fee subsidies). EBKCC aims to keep its fee structure as low as possible whilst ensuring the Centre is kept financially viable.
Moreland City Council owns the EBKCC site and is primarily responsible for the upkeep of the building and grounds. The Committee is responsible for over seeing the management of the Centre, including employing staff. The staff is responsible for implementing the daily programs within the rooms. The Kindergarten Director is responsible for the day to day management of the state funded sessional kindergarten. The Childcare Director is responsible for the day to day management of the Early Learning programs and Long Day Care service.
How does EBKCC communicate with families?
We aim to share the program running, upcoming events and other relevant information with families via notices at the entrance to the Centre and regular e-newsletters. Important information and notifications may be placed in your child’s pocket outside their room, so please check them regularly. We also communicate with you via email and via this website.
Families are welcomed and encouraged to approach Educators whenever they feel like talking about their child’s development. Educators are more than happy to give daily verbal feedback, or to make a specific time to meet families to discuss development or other issues that may arise.
How can I be involved?
EBKCC is a not for profit community based Centre. It's legal structure is that of an Incorporated Association. This means that it is managed by parents and guardians in partnership with Educators and various state, federal and local government bodies. Parent/guardian involvement thus lies at the heart of the Centre’s operations.
There are many ways that families can be involved;
- join the Committee of Management
- share your skills by volunteering in your child's classroom (we are always looking for people to read a story, sing a song or teach the children new skills)
- wash a bag of washing
- attend a working bee (there are several weekend working bees throughout the year)
- attend our regular social events.
How does the Centre handle food allergies?
On enrolment all individual health concerns and medical conditions are noted and highlighted. From time to time we will have children with severe life threatening allergies. Educators will advise families to provide lunches and snacks with foods free of specific allergens in the centre. Please speak to the educators for information regarding this.
My child is sick. Can they attend?
If a child is only mildly unwell (such as with a minor cold) but is still able to participate in the day’s activities comfortably, then they can attend the Centre.
Children should not attend if they show any of the following symptoms:
- Pus or stickiness in the eye
- A persistent green or yellow discharge from the nose
- Severe diarrhoea or vomiting
- An unusual skin rash
- A fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius
- Physical pain.
My child requires medication. How will this be handled?
With the written consent of a parent, guardian or carer, medicine can be given by staff. Medications will be stored safely by staff and should not be left in the child’s bag. All the relevant details must be recorded in the Medication Book. Please refer to the centre handbook for more detailed information.
What happens if my child has an accident at the Centre?
All EBKCC Educators are encouraged to have a current First Aid Certificate. If your child has a minor accident (eg a small cut or graze), they will be comforted and an educator will clean the wound and apply appropriate first aid. Details of the incident will be entered into the Accident Illness and Injury Book and when you collect your child you will be told of the incident and asked to sign the book to confirm you are aware of the incident and its treatment.
If the accident is more serious, the parent, carer or guardian is contacted immediately. If necessary, an ambulance will be called and a staff member will accompany the injured child to hospital if the parent/guardian/carer has not arrived. All serious incidents are also reported to appropriate Local and State Government authorities, in line with our 'Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy'.
How is positive behaviour promoted and modelled at the Centre?
EBKCC is committed to maintaining the safety and well-being of all its participating children, staff members and volunteers. The centre’s values in this area are as follows:
- All children need to be in a safe and secure environment and to have positive interactions with adults and other children.
- Positive behaviour has to be promoted in all children, and all children need to be respected and valued as individuals.
- It is important to set limits for behaviour so that children, other people and the environment are safe and protected.
- Children have to learn the consequences of their behaviour and thereby develop understanding of how their actions affect other people.
- Parents, guardians and carers have to be involved in resolving issues related to guiding their child’s behaviour.
EBKCC is committed to operating according to these values by providing a developmentally appropriate structure for guiding children’s behaviour and ensuring that all staff members and other people working with the children can adhere to the structure. Staff use positive language to redirect and channel energies. Staff use common phrases such as “use your words” or “gentle hands”. Staff will physically get down to the children’s level to redirect them to other activities if required.
Do the children go on excursions?
EBKCC organises activities within the centre (called 'incursions') such as storytelling, travelling farms, creative dance, yoga, musical activities and wildlife exhibits. We are in the process of commencing excursion within the local community, families will be informed of future excursions. Please refer to the policy document for further information.
What happens if I am late to collect my child?
If you are running late to collect your child, please ring the Centre and let staff know. They can then make necessary staffing arrangements and explain to your child where you are.
Please note however that you will be charged a late fee of $50 for every 10 minutes or part thereof. If you are late as the Centre is obliged to maintain staffing levels appropriate to the number of children at the Centre.
What does my child need to bring each day?
Each day, children should bring:
- A bag with a complete change of clothes – pants or dress, a shirt, singlet, underpants, jumper and socks
- A warm hat and coat in winter
- A sunhat in summer
- A lunchbox containing a nutritious snack and/or lunch and a water bottle.
All items should be clearly labelled with the child’s name.
The Centre will provide parents with information on appropriate foods. Some foods are discouraged and children who bring along foods such as lollies, chips, chocolates and soft drinks are asked to leave these until they return home.
Your child should be wearing sunscreen before they arrive (there is sunscreen at the centre if this is forgotten).
Fresh water in a jug and plastic cups are available at all times and children are encouraged to drink routinely but providing your child with a water bottle is also a good practice.
Some children bring special sleeping toys or security toys. If these are needed, they are welcomed. In general, however, children are discouraged from bringing in toys from home as this can cause arguments and a sense of inequality and there are a huge range of play options available at the Centre.
What is the drop off/pick up procedure?
All parents/guardians will be provided with a pin-code for the security gate installed at the main entrance. This must not be provided to any non-authorised person, and other visitors can access the Centre via the security intercom system. Please do not share the code with your child.
On arrival each day, the following information needs to be recorded by the parent or guardian of the child in the ‘Attendance Book’:
a) arrival time;
b) signature of the person delivering the child to the Centre;
c) anticipated pick up time and who will collect child.
When you come to collect your child the departure time and signature of parent/guardian/authorised person collecting the child must be recorded in the same book. The Centre is required to collect this information by law. It is also advised that you indicate to the educator that you are ready to leave the centre with your child.
Can I stay at the Centre with my child?
Yes, parents and guardians are welcome to stay as long as necessary to ensure their child is settled and happy at the Centre. This can help a child make the sometimes challenging transition to Kindergarten/Childcare.
Can anyone collect my child?
Only parents, guardians and adults authorised (nominees) to collect the child (as identified on the child’s enrolment form) are permitted to take the child from the Centre. If this list needs to be updated at any time there is a form available to do so. Please note: At least two authorised persons must be identified on the enrolment form. Children will not be released to unauthorised people or to people under the age of 16.
Can my child start before turning 3 years old?
Yes, if they are turning three years old prior to April 30 but only if a parent or carer is able to stay with them in the classroom or in the staff room. Otherwise they can commence once they turn three. Their place can be held and will be charged accordingly until this time. Please note, if your child attends another childcare service in the intervening period (before turning three), EBKCC must be notified as this has implications for Child Care Benefit (CCB) funding and rebates throughout the whole year.
Must my child be toilet trained before commencing at the centre?
It is not necessary for a child to be fully toilet trained before commencing at the Centre, but children are encouraged to be independent if they can manage their toileting and hand washing. We have a change bench in each children’s bathroom. Staff support the family’s current “toilet training” status.
How can I pay fees?
Invoices are issued in the first week of term for the four year old kindergarten program and monthly for the three year old program and childcare. Invoices and statements are generally emailed. Four year old statements can be collected from the child's communication pockets.
- Payment can be made by cheque, money order, EFTPOS (no credit) or direct deposit (internet banking transfer – ask for account details).
- EBKCC also offers an automatic deduction system of payment (EZI Debit) for 3 year old kindergarten and Long Day Care places. Please contact the Centre if you wish to use the EZI Debit system.
- The child’s name must be clearly marked on the back of the cheque or money order and posted in the FEE BOX in the corridor outside the Platypus Room. Any cheque dishonour fees will be the responsibility of the payee who issued the cheque.
- Four year old Kinder fees must be paid separately to childcare fees
- EFTPOS can only be processed in the Centre office during staff administration hours.
- Cash is not accepted and no responsibility will be accepted for cash left in the fee box.
Fees are receipted several times during the week and receipts are either emailed or placed in the children’s communication pockets.
Are we charged for absences?
Yes. Kindergarten and child care fees are payable for all child absences. If you have booked child care hours, fees are payable for the full 48 weeks the Centre is open. This includes from commencement of the new year at the Centre, during school holidays, the gap from Kindergarten closure to Long day care/Christmas closure and public holidays.
Fees are NOT payable when the Centre is closed for 4 weeks at the end of the year. If during the year an absence of 4 weeks or more is anticipated, the parent/guardian can inform the Centre and fees will not be charged for this time, as long as 2 weeks notice is given.
Are we charged for public holidays?
Yes. The Centre is still obliged to pay salaries and on-costs on public holidays and therefore, must continue to charge fees.