FAQs

What are similarities and the differences between a preschool and a long day care centre?

Both operate in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and as such there is little difference and quality of educators should not vary according to the type of service. The main difference is the length of hours offered, with preschool hours similar to those of a school. Both preschool and long day care offer a preschool curriculum, that is “School Readiness” programs. The funding of preschools and long day care centres also varies, which affects fees, with preschool rates lower than long day care centres.

Can I claim the child care subsidy for my child attending your service?

Yes, if your child attends a long day or occasional care service. If your child attends a preschool, from the 1st July 2018 families will no longer be able to claim any form of benefit or rebate for children due to the Start Strong initiative which subsidises fees for children turning four by the 31st July each year.

What is the orientation process for new children and families?

The Manager of the service will contact you and offer you a position. Once you have accepted, you will then be invited to visit the service, for orientation visits and to complete the enrolment package. You will also be asked to pay a bond at this point. At this time, a specific orientation plan will be arranged for your child. All children are required to attend orientation visits prior to their first day. Some children are happy to jump straight in and stay the whole day, others need a few shorter days to start with. This will be tailored to individual families and any specific needs they have.

How many teachers are there?

This depends on the age of the children and the total number of children. We abide by the requirements of the governing body for our sector, ACECQA, and the number of teachers is in accordance with ratios in regulations.

Do you offer a School Readiness Program?

Yes. This is offered for children in the year before going to school. Sometimes these programs are done in collaboration with a local school and thus vary in their approach from centre to centre. Most services also hold a transition to school night with a local Principal.

When do your centres close?

We are closed on public holidays, and have a shutdown period over the Christmas & New Year period. Services will then be closed according to the type of early learning service. Preschools operate in accordance with the school terms whereas our long day and occasional care services shut down only between the period between Christmas and generally the second Monday in January.

How do you communicate with families?

As part of our commitment to sustainability, the majority of our communication is electronic (email). Each of our services vary in how they interact with families but you may be invited to a Parent Information Night, receive notes from the teachers and managers and email as appropriate. Moving forward we are seeking to enhance our communication with e-based platforms, social media and our website.

When are fees reviewed and communicated to families?

New fees apply from the 1st January each year and new fees are communicated to parents in the preceding month of November.

How do I pay my fees?

Fees can be paid in a variety of ways, Bpay, Direct Debit, EFTPOS, Credit Card, in person or over the phone. We ask fees to be paid 2 weeks in advance. We welcome all cards, except for accept AMEX.

Am I charged a late fee if I pick up child outside of operating hours?

Generally, yes. However, the Service Manager is able to waive this fee in exceptional circumstances. The best approach is contact your child’s centre and inform them that you may potentially late. In situations where staff need to be paid overtime for working past their allocated hours the Service Manager may ask you cover that additional cost.

Do you have a menu and if my child doesn't eat the food is there an alternative?

Yes. Food is provided in long day care services. Menus are on display at each service and we cater for allergies and intolerances and provide alternative foods as needed. Where practical we also consider offering foods according to cultural and religious requirements. Please ask the Service Manager if you have any questions in regard to your child’s specific dietary requirements.

Does my child have to sleep?

No. Our approach is flexible according to each child and parental needs. Some centres have a designated “rest time” although Educators are very aware of the children’s needs and will provide quiet or relaxation time for the children as needed. Usually in long day care services, children will get tired and require a rest or sleep time. Also, the younger the children, the more likely they are to require a sleep.

What do I do if my child is sick?

If your child is sick, you need to keep them at home. This can be hard, especially when families have work obligations, but necessary to protect the health of all children at the service.

Please contact the service to inform the Educators your child will be absent. If the absence is due to a contagious illness the family is required to submit a medical certificate from a recognised medical practitioner when returning to the service, stating clearly that the child is fit and healthy to return.

What do we need to bring each day?

A drink bottle filled with water, hat, nappies (if required) and spare clothes. Sheets, meals are provided for Long Day Care services. Please label all items with your child’s name.

If I have a concern, how do I go about having that heard?

Integricare welcomes all feedback, both positive and negative. We see this as an opportunity for growth. Depending on the nature of the concern, if it is minor bring it to the attention of your child’s Educator. If it is of a more major nature, you will need to speak with the Service Manager. These matters are sometimes difficult to address if they are presented at drop-off and pick-up times, so we welcome phone calls and email correspondence if this suits you better.

What do I do if my child will be away for a long period of time?

Our approach is similar to that of a school, your fees are for a period of instruction regardless of whether your child is in attendance or not. Services plan in advance and employ staff accordingly, particularly if they are permanent employees. Also, this ensures that your child can retain their place upon their return, and thus fees must be paid in advance during absence. Alternatively, the family can give four weeks’ notice to withdraw their child then re- apply for the waiting list when they return.

Can I receive government benefits for my child in care?

Yes. From 2 July 2018, one new Child Care Subsidy will replace the two current child care payments. This transition does not happen automatically. To transition, you will need to complete an online Child Care Subsidy assessment using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You will be asked to provide some new information and confirm your current details, including combined family income, activity levels of parents and the type of child care service you need. The Package includes a new Child Care Subsidy, which replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to services. Follow this link to find out more.

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