Hello from “News and Notices”.
Welcome to 2018.
For the benefit of our new families who have joined since our last newsletter, some previous information may be repeated.
ASSESSMENT & RATING RESULT:
Last year we received a rating of “Exceeding” for our assessment and rating which occurred in March 2017. Thank you to our wonderful families and congratulations to Peta, our director, and our team, for this result and their continuing efforts.
For anyone who is reading our website for the first time, we have the following information for you: last year, in our preschool kindergarten room, we were accepted to teach Japanese to our pre-schoolers through the ELLA language program. We have been invited by the ELLA team to teach a language again, so we have once again chosen Japanese. We are pleased and proud to be able to deliver this for our preschool children. We also have Happy Feet come into the service every Monday at no cost to parents, as well as our internal library for children to borrow books and take home.
Events are also listed on our Facebook page, so please take a look at our Facebook page when you get a moment. There is a link on our website to our Facebook page. There is lots of information on there for families. We have a monthly parent fact sheet now with links to assist families, so if you would like an extra copy of this, please see us at reception.
As you know, we are an all-inclusive service. Our Centre chef, Dione, passionate about children and food and she is very creative. Her meals are wholesome and tasty and we exceed the 50% minimum dietary requirements each day.
We are a culturally diverse service, both families and our team, and we are constantly endeavouring to ensure that all families feel welcomed and supported. If you have any suggestions for us that would assist you or other families in this respect, please let us know.
As always, thank you to our existing families for supporting our Centre and choosing Smart Start. We know how important it is to find a service that tries to meet everyone’s needs and give peace of mind to our parents, so thank you. We also appreciate you referring families to us.
To our new families, we welcome you.
Our website will be updated on a regular basis, so please keep an eye on the website for any changes.
Here is some information to date:
mygov account: Have you set up a mygov account? This year sees the introduction of the Families Package from 2 July 2018. From this date, all families will be required to have a mygov account set up in time for the changes.
Booked Days: Some rooms or days are heavily booked now. If you do require care for your child, or additional days as an existing parent, please let us know as soon as possible. In the event that a spot isn’t immediately available for your child, we will waitlist you immediately and meet your needs as quickly as possible.
Half-price enrolment: Our half-price enrolment fee has been extended until Friday 30 March 2018. This is one enrolment fee per family, not per child, so please come and see us for details of this discounted offer.
Immunisation: This message is repeated from previously because of the importance of having children immunised on time. The Government’s No Jab, No Pay policy came into effect from 1 January 2016. All families have been advised of the financial ramifications of not immunising children, as well as the possibility of exclusion from the service for non-immunised children if there is an illness outbreak. Parents are reminded that a printout of your child’s immunisation record can be accessed via the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. However, the red book can be presented to the service as a “health record” and we can take a copy of any valid information in there, such as developmental information. There is no “grace” catch up period to have children immunised. The Government ceased this on Friday 18th of March 2016. Families whose children are not immunised on time will lose benefits such as child care benefit, child care rebate and family assistance. We remind all parents that a copy of your child’s immunisation register must be given to the service at each immunisation. You can email this to us or we can copy this for you.
Calendar of Events: Thanks to our families for their input into our Calendar of Events. We value your suggestions and feedback. Our Calendar is modified from time to time - events are on display on the electronic bulletin board at Reception, on our Facebook page and in our newsletter. If you have any suggestions or requests regarding our Calendar of Events, please let us know.
Last year we extended on our Calendar of Events to also include extra-curricular activities, some of which are inclusive in the cost of the daily fee. We also connecting and work with our community as much as possible to try to bring extra services or discounted services to our families. This included health and fitness classes for children, swimming lesson discounts, and being accepted to teach a second language in our preschool (pre-prep) kindergarten room. extra-We will be following through on extra-curricular activities into 2018.
Our events are also posted on our Facebook page.
Henny Penny Chickens: 5 – 16 March. A wonderful opportunity for all children to experience the joy of watching a chicken hatch and to nurture them.
Harmony Day: A multicultural festival celebrating both our indigenous and diverse migrant cultures in our great country.
Survey Monkey: We are now using Survey Monkey for our Calendar of Events, Smart Start shirt orders and feedback on our philosophy.
Changes to the National Quality Standards: The 2018 National Quality Standard commenced on Thursday 1 February 2018. Services will now be rated and assessed against the 2018 NQS.
QIP: We are currently updating our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) which is available for comment and feedback by families.
Email addresses: A lot of our information, including weekly accounts, is now emailed to families. If you are not receiving your email, please confirm your email address by sending us an email – just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the words “confirming email address”. That way we can ensure that we have your current email address in our system.
Repeat Information: As families join us throughout the year, we will be repeating information that we think is useful and helpful to all. If you have read this information previously, thank you for doing so and for your patience.
Previous News: Here is some current and previous news for families who may have missed this before and which we hope may assist you:
No Smoking: The Government has now introduced a Smoking ban across education and care settings, which includes the car park and the external boundaries of the property. Please see our notice on our external notice board for details.
Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Harm or Abuse:
Please take a moment to read this very important message:
Our team underwent mandatory reporting training at the beginning of 2017 in response to regulatory changes regarding mandatory reporting of suspected harm or abuse. These changes took place from 1 July 2017.
If a child presents in any child care service with suspected harm or abuse, the service is required by law to report this. The process which follows from any reporting is then out of the hands of the service, as the matter is referred on and dealt with externally.
By law, any directions given to a service by an external agency such as Child Safety or the Police must be followed.
All-inclusive Service: Smart Start Early Learning Centre prides itself on being an all-inclusive service for families, so our daily fee is inclusive of meals, milk, hats, sheets, nappies and all consumables. We do ask parents to provide changes of clothing (labelled please), a water bottle (labelled), and a pillowcase which your child can easily identify and with your child’s name written in laundry marker which we use as a “sheet bag”.
We run a kindy program too! As many of our parents are aware, Smart Start Early Learning Centre is also a government approved kindergarten provider. If your child is 4 or turned 4 by 30 June 2018, you can still enrol them in our kindergarten program with our registered kindergarten teacher. Parents who are in receipt of a health care, pension or concession card, who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or who have 3 or more children born on the same day, may also be eligible for additional fee relief in the form of “kindy plus”. Parents of children who may be eligible to commence prep but who may not be “school ready” are encouraged to apply to join our kindy program with a view to school readiness. Please note that the eligibility requirements for the kindy program are that your child must attend kindy for a minimum of 15 hours per week. In our Centre, this equates to only two days. If you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Prep is now compulsory: Sending your child to prep is compulsory now; however the age at which you send your child is not, so if your child is not “ready for prep”, they may stay in our kindergarten program. Families may sometimes delay their child’s entry to prep for another year if they feel they are not ready socially or emotionally ready. You are most welcome to come in and discuss your child’s needs and prep-readiness with us. We work with local schools to ensure your child’s transition to school is as smooth as possible.
Smart Start Shirts : A number of our Smart Start children sport the “Smart Start” shirt with logo – very smart indeed! We have some t-shirts left with the logo, and we are currently purchasing some polo shirts. If you would like to purchase a polo shirt or a t-shirt for your child, please see us at Reception. Our shirts are now available now at a discounted rate for our families. Please place your order at reception.
Peta is our Nominated Supervisor and the responsible person in charge of the service. Our team has extensive experience and can answer any questions you may have in relation to the Centre, our programs, inclusions, enrolments, kindergarten program, transitions and the overall running of the service. If there’s anything we can’t answer straight away, we will find out for you. We’re here for you.
Our goal, as always, is to work in partnership with our families to deliver the best outcomes for the most precious people in our lives, the children in our care. As a stand-alone, family owned and operated service, we are focussed and committed to delivering the best care and education for your children. Thanks to our families for assisting us in doing this.
Welcome to 2018 and to our new families.
Smart Start Early Learning Centre is a purpose-built, airconditioned family owned and operated multicultural long day care centre, caring for children from six weeks of age.
Our Service has been rated as ”Exceeding” in our recent Assessment and Rating process. You can view the breakdown of our rating in the different quality areas in our reception area or on the mychild.gov.au website under our service.
We operate 52 weeks of the year, except for public holidays. We know that our parents are very busy people, so we offer an all-inclusive service with home-cooked meals, sheets for rest time, hats, nappies and all consumables e.g. sunscreen, wipes and tissues. We also offer limited before and after school care. Our parents provide changes of clothing, a water bottle and an easily identifiable pillow case which is used by your child as their sheet bag. We ask that parents label all items. Your child’s name on the pillow case can be written in laundry marker – we can do this for you!
Our fees are comparable with other services, as most families are eligible for government benefits or rebates on their fees. Please see the mychild website for details.
Our curriculum incorporates elements of the Virtues program which endeavours to assist children to gain life skills and make and maintain positive relationships. We are an open-door centre and our families are welcome to give us feedback and suggestions at any time. We closely track the Australian Education Development Census which identifies vulnerabilities in children across five domains and actively work to increase children’s social, emotional and language skills.
We had a number of extra-curricular activities happening in the service in 2017 and we are flowing these on into 2018. We continue to strengthen our community connections in an endeavour to ensure that families receive as much assistance and information as possible.
Our Facebook information page has been very popular and helpful for families, so please find us on Facebook! You can link to our Facebook page via the website.
Smart Start Early Learning Centre is also a government approved kindergarten provider. If your child is 4 or has already turned 4 by 30 June 2018, you can still enrol them in our kindergarten program. This is a pre-prep program with a degree qualified teacher, registered with the Qld College of Teachers. The program is designed to ensure children are school-ready and comfortable when they transition to prep. Parents or children who are in receipt of a health care, pension or concession card, who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or who have 3 or more children of the same age, may also be eligible for additional fee relief in the form of “kindy plus”. Please see us if you would like further information. Parents of children who may be eligible to commence prep but who may not be “school ready” are encouraged to apply to join our kindy program with a view to school readiness.
If you need care for your child, please come in and see us or give us a ring on 3814 1188. Peta is our director and she is only too happy to help you, as are any of our team, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also register your interest on our “Enrol Now” page or send us an email at email@example.com.
The Smart Start Team looks forward to hearing from you and meeting you. Thank you for reading “Welcoming News”.