Schemes Current Policies & Procedures

A full version of the Burdekin Family Day Care Scheme Inc. Policy Manual can be found here.
Copies of this manual are also available from the Co-ordination Unit office or your Educator.

 

Absent days

Please notify your Educator as soon as possible when your child will be absent from normal booked care, e.g. public holidays, flexi-time, illness etc.
Fees for this day will be charged as per your educator’s fee schedule.

 

Absences

Childcare benefits are paid when your child is absent from care for up to 42 days per financial for any reason without proof of circumstances (this includes public holidays).

Once the first 42 absence days have been exhausted, additional absences may be claimed only in permitted circumstances* and if evidence is provided.
*Public holidays are not eligible to be considered for additional absences.

  

Alternative Care (Emergency Situations Only)

 In an emergency, any children in care will be cared for in the Educator’s own home by their support educator, an emergency person, or a scheme staff member or in the home of another approved educator registered with the Scheme.

If the Educator is unable to return within a short period, parents will be asked to collect their children until a more permanent arrangement can be made.

Other alternative care; see ‘Holiday/ Holding Fees’.

Assessment of Educators

The Co-coordinators ensure that an Educator

  • Conforms to all government regulations and scheme policies
  • Provides a physical environment that fully meets the required safety standards
  • Is physically and emotionally able to care for children
  • Fulfils the criteria for references, criminal and medical history records, etc.
  • Holds a current C.P.R. and First Aid Certificate, and is able to respond appropriately to a medical or other emergency.
  • Demonstrates the ability to communicate in a positive way with adults and children.
  • Is enthusiastic and displays a commitment to young children and their care.
  • Is aware and sensitive to the needs of children and their families. In particular children of different cultures and religions, and children with special needs.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to ongoing in-service training
  • Agrees to regular Co-coordinator visits with ongoing assessment

 

Attendance

Government regulations and the insurance company that underwrites the public liability insurance cover for all educators requires parents to note the exact time the children commence and leave care and initial each record.

 

Attendance at Pre-Prep/ Kindergarten

When children are attending pre-prep/kindergarten, and the child is in care prior to or after pre-prep/ kindergarten, the kindergarten hours may be paid for. The child’s place will then be held for this period. If the place is paid only to drop off time, or pick up time, a place cannot be guaranteed during the school holidays or if the child does not attend pre-prep/kindergarten.

 

Educators

Your Educator will become a very special person in your child’s life and yours as well. However, we ask you to remember that although she/he is selected as an Educator and has attained a very high assessment, he/she is self employed and as such is running her/his own business. We trust you will treat each other with the utmost respect and consideration.

 

Educator – Registration

An Educator’s registration is dependent on maintaining scheme and government standards and is reassessed annually. This includes not only a personality assessment, a complete safety check of the home, evacuation and emergency procedures, but also an annual medical certificate and roadworthy certificate for the car used to transport children in Family Day Care. They must also have a current Blue Card and First Aid Certificate.

 

Educator Resignation

If your Educator resigns, every effort will be made to provide suitable alternative care. Educators are required to give 1 months notice (if possible) of resignation. When educators do not give due notice, it causes great inconvenience and upset to all concerned. Families do need time to reorganise care, to meet and orientate to new care arrangements. On resignation Educators will return their Certificate of Approval and other Family Day Care property to the Scheme and finalise outstanding debts.

 

Collecting Children

Please be prompt in picking up your child. You will want to chat about your child’s day when collecting, however please remember the needs of the Educator’s own family as well as other children in their care.
Remember your Educator does have a full time job too; she needs to ‘sign off’ as well. Be aware that children may test you out when you arrive at pick up time. Please confer with your Educator, so that a clear decision can be made as to who is in charge. If you are going to be unavoidably delayed you are required to contact your educator to check if it is okay for your child to stay longer.
A late fee may apply. If extra hours are required on a regular basis the office should be contacted.

Educators cannot care for more than 4 children under school age (including their own and 3 school age children excluding their own). If they breach these limits as set in the Education and Care Services National regulations, their license to care for children may be suspended or permanently cancelled.

If an educator advises you that it is not possible to care for your children any later than your booked hours, you will need to arrange for someone else to collect your child.

 

Committee Meetings

Committee meetings are held once a month on a day and date advised on the agenda prior to each meeting. Meetings are held at the Family Day Care Office at 1 Cox Street Ayr, commencing at 6.30pm.   All families are welcome to attend. A copy of the agenda is handed out to each Educator for distribution to all Families prior to the meeting. If you have paid your committee membership you are entitled to vote on all issues on the agenda.

 

Co-ordinator Educator Home Visits

Co-ordinators regularly visit educator’s homes. These visits can be planned or unannounced. The Co-ordinators role is

  • To support the placement of the children in care
  • Provide additional resources that may assist the development of children in care.
  • To ensure the Educators meet the requirements of the Qld Child Care Legislation, Family Day Care Quality Assurance and Burdekin Family Day Care Policies and Procedures.

 

Confidentiality

As stated in the Regulations and as agreed to in the Educators Agreement Form all information about the families of children in care must be treated as CONFIDENTIAL.

Educators may not at any time, discuss such information with persons other than Co-ordinators. Any discussions with Co-ordinators are confidential. Educators must maintain a professional relationship with their parents and children.

 

Contracted/ Booked Hours

Parents and Educators negotiate booked hours of care at their initial meeting. These hours are clearly stated on the booked hours agreement, which is signed and dated by the parent and the Educator.   Any variation of hours must be booked through the office (24 hour answering machine is available for parents to leave messages regarding change of hours). If hours are not booked through the office Child Care Benefits may not apply for these hours.

 

Dignity of your child

The dignity and rights of your child will be respected at all times.

 

Discipline

Refer to the Schemes Behaviour Management Policy.
Child management techniques used do not include physical, verbal or emotional punishments, including for example, punishments that humiliates, frightens or threatens a child’.
Smacking is not allowed, even with the parent’s written permission.

Parents and Educators should discuss other forms of discipline together and with your Co-coordinator.

 

Disclosure

Educators must notify the scheme if anything happens within their household, which would make them ineligible to continue as an Educator, e.g. child abuse/ criminal charges.

 

Emergency care
(See Alternative Care – Emergency Situations)

Emergency Educator

Can be the closest adult available at the time of a medical emergency, or other urgent short-term incident, which can provide appropriate care for the children.

 

Evacuation plan

All Educators are required to have an evacuation plan to be used in the event of any emergency. This plan should be practiced regularly.

 

Excursions

Are defined as non-routine/ special/ unusual activities, which may or may not be within a reasonable proximity of the family day care home, and are likely to involve the use of transport. Prior written notice must be given to parents for each individual excursion on the BFDCS Excursion Permission Form. The Educator also needs to do a risk assessment plan for the place the excursion is to take place e.g. the park, beach. Both the Excursion permission form and the risk assessment need to be completed and returned to the office 5 days prior to the excursion taking place.

Fees

The Scheme does not have a recommended fee schedule. As required under the Trade Practices Act, Educators have the right to independently set fees.

Educators should inform families of their fees and charging policies/practices when their child is booked into care.
A booked hours contract should be completed and signed by a Parent and the Care Educator.

As per the Educator’s fee schedule Parents are asked to pay their fees on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If fees are overdue, the Educator is not obliged to continue with the care. Alternative care will not be provided until the account is paid.

Families who are experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for Special Child Care Benefits. Please contact the Co-ordination Unit for more information.

Each family is required to pay an Annual Registration Fee, which is due in January of each year.   This also covers your committee membership. Fees are subject to change with a months’ notice given to all stakeholders.

 

Gates

Do not forget to close the gates and doors when you arrive at and depart from the Educator’s home.

 

Grievance Procedures for Parents and Educators

Step 1.   It is important that parents and educators discuss any concerns they may have about the child’s care, payment of fees, discipline etc. to come to a mutual agreement.

Step 2. Please consult a Co-coordinator if you need some advice or assistance if the problem cannot be resolved.

Step 3.   If the matter were still unresolved, the issue would then be referred in writing to the Management Committee/ Licensee.

If the decision requires suspension/ cancellation or non-renewal of an Educator’s registration, the matter could then be appealed as contained in the scheme’s policy (refer: Grievance Prevention & Settlement Procedures in the Policy Handbook).

If you require any further information on this process, please contact our office for a copy of the Burdekin Family Day Care Schemes Policy Handbook.

 

Holidays/ Holding Fees

 

  • Parent holidays: When parents take holidays, a holding fee must be paid to retain your child’s place with your Educator. Holding fees are charged as per your Educator’s fee schedule and at your Educator’s discretion.

 

  • Holding fee: Failure to pay a holding fee may result in your child’s place no longer being available. When both parents and Educator take holidays at the same time, no fees apply.

 

  • Educator holidays: It is a policy of this Scheme that Educators must take a minimum of 2 weeks holidays a year. Fees are not charged if care is not provided.

 

  • When an Educator takes holidays, alternative care will be offered if available. Care provided by an Alternate educator will be charged as per the Alternate educator’s fee schedule. A booked hours contract negotiated between the alternate educator and the parent must be completed.

 

Hygiene

As an early childhood service, we need to be aware of ways to minimise the spread of disease/ infection.

Diseases can be spread by: –

  • Airborne droplets, e.g. sneezing
  • Faecal/ oral contamination
  • Skin contact
  • Urine/ blood/ body secretions.

Therefore Educators are required to adhere to recommended health and hygiene practices for example:

  • Providing separate eating utensils, hand towels, paper towels, washers and linen for each child.
  • Washing of hands after play, before and after eating, toileting, nose wiping or changing nappies.
  • Regular washing and disinfecting of toys, equipment and bedding.
  • Covering food
  • Removal of pet droppings, and pet food/ pet food dishes out of the reach of children.
  • Safe disposal of nappies, soiled clothe ,food scraps, household rubbish as well as general household cleanliness.
  • The wearing of disposable gloves.

 

Incidents/Injuries

When a child is involved in an incident or sustains an injury:

  • First aid should be applied immediately.
  • Further medical care should be sought if required.

Parents and the Co-coordinators should be notified as soon as possible, and a scheme incident form must be completed and forwarded to the office by the next working day.

 

In-service Training: Educators

The Co-ordination Unit provides In-service training to Educators on a regular basis. These workshops are aimed to enhance their skills and knowledge in their chosen field. Educators are also encouraged to attend any conferences and seminars that are deemed appropriate.
These workshops are often open to parents and are advertised through the Newsletter when appropriate. It is a requirement of the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 that all Educators must hold a current First Aid, Asthma and Anaphylaxis certificate.

 

In-service Training: Staff

In-service is provided for staff in the way of appropriate seminars and conferences (Regional, State and National). Staff, are also actively encouraged to up date their qualifications in the Child Care areas.

 

Insurance

Educators must have current insurance cover at all times as required by the Education and Care National Regulations 2011 and Education and Care s Services National Law act 2010

As Educators are viewed as ‘self employed’ persons, home/ household contents, personal income protection and workers compensation insurances are the Educator’s own responsibility.

 

Meals

Daily food/ drink requirements are the responsibility of the parent. Educators will have water available. If parents require Educators to supply meals, they should refer to the current fee schedule for costs. Please remember children tend to eat more in company. We ask you to observe good nutritional habits for your child (e.g. food from the 5 food groups and encourage children to drink plenty of water).

 

Medication

Medication will only be administered by prior agreement with your Educator, subject to the following conditions.

  • Educators can only administer non-prescribed medication to children if they have received prior written instruction and consent by the parent. All medication is to be labeled with the child’s name.
  • Prescribed medication cannot be administered without written instructions from a medical practitioner, (as per direction on packaging) stating name of child, dosage and the frequency the medication should be administered, and the written consent of the parent.
  • Prescription medication can only be administered to the child whose name is listed on the bottle/package. Prescription medication issued to a third party (e.g. sibling) cannot be administered. 
  • Medication must be in its original container and kept in a secure place out of children’s reach. When appropriate, medication will be refrigerated in a locked container. A detailed individual record of medicines administered will be kept by the Educator and signed by the parent when collecting their child.

 

Routine/Excursions

Are defined as routine activities within reasonable proximity of the educator’s home and which may or may not involve the use of transport, such as to go shopping, playgroup etc.

A Regular/Routine Excursion Permission form is required from parents/educators for outings, which is to be obtained when the parent signs the Care Agreement Contract. Parents should be, informed in writing of planned outings taken during the time their child is in care with an Educator. Any variations to the educator’s routine outings should be recorded in writing for the parents to initial prior to the outing taking place.

 

Penalty Fees

Parents may be charged a penalty fee if they fail to advise their Educator of their late or early arrival (as per the Educator’s fee schedule).

 

Pets

Pets in many Educators’ homes are an integral part of family life. Parent’s concern for their children’s health and safety will be acknowledged at all times. Parents have the choice of placing their child in a home with or without pets.
Educators with pets must adhere to strict hygiene requirements, e.g. remove faeces daily, worming pet regularly, food dishes out of children’s reach. When children are in care, pets must be kept in an area inaccessible to children.
Short periods of interaction between children and animals may occur but they must be supervised at all times (e.g. children assist in grooming dog, playing with a ball etc.).
Educators must complete a risk assessment for all domestic pets.

 

Playgroup

Playgroup is an important part of Family Day Care activity and is of benefit both to the children and to the Educator. Our Playgroup sessions operate one mornings a week from approx. 9.30am to 11.30am during school terms.

All Educators are expected to attend at least one session in a fortnight, Educators who cannot attend must advise the Co-ordination Unit of the reason for non attendance.

Children enjoy mixing with larger groups and experience activities different to those available on a day to day basis in the home. At the same time playgroup gives educators the opportunity to meet each other and to share experiences and ideas. At least one Co-ordinator or representative from the Family Day Care Co-ordination Unit is present at every playgroup, to assist Educators and children if required.   Our Co-ordinators ensure that there are exciting and challenging activities introduced weekly. We expose your child to the world through cultural activities, stories and songs in other languages, multicultural cooking and seeing interesting artefacts from other countries.

Parents are encouraged to join in Playgroup activities.

Share your language or culture at Playgroup.

If you have another language we would love you to read a children’s story in your language, or sing a song, or do a dance, or show us some interesting artefacts from your country of origin. We value other cultures.

Share your hobby at Playgroup

Do you play and instrument? Do you have a hobby that you think children would like to see? Please phone us we would love you to share your hobby with the children.

 Recyclable material for Playgroup

Any donations of recyclable materials for use at playgroup are greatly appreciated. (No egg cartons please – these may affect children who have severe allergies)  

Health Food & Allergies

Educators and children are encouraged to only bring healthy nutritious snacks to playgroup. Cold water is available.

To make our Playgroup sessions safe for all children, all nut, egg, fish, shellfish and soy foods are banned from the playgroup area. This means there can be no peanut paste sandwiches, biscuits with peanuts, egg sandwiches, muesli bars etc. If your children regularly enjoy these foods, educators may prefer to give your children morning tea before they come to Playgroup sessions.

                                    

 Priority of Access

The Commonwealth Government regards children at risk of abuse or neglect as a priority group for access to quality childcare. Families in crisis should also have support and assistance to the maximum extent possible.

The Commonwealth Government resources childcare with a major purpose of meeting the child care needs of families with recognised work or work related commitments.

Where demand for care exceeds available childcare places the scheme will allocate available places to those families with the greatest need for child care support.

Burdekin Family Day Care Scheme Inc. maintains a non-bias approach while placing children in these priorities as stated in the Family Day Care Handbook.

 

Problems with Care

In the event of children not settling into care, please contact a Co-ordinator to discuss your concern, so that assistance can be provided.

 

Professional Consultations

Please remember it is not the Educator’s responsibility to confer with your child’s teacher regarding his/her progress at school, taking them to the doctors or dentist etc.

 

Public Holidays

All statutory holidays, including local Show holidays, are recognised as Public holidays. If care is booked on this day and your child does not attend, normal fees apply. If care is required, this care will be charged at the Public holiday rate (refer Educator’s fee schedule).

 

Receipts

Educators must issue receipts for the parent payment of child care fees. The office will issue a quarterly parent usage statement. This statement shows how much child care benefit we have paid to your educator on your behalf. It also shows how much parent payment should have been paid by you to your educator each week.

 

School Homework

While Educators will offer every encouragement for children to complete their homework, it is ultimately the parent’s responsibility to ensure that homework is completed.

 

Service Levy

The service levy is a weekly charge paid by Parents and Educators, which provides the scheme with necessary equipment such as car seats, gates, prams, port a cots, etc. These funds are also used to equip our excellent Toy/ Book Library, which is available to all Educators. This fee continues to be paid when parents are on holidays and charged a holding fee. (Refer to educator’s fee schedule for the amount) No levy is charged when an Educator is on holidays, unless alternate care is provided.

 

Sickness: Families

Educators have the right to use their own discretion and may refuse entry to children, who are sick or contagious in any way, e.g. head lice, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea etc. For guidance regarding common illnesses and exclusion periods refer to the ‘Time Out’ page at the end of the booklet or the ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’ book – available from the office.

Remember sick children need their own parents’ care and attention and the Educator is not expected to become a nurse, in fairness to other children in care.

Parents can help prevent cross infection by keeping sick children at home.

If the children have any symptoms that cause concern to the Educator or Parent, please consult a Co-ordinator, who can assist and advise with current Departmental Policy.

 

Sickness: Educators or their own Family

When an Educator or a member of their family is unwell, our Co-ordinators will if possible arrange alternative care with another Educator.

Due to limits on the number of children that can be cared for by Educators it may at times be necessary for parents to organise alternative care outside the Scheme.

If alternative care cannot be provided, payment will not be required.

 

Smoking

Current government regulations state that smoking must not take place in the presence of children. Educators must not smoke whilst caring for children.

Family Day Care must be provided in a smoke free environment and it is necessary for educators to ask parents, visitors and family members not to smoke on their premises while children are in care.

 

Educator Assistant                                   

A Support Educator is recorded on the Educator’s Certificate of Approval and is someone nominated by the Educator who can fill in for up to 4 hours at any one time.

Examples of reasons for Educator’s absence may include medical/ dental appointments, which cannot be made outside work hours, own child’s parent/teacher interview or if a small child is asleep when another child requires collection from a kindergarten or school.

 

Swimming

Is defined as when a child is in water that covers that child’s knees whilst standing.

 

Swimming Pools

Some Educators may wish to take children swimming. If parents consent to swimming, written permission is required and numbers of children must comply with the education and Care Services National Regulations 2011.

Educators who have their own pools must comply and obtain approval by local Council. Pool gates should be secured at all times.

 

Time sheets

All family day care schemes are required by the Australian Government to keep accurate attendance documentation. The parent (including guardian or authorised person) who brings the child to the educator’s home and who collects the child from the educator’s home must record and verify the times of arrival and departure at the time of arrival and departure.

Accurate attendance records showing actual times of arrival and departure, verified by the person responsible for the child, protects the rights of the child, parents, schemes and educators.

Attendance documentation is also necessary to satisfy insurance, public liability and workers’ compensation obligations as well as protecting the educator against possible future legal action by parents.

Accurate attendance records are also required to enable families to claim child care benefit; they assist in verifying that a particular child actually attended the educator’s home on the days claimed or was absent for one of the allowable absences, e.g. sick days or holidays.

To ensure children are not handed over to inappropriate persons, educators must be informed of any parenting or consent orders that apply to children in care and provided with a copy of any such order for their records.

All Child Care Services are required to provide a report to each family stating their childcare usage and detailing any absences that have been taken by the child. This report is posted to all families every three months. It is called a ‘Statement of Child Care Usage’.

It is the parent’s responsibility to notify the scheme if a child is in care with another childcare service. (eg: school holidays/vacation care). This is so that our office can apply the correct percentage for the amount of children in care.

 

Toy and Equipment Library

One of the benefits of belonging to the Burdekin Family Day Care Scheme Inc. is having the use of the educational toy and equipment library. Groups of toys, puzzles, books, videos, audio tapes, outside play equipment, ride on bikes, cars, play kitchens, dolls etc. are available to Educators on loan.

Equipment such as car seats, booster seats, prams etc., are supplied where necessary.

 

Transport

By agreement, a child may be transported to/ from kindergarten, prep or school and sporting activities. Some educators charge a fee for this service. Please refer to your educators fee schedule.

All children travelling in cars must use Australian Standard approved child restraints. These restraints are provided by Burdekin Family Day Care Scheme Inc. Educators are only allowed to use their restraints for their own children.   Non-registered persons including husbands may not drive children in the car without written permission from the parents.

 

Waiting List

 Places are listed in order of date of application. Where possible care is made in this order and according to the priority of access. When parents request care with a particular Educator every effort is made to comply with this preference. However this is not always possible.