What should I do before my child’s first day?
While starting at Chatterbox will be an exciting time for your family, it is natural that children (and their family) may feel some anxiety.
To help alleviate this and help children to settle into the Centre we encourage you to visit and spend time with us at the Centre.
This will help you and your child feel more comfortable within the Centre environment and get to know our Educators, other children and room routines. At these visits you are welcome to ask any questions about the Centre and educators will begin the conversation with you about your expectations for your child while at the Centre.
Please feel free to spend as much time as you choose at the Centre with your child prior to commencing. To assist your child settle into Chatterbox, the following tips may be useful:
- Always talk and act positively about starting at the Centre
- Leave plenty of time in the mornings to pass on messages to Educators and help your child settle in to an activity before you leave
- Be patient; each child will settle differently and needs support
- Don’t linger at goodbye time once you have made the decision to go as this can cause additional distress to the child
- Always say goodbye to your child before leaving the Centre as children can become upset if their parent disappears.
- While there may be a few tears at the goodbye, children generally settle quickly and learn that you will always come back for them at the end of the day.
- Discuss separation with your child’s educators and they will work together with you to develop a process that best meets the needs of your child.
What do I do on my child’s first day at day care?
On your child’s first day our Educator’s will be on hand to help you settle your child into the Centre.
A locker will be ready for your child’s belongings and educators will discuss any important matters with you. You are welcome to stay as long as you want to settle your child into the day.
Once you feel your child is settled we encourage you to say goodbye and leave for the day. If your child is upset feel free to wait in the foyer and a member of staff will check how your child settles. Alternatively, we will call you to let you know how your child is settling in. You are welcome to call the Centre throughout the day to check on your child but if there is any concern the Centre Manager or your child’s educator will contact you.
At the end of the day you will be provided with information about your child’s day and you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have. We also encourage you to read the daily overview which will be on display in your child’s room as well as emailed to your nominated email address.
Settling into Chatterbox
Your child’s educators will keep you informed about how your child is settling into the Centre. Please feel free to provide any suggestions or comments that would make this process easier for your family and we will endeavour to accommodate these.
What to bring to Chatterbox
At Chatterbox we try to make life as simple as possible for our busy families.
We therefore supply most daily requirements for your child. You will however need to supply the following:
For children aged 6 weeks to 3 years
- Carry bag
- Bottles of milk/formula, if required, supplied ready to use.
- Water Bottle
- 2 complete changes of clothing including underwear. We recommend that clothing covers as much of your child’s skin as possible as per our Sun Safe Policy.
- Sun Safe Hat – wide brimmed or legionnaire’s style.
- Pacifier and/ or security item i.e. teddy / blanket
For children aged 3 to 5 years
- Carry bag
- Water Bottle
- 1 complete changes of clothing including underwear. We recommend that clothing covers as much of your child’s skin as possible as per our Sun Safe Policy.
- Sun Safe Hat – wide brimmed or legionnaire’s style.
- Security item i.e. teddy / blanket
How do I pay for Childcare?
Fees are payable weekly via the Ezi Debit system, set up forms are provided on enrolment.
If you would like to pay your fees fortnightly or monthly in advance this can be arranged with the Centre Manager. Your weekly statement will be emailed to your specified email address each Monday. Should you not have access to email, your account may be collected from your child’s pocket located in his/her room after 3pm on Monday. This statement also shows all payments that have been received in the previous week. Please check your statement each week as the amount payable can fluctuate due to a number of reasons such as:
- Additional days booked for your child
- A change in the amount of government assistance received from the FAO
- An extra charge for a show/visitor
- A late fee incurred as a result of a late pickup
- Half fees applied for absence or public holiday.
If you choose to receive government fee assistance as a fee reduction, these amounts will be credited to your account once the details are received by the Centre from the FAO. Until these reductions are received, you will be given an estimate based on the information that you have given the FAO. Any variation between the estimate and actual amounts will be reconciled which will either result in an additional amount to be paid or a credit on your account. For determining your families eligibility for Child Care Benefits please contact the Family Assistance Office on 136150.
Am I able to supply breastmilk for my baby or do I have to switch to formula?
Chatterbox encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding for as long as they choose.
To assist you in this process we will:
- Support families in their decision to breastfeed;
- Provide appropriate storage and warming of breast milk;
- Welcome and provide appropriate facilities for mothers who want to breastfeed their babies during the day; When bringing expressed breast milk to the centre we request that you:
- transport milk using an insulated container i.e. in an esky with a freezer brick
- place milk in the refrigerator immediately
- supply breast milk in multiple small quantities in plastic bottles ready for feeding
- ensure that milk is clearly labelled with the child’s name and the time and date the milk was expressed.
Whilst Chatterbox encourages breast feeding, we understand that families may not always be able, or choose not to, breastfeed.
Alternatively, a family may choose to formula feed their child whilst at the Centre and continue to breastfeed at home. We respect and support the choice of each family.
When bringing formula to the centre we request that you:
- transport formula to the Centre using an insulated container i.e. in an esky with a freezer brick;
- supply formula in plastic bottles ready for feeding, or where formula is recommended by the manufacturer to be made up directly before use, supply measured formula and sterilised plastic bottles containing premeasured water separately
- store bottles in the refrigerator immediately
- ensure that formula is clearly labelled with the child’s name.
My baby has developed their own sleep routine, will this be followed when in care?
Sleep for infants
Chatterbox recognises the importance of incorporating the individual sleep routines of our babies into the daily program. Information regarding your child’s sleep patterns and needs are requested at the time of enrolment, and this is used by educators to create a similar home/ centre sleep environment. These details are constantly updated through regular consultation between you and your child’s educators.
Chatterbox and it’s staff will at all times follow the child care sleeping practices recommended by the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping program to reduce the risk of SIDS and create a safe sleeping environment.
When will my child move rooms?
As your child grows and develops at Chatterbox there will be a need to transition into the next age group.
Educator’s will discuss your child’s readiness for such move with you and inform you of the progress your child is making. Your child will begin with short visits throughout the day, gradually leading up to full days in the new room.
Each child’s process through this transition phase is different and we are guided by the children as to how much time is required for them to gain a sense of belonging within their new room.
Will I be informed of any illness in the Centre?
When there is a diagnosed case of an infectious illness or disease at the Centre, a notice will be posted in the foyer informing parents that a child with the illness has been present at the Centre.
Where available, a fact sheet regarding the illness will also be posted next to the notice.
My Child has a medical condition/allergy, will they still be able to enrol?
If your child has a diagnosed condition (e.g. asthma, allergy, epilepsy) that may cause him/her to become ill at the Centre you will be asked to have a medical practitioner complete a Medical Conditions Action Plan/Anaphylaxis Action Plan.
This plan outlines the action that staff should take if your child displays certain symptoms and will ensure s/he receives the correct treatment promptly.
If your child is at risk of allergic reaction and the Anaphylaxis Action Plan requires the use of an EpiPen, you will be required to ensure that Chatterbox is provided with a complete EpiPen kit for use each day that your child is at the Centre. Chatterbox keeps a junior EpiPen (child weight 15 – 30kg) for general use at the Centre as a precaution.
If your child requires additional support or specialised equipment when at the Centre we will work with you to endeavour to secure appropriate funding through the Inclusion Support Agency (ISA) to provide the additional resources required. Enrolment however is subject to our care environment being able to meet individual needs.
What happens when we want to take holidays?
Your family is entitled to 4 weeks absence during any one calendar year, calculated on a pro rata basis (e.g. 1 week for every 3 months of attendance) for which half the daily fee will be charged.
These absences must be taken in week blocks (not individual days) and your annual entitlement must be used by the beginning of the first term the following year.
Will I be charged for Public Holidays?
As we are committed to providing continuity of care for your child our educators are employed in a permanent capacity and are therefore paid for public holidays.
In an effort to meet this responsibility while maintaining affordability for our families, Chatterbox offers a 50 % reduction of the daily fee on these days.
If my child is away, am I able to do a make up day?
As the Centre is limited by Licence to the number of children who can attend each day, if your child is absent we are unfortunately unable to offer a make-up day.
We are happy however to offer you a change of day within the same week should there be availability. Fees are still payable for any absence from the Centre.
Can I book my child in an extra day if I need it?
If you require care on an additional day, either permanently or as a one-off, please contact the Centre Manager who will confirm availability.
What happens if I no longer need the care for my child?
Two weeks’ notice in writing to the Centre Manager is required if you would like to cancel your child’s enrolment at Chatterbox.
Please note that if you do not attend the Centre during the notice period, you are unable to claim government fee assistance for that period and full fees will be payable.
Once your account is paid in full at the end of your child’s care, your Security Deposit will be refunded. Any accounts left unpaid will have their bond withheld.
What happens if I am late to collect my child at the end of the day?
While we understand that due to unforeseen circumstances you may run late to collect your child and arrive after the Centre’s scheduled closing time.
Where this occurs a late fee will be charged to cover the cost of overtime for our staff that will remain with your child until your arrival.