Flexible Care in Early Education Centres
March 2017 Version 1
1 Collection of Children
1.1 Only those people specified in Schedule 1 – Your Details or Schedule 3 – Contact and Emergency People may collect a child from the centre without written notice.
1.2 When You require someone other than these people to collect Your child at any time, you must provide written notice to the centre Director advising of their name, address, date of birth, and specify the date and time they will collect the child. Identification will be requested of a person who is not known to centre educators when picking up Your child.
1.3 Where there are Court Orders that are relevant to the collection of Your child, you must provide a copy of the Order, and any changes to these, to the Centre Director. The service will adhere to the terms of these orders and advise the police of any breach in these orders.
1.4 In the event of a change in family circumstance e.g. relationship break down, removal of children from parent/guardian, informal changes in custody or in the event of children becoming wards of the state, unless the service is provided with relevant court orders or Apprehended Violence Orders (or similar), the service is unable to prevent a parent who is a signatory to this Contract from collecting a child from the service. In the event of the circumstances outlined, and the absence of documentation, the service will allow the children to be collected by either party, notify the other party as soon as possible, and contact the police to inform them of the situation.
2 Fees and Charges
2.1 Occasional Care bookings must be paid in advance
2.2 All Payments required to secure a position are non-refundable and non-transferable.
3 Child Care Benefit (CCB and Child Care Tax Rebate (CCR)
3.1 You must register with Family Assistance Office/Centrelink if You wish to claim the Child Care Tax Rebate. It is Your responsibility to contact the Family Assistance Office/Centrelink for processing. Parents must notify the Family Assistance Office/Centrelink of any changes to circumstances.
3.2 Council will submit a request to backdate CCB and CCR for the immediate 30 days from the date of request.
3.3 Council will not backdate for CCB or CCR in excess of 30 days or if the financial year has been reconciled by Centrelink and Council has reported child attendances as per the legislative requirements.
4 No Refunds
4.1 As Occasional Care fees are non-transferable and non-refundable, no refunds will be made.
5.1 You agree to pay the Council the Initial Fee of the equivalent daily fee for your child’s age, in full, over the phone, prior to the first occasion of care for your child.
5.2 If you are claiming the CCB/CCR, Your Initial Fee will be adjusted and any CCB/CCR funds will be credited to your account for future bookings.
5.3 Childcare fees and charges are calculated and paid for in advance, at the time of booking.
5.4 A merchant fee is payable on all credit card transactions. Debit/Visa cards attract a merchant fee.
6 Attendance and Absences
6.1 It is Your responsibility to sign attendance sheets at all times, including when the child has been absent.
6.2 In the event of an emergency Council will use the attendance record to account for all children in the centre.
6.3 Failure to sign the attendance sheets daily will jeopardise Your Child Care Benefit and Your child’s position at the centre.
7 Additional Absences
7.1 Under CCMS, each child will receive an initial 42 absence days per financial year, which may be used for any reason and without proof of circumstances
7.2 You cannot claim absences if Your child has not started care or has stopped care. You also cannot claim an absence if You have notified Your child care service You are taking Your child out of care on a set date and then change Your mind and remove Your child earlier.
7.3 In the event that You receive CCB as a fee reduction at more than one child care service, You must let each service know when Your child has used Your initial 42 days.
7.4 Once the first 42 absence days have been exhausted, additional absences may be claimed only in permitted circumstances and if evidence of circumstances are held by the service.
7.5 Any child who is absent from care without notice to a centre for a period of 10 working days will have their position automatically terminated.
8 Child Care Enrolments
8.1 Council is required to comply with the “Priority of Access Guidelines” produced by the Australian Government where working parents receive placement priority over non-working parents. To ensure the legislation is complied with, some non-working parents may be required to change their child’s enrolled days. The Priority of Access Guidelines provides the following priority list:
• Priority 1 – child at risk of serious abuse or neglect
• Priority 2 – child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the work/training/study test under section 14 of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999
• Priority 3 – any other child
9 First/Last Day Absence & Attendance Records Notice
9.1 You agree to attend on your child’s first enrolled day and last enrolled day within the two week booking period in order to receive your child’s CCB/CCR.
9.2 In the event Your child does not attend on the first and last day of care within the two week booking period CCB is not payable for those days.
10 Arrival and Departure and Late Collection
10.1 Late collection refers to the collection of a child after the stated closing time of the service.
10.2 Within any given 12 month period, parents who pick up their children after closing time, 6:15pm will: On the first, second, third and fourth times receive a fine as per Council’s Adopted Fees & Charges per block of 15 minutes or part thereof is to be paid within 14 days of an account being issued by council. On the fifth time receive a fine and their child’s position at the centre will be terminated.
11 Child Protection
11.1 It is a requirement of educators, as mandatory reporters, to notify the Department of Community Services and the police department if children are left in cars in the centre car park or within proximity to the service.
12.1 Council acknowledges and complies with confidentiality guidelines and legislative requirements as required.
13 Safety and Emergency Procedures
13.1 Whilst all due care and skill are exercised Council is not liable for any loss or injury incurred as a result of an accident on arrival to, departure from or during care within our services.
13.2 Council educators maintain first aid training and are equipped to handle emergency First Aid situations. Whilst all due care and skill are exercised Council is not liable for any loss or injury incurred as a result of an accident or during an emergency.
13.3 Council educators are trained to deal with such emergencies and at regular intervals fire drills are practised with the children.
14.1 Contact Numbers and Details You must ensure that all telephone contact numbers provided in The Registration Package are accurate. It is Your responsibility to ensure that any changes in Telephone Contact Numbers are notified immediately to Your child care centre and Children’s Services Customer Service Team.
14.2 Contagious or Infectious Diseases You agree to abide by the recommended exclusion guidelines the National Health and Medical Research Council. Council’s child care centres cannot provide care for the child in the event that the child is suffering from any contagious or infectious disease. You must not bring to the centre any child suffering from an infectious disease unless a medical certificate from a medical practitioner certifying the child is fit to attend the centre without risk to other children is provided. If Your child is diagnosed as having an infectious disease, You agree to notify the centre as soon as possible so that parents of other children at the centre can be notified. A medical practitioner’s clearance is required before Your child can return to the centre.
14.3 If Your Child is Unwell During Care Council agrees to contact You in the event that Your child falls ill during care. You agree for Your child to be collected as soon as possible. In the event that no contact is made on the primary contact number provided under this Agreement the centre will contact the secondary and subsequent numbers provided under this Agreement in order to make arrangements for the child to be collected as soon as possible. In the event that no contact is made or the child is not collected as agreed and the child care centre educators forms the opinion that the child’s health is at risk, the service will make arrangements for the child to be admitted to the casualty or emergency section of the nearest available public hospital.
15.1 You agree that details of all medicines required to be taken by Your child shall be entered by You onto the medication form each day at the centre.
15.2 You acknowledge that if those details are not entered onto the medical form at the centre on each day, the medicines required to be administered will not be administered at the centre by the Council or its educators.
15.3 You acknowledge that if Your child is undergoing ongoing medication (including Ventolin or Epipen), You shall supply details required by the Medical Management Plan, including an updated medical practitioner’s letter to Council annually or as changes to
15.4 Your child’s condition or treatment requirements during the period of Child Care.
15.5 You agree that no claim shall be made against Council where centre educators follow due procedure.
16 Immunisation Requirements
16.1 Your child must either be fully immunised, on a catch up immunisation schedule or have a valid exemption (for medical reasons) at the time they make their very first claim for childcare benefits.
16.2 You are required to provide the centre with a Medicare Statement or a current ACIR immunisation form.
16.3 Families of children excluded from the centre in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease, will be required to pay daily fees.
16.4 You agree to provide Council updates to Your child’s immunisation, supported by appropriate with documentation after each immunisation.
16.5 In the event that Council is not informed of updated immunisation, the child(ren) may be excluded by the Public Health Unit in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease. This includes children who are homoeopathically immunised.
16.6 The Family Assistance Office may cancel a family’s Child Care Benefits if they fail to provide Centrelink with current immunisation records. Council is unable to provide this information to Centrelink on Your behalf.
16.7 A child cannot start care until their current immunisation statement has been supplied.
17 Council Policy In Relation to Immunisation
17.1 Sutherland Shire Council will accept non-immunised children into its services.
17.2 In the event that your child is non-immunised, You will otherwise pay the full fee for accessing childcare services unless the child has a valid exemption for medical reasons or is on an approved catch up immunisation schedule.
17.3 Due to the health and safety of children in our care, should our records show that Your child is not up-to-date with their immunisation, they may be excluded from care in the event of an outbreak and fees still charged.
18 Childcare Benefits and Immunisation
18.1 CCB and CCR payments are conditional on all children up to age 20 years meeting current immunisation requirements.
18.2 Parents who have registered an objection to vaccination on the basis of personal or philosophical reasons will not receive CCB and/or CCR payments.
18.3 If Your child’s immunisations are not up-to-date, Centrelink will cease Your childcare benefit payments immediately (unless you have a valid exemption or are on an approved catch-up immunisation schedule).
19 Grievance Procedure
19.1 Sutherland Shire Council maintains a grievance procedure. You agree to follow this procedure in relation to raising matters of concern. All matters raised by both parties are to be kept confidential.