Frequently Asked Questions
What are your fees?
Please contact the centre for our current fees.
What are your opening hours?
We are open Monday to Friday from 7:30an to 6:00pm We are open for 50 weeks per year, closing for 2 weeks at Christmas time as well as on all NSW Public Holidays.
What ages do you cater for?
We cater for 60 children per day from 6 weeks until 5 years.
How do I join your waiting list? Is there a cost?
There is no cost to join our waiting list. Head over to the Enrolment section of our website where you will find the link to complete our waiting list form. Once we have availability for you, you will receive an offer of care and be given a time frame to accept or request further information. If you join our waiting list in advance, we will touch base with you from time to time to make sure your details are correct and your circumstances have not changed.
Do you accept enrolments for just one day per week?
Although we always recommend a minimum of 2 days per week, you can choose just one day if you prefer.
What is your enrolment process – how do I enrol?
Your first step in the enrolment process is to come and meet us! Our friendly director or another member of our team will give you a tour of the centre, discuss your individual needs, answer any questions that you may have and give all of the enrolment information. You will then be sent an enrolment package via email outlining all the details of the enrolment process. We will just require the payment of the bond and enrolment fee to secure your position.
Do you have a bond?
Yes, our bond is equivalent to 2 weeks fees so will be calculated based on how many days you choose. The bond is refunded to you when you leave the centre in the future. We also have a $100 non-refundable enrolment fee
Can I come in for a tour?
Can I enrol online?
How far in advance can I enrol?
We can usually secure a place 4-6 weeks in advance if we have the availability. The exception to this is the start of the year. Bookings for January and February can be secured around October/November of the year before.
How much Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will I get?
MELC is approved for the purpose of CCS. The amount of CCS you receive is dependant on your individual circumstances. For an estimate on how much CCS you are entitled to, you can visit https://childcaresubsidycalculator.com.au/.
For further information on the CCS, you can visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy
How do I pay for childcare?
All families pay their fees through direct debit facilitated by ‘Debit Success’. Our direct debit is flexible to suit your needs in that it can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly and can be debited from your bank account or credit card. You can download our direct debit form from our Centre Resources page here.
Can my child come for an Orientation before they start?
Yes! We encourage you to bring your child in for an Orientation before they start. This is an opportunity for them to become familiar with the environment with you still with them. It is also a great opportunity for the educators to speak with you about your child and their needs. There is no charge for Orientation days.
What do I need to bring?
We provide most things that your child will need throughout the day. What you will need to bring is: - Bottle and formula (if applicable) - Cot/bed sheets (even if your child does not sleep) - Water bottle - 2-3 changes of clothes
Does my child need to be immunised?
The Federal Government has introduced new laws to encourage more parents to get their children vaccinated.
From 1 January 2018, all newly enrolled children must either be fully immunised, on a catch-up immunisation schedule or have a valid medical exemption to be enrolled in an approved childcare service. Children who are unvaccinated due to their parent's conscientious objection will no longer be able to be enrolled in any approved childcare service.
We do not currently have any children at our service who are not immunised.
Do you offer make-up days when my child is absent?
We do not currently offer make-up days as this is an unfair system. All absent days are paid for as normal. The Government does allow for 42 days of absence from the centre for holidays, sick days or special circumstances where your CCS is still paid as normal.
What if my child’s day falls on a Public Holiday?
MELC closes for all NSW Public Holidays. Fees are still charged on Public Holidays if it falls on a day that your child would normally attend. This is counted as an absent day for your child. The Government recognises that staff and operating cost still need to be paid on these days and continue to pay the Government subsidy on all public holidays even though the centre is closed.
What happens when we go on holidays?
Daily fees are charged as normal when you are on holidays for each day that your child is booked into the centre. The Government does allow for 42 days of absence from the centre for holidays, sick days or special circumstances where your CCS is still paid as normal.
What if I am running late to pick up my child?
A late fee of $30 for the first 15 minutes, or part thereof, and $1 per minute per after that applies for children collected after 6.00pm (by the Centre clock). Parents will be given a Late Fee Form to sign upon arrival at the Centre. Payment of any late fees will be added to your next direct debit.
Emergencies do occur and the centre understands this. In such an event, parents may be delayed and are asked to advise the Centre before closing time.
How can I see my child’s eating and sleeping information each day?
You will receive an email which we call a ‘daily journal’. At the bottom of this email is all of your child’s eating and sleeping information for that day. The educators will also often speak with you when you collect your child.
How do I know what my child does through the day?
Each room completes what we call a ‘daily journal’ each day through our wonderful program system, KindyHub! This email contains information about the day’s activities, what your child is learning about along with lots of photos and videos. This gets emailed to you on every day that your child attends. Head over to our Program section to read more about KindyHub and our program.
What do I do if I want to withdraw my child? Do I need to give notice?
We require 4 weeks written notice to reduce days or withdraw from the centre.
Being a Long Day Care centre, does this mean that you are not a preschool? What is the difference?
We are most certainly a preschool! The words ‘Long Day Care’ can often give families the impression that the service is simply ‘care’. We are much more than that! We provide the same program as any other preschool, we simply provide families with the convenience of longer opening hours.
Do you have a school readiness program?
Our preschool room provides a quality early learning program which has an emphasis on play-based learning. This program will give your child all of the tools they need to start school. Head over to our Resource Library see our ‘School Readiness & Transition to School’ booklet which outlines all of the different things that we do to prepare your child for school along with some other tips and tricks.
Do you offer Occasional Care?
We do not offer occasional care. However, existing families who are enrolled for at least one day per week are able to attend for additional casual days providing that the availability is there.
Can other people pick up my child?
When you enrol, you are able to specify the people who are allowed to pick up your child from the centre. If it is someone authorised who we have not met before, we will ask them for photo identification. We will never release your child to someone who is not on your authorised pick up list.
What is the EYLF?
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) has been developed to ensure your child receives quality education programs in their early childhood setting. The Framework’s vision is for all children to experience play-based learning that is engaging and building success for life. It is a guide for early childhood educators who work with children from birth to five years. They will use the Framework in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators, to develop learning programs responsive to children’s ideas, interests, strengths and abilities, and recognise that children learn through their play.
The Early Years Learning Framework describes childhood as a time of belonging, being and becoming.
- Belonging is the basis for living a fulfilling life. Children feel they belong because of the relationships they have with their family, community, culture and place.
- Being is about living here and now. Childhood is a special time in life and children need time to just ‘be’—time to play, try new things and have fun.
- Becoming is about the learning and development that young children experience. Children start to form their sense of identity from an early age, which shapes the type of adult they will become. Head over to our Resource Library to read more about the EYLF.
Check out our information sheets available in our Resource Library for more information about the EYLF.
What is the National Quality Framework?
The National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care across Australia. The NQF introduced a new quality standard in 2012 to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care services.
The NQF includes:
- National Law and National Regulations
- National Quality Standard
- assessment and quality rating process
- national learning frameworks.
Check out our links in our Resource Library for more information about the NQF.
What is play-based learning?
Here at MELC we run a play-based and interest-based program. Play is the way in which children naturally learn. They learn most effectively when they are relaxed and having fun. Children’s learning becomes meaningful when they are free to learn at their own rate and in their own way. A play-based program does not mean that the children just do what they like all day. In a play-based program there will be times when the children some together as a group, listen when others are talking, follow the rules of group living and begin to take responsibility for their actions and their environment.
Head over to our Program page to read more about play-based learning, why it is important and what it looks like in our setting.
I work close by. Can I visit my child during the day?
We understand that many of our families work close by and that you want to see your child throughout the day, however we don’t recommend this. Visiting during the day will likely upset your when you then leave again. When you arrive at the centre we want your child to know that you are going to take them home, not leave again as this can be confusing for them, especially when they are little. .
What if I am breastfeeding?
We encourage all mums who are breastfeeding to attend the centre at any time to feed your child. You are welcome to attend during lunch hours or during times that suit both you and your child. If you are not able to attend the service, then staff can provide bottles to your child using your expressed breast milk.
How can I be assured that my child is settling into their new environment?
Starting childcare can often be an emotional experience for both you and your child. It is a major transition in your lives where your child will be cared for in a new setting, by somebody other than a family member. It is very normal for children to experience difficulties separating from you in the morning and we do expect there to be a transition period. Children all vary in their ability to settle into a new environment. Some children will adapt and settle very quickly, where others may take longer.
We aim to have consistency of staffing to allow for relationships to be formed between educators, children and families. We encourage parents to contact the centre any time during the day to enquire about their child and how they are settling.
Head over to our Resource Library for some tips and tricks on settling your child into care.
Do you provide Halal food?
Yes! We have a wonderful catering company, Kids Gourmet Food, that provides our meals and they are Halal certified. Head over to our Resource Library to view our full menu.
My child has food allergies, are these catered for?
Our Catering company, Kids Gourmet Food, cater for all allergies and dietary requirements that may arise. If your child has allergies, we will work with you prior to enrolment to develop a medical management plan and risk minimisation plan to minimise any known risks. Head over to our Resource Library to view our full menu.
What are your staff qualifications?
We have a wonderful team of educators here at MELC. Our educators vary in qualifications based on their role within the centre. Head over to our Educators section and read the profiles of our wonderful team!
What if my child gets sick?
If your child becomes unwell while at the centre, we will contact you straight away. The centre has illness and infection control procedures in place that adheres to recommendations set out in the ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’ manual. We will notify you of any exclusion periods for illnesses at the centre. If your child is unwell at home, we do ask that you do not bring them into the centre. We want to support all family’s need for childcare, however the parent must realise that a child who is unwell will need one-on-one attention. This places additional pressure on staff ratios and the needs of other children.
Head over to our Resource Library to see our full Illness and Infectious Diseases Policy along with more information about minimising the spread of infection and recommended exclusion periods.
What happens if my child hurts themselves during the day?
It’s not possible – or even a good idea – to protect your child from all the bumps, bruises, scrapes and falls of childhood. Educators take every effort to minimise the chance/likelihood of any accident happening at the Centre. They supervise children closely at all times and do so knowing the times and situations where accidents are more likely to occur. But from time-to-time, accidents will happen. Any accident or injury to your child will be dealt with immediately by our trained educators. An accident report will be completed with the details of the accident or injury and will be available for you to read and sign when you collect your child. Most often, you will be informed of your child’s injury when you collect them in the afternoon/evening. If the injury is a little more serious, you may be given a courtesy call to let you know that the accident has happened. In some incidences, you may be required to collect your child to seek further medical attention. All educators at MELC are first aid trained.
What if my child has Asthma or another medical condition?
In most cases, this is no problem. We have specific polices surrounding Asthma and other medical conditions. We will work with you to develop a management plan to minimise any known risks. All of our educators are first aid trained and trained in emergency management of Asthma and Anaphylaxis.
What do I do if my child needs medication?
Only prescribed medication or medications accompanied by an Emergency Action Plan or an authority letter from the child’s doctor can be administered by educators. The exceptions to this are: - Nappy rash cream - Bonjella Teething Gel - Topical remedies for bites/stings - Creams for non-contagious skin conditions such as eczema - Children’s Panadol.
Head over to our Resource Library to see our full Administration of Medication Policy.
What support is available for children with additional needs?
We are passionate about ensuring all children have access to early learning and have facilities and resources in place in our centre to support children with specific requirements or additional needs, from allergies to greater care needs such as physical or learning disabilities or behavioural concerns. Please speak with the Centre Director about how we can work together to support your child's individual needs.