Enrolment and Orientation Policy

CONTENTS

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Strategies for Implementation
    • Pre-enrolment orientation
    • Next steps
    • Enrolment
    • Prior to formally commencing at the service
    • Upon commencement
    • Consecutive days for enrolment
    • Enrolled days
    • Casual vacancies
    • Siblings
    • Custody arrangements
  1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
  2. Related Guidelines, Standards, Frameworks and Other Sources 

 

  1. POLICY STATEMENT

Enrolment and orientation procedures form the foundation for strong relationships between families and early education and care settings and promote a quality experience of education and care for children.

Good procedures include consistent information around service operation and authorisations promoting compliance and a safe and secure environment for children and families.

It is the Centre’s policy to ensure the following goals are met:

  • Enrolment and orientation processes are planned and implemented;
  • Due consideration is given to culture and language in undertaking these processes;
  • Appropriate documentation, including authorisations, are completed during the enrolment and orientation process;
  • A thoughtful process is planned in consultation with families, to orient a child and family to the Centre.

 

  1. STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Pre-enrolment orientation

Our Centre welcomes visits from prospective families and children. The Nominated Supervisor or delegated authority may provide the visiting family with a tour of the service environment and provide information that may include:

  • service philosophy and curriculum;
  • approaches to documentation, curriculum and planning;
  • introduction to educators and staff;
  • the physical environment;
  • administrative matters, cost, and fee payment methods;
  • how to provide feedback.

Next steps

Following a pre-enrolment orientation, a family may wish to place their child’s name on the waiting list. After consideration of access guidelines and availability of a position by the Nominated Supervisor, the child may be offered a position at the Centre, following the requirement of consecutive days (see below). The family will be asked to accept the offer of the position. Upon acceptance, collection of a bond is required to be paid as outlined in the Fees Policy. 

Enrolment 

The Nominated Supervisor will initiate the enrolment process following the acceptance of an offer. 

An enrolment package will be given to the family and will include: 

  • An enrolment form that includes information set out in Regulations 160-162; 
  • A Privacy Statement attached to the enrolment form;
  • Current fee structure and payment details; 
  • An information booklet on the Centre; 
  • Policies including, but not limited to, those required under Regulation 168; 
  • Information on National Quality Framework, National Quality Standards, and the Early Years Learning Framework; 
  • Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics brochure; 
  • Orientation checklist; 
  • Feedback form; 
  • Information on Child Care Subsidy 

The information in the enrolment package is retained by the family for future reference. 

Prior to conducting the enrolment interview the Nominated Supervisor should consider the language and cultural needs of the family. A translator may be required along with an alternative venue for the enrolment visit. 

During the enrolment interview, an orientation process will be planned in collaboration with families to provide the best possible start for the child at the Centre. 

Families will provide the following, prior to the agreed start date for the child: 

  • A completed enrolment form including authorisations; 
  • A bond payment as outlined in service fee policy; 
  • Current Centrelink issued Immunisation status; 
  • Birth Certificate, Passport or other identification; 
  • Current contact information for parents and emergency contacts; 
  • Information on children’s additional needs (including medical conditions, health and developmental concerns). 

This information will be kept at the Centre’s premises in accordance with service policies and the Education and Care Services National Regulations.

Prior to formally commencing at the service: 

  1. Educators and staff will familiarise themselves with information about the child from the enrolment information provided. They will ensure they are aware of any medical conditions and how to manage them if required. 
  2. The Nominated Supervisor will inform the educators and staff of the intended time for any pre-commencement orientation visits. 
  3. A family member will remain in the premises during these orientation visits. The family must sign the visitors book/register on arrival and when they leave. The child cannot be left at the Centre until they have formally commenced at the Centre and are therefore not included in the ratios. 
  4. During the pre-enrolment orientation visit educators and staff will interact with the child and actively encourage them to engage in the Centre program and activities. They will also be available to the family to answer any questions they may have, whilst ensuring they are not compromising the supervision of other children or required ratios. 

Upon Commencement 

On the child’s first day of attendance, educators and staff will welcome the family and the child, ensuring that there is a space ready for the child’s belongings. Educators will reassure the family and assist with separation if required. Throughout the day, educators will contact the family to let them know how their child is settling. 

The Nominated Supervisor will undertake a final check of enrolment details, authorisations and information updates prior to the family departing the service. 

Consecutive Days for Enrolments

Positions for children will be offered on consecutive days. This is to maximize the support of children’s learning and their development of relationships with other children and their educators. Should there be extenuating circumstances that would mean non-consecutive days are more beneficial for a child and their family, the Director may choose to offer non-consecutive days. The final decision on this rests with the Director, who will take into account the learning and wellbeing of the child along with the financial viability of the centre in making his or her decision. 

Enrolled days

Enrolment days must meet the enrolment pattern provided by the Centre. Enrolment patterns available are as follows:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,
  • Monday and Tuesday
  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Thursday and Friday.

Families must notify the Director in writing should they wish to change the pattern of enrolled days or reduce the days their child attends. Approval for any changes will be at the discretion of the Director to ensure that the Centre can fill the vacancy to avoid leaving single day vacancies. This means that dropping a day or days will only be possible if it does not leave a single day vacant that cannot be filled. Again, this remains at the discretion of the Director, who will take into account the learning and wellbeing of the child, the family’s needs along with the financial viability of the centre in making his or her decision.

Casual Vacancies

The Centre will give current enrolled children the opportunity to use extra casual days for care when available. At times a vacancy may exist in a room due to planned absences e.g., a family taking a holiday. The vacancy may be used by another child where the parent/guardian cannot find alternative care arrangements. Extra day/s can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance and will only be provided at the discretion of the Nominated Supervisor if they become available. The licensing criteria must be maintained at all times. Once the day is confirmed by the Nominated Supervisor fees will apply in the same manner as weekly bookings and the parent/guardian will be charged 85% of the full day rate for the extra day/s. If a child that has been granted an extra day but does not attend due to sickness they will not be charged for that day. 

Siblings

The Centre will endeavor to place siblings of children who are:

  • currently enrolled
  • currently enrolled but leaving by the time the sibling starts
  • have had a sibling enrolled at the Centre in the past.

Siblings will not receive automatic placement.  The parent/guardian should complete a waiting list application form and the child will be placed on the waiting list.  As a vacancy becomes available the sibling will be considered, taking into account:

  • when placement on the list was made
  • priority of access

All efforts will be made to place the sibling, but due to the priority of access guidelines and the length of the Centre’s waiting list, no placement guarantees can be given.

Custody Arrangements

The Education and Care Services National Law requires our service to have details of all custodial and access arrangements.

  • Enrolling family members are responsible for informing the Director of custody and access arrangements upon enrolment and must advise the Director immediately of any subsequent alterations to these arrangements.
  • All relevant legal documentation is to be shown to the Director and a copy will be maintained in the child’s enrolment record.

 

  1. MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REVIEW

This policy will be monitored to ensure compliance with legislative requirements and unless deemed necessary through the identification of practice gaps, the service will review this Policy every two years.

Families and staff are essential stakeholders in the policy review process and will be given opportunity and encouragement to be actively involved.

In accordance with R. 172 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations, the service will ensure that families of children enrolled at the service are notified at least 14 days before making any change to a policy or procedure that may have significant impact on the provision of education and care to any child enrolled at the service; a family’s ability to utilise the service; the fees charged or the way in which fees are collected.

 

  1. RELATED GUIDELINES, STANDARDS, FRAMEWORKS AND OTHER SOURCES 
  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations: Regulations 168(2) (k), 160, 161, 162, 177, 183
  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Public Health Act 2010 No 127: Part 5 Division 4, Section 87
  • Health records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)
  • Family Assistance Law www.dss.gov.au
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 5: Relationships with Children – Standard 5.1, 5.2 
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 6: Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities – Standard 6.1 
  • National Quality Standard, Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership − Standard 7.1 
  • Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) – www.cela.org.au

Policy Reviewed: 15 May 2019

For review: November 2020

 

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