Wait List Policy

 CONTENTS

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Strategies for Implementation 
    • Management of the Wait List
    • Priority of Access Guidelines
  3. Legislation and Considerations
  4. Sources and Related Policies

1. POLICY STATEMENT

This policy has been developed to ensure fair and equitable access to education and care. The  Centre aims to respond to the needs of the local community and to be inclusive of all children and families.  As there will usually be more families requesting access than there are places available, there will be clear guidelines for the management of the wait list and for the allocation of places.

Our Centre will:

  • Develop transparent guidelines to manage the wait list;
  • Comply with the Priority of Access Guidelines set by Family Assistance Law and defined by NSW State Government Funding Agreements; and
  • Ensure care is provided to families using these priorities.

2. STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Management of the Wait List

A computerised waiting list will be maintained. Families apply for a place by completing a wait list form and paying a non-refundable administration fee of $20 per child. Payment of this fee does not guarantee placement.

The completed form will be filed according to the following criteria:

  • Priority of Access Guidelines (see below)
  • Date of birth
  • Date the application is received
  • Sibling attendance
  • Children of staff members

The responsibility of remaining in contact with the centre regarding placement lies with the family. The family may telephone to advise the centre of any changes to contact or placement details, and to enquire when a place is likely to become available. Failure to advise of changes to information could result in loss of a placement at the centre.

A child will remain on the list for up to twelve months after the preferred date of enrolment as indicated on the application form. Beyond that time, unless the family contacts the Centre to extend the application, the child’s name will be removed from the list.

Families will be contacted by telephone when an offer of a place is to be made. This can happen at any time during the year. If the family cannot be contacted after two attempts this will be noted on the list before moving to the next family.

An offer may be temporarily declined without jeopardising the position on the list. The position on the list will be held for either a period of six months or for another two offerings of placement. If after this time the position is not accepted the application will be removed from the list.

Families with a child already in the centre who wish to increase days will also be required to complete a re-enrolment form to increase care. These applications will be filed according to the criteria noted above.

Priority of Access Guidelines

The Centre will use the Priority of Access Guidelines to prioritise the wait list and to allocate available education and care places to families.

The Priority of Access Guidelines followed by Long Day Care and Outside School Hours Care services are set by Family Assistance Law. These are:

  • Priority 1: a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect
  • Priority 2: a 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.

Within these three priority categories, precedence should also be given to children in:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • Families which include a person with a disability
  • Families on lower incomes
  • Families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Socially isolated families
  • Single parent families

Whilst these guidelines are in priority order, child care needs are also assessed at the discretion of the Nominated Supervisor, based on:

a. The benefit to the child and family

b. The alternative arrangements reasonably available to achieve that benefit.

Families classified as low priority (non-working parents or two parent families with one working parent) can be required to reduce their hours at the centre should a family classified as a higher priority require care. This would only be done in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the parents or guardians.

The Centre endeavours to meet the needs of the children and families in our community while complying with the above guidelines.

3. LEGISLATION AND CONSIDERATIONS

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
  • National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care 2011 – 6.1.1, 6.3.3, 7.3.2
  • Child Care Benefit (Eligibility of Child Care Services for Approval and Continued Approval) Determination 2000 (subsection 2051 Family Assistance (Administration) Act)
  • Priority of Access Guidelines for child care services
  • Department of Education and Communities Funding Agreement
  • Family Assistance Law

4. SOURCES AND RELATED POLICIES

  • Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Child Care Service Handbook 2011-2012
  • Community Child Care Co-operative Ltd (NSW) – www.ccccnsw.org.au
  • Department of Education and Communities/Early Childhood education and Care -www.det.nsw.edu.au/what-we-offer/early-childhood-education-and-care
  • Enrolment and Orientation Policy
  • Fees Policy
  • Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
  • Safety Policy 

Policy adopted: 12 March 2015
For review: March 2017

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