Woodlands - Kindergarten Enrolment Policy 

Beginning Kindergarten is an exciting and emotional time for children and families. It is important to manage this time with sensitivity and support, building partnerships between families and the Service. Such partnerships enable the Service and families to work toward the common goal of promoting consistent quality outcomes for individual children and the Service. 

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 6: Collaborative Partnerships

6.1

Supportive relationships with families 

Respectful relationships with families are developed and maintained and families are supported in their parenting role 

6.1.1

Engagement with the service 

Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in their service and contribute to service decisions 

6.1.2

Parent views are respected 

The expertise, culture, values, and beliefs of families are respected and families share in decision-making about their child’s learning and wellbeing.

6.1.3

Families are supported 

Current information is available to families about the service and relevant community services and resources to support parenting and family wellbeing.

6.2

Collaborative partnerships

Collaborative partnerships enhance children’s inclusion, learning, and wellbeing.

6.2.3

Community and engagement 

The service builds relationships and engages with its community

 

Education and Care Services National Regulations

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW 

77

Health, hygiene and safe food practices

78

Food and beverages 

79

Service providing food and beverages 

80

Weekly menu 

88

Infectious diseases

90

Medical conditions policy

92

Medication record 

93

Administration of medication 

96

Self-administration of medication 

97

Emergency and evacuation procedures

99

Children leaving the education and care service premises 

100

A risk assessment must be conducted before an excursion 

101

Conduct of risk assessment for an excursion 

102

Authorisation for excursions 

157

Access for parents 

160

Child enrolment records to be kept by approved provider and family day care educator 

161

Authorisations to be kept in enrolment record 

162

Health information to be kept in enrolment record 

168

Education and care service must have policies and procedures

173

Prescribed information is to be displayed 

177

Prescribed enrolment and other documents to be kept by the approved provider 

181

Confidentiality of records kept by the approved provider 

183

Storage of records and other documents 

 

Related Policies

 

Purpose

We aim to ensure children and families receive a positive and informative Kindergarten enrolment process that meets their individual needs. We strive to establish respectful and supportive relationships between families and the Kinder Teacher (ECT) and other Educators to promote positive outcomes for children whilst adhering to legislative requirements. 

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management, and visitors of the Service.

 

Implementation

Woodlands accepts enrolment for our Kindergarten program of children aged between 3 years (Early Start Kinder if eligible) - 6 years of age (funding can only be claimed for the year immediately prior to school). 

Woodlands run their Kindergarten program for 7.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, this allows parents the flexibility to access a funded Kindergarten program as suits their family and lifestyle.  Children enrolled in our Department Of Education and Training funded Kindergarten program (typically the year before they attend school), are required to attend a minimum of 15 hours per week or 600 hours per year to be eligible for funding.  Whilst children are able to attend more than one Kindergarten service they are only able to access funding at 1 service.  They must nominate this service at the beginning of enrolment, notifying both services of the nomination.

 

Early Start Kindergarten
Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) is a grant-funded by the Department of Education and Training (the
Department) that provides eligible three-year-old children access to up to 15 hours of free or low
cost kindergarten per week, including in areas with funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
This grant is available in both long daycare and sessional services where the kindergarten
program is delivered by a qualified teacher. A child can be placed in a Three-Year-Old
Kindergarten program, a mixed-age program or where early start enrolments are incorporated into
a four-year-old program.

 

Who is eligible?
The ESK grant is available for children who are:
 three years old by 30 April in the year they are enrolled
 either:
o from a refugee or asylum seeker background
o Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
o known to Child Protection.
 enrolled in a kindergarten program delivered by a Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)
registered early childhood teacher.


It is important to note that seeking evidentiary proof of eligibility for ESK can act as a barrier to
access for children that have the most to gain from engagement in early childhood education. It is
recommended that eligibility be established directly with parents or through referring professionals
such as maternal and child health nurses or family services workers. Eligibility can be established
verbally or in writing from a parent or professional supporting the family. No other action or
information is required to determine eligibility.


Once notified of a child’s eligibility for ESK, it is important to support their enrolment in a funded
kindergarten program as soon as possible. Children accessing ESK can be enrolled in a three-year-old group, a mixed age group, or a four-year-old group, and can be enrolled in multiple
groups in order to access up to15 hours per week.


Early Start Kindergarten is available to all eligible children during funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten roll-out
Funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten started in 2020 as part of a decade-long roll-out across
Victoria. It is important that all eligible children continue to access ESK, even if funded Three-YearOld Kindergarten is available. This will ensure that they can access the full 15 hours a week of
funded kindergarten in all service settings including long day care and that your service receives all
funding entitlements. For instance, ESK enrolments contribute to School Readiness Funding
calculations.

 

How to apply
Service providers should apply for ESK grants in the Kindergarten Information Management (KIM)
system as soon as the child is enrolled. Visit the KIM page for a reference guide on how to how to
complete an ESK or Access to Early Learning funding request.
Service providers not registered to use the KIM system should contact the appropriate
Departmental regional office.

 

Interpreting services
Interpreting services are available to help culturally and linguistically diverse families understand
more about ESK or kindergarten. Phone (03) 9280 1955 or email bookings@languageloop.com.au
for assistance.
More information on free telephone, video and on-site interpreters for eligible early childhood
services can be found through Use an Interpreter. This page also includes a tip sheet developed
by Foundation House for working effectively with interpreters to support refugee families.

 

Early Start Kindergarten in sessional or long day care
ESK is available in sessional kindergarten programs or in kindergarten programs integrated into
long day care.

- ESK in sessional kindergarten programs – Service providers must offer children eligible
for ESK up to 15 hours per week of the kindergarten program free of charge.
- ESK in integrated kindergarten programs – In kindergarten programs at a long day care
service, ESK can be used in conjunction with the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child
Care Subsidy. Where ESK children have additional fees for childcare hours outside the kindergarten program, long day care providers should use all available additional funding to reduce or waive fees and
provide all kindergarten hours free of charge.

 

Early Start Kindergarten extension grants
The ESK extension grant is available for children in the year before school who are:
 eligible for the kindergarten per capita grant but not eligible for the Kindergarten Fee
Subsidy, and
 from a refugee or asylum seeker background, or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, or
known to child protection. A child is not required to access ESK in the previous year to
access the ESK extension grant.
Service providers should apply for ESK extension grants when entering the child as a ‘Year Before
School’ enrolment in KIM. This can be done as part of annual confirmation or as an adjustment if
the child enrols after confirmation.

 

Further guidance
Staff in Departmental regional offices can assist families with any queries about ESK or any other
kindergarten program; Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs) can assist with questions
about ESK for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children; and Early Childhood Learning
Advisers can assist with questions about ESK for children in out-of-home care.

 

Early Start Kindergarten

Three-year-old Aboriginal children and children are known to Child protection or referred to Child FIRST, Integrated Family Services or Services connect are eligible for Early Start Kindergarten grants whereby free or low-cost kindergarten up to 15 hours per week with a qualified teacher can be provided. Funding is available to enable these children to access two years before school.

Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) provides eligible three-year-old children to access free or low-cost kindergarten of up to 15 hours per week by a qualified Bachelor trained teacher.

Applications for Early Start Kindergarten are made by (name of service) on your behalf and the grant provided by the Department Education and Training is paid directly to our service.

 To be eligible; 

  • Your child must be aged three by 30th April in the year they will be attending kindergarten, and:
  • Your family has had contact with child protection or been referred to Child FIRST, or
  • Your child is Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (for more information see the brochure “Early Start Kindergarten for all Aboriginal and/or Torres/Strait Islander children.

 Children who have accessed Early Start Kindergarten are also eligible to access free or low-cost four-year-old kindergarten in a long daycare service.

 If you feel you may be eligible for this support we encourage you or a professional involved with your family to discuss this with the Centre Manager and all information will remain confidential.

Information about Early Start Kindergarten can be found at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/parents/kindergarten/pages/earlystart.aspx

 

Enrolments will be accepted providing: 

  1. The maximum daily attendance does not exceed the licensed capacity of the Service 
  2. The priority of Access Guidelines for Kindergarten Funding and CCS are followed
  3. A vacancy is available both for the booking required and the agreed number of children is in accordance with the licensing requirements
  4. The adult to child ratio is maintained in each room 

 

Priority Of Access Guidelines

The Department of Education and Training has set the priority of access guidelines for all children’s services eligible for Child Care Subsidy.  Every Child Care Subsidy Approved childcare service is required to abide by the guidelines that families will be informed of during the enrolment process. 

The Priority Lists are used when there is a waiting list for the Service or when a number of parents are applying for a limited number of vacant places. When families apply to join the list they are asked a series of questions to determine their particular circumstances. A scoring system is applied based on their responses. This determines their child’s place on the waiting list. As places become available they are offered to those highest on the list as stated in the guidelines above. 

For children with a disability and/or developmental delay accessing the kindergarten program, we request that parents provide us with contacts of professionals involved with the child to support their inclusion, full participation, and engagement in the program. Additional funding and resources may also be available to support your child.

As part of the enrolment process, we encourage a face to face meeting with you and your child to understand the needs of your child/children. We may request your consent to liaise with professionals involved with your child to plan appropriate support to enable their full participation and engagement in the kindergarten program to support their learning and development.

The Department Of Education and Training Priority of Access, which the Service must follow when filling vacancies, include:

Screen_Shot_2020-08-27_at_11.34.48_am.png

Upon enrolment families will be informed of their priority and directed that if the Service has no vacancies and their child does not meet the priority of access guidelines, it may be required that their child leave or reduce their days in order to make a place for a priority child. 

A child enrolled in a long daycare service is not eligible for a Kindergarten Fee Subsidy where approved Child Care Benefit ( a Commonwealth Government Subsidy) is applied to the fee charged for the time spent in the kindergarten program. In this case, long day care services should ensure families eligible for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy are aware that they may be able to access a 15-hour kindergarten program free of charge at another service.

Service providers can apply for the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy for eligible families ONLY if the child enrolled in a long daycare service where fees for the kindergarten program are charged separately, and where fees paid for the kindergarten program does not attract the Approved Child Care Benefit.

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/parents/child-care-kindergarten/Pages/how-much-kindergarten-cost.aspx

 

Early or Late Entry to Kindergarten 

Woodlands will encourage families considering early or late entry to kindergarten to seek advice from early childhood professionals to inform their decision. This could include a prep teacher or principal at the family’s school of choice, a Maternal and Child Health nurse, family doctor or speech therapist. The Early Childhood Teacher will also meet with the family to discuss their professional opinion about whether the child would benefit from late or early entry into a kindergarten program, based upon observations and summative assessments completed by Educators at the Campus, or observations of the child during orientation visits, or conversations (with parental permission) with previous educators for new children to the campus

For children born between 1 January and 30 April, parents have a choice about whether they commence school in the year they turn five, or in the following year, and therefore whether they commence kindergarten in the year they turn four or the year they turn five.

Woodlands will:

  • encourage families to carefully consider the best time for their child to start kindergarten, as all children learn and develop in different ways
  • encourage families to consult with relevant early childhood professionals for guidance
  • provide families with advice and reassurance about how the kindergarten program will support their child’s learning and development
  • advise families that children are expected to complete a full year of kindergarten in the year they enrol and begin attending and that funding is limited to one year for each child (unless they are eligible for an Early Start Kindergarten grant or the second year of funded kindergarten).

 

School Readiness Funding and Data Collection 

Woodlands being in receipt of Kindergarten Funding will also receive School Readiness Funding.  The amount of School Readiness Funding is dependent upon the needs of the children, as determined by their parent/guardian occupation and education information.  This information is known to be a good predictor of educational disadvantage.  Funding allocations are based on the information for the funded children the previous year.  The highest Secondary and Tertiary Education level, and occupation and occupation group of each parent information will be collected on the Kindergarten enrolment form each year.  Kindergarten enrolment forms will not be accepted without this information completed correctly.

 

Enrolment

When a family has indicated their interest in enrolling their child in our Service, the following will occur:

  • The full name, residential address, place of employment and contact telephone number of a parent, or parents.
  • The highest Secondary and Tertiary Education level, and occupation and occupation group of each parent.
  • The full name, residential address, place of employment and contact telephone number of a person who may be contacted in case of an emergency concerning the child if a parent is unable to be contacted. The parent must nominate who can be contacted in the case of an emergency or for the collection of the child.
  • The full name, residential address, place of employment and contact telephone number of any person authorised to collect the child from the Service. The parent must nominate who can be contacted for the collection of the child.
  • The gender of the child.
  • Provision of care – if care will be a routine and/or casual etc 
  • Agreement on Fee information 
  • Any court orders or parenting agreements regarding the child.
  • The primary language is spoken by the child; if the child has not learnt to speak, the child’s family’s language.
  • The cultural background of the child, including ATSI if applicable.
  • Any special requirements notified by the family, including for example cultural or religious requirements.
  • The needs of a child with a disability or with other additional needs.
  • A statement indicating parental permission for any emergency medications (Ventolin/ Asmol, Paracetamol or Epipen) to be administered to the child whilst at the Service. Only a parent on the enrolment form can authorise the administration of medication.
  • A statement indicating parental permission for any emergency medical hospital and ambulance services.
  • The name and address and telephone number of the child’s doctor.
  • The child's Medicare number.
  • Specific healthcare needs of the child, including any medical condition including allergies, including whether the child has been diagnosed as at risk of anaphylaxis.
  • Any medical management plan, anaphylaxis Medical Management Plan or Risk Minimisation and Communication Plan to be followed with respect to a specific healthcare need, medical condition or allergy.
  • Details of any dietary restrictions for the child.
  • The immunisation status of the child.
  • CRN for child and claimant.
  • Birth Certificate. 
  • Child Care Subsidy Assessment confirmation 
  • Confirmation of enrolment

 

Enrolment Pack

Once the enrolment has been confirmed, families will be provided with an enrolment pack which consists of:

  • Current fee structure and payment details
  • Parent Handbook
  • Information on the National Quality Framework, National Quality Standards, the Early Years Learning Framework, and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
  • ECA Code of Ethics brochure

 

Orientation at the Service 

During the orientation of the Service, families will be: 

  • Provided with an outline of the Service policies which will include fees payment, sun safety, illness and accident, and medical authorisation
  • Shown the signing in/out process 
  • Spoken to about appropriate clothing worn to the Service, including shoes
  • Informed about children bring in toys from home
  • Introduced to child's Educators
  • Taken on a tour around the Service
  • Discuss medical management plan and allergies completed on file (if applicable)
  • Advised about Xplor Home, how this is accessed and shown the basics of the app 
  • Introduced to the room routine and Service program. 
  • Informed about Service communication – meetings, interviews, newsletters, emails etc.
  • About Hats and Sunscreen 
  • Able to set Family Goals for their child

 

Management will ensure: 

  • Kinder Additional information form is completed accurately and in its entirety
  • Inform the Kinder Teacher of the new child who will be in the room, highlighting any medical conditions, interests, needs, and strengths
  • The child is added to Service’s medical and dietary listing and distribute (if necessary)
  • CCS Agreement is completed and confirmed in My Gov
  • Families are provided with an orientation survey to complete within the first 6 weeks of starting to gain feedback about the orientation and enrolment process. 
  • Child Care Subsidy is explained to families

 

Child Care Subsidy  

  • Families will need to complete the ‘Child Care Subsidy Assessment’ Task online through the myGov website. 
  • Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction 
  • Families will contribute to their child care fees and pay to the Service the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount 

 

Enrolment Record Keeping                                

Our Record Keeping Policy outlines the information and authorisations that we will include in all child enrolment records

 

On the child’s first day:

  • The child and their family will be welcomed into their room for the first day.
  • They will be greeted by one of the educators who will show them where to sign in and out, discuss what is happening in the room, and show where the child’s locker is located.
  • Management will ensure the orientation checklist has been completed and all required documents and information have been received from families. 

 

Source

 

 

Review

 

Date Reviewed 

Modifications

Next Policy Review Date 

October 2017

Updated the references to comply with the revised National Quality Standard

 

September 2018

May 2018

Updated to comply with Child Care Subsidy changes. (Related changes highlighted in blue)

 

September 2018

 

January 2020

Branding and formatting updated

Policy links added

Service-specific information amended not affecting the delivery of policy

Updated information added to comply with Kindergarten Funding and  Early Start Kinder requirements

September 2020

December 2020

Inclusion of Early or Late entry to Kindergarten information

School Readiness Funding and Data Collection

Source updates to include Kindergarten Funding and School Readiness Funding Guides

September 2021



 

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