River Heights Child Care Centre is a safe, caring and nurturing environment which has been established to provide home like care for children from birth to six years. We believe that by providing a positive and stimulating environment based on “home”, each child will develop to their full potential. To view the River Heights website click here.
Children develop best in an environment that is familiar and secure the term “home” best describes this environment for us. The centre is a “home” shared by many families including the staff, parents, children and community.
We honour diversity in our community and believe that all children are special and different from each other. This difference manifests itself in many ways including culture and disability; all are accepted and valued. This diversity is a major strength of the Australian culture and should be nurtured and supported. With this in mind all aspects of your child’s care will be based on your child’s needs. Each child is respected and nurtured to stimulate growth in confidence and self esteem.
We believe that establishing a collaborative partnership between parents/staff/children/community is central to a quality Early Childhood Program. Parents/family and their contributions are essential to our centre, at enrolment parents/families are asked many questions about their child’s interests needs and especially routines. Parents/families are welcomed, supported and valued in our setting.
The children have the opportunity to think for themselves, develop independence, a sense of sharing and co-operation in an unstructured environment. We provide a program incorporating many varied activities and uses of developmentally appropriate equipment suited to that learning and development. The children are encouraged to explore, make decisions and find understanding and meaning in their work. One of the things we offer is a prep-for-school program which emphasizes language, literacy and numberacy.
The physical setup of the centre and outdoor play areas allow for all types of play, from boisterous to quiet and peaceful. Allowances are made for individual space to small group activity.
Daily activities for the children are many and varied, and like any home have a familiarity that supports development. Children participate in many learning environments including life skills/routines, artistic activities, thinking, investigating exploring and problem solving. Communication and the development of a healthy self image as well as the skills to socially interact, morally behave and self expression are the key areas of our program.
Programs are kept as flexible as possible in order to meet the special needs and expressed interests of individual children as well as the group. The program at River Heights is a “live document”, this means that when we display the program at the beginning of each week the staff, children, families and community are encouraged to contribute to the program development. The physical setup of the centre and outdoor play areas allow for all types of play, from boisterous to quiet and peaceful. Allowances are made for individual space to small group activity.
Hours/Days/Weeks of Operation
River Heights Child Care Centre operates between the hours of 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday, 51 weeks per year with the exception of Public Holidays. The centre is closed for 1 week over the Christmas period.
Full Day Program – Maximum of 29 children per day, aged birth to 6 years old, consisting of different attendance patterns ranging from 1 to 5 day placements. Children are divided into age related groups; groups may also be determined by attendance patterns.
Staffing is arranged according to Licensing Regulations of minimum:
- 1 adult to 3 children under 2 years of age
- 1 adult to 5 children 2–3 years of age
- 1 adult to 11 children 3-6 years of age
The Licensee and Director are qualified ECTs and are responsible for the day to day running of the centre. They are supported by four diploma qualified educators.The Director is available every day.
All staff are involved in and committed to ongoing training and professional development. The Centre has a commitment to an intensive in-service program, parents are welcome to participate in these when topics are appropriate. Click here for information about staff and Centre contact details.
Priority of Access
At the discretion of licensing, families utilising this service will be admitted according to the Priority of Access Guidelines as set down by the Government.
Priority One: Children at risk of serious abuse and/or neglect.
Priority Two: Child of a single parent who satisfies or both parents who satisfy the work, training study test (section 14 of the New Tax System ACT 1999).
Priority Three: Any other child.
Priority Four: Parents at home with one or more children under 5 years old.
Priority will be given to siblings of those children already attending the centre.
Priority will be given to those children who are under 3 years of age.
All names of interested parties will be eligible to complete a waiting list form and will be placed on the list.
When a child is placed on the waiting list, the applicant will be told that they will only be notified when a place becomes available.
All entries to the waiting list will be dated and filed in order of date of entry within priority category.
Decline of a position will mean removal from the waiting list or replaced to the end of the waiting list and given a current date.
No fee is required to be placed on the waiting list.
Parents on the waiting list will be advised when a place is available in the centre and invited to enrol their child by:
- Visiting the centre with the child (if possible).
- Completing an enrolment form
- Proof of Immunisation Status.
Daily Fees $73 per day per child 0-3yrs $70 per day per child 3-6yrs (please note, fees may increase at intervals, contact the centre for the most up to date information about fees and charges)
Fees are payable weekly or fortnightly and in advance (2 weeks minimum). For parents’ convenience payment may be for longer periods if desired.
Government Fee Assistance
Child Care Benefit – (ALL families eligible for assistance)
River Heights Child Care Centre is registered for Government Child Care Benefit. All families are welcome to apply with Centrelink, who will determine the level of assistance available.
Child Care Benefit is only available upon Centrelink advising the Centre of the level of assistance and is limited to 20 hours per week per child where one parent is not working, studying, training or looking for work – some exemptions apply. The Assistance is also linked to the child’s immunisation status. Please note we are a 'No Jab, No Pay' service in accordance with the Children's Services Department Act of 2016. Government forms may be required to be completed concerning these issues.
If you have any queries about the scheme please ask the Director for information.
Absences – (linked to Child Care Benefit)
The Child Benefit is available for a total of 30 days per financial year across all approved services with some exemptions available.
Attendance and Settling In
This is as individual as your child. They may experience periods of distress, even after being in the centre for a while – this is natural.
- Parents are encouraged to stay as long as they like, however, in some cases it may be more appropriate to leave your child and maybe return early to spend time with them.
- Ensure you say good-bye before you leave, and don’t bribe your child to stay and be good.
- Please speak to the staff if you are worried or unsure of what to do, and together we can decide on the best way to handle the situation.
Arrival and Departure
Parents must sign the In Register at the entry and take your child to a staff member.
Your child needs to be collected on time and the Out Register signed after informing a staff member of your arrival.
Your child will not be allowed to leave with another person unless that person has been authorised by you. An authorisation for another person to collect your child must be written into the Centres Diary that morning. Ensure that you update your enrolment information regularly to ensure appropriate people have access to pick up your child.
In case of emergency parents/guardians may phone the Centre to make special arrangements. As in all cases the authorised person must be over the age of 18 years and must bring photo Identification to pick up the child/children. The Centre Staff will check the authenticity of the contact person by phoning them back on a number from the child’s enrolment form to verify the callers identification and authority to make new arrangements.
Special Note: These documents are a legal requirement for access to CCB Eligibility. Failure to sign your child in and out can create a loss of parents' CCB entitlement.
Late Pick Up Policy
Notification to the centre is required if you are going to pick up your child at a time later than on the In/Out Register. This will allow the staff to inform your child that you will be late, so as to reduce any concerns they might have.
The staff will follow the following procedures if a child is still at the centre after 6.00 pm:
- Attempt to contact primary care giver
- Attempt to contact emergency contacts that a parent has nominated on enrolment forms
- If by 6.30pm these steps bring no solution, then staff have no alternative but to take the child/ren to Goulburn Police Station
Please remember that our team of caring staff will do all that is possible to contact you and will only follow the last step as a final resort.
Only those persons listed on a parents authorisation form shall be given access to the child. Where there is a major concern regarding the well being of the child the authorised supervisor will take the following steps:
- Attempt to contact primary caregivers
- Attempt to contact emergency contacts that a parent has nominated on enrolment forms.
Once all these avenues have been exhausted the Authorised Supervisor has the ultimate discretion to allow the child to leave or not/
In cases of court orders issued by the Family Court which denies the non custodial parent access to the child, the Director must be given a copy of the court order. The Director cannot deny access to the child unless the relevant document has been sighted. The centre must have a copy of the order and any alterations registered by the court.
Recording Children's Progress
The Centre is required to keep development records of your child’s progress. These are in the form of portfolios, the information in these portfolios is accessed during the year to develop a program around your child's needs encompassing the new ideals of the Emergent Curriculum. Currently these records cover your child’s development in the following areas:
Physical, Social, Emotional, Language, Literacy and Numeracy – By doing this staff are better able to plan the teaching program to meet the needs of the individual and group.
If the staff identifies a child who may need special education or medical help we would speak to you and can work in close liaison with other professional agencies e. g. speech therapists and physiotherapists.
We must emphasise that these and all records and information are confidential and are only used by staff and the Children’s Services Adviser. Portfolios are available to the child, their parents and family and centre staff they are kept on display in each room. You DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to any portfolio but your child’s it is imperative that you respect their confidentiality. Staff are bound by Government regulations concerning confidentiality issues in all area relating to the centre.
Our policy is to use positive guidance practices so as to encourage children to freely co-operate and develop their ability to considerately interact with others and their environment. Discipline is based on developing control of self and understanding of other people’s needs, rights and feelings. (Catch them doing the right thing).
Carers are sensitive to children’s needs and aim to enhance a positive self esteem. Children are helped to learn what to do instead of what not to do through modelling, redirecting, praising of appropriate behaviour, etc.
Management Information - Parent Involvement
River Heights is a private Child Care Centre that is licensed too and managed by ISA Goulburn Pty Ltd as their representative Jan Green is responsible for the centre. Jan and our Director Robin are qualified and experienced Early Childhood teachers who is dedicated to quality education for all children. Their vision is to provide a safe centre environment, with high quality staff to ensure a creative caring and learning facility. They are committed to providing a quality service to all children and their families, encompassing the ideals of the Accreditation System.
As this is a private centre there is no requirement for a management committee but parents are encouraged to participate in running of the centre through:
- Staff continually liaise with parents and families on a daily basis.
Policiies and programs are developed through these liaisons with questionaries with individiual families.
- Discussion at Social Club Meetings that are held 2 to 3 monthly.
- Informal discussions at any time with staff/management.
- Communication via, information book, newsletters, and notice board etc.
- Participating in the Centre Program by:
- Commenting and reporting on program activities
- Being welcome at the centre at any time
- Sharing opinions on all areas of the centre eg the program, health issues etc
- Sharing skills and interests with the children
- Sharing aspects of their life – especially multicultural and social justice issues
- Sharing ideas of possible visitors to the centre, excursions etc
- Joining us for excursions
- Joining in special occasions at the Centre eg. Open Mornings etc
- Participating in Social/Educational events organised by the Social Club
Parents are not expected to assist in the daily running of the Centre via a Roster as it is recognised that they are busy with work and/or study, nor is there any fundraising for the financial upkeep of the Centre as this is a private centre.
(Any volunteers should be advised that a Working With Childrewn check is required as per Government regultations)
Any concerns, comments or grievances about any aspect of the Centre can be:
- Discussed with a staff member and/or privately with the Director or Licensee at an arranged time.
- Written anonymously through feedback and/or email/mail where they will be dealt with as timely and effectively as possible.