Starting Your Preschool Journey
To assist the children in settling in comfortably and happily, we have an ‘easing in’ program. The group will be reduced by half for the first week of Term 1. Children will attend for half the session time. This will help children to settle in and adjust to the new Pre-School environment. It also enables the educators to observe and get to know the children. Be prepared for your child to be hesitant and reluctant for you to leave their side. As you know, children vary in their reactions and behaviors. Give your child time to adjust, be patient and understanding while he/she learns to cope with this new situation.
Information regarding the staggered intake has been included in information packs distributed at the AGM.
Confidential Record Form
This must be fully completed before we can accept responsibility for your child. All children must have at least one emergency contact other than their parents. If your child has any medical conditions such as asthma or allergies we need a copy of their management plans. Copies of Intervention Orders, Family Court and Custody Documents must be left at the kindergarten for record. Please advise the Teacher if there are any family problems the kinder should know about.
We have also included a questionnaire to find out a little more about your child and your family to help us get to know you better and plan appropriately. We would really appreciate you filling it out and returning with the Confidential Record Form.
The Management Committee is a fundamental component of the Pre-School. They offer their time, effort and knowledge for the ongoing benefit of the kindergarten and all the children attending. The Pre-School Committee is a group elected annually at the Annual General Meeting by the parents. Meetings are held monthly, on a night determined by the incoming committee.
There will be a minimum of two Early Childhood Educators working within each of our Pre School groups. One will be a fully trained Early Childhood Teacher assisted by a trained co-educator. Both have important and complimentary roles within the program. Co-Educators help the teacher to meet all the objectives of the program, uphold the Pre Schools Philosophy, observe the children, document learning and share information, all of which forms the basis for creating interest areas and experiences for the children to explore whilst at Pre School. In addition they fulfil the important task of working with individuals and groups of children under the direction of the teacher. Co-Educators support families with day to day questions, however please direct any concerns or queries about your child’s progress to the teacher.
The Pre-School has access to a range of support services, depending on which age group your child is in (Priority is given to children in the year prior to school entry). These include a visiting Pre-School Field Officer and professionals within Community Health Centres and Specialists Children’s Services (Department of Human Services). Referrals can be made to the Pre-School Field Officer, who will visit individual children, observe them during a session and make recommendations. Following this, referrals can be made to a Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, Physiotherapist or Social Worker.
Children with additional needs will be included in the Pre-School program to ensure that they have equal opportunities to achieve their maximum potential.
Excursions And Visitors
The Pre-School program may incorporate special days, which can include inviting individuals or groups to the centre or excursions out of the centre to complement and extend the current program. This will be organised according to the children’s areas of interest and will vary from group to group and year to year within the Pre School.
Rostered Parent Helpers
A roster is compiled at the commencement of each term and all parents are invited to nominate a day, which is most suitable to them. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and caregivers are welcome to carry out this role if parents are unable to attend.
Parental involvement enriches the program in many ways:
• Participation in daily activities
• Opportunity to observe your child within the Pre-School program
• Increases scope for staff to work with individual children
• Children feel proud to have their parents attend their kindergarten
If you are unable to help on your rostered day, it is most helpful if you can arrange a swap with another person. If you are able to help in an emergency, or if you would just like to be a parent helper more often, please let the teacher know on Interview Day.
These are organised by the Maintenance Officer and are held once per term. They are usually for a specific purpose for example to repair and maintain equipment and/or tidy the Pr School grounds. Every family is encouraged to attend. Many hands make light work!
Arrivals And Departures
Please accompany your child into the building upon arrival at Pre-School. As per our ‘Delivery and Collection of Children Policy’ you will be required to sign the ‘Attendance book’, which will be placed at the Pre-School door. If you are unable to bring or collect your child from Pre-School, please inform us who will be doing so. Please remember that parental consent must be given to the pre-school before a child attending the centre is given into the care of any person other than the guardian of the child. That person will also need to be informed about signing the appropriate register and that they will need to bring a form of photo ID if they are unknown to staff members.
Although staff will attend prior to the commencement of sessions, the children will not be admitted prior to the starting time. This time is needed for preparation of the session. Please be punctual when dropping off and picking up your child.
If your child requires the administration of medication whilst at Pre-School, please consult staff to obtain the Medication Book to record all relevant details at the commencement of the session. As stated in our ‘Administration of Medication Policy’, medication cannot be administered without the appropriate authorisation from the child’s parent or guardian. Please also note that Ness Reserve Pre School does not supply paracetamol, children in need of paracetamol are in most cases better off at home. Please ensure any medication is given to staff and not left in your child’s kinder bag.
Procedures For Dealing With Illness And Emergency Care
Children who become unwell whilst at Pre-School will have their physical needs met and their parent or guardian will be notified immediately to come and pick up the child. If parents or guardians are unavailable then the authorised ‘emergency contacts’ will be contacted to pick up the unwell child.
Children who incur any physical injury whilst at Pre-School will have the appropriate first-aid treatment administered by staff. In the case of serious injury, the parent/guardian, or ‘emergency contacts’ will be notified immediately to enable the child to be taken (by the parent/guardian or ‘emergency contact’) to emergency treatment. Written Parental consent also needs to be given prior to the child’s commencement date, to allow the Pre-School to obtain emergency treatment should the parent/guardian or ‘emergency contact’ be unavailable.
What To Do In Case Of Illness
If your child has had a sleepless night, or is generally unwell, please keep him/her home even if the child wants to come. This is for the benefit of your child and the other children in the group. Notify the Pre School if an infectious disease is diagnosed and please consult the teacher when deciding when your child may return. Some conditions may require a doctor’s certificate of health. The Health and Community Services leaflet of Infectious Diseases is displayed on the notice board. Please refer to this is if you are unsure of the period of time your child should be excluded from kinder.
Refundable Maintenance Levy
The participation of parents/guardians is appreciated by the service. However not all families are able to take part. A refundable levy system has been re-introduced by the Pre-School. This levy will be refunded to parents/guardians as a discount on fourth term’s fees, on participation in specified activities which may include working bees, maintenance and gardening etc, or other fundraising activities. Further details are available in the Fees Policy. Please note that eligible concession card holders are not required to pay this levy.
Below is helpful information on easing your child in to life at kinder, and the structure and procedures of kinder life at Ness Reserve.
Hints On Preparing Your Child For Pre-School
Talk to your child about starting kindergarten in a positive way. For example, ‘Kindergarten is a place to make new friends, play games, learn new songs and do things they may not get a chance to do at home!’
Continue to give your child small duties to carry out around the house. Make sure the duties require only one or two simple directions. This will help build your child’s confidence and he/she will therefore be able to complete small tasks at kindergarten.