Open Arms Care Children’s Services assists in enabling parents to pursue work, study, training or other activities in the knowledge that their children are being cared for in a safe and happy environment. Children’s Services offers the following programs:
- Out of School Hours Care (including Vacation Care) in Bellingen and Urunga.
- Family Day Care covering from Bellingen to Corindi Beach.
Information for Families
Absence from Childcare
Ref: CCMS Children’s Service Handbook
CCS is paid for up to 42 absence days for each child per financial year across all approved long day care centres, family day care & specialised outside school hours care services. Absence days can be taken for any reason. FLOOD DAYS, when children are unable to reach their childcare service, or the service is closed and normally attend on the day, fees are charged, CCS paid, and the days will count as absences. If a local emergency occurs, these absences are not included in the 42-day annual cap for absences.
Additional Absence Days
Ref: CCMS Children’s Service Handbook
Once the 42 hours have been used CCB is also payable for absences taken for the following reasons: Supporting documentation is required.
Illness with a medical certificate Exceptional circumstances Pupil free days Rotating shift work Attendance at pre-school Non-immunisation (Conscientious Objector) Court ordered shared custody Periods of local emergency Rostered days
Signing In and Out
When dropping off, picking up your child/ren at your centre you will need to sign your child/ren in and out. This paperwork is required by regulations and government policy for CCS payment. You may choose other adults (Authorised Nominees) to deliver or collect your child, but this permission must be in written form before it occurs. If this person is not known to the educator, then they must supply photo ID before the child can leave with this Authorised Nominee.
Complaints & Grievance Procedure
Complaints and grievances will be dealt with in a constructive and respectful manner. The following procedure will ensure this:
1. A verbal complaint or grievance, or a completed complaint form, or written grievance will be lodged with the service’s Nominated Supervisor. Informal discussion takes place to resolve issue.
2. If an informal discussion fails to resolve the issue the person lodging the complaint/grievance can submit a formal written grievance or submit the complaint form, in confidence to the CEO.
3. The CEO will request a report from the Nominated Supervisor regarding the unresolved complaint/grievance.
4. The person lodging the grievance may be invited to attend a meeting with the CEO and relevant staff, (if appropriate) so that a resolution is reached and outcomes clearly explained.
5. If unable to be resolved at this level, the formal written report detailing the nature of the grievance will be submitted in confidence to the President, Open Arms Care Inc, Shop 9-10, 31-33 Bowra Street Urunga 2455.
6. The person lodging the grievance may be invited to attend the next meeting so that a resolution is reached, and outcomes clearly explained.
7. The Board Executive of Open Arms Care Inc will conduct a grievance resolution meeting with all parties involved, in an atmosphere designed to facilitate open discussion.
8. If unable to resolve at this level, the OAC Board will provide the person lodging the grievance with the relevant government contact details where the grievance may be lodged. A report will be issued, signed by the Executive.
If a family parent, educator or staff member chooses to complain to an external agency they are free to do so, and Open Arms Care Inc. will support them as required.
Open Arms Care Inc. – Chief Executive Officer Clayton Sippel
Open Arms Care Inc. – Board President/Approved Provider Ian Willis
NSW Department of Education
Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate Information and enquires team 1800 619 113
Community Services Division of the NSW Ombudsman 1800 451524
Open Arms Care Inc. Family Day Care Scheme collects your personal information to meet regulatory requirements and to assist us in meeting your childcare needs as requested. The information collected will be held in the strictest confidence and will only be disclosed to authorised officers of the service, or authorised persons as specified by law or public health and safety requirements. You can gain access to your personal information by contacting the FDC office.
Sun protection and clothing
Children must be adequately protected when outdoors, parents need to provide:
• Sunscreen (permission will be obtained at enrolment for use)
• Sunhat, sufficient clothing & footwear according to the weather
All clothing, footwear etc must be clearly labelled with your child’s name.
If there is a court order relating to the custody of your child/ren please let the Coordination Unit and your educator be aware of this. The scheme and the educator are to sight and keep a copy of any court order affecting the custody of the children in their care.
Educators follow an Infectious Disease and Exclusion Policy, and in accordance, do not accept sick children into care. If a child becomes ill during the day, parents will be contacted to pick up their child/ren – fees are still charged for booked hours. Parents still must pay for this booked care. A medical certificate or written statement from the parent or the scheme explaining the child’s absence is required to support the claim for CCS as an additional absence day if 42 absences have been used.
If an outbreak of an immunisable disease has been present at the service, then all non-immunised children will be excluded from the service. The child will not return until there are no more occurrences of that disease at the service and the recommended minimum exclusion period has ceased. Full fees will still be charged for any absences.
Parents need to sign a Medication Authority Form for all over the counter and prescription products of health and medical treatments, which have been prescribed by a Medical Practitioner as per Administration of Medication Policy. Parents must provide a treatment plan signed by a medical officer e.g., diabetes, asthma, anaphylaxis, epilepsy for any ongoing medications. A Medical Risk Minimisation Plan will be completed by the Educators and the parent before a child can commence care for any children that have intolerances, allergies, anaphylaxis or other medical conditions. This will be reviewed every 12 months.
An Ongoing Medication Authority form may be obtained by the parent/guardian at enrolment for children who need medication daily or weekly.
1. Parents must supply the scheme with a current Medical Management Plan, which has been supplied by a Medical Practitioner.
2. A Medical Risk Minimisation Plan will be completed by both the family and the educator to ensure all educators and families are aware of responsibilities and actions required to keep the child free of medical risks.
3. A Copy must go to the educator/ centre & one to the Children Services office.
4. If the child’s medical condition changes, the family will need to inform the service and complete a new Medical Management Plan and Medical Risk Minimisation Plan.
It is Open Arms Care Inc. Family Day Care policy that all parents are responsible for providing their child with enough healthy food during hours of care and that no child should be without food or drink for more than 2 hours at a time.
When a child is not collected
When a child is not collected from the service at the arranged time, the educator will make every endeavour to contact the parent, or contact person nominated as the emergency contact on the enrolment form. After a reasonable time (2hrs) should the educator not be able to contact any of the above then they will phone the Nominated Supervisor who will contact the Department of Community Services and/or the Police.
Collection of Children
The Education & Care National Regulations state that a child will only be released to the authorised persons as nominated, in writing by the parent at enrolment. The educator will not release any child to a non-designated person.
Parents need to be informed of any excursions or outings planned by the service, with a signed permission form being completed before children leave the premises. Excursion Risk Assessment forms need to be completed by the Services with parents sighting them before routine and non-routine excursions takes place. For routine excursions parents must sight and sign at the beginning of the year to give permission.
Each Service has their own emergency evacuation and lockdown procedures, including flood, storm and bushfire procedures. When you commence care we recommend you become familiar with these procedures, in case an emergency such as these should occur.
Child Care Subsidy
Families need to understand that the Child Care Subsidy is determined by their child’s attendance in care and that it is a criminal offence to provide inaccurate information about their child’s attendance at their childcare service.
Please help to ensure that your claims for Child Care Subsidy are correct by:
- Using your pin to sign the attendance record at the time of arrival and departure each day, to accurately reflect the time your child is in care for.
- Only signing forms that are complete and accurate (never sign a blank form) where the child attends or where an allowable or approved absence is used. When you sign a Family Day Care attendance record you are stating the record is correct.
- Do not permit your Educator or another person to use your pin number. School age children arriving or departing unaccompanied may be signed in or out by the educator.
- Childcare Subsidy cannot be paid for an absence before the child has actually attended care or when a child has left care in lieu of notice.
- Asking for a receipt for the money you pay.
The NQF (National Quality Framework) is a key mechanism for raising the quality of provision in settings catering for young children. The NQF includes a National Quality Standard (NQS) and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
The NQS has seven quality areas:
- Educational programs and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Governance and Leadership.
The NQS is based on a quality improvement model and educators in settings where it applies will develop a Quality Improvement Plan, which describes the steps they will take to raise the standard of provision over a period.