Permanent and casual bookings
To support our families, we offer the flexibility of both permanent and casual bookings to best accommodate your needs.
A permanent booking ensures your child is guaranteed a regular place on your preferred days, giving your child a sense of stability and belonging to their environment.
We understand families need flexibility. Casual bookings are subject to availability. To ensure every child’s safety, our programs have a set number of places available and will not operate above legal child to staff ratio.
You can read more about permanent and casual bookings for early learning in the YMCA Children’s Programs Early Learning Family Handbook.
Prices vary from centre to centre - you can find your Early Learning Centre for more information. Prices may be reduced if you are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy.
Is your child child attending kindergarten in 2021? Families can expect to save around $2,000 over the 2021 calendar year for each child enrolled in our funded kindergarten programs. This additional funding is part of the Victorian Government's Free Kinder initiative.
How to make a booking
If you're new to our program, follow the steps at the bottom of this page to start your enrolment and bookings process.
Enrolments and bookings are managed through an online system called My Family Lounge.
This paperless system allows you to:
- enrol your child/ren in our programs
- submit a new booking request
- manage existing bookings
- update your details
You can access My Family Lounge on your desktop or mobile (download the app via the App Store or Google Play).
Already have a My Family Lounge account with YMCA Children's Programs? Sign in here. If not, follow the instructions at the bottom this page.
Our team is always here to help you by answering your questions and make getting started as easy as possible. We welcome the chance to support you through this process by completing our enquiry form or look forward to meeting you in person at one of our YMCA Early Learning Centres.
Find out more about the early learning bookings process in our family handbook.
Choose your Early Learning Centre
The first step in the booking process is finding out which Early Learning Centre location you would like your child to attend.
Submit an enquiry
Once you know which Early Learning Centre is the one for your child, complete our general enquiry form to contact your chosen centre and enquire about a place for your child (make sure you select your chosen centre in the drop down list).
Confirmation of availability
Once you have submitted your enquiry form to your chosen Early Learning Centre, they will contact you shortly and confirm whether they have availability for your child.
Register for an account
Once your chosen Early Learning Centre has confirmed availability for your child, you should create a My Family Lounge account. To create an account, go to the booking portal. You will be asked to set up an account with a username and password.
Once you have registered you will be sent an email with a link to follow to complete your enrolment.
Information you need to get started
As you complete your enrolment you will be asked to provide certain information in order to secure a spot for your child.
We suggest preparing the following documentation before setting up an account:
- Contact information: Contact information is required for the person who will be responsible for the account. Please note: The primary contact would also be the parent or guardian registered for Centrelink benefits.
- Secondary contact: You will also be asked to add a secondary contact, which is the additional parent/guardian.
- Billing information: Your child cannot commence care with us until a payment method has been set up. Please provide the following billing information: credit card details or bank card details.
- Action plans, birth certificates and immunisation history statements.
Completing the enrolment form
You can complete your child's enrolment form by actioning the following:
- Enter the primary contact details for the person who will be responsible for the account. Add the secondary contact which is the additional parent or guardian.
- For each child you are enrolling you will be asked to complete a separate enrolment form.
- Add which centre or service you want to attend.
- Provide any medical or dietary requirements for your child are provided.
- Upload action plans, birth certificates and immunisation history statements.
- Choose your preferred payment method. Remember, your child cannot commence care with us until a payment method has been set up.
- Read all the information thoroughly. It is important you feel informed and confident before starting care with us. Almost there...please read and agree to the terms and conditions of the YMCA and type your name in the box.
- Submit! Click on the submit button when you have completed all of the above. If something is missing, any areas still needing information will be highlighted red at the top of the page.
Submitting a booking request
Submitting a booking request for your child's preferred start date and day(s) of care puts their name on the waitlist at the centre you have selected.
Booking requests are made via your My Family Lounge account clicking 'new request' under the 'booking request' section. Please follow the guided four step process and click 'save' once completed.
Our centre wait lists are maintained and reviewed to ensure fairness and equality for all families wishing to enrol their child at a YMCA Early Learning Centre.
Accepting your offer
Once you have received via email your offer of place for your child to attend, you will have three days to accept it. If you have not accepted your offer within three days, it will expire and those requested days will then become available to the next family who is on the wait list. You may resubmit another booking request and follow the same process.
Your child's orientation is a great time for us to get to know better your child; their individual routines, current interests and learning and development goals. Orientation at our centres involve up to three visits; starting with one hour and extending to three hours on the third visit. As a parent or guardian, you are required to stay with your child during these visits. It's important to us that you and your child feel comfortable and confident in a new environment. If you feel your child needs more then three orientation visits, please speak with your Centre Manager.
Find out more about the orientation process in our early learning family handbook.
Making a casual booking
We understand families may sometimes require additional days of care. Casual bookings are non-repeating, instant bookings subject to availability.
My Family Lounge features a dedicated 'Casual Bookings' section on its main dashboard. Families can make casual bookings for services their child is currently enrolled in.
Select 'add casual booking' to open a pop-up menu which summarises available bookings over the next 30 days. Identify your preferred day and follow the prompts to save you casual booking. The upcoming casual booking will the be displayed on the main dashboard.
Please note: To ensure every child’s safety, our programs have a set number of places available and will not operate above legal child to staff ratio.
Cancellations and waitlist
Permanent booking cancellations
Any cancellations or changes to permanent bookings require two week’s notice in writing in advance of your final booking. Child Care Subsidies cannot be paid by Centrelink after the last day your child attends our program. As a result, any CCS would need to be removed on the final day/s of your child’s care, on which your child did not attend. You will be required to pay full fee if your child’s care starts or ends in an absence. The full fee would apply to the final day of absence, including any absences leading up to this final day.
Casual booking cancellations
Casual bookings also require families to provide notice of cancellation for any reason. Where possible, we require seven days written notice (for example an email to the centre) of a casual booking cancellation. Any casual bookings cancelled with less than seven days until the day of care will incur the full program fee (less any childcare subsidies). If you are unsure of any terms involved in this process or have additional questions, please contact your centre directly and they will be happy to assist.
Enrolled families seeking additional/alternative days or new families requiring care will be added to the waitlist once a room reaches capacity. The list is managed in accordance with Priority of Access specifications (which can be found in the policies and procedures section) and in date order of enquiry. It is your family’s responsibility to inform the centre of any changes to personal information or care requirements during the waiting period.