Early Learning customers

Please note fee changes will be effective from Monday 8 July 2024.

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We maintain a comprehensive library of policies and procedures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children in our care.

These documents are developed under legislative requirements, industry frameworks and our own internal review processes. The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 is the primary source of regulations within the child education and care sector.

Policy and procedure documents are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Families will be notified directly of updates which impact their daily experience with our services.

Accessing our policies and procedures

A copy of each policy and procedure document is kept on site at each of our services. You can request copies when in-centre for drop off or pick up. Alternatively, you can request a copy by completing our contact form.

You can also find policies for our Early Learning programs in the Family Handbook.

Below we have summarised a set of key policies, procedures and terms and conditions which involve the daily use of our services.

  • Acceptance and Refusal of Authorisations

    It is the parent's or guardian’s responsibility to:

    • Read and comply with the policies and procedures of the service
    • Completing an enrolment form for their child before they commence in the service; including the authorised nominee section of their child’s enrolment form
    • Sign and date permission forms for excursions
    • Sign the attendance record as their child arrives and departs from the service
    • Providing written authorisation where children require medication to be administered by educators, including signing and dating the Medication and Administration and Authorisation Form
    • Providing the service with any legal documents/court orders when in place
    • Updating authority to collect information when there is a change in who can make decisions on behalf of them.
  • Accident and injury

    In the case of an accident or injury, staff may inform you via telephone of the situation that has occurred, the first aid treatment provided and an overview of how your child’s condition.

    We may ask you to please collect your child to seek further medical advice / attention.

    Where a serious injury or illness has occurred, and further medical help is sought by by either us or the family, the centre will follow the Incident Management Procedure. An ambulance is called in the first instance for all serious incidents at the centre.

  • Administration of Medication

    All parents or guardians are responsible for:

    • Full disclosure of all relevant information that is required to manage the medical or health condition during the time the child attends the service, including status of the child’s health and details of possible side effects of the medication and any allergy reports, asthma plans or details of ongoing conditions or treatment
    • Officially transfer the holding of the medication and authorise the YMCA to administer the medication by completing the Administration of Medication Record upon arrival at the service
    • When collecting their child, parents must co-sign the Administration of Medication Form
    • Sick children who are receiving medication must have completed a full dose over a 24 hour period before returning to the service
    • The education and care service can request a written confirmation of medical health information from a child’s medical practitioner via the parent/guardian where a previous formal diagnosis has not been made by a medical practitioner.
  • Anaphylaxis

    Parents or guardians of children diagnosed with anaphylaxis (a severe allergy, for example an allergy to nuts or penicillin) are responsible for:

    • Informing staff of their child’s allergies when they enrol or are diagnosed
    • Developing an anaphylaxis risk minimisation and communication plan with staff – which is reviewed every 12 months
    • Provide staff with a coloured ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis, and colour photo of child signed by a registered medical or nurse practitioner, accompanying adrenaline auto-injection device and any other medication specified on the action plan
    • Provide written consent for staff to administer medications specified on the child’s ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis by completing the Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Medication Authorisation & Sign in Log
    • Regularly check the expiry dates of the adrenaline auto-injection device and other medication specified on the action plan
    • Notify the staff of any changes to their child’s allergy status and provide a new ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis in accordance with these changes
    • Comply with the service’s policy and procedure that no child who has been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injection device is permitted to attend the service or its programs without that device (in date), ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis, risk minimisation and communication plan.
  • Anti-bias

    At the Y we believe our staff, children, families and members of the community all contribute to the rich and diverse abilities, cultures, languages and religions from around the world.

    We view this as a fantastic opportunity to deliver an inclusive non-bias service where staff support children with knowledge and understanding, and through role modelling effective and respectful interactions.

  • Arranging another person to pick up your child

    If you have arranged for a person to pick up your child from our services on your behalf, you will need to complete the following actions:

    • Provide written notice via email to your service a minimum of one day prior. 
    • Update your child's online enrolment form to include this person as an authorised nominee with authority to collect your child.

    This person must present their photo ID to YMCA staff upon collection.

    The contact email of your service is listed under the "Contact us" section of their site profile.

    Sign into My Family Lounge to update your child's online enrolment form and register this person as an Additional Contact.

  • Behaviour guidance

    Our staff regularly participate in training and professional development to support and facilitate positive behaviour and interactions.

    For behaviour guidance to be effective, it needs to be both positive and consistent. Through the use of positive reinforcement, acceptable behaviours are encouraged in an ongoing manner.

    For further information on our behaviour guidance practices, please speak to your Centre Manager.

  • Bottle Safety and Preparation

    All parents or guardians are responsible for:

    • Read and comply with the policies and procedures of the service.
    • Clearly label their child’s bottle with their child’s full name
    • Label all bottles containing breast milk or formula with the date of preparation or expression
    • Be encouraged to supply breast milk in well labelled, multiple small quantities to prevent wastage
    • Be encouraged to keep formula powder at the centre so that the formula can be prepared as required. Tins of formula must be clearly labelled with the child’s full name.
    • Be asked to provide a labelled bottle(s) for use at the service for children having regular cow’s milk and other types of milk in their bottles
    • Ensure breast milk arrives at the service in an insulated bag
    • Be encouraged to communicate regularly with educators about children’s bottle and feeding requirements.
  • Casual Booking Voucher Terms and Conditions

    The following terms and conditions apply to the use of Casual Booking Vouchers at YMCA Early Learning Centres that are operated by YMCA Victoria.

    • The Casual Booking Voucher is valid for one child to receive a single day of free childcare at the nominated centre listed on the voucher.
    • Bookings are subject to availability at the nominated centre.
    • The Casual Booking Voucher is only valid for the Long Day Care and Integrated Kindergarten programs available at YMCA Early Learning Centres.
    • The Casual Booking Voucher expires 12 months from the issue date outlined on the voucher. The expiry date is the last day the voucher can be redeemed; it will not be accepted after this date.
    • The Casual Booking Voucher is non-refundable and not redeemable for cash.
    • The holder of the Casual Booking Voucher must complete the YMCA Children’s Programs enrolment and booking process to utilise the voucher. The holder must submit a Casual Booking request via My Family Lounge and present the physical voucher at participating centre on the day of care.

    Learn more about our enrolment and booking process or sign into My Family Lounge to submit your casual booking request.

  • Child safe environments

    The YMCA has a strong commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, upholding Child Safe Standards and the safeguarding of children and young people.

    Each staff member undergoes training in this area and can make a notification to the Department of Human Services Child Protection Unit where it is considered under reasonable grounds that a child is in need of protection (please see our Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy for further information).

  • Confidentiality

    Our staff maintain confidentiality in all matters at all times with specific emphasis on protecting children’s rights.

    At no stage will personal information of families and staff be given to a third party (except where required to be given to DET, DHHS or Worksafe in regards to reporting incidents, injuries or child protection matters).

    Please refer to the YMCA Victoria Privacy Policy for further detailed information. 

  • Delivery and Collection of Children

    All parents, guardians or authorised nominees are responsible for:

    • On arrival parents or guardians or authorised nominees bringing the child to the service are responsible for signing the child into the service on the Attendance Roll. This includes indicating time of arrival and providing a signature next to the child’s name for hard copy rolls. Where electronic software and devices are utilised sign in will occur when the parent or guardian or authorised nominee logs into the device.
    • The parents or guardians or authorised nominees responsible for dropping off the child at the service must ensure that an educator is aware of the child’s presence before leaving the service
    • On collection parents or guardians or authorised nominees collecting the child from the service are responsible for signing the child out of the service on the Attendance Roll. This includes indicating time of departure and providing a signature next to the child’s name for hard copy rolls. Where electronic software and devices are utilised sign out will occur when the parent or guardian or authorised nominee logs into the device.
    • The parents or guardians or authorised nominees must ensure that an educator is aware that they are collecting the child/ren from the service
    • Presenting photo identification when asked by educators to confirm identity as authorised person against child/ren’s Enrolment Record
    • The name, contact number and address of all people authorised to collect the child must be included in the child’s Enrolment Record. Any changes to these details must be advised in writing or via online account where electronic enrolments are in place, as soon as possible
    • Completing an Enrolment Record annually for their child/ren, which is signed and dated via hard copy or online account where electronic enrolments are in place
    • Ensuring the authorised nominees and emergency contact list on the child/ren’s Enrolment Record is kept up to date
    • Providing written authorisation where children require medication to be administered by educators by completing the Medication and administration and Authorisation Form upon arrival to the service.
    • Providing written consent for staff to administer medications specified on the child’s ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis by completing the Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Medication and Authorisation Sign in Log
    • Notifying the service if they are likely to be late collecting their children
    • In the event of a child being picked up from the service after closing time, a late fee specified in the service Family Handbook will be added to the invoice. Government funding, such as CCS, does not apply to late fees.
  • Emergency procedures

    We have a procedures for a variety of emergency situations and these are available at our centres. Emergency evacuations drills are undertaken and equipment checked regularly throughout the year, as per the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011.

    Fire threat

    In the event of a bushfire threat, we will declare a Code Red and act in line with the Department of Education and Training guidelines. Once a closure has been confirmed the service will not re-open on that day, regardless of a change in weather conditions or status of the fire threat. On days of extreme smoke exposure, the service will be open but an inside program will be in operation.

    Pollen and air quality

    In the instance of high to extreme pollen warnings or smoke pollution, inside activities will replace any planned outside programs. Excursions will also be cancelled under these circumstances and families will be made aware of any rescheduling arrangements.

  • Enrolment and Orientation

    All parents or guardians are responsible for:

    • Ensuring all information relating to the child is current and provide updated information when requested by the service or whenever details provided on the enrolment form or supporting documentation are no longer current, this includes information such as children’s medical conditions and immunisation status
    • Informing the service in writing of the cancellation of care or of any requests to change days or sessions adhering to the applicable notice period
    • Ensuring all details are updated when required with the Family Assistance Office or Centrelink
    • Reading, understanding and agreeing to the relevant service Family Handbook, policies and procedures prior to attending the service for the first time and when requested thereafter
    • Ensuring your child’s enrolment records are reviewed and updated annually. This can be completed on the online portal by re-submitting your child enrolment form or completing a new paper based form where applicable
    • Providing a current Immunisation History Statement from the AIR; and
    • The statement must show that the child is up to date with all vaccinations that are due for their age, or they are able to receive, as per the National Immunisation Program
    • Where relevant; ensuring information relating to child/ren’s medical condition/s, medical action plans, court orders, other legal orders, parenting plans and behaviour support plans are included with the children’s enrolment record.
  • Exclusion on the condition of illness

    Our exclusion policy varies dependent on the condition or illness. YMCA Children’s Services follows the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, Staying Healthy in Childcare. We also follow YMCA policies set out in the Family Handbook and on our website.

  • Illness

    In the interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of all children and educators, children who display signs of illness must be kept at home. It is our responsibility to protect all children, families and staff from the spread of infectious diseases at the service. As a parent you know your child best, so if there is any change in their general health or wellbeing please keep them at home and seek medical attention. Please let the service know if your child is not attending because they have been diagnosed with an infectious illness.

    If your child becomes unwell at the service, they will be immediately monitored, have their symptoms recorded and you will be informed by telephone. If this occurs, you may be asked to collect your child earlier than usual. If a temperature of 38 degrees is registered, you will be contacted via telephone and if it continues to rise and/or your child has appearances of being unwell you will be asked to collect your child.

    Educators may administer paracetamol (with guardian’s authorisation) to assist with keeping your child’s temperature at bay whist you make your way to collect your child. For the wellbeing of all children, a 24 hour exclusion from care will be required following a high temperature, vomiting or diarrhoea, unless a doctor’s certificate states otherwise. Please refer to Exclusion Periods for Primary Schools and Children's Services for more information. 

    Please note, no refunds are offered for illness. Please refer to Approved Absences for more information about Centrelink approved fee assistance for days of illness.

    Educators are required to notify all parents when a child attending the service has contracted an infectious disease. This will be communicated via a notice displayed prominently in the entrance to the service. Fact sheets relating to the illness/infectious disease will be made available on request.

    The Department of Health have published an Exclusion table which can be used to determine exclusion periods (if required).

    We follow the advice of the relevant government body should specific measures be required following a notification of an infectious disease.

  • Imagery

    With your permission, photographs will be taken of your child while at our service.

    On enrolment parents / guardians are requested to acknowledge whether you allow your child to be photographed. These photographs will be used to document your child’s progress, internally for display at your child’s centre, and for future programming purposes only.

    If we wish to use photographs for external marketing and promotional purposes, additional written permission will be sought from families.

    Under no circumstances are families, staff, students or visitors allowed to use personal devices to take photographs or videos of children in our care.

  • Immunisation requirements

    ‘No Jab, No Play’ is the name of legislation that requires all children to be fully vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption to be enrolled in childcare or kindergarten
    in Victoria.

    Evidence of up-to-date immunisation must be provided prior to your child commencing at our service. An Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register can be used as evidence of up-to-date vaccination. An Immunisation Status Certificate from a medical doctor or a local council immunisation service may also
    be used.

    Other immunisation records, such as ‘homeopathic immunisation’ or a statutory declaration from you are not acceptable.

    Immunisation History Statements are available on request at any time by contacting Medicare via phoneemailonline or in person at your local Medicare service centre.

    To find out about the 'No Jab No Play' and 'No Jab No Pay' legislation in relation to CCS entitlements and immunisation requirements, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

  • Inclusion

    At the Y, we are strong advocates for children.

    We believe that all children have the right to access and participate in high quality programs and services. We respect the diversity and individuality of identities and abilities and promote the benefits of inclusive practices.

    We work in partnership with children, families, staff and other key health professionals to ensure inclusion and a sense of belonging and empowerment in accordance with the Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP).

    If your child requires additional support, please contact your Centre Manager for further information.

  • Making changes to a child's care arrangements

    We understand families may need to make changes to their child’s care arrangements, including permanent booking cancellation.

    In this instance we ask families to provide a period of notice which varies based on the service your child attends.

    • One week's notice is required for our Before and After School Programs and School Holiday Programs.
    • Two week's notice is required for our Early Learning programs (including Long Day Care and Kindergarten).

    Families can submit their notice by selecting the "Change to child's care arrangements" field when completing our current families contact form.

    Our Customer Service Team will review your form submission and pass notice onto your Centre Manager or Program Coordinator.

    Alternatively, families can submit their notice to their centre/program directly via email.

  • Medical Conditions

    All parents or guardians are responsible for:

    • Informing the service of their child’s medical conditions upon enrolment, and informing the service of any specific requirements that their child might have in relation to their medical condition
    • Ensuring an up to date medical management plan is provided to the service upon enrolment or before first attending the service for children with a specific health care need, allergy or relevant medical condition that requires a medical management plan. Children who require a medical management plan will not be able to attend the service if the plan is not available or is out of date (more than 12 months old)
    • Provide the service with a coloured medical management plan and colour photo of child signed by a registered medical or nurse practitioner and accompanying medication specified on the action plan
    • Provide written consent for staff to administer medications specified on the child’s medical management plan by completing the Medication Administration and Authorisation Record
    • Regularly check the expiry dates of any medication specified on the child’s medical management plan
    • Developing a Risk Minimisation and Communication Plan in conjunction with the service that is reviewed every 12 months
    • Assist staff by offering information and answering any questions regarding their child’s medical condition
    • Notify the staff of any changes to their child’s medical condition and provide a new medical management plan in accordance with these changes
    • Provide written consent via the enrolment record for service educators to administer first aid and call emergency services if required
    • Comply with the service’s policy and procedure that no child who has been diagnosed with a medical condition is to attend the service or its programs without a current medical management plan and any medication prescribed on the child’s medical management plan.
  • Medication

    If your child requires medication, please complete all details on the Authorisation to Administer Medication Form and give the medicine to a staff member upon arrival.

    A copy of the Administration of Medication Procedure can be requested at the centre. Please ensure this is handed to a staff member on arrival (and not left in the child’s bag).

    Medication will be administered if:

    • It has been prescribed for the child by a registered medical practitioner.
    • It is in the original bottle or packaging with the original label that bears the name of the child to whom the medication is to be administered.
    • It is in date (not passed expiry/best before date).
    • A parent / guardian (as listed on the child’s enrolment form) has provided written permission for staff to administer the medication.
    • It has been entered in the medication register or detailed in the child’s medical management plan.
    • The first dose has been administered by the parent/guardian at least 24 hours prior to attendance at the service in case of an adverse reaction.
    • Two Early Childhood Educators are present to administer and supervise the correct dosage of medication.

    Reminder: Medication is not to be left in children’s bags. If a child has a temperature and requires Panadol or Nurofen, they will be deemed to be too unwell to attend the program.

  • Medication, allergies and medical management plans

    If a child with a chronic illness or medical condition, for example but not limited to asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or anaphylaxis is enrolled, details of the medical condition must be recorded on the child’s Enrolment Record. An individual risk minimisation plan will be developed in consultation with the family and a medical management plan prepared by your child’s physician must be formalised prior to the child commencing at the service.

    Should educators require any specialised training to assist them in the daily care of the child, this must be arranged prior to the child commencing at the service. Any medication or equipment identified on the medical management plan must be provided to the early childhood service. If this is not provided or has expired then the child will not be able to attend the service until this is made available, so as to ensure the health and wellbeing of the child.

    It is imperative that medical management plans are kept up to date. Medical management plans should be reviewed by the parent/guardian in collaboration with the child’s physician annually and if changes are made to the plan then this must be confirmed in consultation with the child’s physician and communicated to the service as soon as practicable.

    Specific information regarding medical conditions, asthma, anaphylaxis and diabetes can also be viewed on our website or requested at the centre. These policies actively support your child and family through vigilant collaboration to maintain safe experiences at the Y. All children that have been diagnosed with any medical condition or allergy must provide the service with a current Medical/Allergy Management Plan completed by a doctor. Details of any subsequent triggers, reaction identification information and first aid details are also required to be documented in the Medical Management Plan.

    A Risk Minimisation Plan will then be prepared in consultation with your Centre Manager/Coordinator prior to your child attending the service. All staff are informed of individual children’s requirements, and the Medical Management Plan and Risk Minimisation Plan are available for all staff to view. Guardians are required to ensure Medical Management Plans are current (updated annually) and if required, further meetings will be arranged to ensure consistent communication of relevant information.

  • Onsite location of policy and procedure documents

    Our policies and procedure documents are kept onsite at each of our program locations. Families can request to view a copy when next in centre.

    In addition, families can request a soft copy from our Customer Service Team by completing our current families contact form.

    If you require these documents in a language other than English, please indicate this when completing the form and we will do our best to support.

  • Priority of access

    The Australian Government has priority of access guidelines for CCS approved services where waitlists are in place. This ensures the system for allocating places to families is fair and can be found on the Department of Education website, or you can speak with your Centre Manager for more information.


  • Safe sleep and rest

    We have developed a safe sleep and rest policy within our policies and procedures due to changes to the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations.

    Regulation 168 in the National Regulations, ‘education and care services must have policies and procedures’ has been amended to include a requirement for a policy on, ‘sleep and rest for children and infants’, including matters set out in Regulation 81 (sleep and rest).

    Our policy and procedure is based on current research and recommended evidence-based principles and guidelines from the recognised national authority on safe sleeping practices for infants and children.

Your feedback is welcome

We welcome feedback from families to ensure our polices and procedures meet their needs. 

We review all feedback and pass submissions onto our management team for consideration. 

If you are a current family with feedback on these documents, please submit it via our contact us form.

 

Learn more about our programs