Boundary Lane Children's Centre
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The information below is contained in the Handbook. This page is to provide a quick reference to common questions.
- How do I enrol my child at Boundary Lane Children's Centre?
- What is the admissions policy?
- What is the policy for altering enrolments?
- What hours is the centre open?
- When is the centre open during the year?
- How many children attend the centre?
- How many staff are at Boundary Lane?
- How is the centre managed?
Routines for Parents
- How are children settled in when starting at Boundary Lane?
- What is the routine for parents when arriving and leaving the centre?
- What is the policy for collecting children?
- Is there a fine for late collection of children?
- What happens when fees are paid late?
- How are parents involved and kept informed about their child?
Routines for Children
- What is the sleep routine?
- How are meals served?
- What is the nappy changing routine?
- What is the toilet training routine?
- What is the policy on behaviour and discipline?
- What is the immunisation policy?
- What is the medication procedure?
- How is paracetamol (e.g Panadol) administered?
- What is the sun protection programme?
- What is the policy on smoking for staff?
- If my child falls ill, how long should the child be kept at home?
2. What is the admissions policy?
Places are allocated according to Federal Government guidelines. These include priority to children whose parents are working or seeking work, studying or disabled, and children at risk. Further priority is given to low-income families, single parents, children from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or multi-cultural backgrounds and disabled children.
The centre gives priority to siblings of children already at the centre to keep families together.
The waiting list is maintained by the Director and is confidential. The centre allocates places according to the position on the waiting list within the guidelines above.
Parents wishing to keep their children on the waiting list should reconfirm the application in writing, every year.
3. What is the policy for altering enrolments?
Four weeks written notice must be given to cancel or change enrolment. If less than four weeks notice is given, fees for the full four weeks are still payable.
If parents wish to reapply to the centre, the normal procedure of the waiting list will app
If a child is absent for more than two weeks without notifying the centre, their place may be reallocated.
5. When is the centre open during the year?
Boundary Lane is open for 49 weeks of the year. The Centre closes down annually for a five week period between Christmas Eve and the end of January. Fees are not charged during this period. Vacation Care is available to children already enrolled in the Centre for the last two weeks of the close down period. There are two child free days per year.
6. How many children attend the centre?
Boundary Lane is licensed by the Department of Community Services to provide long day care for 56 children per day. Generally there are 15 children in the Nursery (0-2 year olds) and up to 40 children in total in the Kindergarten. So, approximately 12-15 children in K1 (2-3 year olds), 12-15 children in K2 (2-4 year olds), and 12-15 children in K3 (4 - 5 year olds).
7. How many staff are at Boundary Lane?
There are 16 staff. This includes the Director, an administrative assistant, a cook, a permanent relief worker, 4 carers per day in the nursery, and 1 part-time and 7 full-time carers in the Kindergarten.
8. How is the centre managed?
Boundary Lane Children's Centre is managed by Abercrombie Street Child Care Limited, a company incorporated through the University of Sydney. The Management and control of the business and affairs of the company is vested in a Council comprising 7 Senate members of the University of Sydney and 8 non-Senate members elected from the company membership. Membership of the company is open to staff and students of Sydney University and to community members. The majority of the 8 non-Senate members elected to Council must either have a child in attendance at Boundary Lane or have their child's name on the waiting list. The Council meets at least 5 times a year.
The Consultative Committee meets more frequently with the Director to discuss the general day-to-day running of the Centre. This committee includes the Director and the 8 non-Senate members of Council. A staff representative and any interested parents or staff attend these meetings. The staff representative should not be present when staff matters are discussed.
On enrolling their child at the Centre, both parents must become members of the Company.
Routines for Parents
1. How are children settled in when starting at Boundary Lane?
Children's needs vary when first starting in a child care centre. Parents are welcome to stay with their child the first few times but the centre realises this is not always possible. This time helps the child settle in and provides an opportunity for the parents to get to know the staff and how the centre functions. Children may like to bring in a favourite security toy or blanket initially. Other toys are discouraged as they may be broken or lost and often lead to arguments.
2. What is the routine for parents when arriving and leaving the centre?
Parents are encouraged to stay for a few minutes in the morning with their children and to leave them with a staff member who will help them settle in.
Before leaving, it is important for parents to tell their children that they are going, and, when saying goodbye, to let them know that they will be returning. If children become distressed on parting, a cuddle from staff and interesting activities will usually distract them. Parents are welcome to stay at the centre as long as they like but once goodbyes have been said, parents should leave immediately as repeated farewells are upsetting for children.
It is important for parents to talk to staff as they arrive to collect their child to find out all the news of what has happened during the day. Parents can also find out about the day's activities from the daily diaries kept in each classroom.
Children must be signed in on arrival and signed out on departure. Children will only be released to an authorised person (see Safety Policy).
- The Director/Authorised Supervisor are to ensure that the authorised pick-up list for each child is kept up to date.
- Children should be signed in on arrival and out on leaving.
- Staff are responsible for ensuring that children are collected by an authorised person.
- No child will be released into the care of any persons not known to staff or not authorised to collect the child. If staff do not know the person by appearance, the person must be able to produce some form of identification (e.g. driver's licence) to prove that she/he is the person authorised to collect the child on the enrolment form.
- When the person collecting the child is someone other than those nominated on the enrolment form, parents must give prior notice. The person nominated by the parent must be able to produce identification. If staff have not been notified and the parent cannot be contacted, the child must not be released into the care of that person.
- No child will be released into the care of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
- If the person collecting the child appears to be intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs, and staff feel that the person is unfit to take responsibility for the child, the staff are to bring the matter to the person's attention before releasing the child into their care. Wherever possible, such discussion is to take place without the child being present. Staff are to suggest that they contact the other parent or emergency contacts listed on the enrolment form, inform them of the situation and request they collect the child as soon as possible.
- Non-custodial parents will not be given access to children under any circumstances. The Centre must have a copy of the court order to verify custody or access on the child's file and all staff should be made aware of its existence. Strict adherence to this policy must be maintained.
- If a non-custodial parent refuses to abide by this policy, police and the Department of Community Services will be called. The custodial parent must be notified as soon as possible.
- It is the custodial parent's responsibility to acquaint the Director/Authorised Supervisor with the circumstances, and to provide a copy of any court orders relating to the child.
- 4. Is there a fine for late collection of children?
- Yes. If a child is not collected by closing time, a fine of $1.00 per minute will be charged until the child is collected.
- If a child is not collected by the time the centre closes, staff are to follow these procedures:
- At closing time: A fine of $1-00 per minute will be charged until the child is collected.
- Fifteen (15) minutes after closing time: Contact parents to collect the child.
- Thirty (30) minutes after closing time: If unable to contact the parents, phone the emergency people listed on the child's enrolment form.
- If unable to contact the parents or the emergency people, take the child by taxi to Lucas Street Child Care Centre, Lucas Street, Camperdown.
- Leave a notice on the gate specifying the name, address and telephone number of Lucas Street Child Care Centre.
- Take the emergency backpack and a photocopied list of the people authorised to collect the child.
- Notify the Newtown Police once you have arrived at Lucas Street.
- Remain with the child until collected by parents or emergency contacts.
- If the child is not collected by 10:00 pm. Notify the Newtown Police and ask them to collect the child from Lucas Street, to take to Police Station.
- Parents are responsible for any fee imposed by Lucas Street Child Care Centre.
5. What happens when fees are paid late?
It is essential that all fees are paid on time in order to ensure that Boundary Lane is able to continue to operate. Procedures for overdue fees are as follows:
- When fees are 3 - 4 weeks late in arrears the Administrative Assistant will give a written request, or statement, for payment of fees to the parent(s).
- If the full amount is not paid after 4 - 6 weeks the Administrative Assistant will inform the Director of the situation.
- In circumstance of genuine hardship, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Company.
- If the child has been referred by the Department of Community Services, that Department will be informed immediately when fees are overdue.
- The University's Finance Department will be informed at the end of the year of all outstanding fees.
6. How are parents involved and kept informed about their child?
The centre welcomes the participation of families in their children's care and education and actively encourages such participation. We aim to provide an environment where families feel comfortable discussing matters concerning their child. We also aim to provide helpful written communication.
Parents are encouraged to stand for election to the Board of Management and are welcomed at the monthly Consultative Committee meetings. Parents are involved in policy development.
Parents and families are welcome to visit the centre at any time to observe and participate and are encouraged to talk to staff at arrival and departure times.
The centre produces a fortnightly newsletter and daily diaries. Other information including developmental programmes, menus and minutes of meetings is displayed on notice boards around the centre. On commencement at the centre each family is given a copy of the Centre Handbook and the Health, Hygiene and Nutrition, Safety and Anti-Bias policies. The Handbook outlines the centre's policies.
At the beginning of every year each group holds a function for parents and staff to meet each other and to discuss the plans for the year. We also aim to have several social functions throughout the year, for example, breakfasts to which the child care community is invited.
Developmental records are kept monitoring the children's progress and can be discussed with a staff member at any time. A detailed report is provided mid-year.
A collection of information of interest to parents is available for borrowing and fact sheets are provided regularly with the newsletter.
Routines for Children
1. What is the sleep routine?
Sleep routines are flexible to meet the varying needs of each child.
Older children have one sleep a day after lunch. A programme of quiet activities is provided for non-sleepers who are encouraged to have some quiet time in the sleep room first.
Younger children who need two sleeps a day usually sleep after morning tea and after early afternoon tea, and babies sleep whenever it is needed.
Babies less than one year old are not put to sleep face down unless we have written authorisation from a doctor because sleeping face down is known to be a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
2. How are meals are served?
The centre aims to provide attractive, nutritious food in a pleasant environment.
Mealtimes are a relaxed affair, catering to each child's needs. Eating is a social time and children learn new skills by observation and imitation. Children will not be forced to eat but encouraged to try different foods. Extra helpings are readily available.
Kindergarten children have morning tea at 10:00 a.m, Lunch from 11.30 -11:45 a.m. Afternoon tea at 3:00 p.m. and sandwiches at 5:00 p.m.
Nursery children have morning tea at 9:30 a.m, Lunch at 11:15 a.m. ,Afternoon tea at 2:30 p.m. and sandwiches at 4:15 p.m.
Babies are demand fed on milk provided by the parents and solids are commenced in consultation with the parents. Mothers are welcome to breastfeed at the centre.
Weekly menus are displayed. What each child ate for lunch is recorded in the sign-in book in the Kindergarten and on the whiteboard in the Nursery.
Boundary Lane asks parents not to send food from home as it causes arguments.
3. What is the nappy changing routine?
Nappy changing time is an occasion when a young child has the caregiver's undivided attention. It is a time for talking, playing, laughing and showing affection.
The Centre's procedure for nappy changing is displayed on top of the change tables. Parents are requested to follow this procedure while at the centre to reduce the risk of passing infections from child to child.
4. What is the toilet training routine?
Parents and staff should decide together when the child is ready to begin toilet training and will develop a plan together. Children must be ready to participate willingly. Punishment will not be used for accidents; only positive reinforcement will be used.
5. What is the policy on behaviour and discipline?
Children need to feel safe, secure and to know the limits on their behaviour. They need to develop awareness of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour and the effect of their behaviour on others while developing their capacity for self-discipline.
It is important that this be achieved within an environment that enhances a child's feelings about themselves, fostering self-esteem and self-worth.
The Centre's Behaviour Policy aims to identify and praise appropriate behaviour consistently and avoid making a child feel bad about him or herself. Staff aim to set clear limits and ensure children understand the consequences of their actions.
The Centre also aims to minimise conflict by providing appropriate activities and to encourage children's social development by giving them strategies to deal with conflict . Children should be helped to learn to share, assert themselves and deal with anger.
1. What is the immunisation policy?
Parents are strongly encouraged to have their children immunised in accordance with the NSW recommended schedule.
The Public Health (Amendment) Act 1992 requires parents of all children enrolling in child care to provide documented evidence of the child's immunisation status.
Immunisation is not complusory. However, in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease, unimmunised children will be required to remain at home for the duration of the outbreak for their own protection.
Staff are encouraged to have recommended routine immunisations (tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella) and are also recommended to have hepatitis B vaccination.
Responsibilites of the Director
Under the Public Health (Amendment Act) it is the director's responsibility to:
a) Request that parents provide documented evidence of the child's immunisation status.
b) Maintain and regularly update the Immunisation Register of the immunisation status of each child.
c) Update the Immunisation Register when each child reaches 6, 12 and 18 months of age. The NSW Health Department's Personal Health Record is the preferred form of documentation for the parent to use and show.
d) Provide the parent of a child who is transferring to another Centre with a copy of the Register entry within 21 days.
e) Permit the Medical Officer of Health of the local Public Health Unit to enter the centre and inspect the Immunisation Register.
f) Notify the Central and Southern Sydney Public Health Unit (Telephone 9556-9322) as soon as she/he is aware that a child has contracted a notifiable disease.
g) Comply with a directive from the Medical Officer of Health to exclude unimmunised contacts from the centre for the duration of the outbreak.
h) Send a note home with the child who is to be excluded and ensure that the child is excluded for the specified period.
2. What is the medication procedure?
The following procedures are to be followed at all times when adminstering medication:
a) No medication will be administered to a child unless presented at the Centre in the original container. Staff will not administer unlabelled medication.
b) Medication Authority: Parents are to include the following information on the medication forms provided the child's name, the drug name, purpose, dosage, and time to be given.
c) After administration of the medication, the staff member who administered the medication should complete and sign the medication form as well as the daily sign in sheet.
All medication forms must be retained in the Centre for the legally required term.
3. How is paracetamol (e.g Panadol) administered?
In the case where paracetamol is administered for the control of pain or a high fever, the following guidelines are to be followed:
a) At the time of the enrolment, parents are asked to sign a form authorising staff to administer the prescribed dose of paracetamol to their child for pain or a high fever if all other methods to lower the temperature have failed i.e. removal of excess clothing, fluids, tepid sponging. Medication will not be administered to the child unless the Administration of Paracetamol (Panadol) Consent Form has been signed on the enrolment or re-enrolment form.
b) Parents may request that paracetamol be administered earlier. This request must be indicated on the enrolment form, or by phone when the child is ill.
The Centre will attempt to notify the parents before paracetamol is administered. When it is necessary to administer Paracetamol parents are required to sign the medication form when they collect their child from the centre.
4. What is the sun protection programme?
A sun protection programme is important because exposure during childhood, including severe sunburn, is an significant risk factor in the development of skin cancer in later life.
The following procedures must be followed during the summer months:
a) Attempt to structure the day to minimise exposure to the sun between the times 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (daylight saving time) and always provide shaded areas when children are outside.
b) Set activities under the shaded areas of the playground.
c) Staff and children should wear a broad brimmed hat to provide adequate protection.
d) Encourage the wearing of protective clothing.
e) Apply SPF 15+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen prior to exposure.
f) Children under the age of 12 months should not be exposed to direct sun. Parents are required to sign a consent form if they wish sunscreen to be used on children under 12 months as it is not recommended.
g) Teach the children the Sun Smart behaviours as recommended by the Cancer Council.
5. What is the policy on smoking for staff?
Smoking is not allowed near external doors or windows regularly opened, inside the centre, or in sight of the children, at any time because of the health risk of passive smoking. No smoking notices are to be posted around the centre.
The University will sponsor smoking cessation courses for any staff member.
6. If my child falls ill, how long should the child be kept at home?
The spread of infection is a major problem in child care. In order to minimise this, children suffering from certain infections must be excluded from attending.
Children too sick to participate in the Centre's programme will be excluded at the discretion of the Director. The Centre does not employ enough staff to care for sick children. The NSW Health Department's guidelines for exclusion of children from children's services when suffering from specified infectious diseases are listed in the Handbook.
The same guidelines will be used when considering exclusion of staff members with infectious diseases from the Centre.