Key Information

Key Information and Frequently asked Questions
Listed below is some key information about our centre which has been composed in response to questions frequently asked by parents.

If you have any ideas for other topics that should be included here, please contact us.

 
When is the Centre open?

  • Preschool hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. 
  • The preschool is closed on public holidays. 
  • The centre closes for 4 weeks over the Christmas period. 


What Fees do you charge?

  • Fees are payable each month via direct debit only, your bank or card details are required to be filled in on the enrolment form in the 'iPay' section.
  • Notice of 2 weeks is required for children leaving the preschool before the final week of Preschool. We do work on a 48 week/year curriculum, which means that it is advantageous to your child to complete the full curriculum. 

Can I claim CCS ?

  • CCS is available for parents from Centre Link.
  • It should be applied for before the commencement of the child at the preschool.
  • Applications are made directly to Centrelink, via phone generally.

 
When should my child arrive and school?

  • Parents/guardians are to sign in and sign out their children on the attendance record sheet in each classroom.
  • Parents can drop their child after 8.30am.
  • Intentional teaching starts between 9.30am-10am, and the time before this is valuable for socialisation for your child.

When should I pick my child up at the end of the day?

  • In the afternoon we ask that all children have exited the preschool before 4.30pm which allows the staff to finish and attend to any personal matters they may have for the day, as well as set up for the following day.
  • If you are late for some reason please call the Centre. 
  • If your child has not been picked up by an authorised person by 4.35pm, your class Room Leader will attempt to contact all people you have on your contact list by phone.
  • If we have been unable to make contact with Parents, caregivers, or emergency pick up contacts from your enrolment list, the Castle Hill Police Station will be contacted.

 
How can I help to settle my child ?

  • The rooms will be set up with various activities so that once you have unpacked, signed in, etc., you and your child can participate in a chosen activity.
  • When it is time to leave please say goodbye and assure your child of your return.
  • Staff will support and comfort any upset children and encourage involvement in an activity.
  • During the "settling in" period a member of staff will contact you during the day, if required to inform you of your child's progress.
  • Should you have a concern please do not hesitate to phone the centre.
  • Parents of non-English speaking background will be encouraged to stay and help their child to feel secure.
  • Should the need arise key phrases or words in your child's language will be used by staff if parents request.
  • Ethnic child-rearing practices will be taken into account and applied where appropriate.

 
How does the Preschool keep the parents informed?

  • From 2018 all daily general communication will be posted on the website by late afternoon.
  • This will include a recount by the room leader of the days activities, as well as a photo collage of the day. 
  • Information regarding sleep, lunch and nappy changes are recorded on the sign-in/sign-out sheets.
  • Parent-Teacher nights, notices and newsletters, as well the Preschool fb page and parent committee fb page,  keep parents up to date with happenings at the preschool.

 
What is the role of the parent at the Preschool?

  • Our centre believes in the principle that "the central role of parents as partners in the education of their children is fundamental to early childhood education".
  • Every child/parent shall receive support for his/her special needs.
  • All matters relating to children, parents and staff will be treated with respect and in a confidential manner.

Parents have the following basic rights to enter our centre for:

  • information about their child's programme
  • development records, evaluations and routine
  • the opportunity to observe, participate and share in their child's care and education.
  • support the learning of cultural education in the classroom.

How does the Preschool deal with parental concerns?

  • Clear channels of communication are always open for parents to present their concerns about their child or the centre.
  • Room Leaders are available in the mornings, and before 4.15pm for parents to engage in an informal chat regarding their child or the centre.
  • The Director is available as well at these times or parents are more than welcome to ring up and make an appointment to sit down with their Room Leader, Director or Management at any time that is available for all parties concerned.
  • The steps to follow regarding any complaints or concerns are outlined in the Grievance Policy in the Policy Manual.

How is my child's confidential information handled?

  • Records of children's progress, attendance, enrolment forms, immunization, and child care rebate details are confidentially kept and updated upon receipt of new information.
  • All information will be kept confidential according to the NSW Privacy Act.

 
How can the Preschool assist with my child who has additional needs?

  • Where possible Discovery House Preschool will accept and integrate children with additional needs. Our centre will treat each child as an individual and support his/her needs.
  • The centre has access to government grants to assist with Inclusion Support if the staff feel it is necessary. 
     

How is my child protected from the sun?

  • All parents are asked to apply sunscreen every day before their child begins their day at Preschool. There is Cancer Council sunscreen available next to the sign-in charts in the mornings.
  • The Preschool has appropriate broad rimmed hats available for purchase for your child. These are $20 and available in Orange, Pink and Blue with the Preschool logo on the front.
  • We ask that all children wear clothing that covers their shoulders, or have a light outer layer that will provide them with protection when they are outside playing.
  • During the warmer months the children are taken outside for intentional teaching and free play early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • The daily schedule is amended according to the daily UV factor and the weather in general.
  • The Discovery House Preschool is fortunate to have beautiful natural shade given by trees and bushes that surround the Preschool, as well as sunshades that are both water-proof and in the form of sails.
  • We have many areas in our outdoor spaces that are shaded throughout the day that we are able to use with the children. 
  • The staff and children re-apply sunscreen before they leave the room during the day, with the older children able to apply the sunscreen themselves as part of their self-help/independence education.
  • Throughout the day all children are reminded to drink water, and this is done as a group with the Educators involved, in a mentoring capacity, according to our Munch and Move principles.

What clothing should my child wear to Preschool?

  • Appropriate clothing needs to be worn.
  • Children should be dressed in layers so clothing can be removed/added as needed by weather conditions.
  • Thongs, clogs, crocs, wellingtons/gumboots and high heel shoes are not suitable.
  • Shoes are required to support and safely enclose the foot so that your child can run, jump, climb and play in safety.
  • Children are able to wear sandles in summer as long as their foot is securely enclosed in the sandle.  
  • Spare clothing should be in your child's bag in case of spills.
  • Please check the size of spare clothing and also ensure it is weather appropriate.
  • Hats are to accompany your child to preschool every day - rain, hail or shine.
  • We are trying to cultivate wearing hats and sun protection at preschool and also for later life.

 
What steps does the Preschool take towards making sure my child is protected?

  • All staff have passed statutory screening procedures, including Working with Children's Check. Leadership staff and management at the Preschool have attended specific Child Protection courses as legislated by Australian Government
  • Professionals working with children have a mandatory responsibility to report any potential risk of harm to a child.
  • A report needs to be lodged if there is a concern for the safety, welfare and well being of a child. Reports are made to Helpline 132 111.

 
What sort of bag does my child need for Preschool?
Bags are to be large enough to hold:

  • Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea plus a drink bottle
  • Cot size top and bottom sheet, with a light cotton blanket in the cooler months. These should be contained in a drawstring bag/pillow case/library bag. Your child will not require a pillow. Please do not put any of your child's items in a plastic bag
  • Spare clothing in case of spills or accidents. Regularly check size, and appropriateness for weather.
  • News and craft items

 
What food should my child bring to Preschool each day?

  • Parents provide meals for children attending.
  • To help parents better understand good nutrition, the director discusses appropriate Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea at orientation.
  • There is information in the Parent Resource area (Locker Room) about contents for lunches and the daily nutritional needs of children.
  • Our policy excludes nut and egg products due to the presence of anaphylactic children.
  • Please do not send nuts or eggs in your children's lunches.
  • Egg that is in a muffin or slice is ok.
  • Water is supplied and available to children throughout the day.

LUNCH :

  • Parents are asked to pack nutritious lunches.
  • Please do not send chips, chocolates and treats. Please put sandwiches in labelled paper bags as these are stored in the fridge.
  • Parents are advised that insulated lunch containers are necessary to keep lunches at a reasonable temperature in transit.
  • Due to the Preschool not being licensed to provide food, staff are not able to heat up any food for your child.

MORNING & AFTERNOON TEA :

  • Parents supply morning and afternoon tea.
  • Most children are very happy to have fruit, yoghurt, nutritious muesli bars, dried fruit, biscuits and cheese.
  • If you are bringing in food that is needed to be refrigerated pls alert your room leader or place it in the fridge in the kitchen.
  • The staff do check the food after the children have arrived in the morning to make sure that everything is placed in the fridge for the day if it is needed.
  • If your child brings a meal to Preschool that is not appropriate it will be sent home in your child's bag and they will be provided with an appropriate meal.

How does the Preschool deal with applying boundaries within the school day?

  • Children at this centre are provided with a positive approach to discipline by all staff.
  • The staff consult with parents and support, where possible, techniques used in the home.
  • Staff acknowledges and accepts the child's feelings of anger and frustration or jealousy.
  • They encourage all children to explain their feelings and actions and discuss with them the appropriate behaviour.
  • Acceptable or unacceptable behaviour is focused on, not the child itself.
  • We encourage the children to use the words "Stop, I do not like that" and to inform us if actions hurt them.
  • The planned environment (programme) at The Discovery House Preschool supports positive play with ample equipment for the children to allow them to foster self discipline through choice.
  • Sharing with others is encouraged and staff modelling positive behaviours is used as a technique to reinforce acceptable behaviours.

Other techniques employed by staff with children are:

  • positive reinforcement for acceptable behaviours,
  • redirection,
  • positive distraction,
  • avoidance of frustration,
  • considering feelings of others and self in conflict situations,
  • guidance and discussion of problems,
  • child involvement in discussions concerning rules used in the centre.

Will my child have rest periods/quiet time during the day?

  • The programme is planned to provide equal opportunities of vigorous play and rest periods to encourage children's overall growth.
  • Each child will be provided with a bed and their own linen. This is sent home every week for laundering. 
  • All children are encouraged to rest during the day.
  • No child is forced to sleep, and no child is forced to stay awake.
  • Soft relaxation tapes are played.
  • For children not needing to sleep, story tapes, songs, reading books, colouring books and pencils are provided.
  • Children are allowed to speak quietly to the person nearest them.
  • At the start of term 4 the Ladybug children will replace rest time, with quiet activities. This begins their preparation for Kindergarten at Primary School the following year.
  • Children attending are encouraged to pack away their sheets and put on shoes and socks to encourage self help skills. (Help is provided by staff as needed).
  • Sleep charts or columns in the sign in book are used to communicate with parents if their child has slept. 

What is News Time?

  • The purpose of News Time, is to encourage interest in the environment, social skills, language development, and to build self-esteem and self-confidence in oral expression.
  • Each child is allocated a day when items of interest can be brought to share with other children. Examples of these items may be - e.g. birthday presents, photo books, things they have made, collections of shells from a family outing, or talking news of a holiday or activity they have been involved in with their family.
  • Children are encouraged not to bring violent toys.
  • The child whose day it is to present their news will be interviewed by another child from their group.
  • The interviewer will ask questions of the child presenting news.
  • The children are enjoying this format this year, and we are noticing, that as a group, they are all more engaged in News Time. This part of the children's day is video taped and will be put on the Website Portal at the end of each day from 2018

What is the Preschool's policy on Gender Bias?

  • Staff regard all individuals equally and provide equal opportunities for both boys and girls to develop to their full potential regardless of gender and cultural background.
  • Staff provide equal opportunities for boys and girls to participate in all centre activities i.e. to play with all materials provided, to play vigorously, express emotions and to participate in discussions.
  • All staff show sensitivity for different culture child rearing practices, and discuss the value of various learning experiences with parents.
  • Stereotyping is avoided.
  • Resources are monitored for unsuitable materials and removed as necessary.
  • When purchasing new resources care is taken to ensure that bias is not evident.

Does the Preschool have a multicultural policy?

  • The staff endeavours to ensure that children attending this preschool grow in understanding and tolerance, encouraging appreciation of each others differences and similarities.
  • Differences in gender and culture are viewed as positive attributes and add interest and diversity to the offered programme.

What is the Aboriginal Policy at the Centre?

  • This preschool provides positive awareness of the Australian Aboriginal, and Torres strait Islander Cultures with access to information and appreciation of the valuable contribution to our community and history.
  • The Curriculum at the Preschool includes topics on Aboriginal Culture, art, dance and communities.
  • The Preschool endevours to have someone from a diverse range of cultures and communities visit the Preschool and engage the children in their culture. Such visitors, from the Aboriginal community, African and Chinese communities, Indian and Sri Lankan families, have all provided wonderful information and understanding of their culture at the Preschool.
  • We invite all parents/grandparent's/ Aunts/ Uncles/ and special family friends, to come and help us engage the Preschool community in social, musical, cultural, storytelling, dance, food or any other part of their world, that they feel will be of interest to the children.
  • We have had parents who are involved with WIREs, Vets, Dogs in therapy, Musicians, Pupeteers, Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Police, and those that have their own chickens, all come in and share their knowledge with us. This is always a welcome part of Preschool life.
  • Please approach either your Room Leader or Director if you can come and share some part of your world with us.

Can my child be given their Medication while at Preschool?
We are happy to care for a no longer infectious, recuperating child, and will administer medication provided it has been:

  • Prescribed by a doctor
  • Your child's name is on the prescription (lable on medication)
  • Medication remains in the original bottle/container
  • Medication is printed with the date and dosage details
  • Medication is printed with a use by date.
  • Or a treatment plan has been written by the child's Dr.

Over the counter medication will not be given (e.g. Panadol, cough medicines, etc.).

Procedure for medication to be given at The Preschool:

  • Give the medication to your Room Leader so that it can be safely stored in the appropriate place; if it requires refrigeration or safely in the medication box. 
  • Please enter the details of the medication to be given in the Medication Register folder (child's name, medication, dosage, time to be administered). 
  • No medication is to be left in a child's bag or locker.
  • For children with chronic allergies or asthma, individual emergency plans will be discussed with parents and regularly updated.

How does the Centre look after my child's health and Hygiene?
Children are encouraged to wash hands:

  • On arrival with Betadine hand washing solution. 
  • Before eating,
  • After going to the bathroom,
  • After blowing their noses
  • After outdoor play
  • Touching any animals that may visit our Centre.
  • At all other appropriate times

What dental hygiene is practised during the day?

  • After all meals children are encouraged to 'Swish and Swallow water' to rinse their mouths.
  • A healthy diet is discussed in the programmes and children are encouraged to eat healthy foods. (Information sourced from Colgate consumer information - Zero to six preschool).
  • Dental information is provided to families in the Parent Resource area ( Locker room) 
  • Each year, Dental professionals are invited to visit the Preschool, to speak to the children regarding Dental Hygiene, brushing their teeth, how often to visit the dentist, and what happens when you visit the dentist.
  • At regular intervals during the year, dental health and hygiene is incorporated in the curriculum for all age groups at the Centre.

 
Does my child have to be immunised to attend Preschool?

  • The Centre policy is that all children should be immunised.  
  • The Australian Government will no longer pay CCR/CCB for children who are not immunised and are attending Preschool.
  • The Preschool must exclude Non immunised children from the centre, according to the NHMRC, June 2001.( Government Legislation)

Are there any drugs legal or illegal on the Preschool Premises?

  • The centre and the centre car park are Smoke, Drug and Alcohol Free Environments.
  • Under the Children Care & Protection Act no staff member, parent or visitor to the centre, is permitted to consume any of these substances whilst on centre premises, including the car park. 

How do I know if my child is progressing normally?

  • Each preschool child has a Skills Assessment performed 3 times during each year they attend The Discovery House Preschool.
  • This is done February, July, and November.
  • The information is collected for each child individually and is available to parents at any time.  
  • It is a progressive report on how your child's educational, cognitive, social and emotional skills are developing.
  • It gives you a gauge on how your child is going and can aid in pin pointing any area that may be of concern.
  • If you have any concerns about your child, please speak with your class Room Leader or Director.

How do we support a child with Allergies?

  • Over the years we have had many children who suffer from various forms of allergic reactions.
  • All staff are first aid trained and have a yearly course in Asthma, Anaphylaxis and CPR.
  • Please give us as much information as possible: Medical records, Drs letters etc.
  • We require parents to provide us with Medical Action plans from their family doctor/ health practitioner.
  • Medication such as Asthma preventer inhalers, Ventolin, Epi Pens, Antihistamine medication, is to be with your child at Preschool all the time with the regular medication requirements adhered to.(see Medication notes)
  • All staff are alerted to your child's allergic issues and it is discussed with all staff before your child commences at the Preschool what the appropriate action is for any reaction that your child might have while with us.
  • We attempt to minimise the triggers for your child as much as possible at the Preschool.
  • A clear line of communication between home and the Centre will often bring about positive results.