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Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below the most frequently asked questions about enrolment and our kindergarten program. If you can't find the answers to your questions please give our kindergarten a call on 54437668 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. My child will turn 4 next March? What are my options and your recommendations? Can they have two years?
A. To commence kindergarten your child needs to turn 4 before the 30th of April in the year they attend. We recommend that you don’t send your child early to kindergarten. If they are close to this cut off age, like March, we recommend you keep them home or in the crèche environment in this year. There is no hurry, let them grow, mature and learn with you. Don’t underestimate what they are learning with you or by attending childcare.
We recognise that children turning four generally have difficulty organising themselves, standing up for their rights with peers. They find it challenging to follow instructions and negotiate with others. Some children become easily distracted, have problems following routines and transitions, remain quiet and do not speak up in groups to share ideas and learning. They need the year to develop skills, particularly the social and emotional skills. THEY JUST NEED TO BE 4!
Your child will only be eligible for a second year kindergarten if:
your child's teacher has found they have developmental delays in at least two key areas of development, and
your child will have better outcomes at kindergarten rather than going to school.
However, if they are Early Start they are permitted to attend at three years old and do two years of kindergarten.
To be eligible for Early Starts, your child must be three by 30 April in the year they start kindergarten, and:
identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or
your family has had contact with Child Protection (or been referred to Child FIRST).
Q. My child has Anaphylaxis. She/he is allergic to nuts and eggs?
A. Every year we have children with food allergies, intolerances and anaphylaxis. If we have any children with such conditions and parents have notified us prior to the year, we will not allow these foods into the centre. We store epi pens here, and will keep your child’s epi pen at kinder with all staff notified and trained to use them. Children are NOT permitted to share foods and are supervised at all meal times.
Q. Where do all the children go to school?
A. We have several feeder schools. Children come to us from all parts of Bendigo and surrounding districts. We cannot recommend a school for your child but our best advice is visit your local schools, meet with principals and teachers and get a feel for the school first hand. Keep in mind your child will be zoned for High School in state schools, so even though you may think it’s too far down the track you need to keep it in the back of your mind when choosing a primary school. We provide you with a booklet of Bendigo Schools in term 2 with open days, contact details etc.
We find that all our children participate in transition programs in fourth term of kindergarten which ensures that they are familiar with their new school and identify their teachers. We provide written transition statements to their school for every child in the November of their kinder year.
Q. My child has attended crèche for several years and they have a kinder program at crèche. Why would he/she benefit from attending GSK as an independent kinder?
A. We often find that children who have been in a crèche environment for a long period of time do benefit from coming to us. Our program has a lot structure and routine which we find parents are wanting in the year prior to school, self help skills preparing them for independent learning in a school environment. There is a lot of intentional teaching in our centre using the You Can Do It Program, fostering children’s skills to get along with others and make friends. As well as our Emotional Intelligence Program, the RULER APPROACH which works on building up children’s resilience and self esteem.
The RULER Approach is an Emotional Intelligence Program that is research based which fosters children’s understanding of feelings and that everyone has the right to feel ‘Safe and Happy’ at kindergarten. Both these programs provide our community of children families and educators with the language and expectations to develop social and emotional well-being.
Our large indoor/outdoor environment meets the specific needs of Pre-schoolers without the constraints of programming for younger children.
Q. When will I find out if my child has a place for the next year?
A. As soon as we receive your child’s enrolment form, copy of their immunisation and enrolment fee of $20.00 admin fee (No fee for health card holders) we will send out a 'First Round Offer' letter at the end of Term 1. This secures your position on our Kindergarten List. If you enrol after this first round offer and we have positions, we will let you know straight away that you have a secured a position.
This early notification of placements for the following year supports our families to make arrangements for future employment and childcare.
Q. What does the ‘Waiting list’ mean for enrolments?
A. If you are placed on our waiting list this means that we are full in the group you are wishing to enrol in. But, we have people moving groups all the time, so we will contact you when a position comes available.
Q. How do I choose which group I want to go in?
A. In the enrolment section of our Website you choose a Short Day or Long Day enrolment form.
On the Short Day Form it will ask you if you want to be a Kangaroo Group (8am-12pm two days and 8am-3pm one day a week- Morning Group) or Possum Group (12.30pm-5.30pm - Afternoon Group). You tick which one you prefer.
In September the year prior to your child attending we will send you an enrolment pack to complete and return to the kindergarten. In November we will have our AGM/INFORMATION evening. It is a requirement for parents to attend this meeting to be eligible for your group preference. Allocation of Kangaroo and Possum groups will be advised at this event.
For Long Day enrolment (Wombat Group) once you have handed in your enrolments we will fill to 45 children. Then we keep a waiting list which is subject to our Enrolment policy criteria.
Q. How many children in each group?
A. Wombats have 45, with three nesting groups of 15 each for our mat times. Possums and Kangaroos have 33 with three groups of 11 each for mat times.
Q. Do I have to bring food or is it provided?
A. There is no food provided by kinder. The Wombats have a brain food (fruit), snack (yoghurt, fruit, crackers etc), lunch (sandwiches, wraps, pasta etc) and an afternoon snack at 4pm (yogurt, fruit, crackers, veggies). We do note that children eat a lot of food on these long days.
The Kangaroos have fruit any time during the session, snack/lunch (sandwiches, veggies, and yogurt) at 11am.
The Possums have fruit any time during the session, afternoon snack at 4pm approximately (sandwiches, fruit, veggies, yogurt etc).
The food you bring for your child is what your child eats and your choice, however we do promote healthy foods and ask that you do not send chocolate or chips. We also ask they bring a drink bottle with water only. We do recognise that some children may have food intolerances, sensitivities, cultural or economic factors influencing children’s diets. Providing us with this knowledge will ensure each individual child’s needs are considered and met.
You will be notified of any Food Allergy restrictions prior to your child starting.
Q. What will the fees be for the year my child attends?
A. Fees are set in July the year prior to your attendance. If you are a health care card holder, Kangaroo and Possum Groups are no charge. If you are Wombat Group there will be a discounted charge for Health care care holders in Long Day Kindergarten.
Please note we DO NOT receive any child care subsidy. All families pay for the before and aftercare in the Wombat Group (Long day kinder).
Our fees are very competitive with Bendigo kindergartens and childcare kindergartens. We aim to make them affordable whilst insuring we have a budget that will provide for extra child/educator ratios and all the additional opportunities we offer in our program. We do not provide holiday care.
Q. How can parents get involved?
A. Our centre is run by a Parent Committee of Management. We require parents to volunteer for this committee at our AGM each year. Without it we cannot run the centre. Parents are welcome to attend excursions, bring in activities for their child’s groups, cover books, share special skills, etc during the year. Please let your teacher know what you would like to do to and how you would like to be involved. Your children will benefit from sharing your knowledge, skills and experiences.
Q. When does the kinder year start?
A. We coincide with the school terms. So, if you look up Victorian School Terms prior to the year your child starts, we will be the same time. We will also send out a calendar before the end of the kinder year prior. This has all the important dates on it and your child can count down to kinder!
We will conduct a 25-minute interview with you and your child prior to your child’s starting day, to go through our morning routines and paperwork. You will be given these times at the AGM.
Q. When can we enrol?
A. We are enrolling for the following three years for 4 Year old Kindergarten. Families can complete their child’s enrolment for 2021, 2022 and 2023 NOW.
THREE YEAR OLD KINDERGARTEN
We currently do not offer three-year-old kindergarten. However, we are applying for a grant to increase our centre to build capacity for three-year-old kindergarten to commence in 2022.
We have 'Expression of interest' forms for three-year-old kindergarten on our website and ask that you complete and return them as soon as possible to support our grant application.
We are currently taking expressions of interest for 2022, 2023 & 2024 for three-year-old kindergarten.