How do I choose a childcare centre and then what do I do?

We suggest that you work out with your support network your actual childcare requirements; what days you need care, for example.

Try to visit the centre without an appointment and have a list of questions that are important to you written down; staff qualifications, length of employment etc. Watch the children there and see if they are engaged/playing/learning and is there a happy chatter in the air? If it is a busy time or if there is a squabble between the children, how do the staff react or cope with the situation? Quite often a big indicator is how comfortable do you feel about the centre? Could you see yourself leaving your child there?

If you are happy with the centre then discuss what vacancies we have that will suit your needs. Once you make the decision to place your child, start going for play sessions where you stay with your child in the room, then progress to sitting outside the room while your child is inside. Once your child is comfortable, you can start them going to the service. This transition period is unique to every family and their child's needs.

What are the centre fees?

0-2 Years
From $100 per day – less with childcare benefit and childcare rebate if applicable.

2-3 Years
From $92.50 per day – less with childcare benefit and childcare rebate if applicable.

3-5 Years
From $91.50 per day – less with childcare benefit and childcare rebate if applicable.
• FREE yoga and music classes for kindy age children
• Provide your health care card for a reduced kindy rate (4 year olds)

Effective from 1 January 2017.

Please call Centrelink on 136 150 to find out your eligibility.

What are the centre hours?

Bright Beginnings is open from 6.30am – 6pm weekdays, 52 weeks per year except for public holidays.

Do I need to apply to Centrelink?

Yes, if you would like to access the Childcare Benefit and Childcare Cash Rebate, they will provide a CRN Reference Number for you and your child. If you are working/studying/looking for work, you may be eligible for the 50% rebate –which is fantastic!!

If you are on a low income and working/studying you may also be eligible for JET from Centrelink. This is an extra payment to help reduce your fees. For more information contact a JET advisor on 13 61 50.

Do you provide food?

We don't simply because every child and family is different. When a centre provides meals there is usually only one choice per day e.g. spaghetti. Your child may not like spaghetti, or may just like plain pasta. It is very hard to accommodate such varying tastes.

If the family packs their food, then the child is getting familiar items, quantities etc. You may not use salt, or may add flavourings – everyone cooks differently. We also use meal times as a learning experience and talk about the different foods our friends are eating.

All rooms have fridges for your child's lunch boxes to keep their food fresh. Many families pack left over's for lunch, which we can heat in the microwave.

My child is not toilet trained. Is that OK?

Of course. We will work with you when you and your child are ready to start.

My child has a dummy. Is that OK?

Many children have comforters like a dummy, blankey or special toy. They will need them while they are transitioning to care. Once they are settled we can discuss when you would like your child to have the comforter e.g. just for sleep.

What do I pack for the day?

• Breakfast (if applicable)
• Morning tea e.g. yoghurt and fruit
• Lunch e.g. leftover dinner
• Afternoon tea – a carbohydrate
• Snack
• Dinner (if applicable)
• Large drink bottle with water
• Milk/formula
• Nappies for the day (5)
• Sheets in a pillowcase or fabric bag
• Change of clothes and undies
• Undies (5) if toileting
ALL ITEMS NEED TO BE NAMED CLEARLY. PLEASE - NO INITIALS.

I am separated from my partner. Can we pay separately?

Of course, we just need to set up two different accounts. You will both need to organise an individual CRN reference number from Centrelink. Because of the two accounts you will be able to access the 50% separately.

What happens when I go on holidays?

If you can tell us in advance then we can put a sign up and try and sell your days to another family. If we are able to sell them then you do not have to pay.

If we do not sell them, then you have two choices: pay the reduced holiday rate ($10 less per day), or access make-up days. Make-up days are extra days you can use for days missed. These are only available when there is space in the child's regular room. We can only book these one week in advance. Make-up days must be used within 30 days of the absence.

My child has a diagnosis. Can we access a support worker?

We will meet with you and your child and assess if the centre can meet your child's needs. If we feel we can, then we will work together to define what areas of support your child requires. We will then make an appointment with Inclusion Support Service to see if the child is eligible for support.

Some children may be eligible for equipment or a support worker. We are excited to work with agencies to help your child develop to their full potential.