Hello and welcome to our Winter 2019 newsletter.
Health Policy \ Influenza
Due to the prevalence and severity of the Influenza virus this winter, we are requesting that all children who develop flu-like symptoms be kept at home and only return to childcare after receiving a written clearance from a doctor. While it may be likely that your child will continue to improve after a week or so, the impact of this illness can be extremely serious in others so we must do everything we can to minimise it’s spread.
We sincerely apologise for the pressure this may place on parents, particularly if leave is not available or employers are unsympathetic. Our priority is the health & safety of all the children in our care. The use of pain relief medication can be an important aid in the battle with illness during the Winter months but does not diminish the risk of spreading disease amongst other children. It is very important that children who are unwell and possibly infectious, remain at home until symptoms have disappeared.
The centre follows the Federal Government guidelines ‘Staying Healthy in Child Care’ which stipulates specific exclusion times for different illnesses in order to maximise the health outcomes for children in long day care. These guidelines are available to view in the office either in hard copy form or we can send specific illness information electronically anytime.
As always, if illness within your family also causes significant economic stress, please contact Martin or Julianne to discuss what options may be available.
In keeping with our shared responsibility to help counter the effects of global warming whilst ensuring the financial viability of the centre into the future, we will be installing a solar energy system. After an initial investment of around $10,000.00, the savings* to our ongoing energy costs should be well over $150,000.00. Much research has been conducted to ensure we purchase the best possible option for our situation. As we cannot feed excess energy back into the grid (FMC infrastructure) and battery storage is not a viable option at this time, a 10.54kWp DC solar system will cater to our heating/cooling/lighting energy needs during daylight operation when it is only required.
We will be taking the opportunity raised by the installation of these panels within our curriculum to highlight to the children, the importance of sustainable choices in everyday life and the very real impact that we as individuals can make to repair the damage done to the environment by human activity.
*projected energy expenditure savings over 25 years.
Due to the ongoing difficulty that we are experiencing with our current software provider Xplor, we have made the decision to return to Spike software that we had been using for the past 20 years. This is not a decision that we have made lightly. We understand the inconvenience that this will cause our clients but simply cannot continue to struggle with the issues that Xplor provides for us. An email will be distributed to all families outlining the very simple transition process that will occur so that we are fully across to the Spike system by July 1st. If you would like any more information regarding this decision, please pop in and talk to Belinda, Julianne or Martin anytime.
Because we tend to spend a good deal of our time outdoors even when it is quite cold, it is important that children come to childcare prepared. Children love being outside, and if appropriately attired will not catch colds as is often claimed. In fact, communicable diseases are minimised because children are not forced to share smaller, indoor spaces. Warm, thick clothing and headwear are essential on the coldest of days, and spare clothes are also a good idea in case of getting wet or muddy. Of course, if it is truly miserable outside, we will remain indoors, but it is not practical to expect children to remain inside especially if there is the option of venturing out.
Please remember to pick your child up on or before 12.45 pm for the morning session and not to drop off your child before 1.00pm for the afternoon session. This is important because the overlap of the two sessions could cause a breach of licence for the Centre. Please also be aware of our policy for arriving after 6.00pm to pick up children. It is understandable that circumstance may conspire against punctuality on the odd occasion, however the Centre reserves the right to impose a LATE FEE if parents continue to arrive late to collect their children.
From the 1st of July there will be a $2.00 increase in the sessional fee. This increase is necessary to offset the required increase in wages expenditure (3% as per Enterprise Agreement) and to match the anticipated CPI increase (also 3%). It is always pertinent to point out that we are a truly non-profit enterprise and ALL fees are directed 100% back into the centre in order to provide the best possible outcome for your children.
Please feel free to bring in a cake to celebrate your child’s birthday. Children love to feel special on their birthday and a small party at morning or afternoon fruit-time is always a very happy way to celebrate this special day. Parents are welcome to come and enjoy some cake and a birthday song or staff can take photos to record the event for posterity.
Please remember that some children can suffer quite serious allergic reactions to some foods. Cakes need to be totally nut-free, and a list of all other ingredients must be provided.
2019 Xmas closure
This year, the centre will close from 4.00pm Tuesday the 24th, December 2019 and reopen at 6.30am on January 6th, 2020. No fees will be charged during this closure. If you know in advance that your child/ren will not be attending childcare on either the 23rd or 24th of December, please notify the office and you will also not be charged for these two days.
It is expected that if we can manage staffing accordingly on these days, we should be able to minimise the financial impact also.
2019 SALHN Excellence Award
Recently it was announced that the GenPlay program which our kindy has been running in conjunction with Aged Care and Palliative Care, Flinders Medical Centre, had been short-listed for the ‘Award for Excellence in Consumer Led Initiative’ (Individual or team award) at the recent SALHN Excellence Awards. More than 70 nominations were received for these prestigious awards including a highly diverse mix of individuals and teams from across the SALHN Network. The kindy staff team are justifiably proud to be recognised for this quite innovative program and both Natalie and Steph attended the glamourous ceremony at the Adelaide Wine Centre where they were presented the award.
GenPlay provides our older kindy children an opportunity to understand the perspective of our oldest, most knowledgeable generation and develop an appreciation for the important contribution they have to give.
Thank you to Catherine Hughes (T2 Parent & Co-Director- Division Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care FMC) who has been instrumental in developing this program.
If you would like to know more about this wonderful initiative or any other aspect of the centre’s policies, procedures or plans or if you would like to discuss the latest fee increase please contact Julianne or Martin anytime.