Parent Information - Frequently Asked Questions
The following is an A to Z of Highvale Preschool, which hopefully provides parents and carers with some useful information about life at the kinder.
A-Z of Highvale (PDF)
What does it mean that the kinder has an 'Exceeding National Quality Standards' rating?
- Educational program and practice
Your child is supported to participate in play and learning
- Children's health and safety
Your child is protected from illness and hazards
- Physical environment
Your child plays in a safe and well maintained environment
- Staffing arrangements
There are enough qualified staff to give your child the attention they need
- Relationships with children
Your child is made to feel supported and welcomed
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Local community involvement and respect and inclusion of all beliefs and values
- Leadership and service management
Your child is cared for in a positive environment
Highvale Preschool was assessed in May 2015 and received "Exceeding in all 7 areas".
Further information on the assessment rating can be found here.
What is your educator-to-child ratio?
The regulations state that we must have 1 educator to 11 children.
At Highvale we have:
- 4-5 Year old group has a ratio of 9 children per educator per session.
- 3-4 Year old group have 7 children per educator per session
How many years of experience do your educators have?
In our 4-5 Year old group we have Karen Chadwick who is the Nominated Supervisor of the preschool and teacher of this group along with educators Pam Atkinson and Marta Kocsis.
Karen has been teaching in the early childhood sector for 20 years, Pam 25 years, Marta 12 years.
Jo Shanks is our teacher in the 3-4 year old group. Jo has many years' experience working with children in preschool and school settings, including extensive experience with chi ldren who require additional attention.
Rebecca and Lily work with Jo in the 3 year old group and are both skilled educators in their 2nd year at Highvale.
Karen, Marta, and Lily have all been past members of the Highvale Community with their children attend our centre. Karen and Marta were also part of the Committee of Management. Pam has been part of the Highvale staff for 23 years.
What is the program like for 3-4 year old & 4-5 year old?
We believe that the 3-4 year old program is a time for the children to learn to separate from their carers, to socialize and learn the basic routines of a preschool program. How to paste, hold brushes, sit in a group, and listen to instructions. The children will be learning how to work in a group situation.
Our 4-5 Year old program is a structured program that helps to prepare the children for learning. We provide challenging activities that increase in complexity throughout the ye ar. The children will learn to use scissors, to work in groups and independently, to share and negotiate with each other.
We provide a play based program in both groups. We will always encourage your child's interests but do not formally teach numbers, letters or reading. This is the responsibility of your prep teacher at school.
Is Highvale kinder any different from Childcare if it's only play-based learning?
We believe that a quality preschool program does differ from that of a childcare centre. The preschool day is only for a period of time per day and not an 'all day care' situati on. Our children do not have rest or sleep times and we like them to be part of the program and value their input into our playing areas. Our parents are also able to assist with t he children and attend sessions as our parent helper.
Play based learning environments offer diverse opportunities to explore, discover and create. It fosters qualities such as curiosity, perseverance and risk taking. It is believe d these qualities motivate lifelong learners.
- Children create, explore, learn, and identify with others.
- Children learn to make friends and how to be a nice friend.
- Children become independent and develop confidence and self-esteem.
- Children begin to express their own ideas within a group.
- Children develop the confidence to ask for help.
- Children learn skills, such as cutting and pasting, which help them later at school with reading and writing.
- Children learn to recognize symbols, concepts and rhymes.
- Children learn to develop co-ordination skills such as hopping, skipping and jumping.
- Children learn to work in a group, take turns, listen to others and share.
- Children are learning and developing positive attitudes of self-motivation and self-direction, self-confidence, co-operation and group values, curiosity, persistence and concen tration and language and numeracy during play.
This play based learning program is responsive to childrens differences and builds on childrens strengths, interests and knowledge. Through child centered approaches it provides challenging learning experiences and skills and fosters emotional support.
We also send out regular reflections and observations on your child as well as weekly/fortnightly reflections on the program and activities undertaken in each group.
What is the cost for my child to attend your kinder?
3 - 4 Year Old Group
- Fees subsidy is available to families who hold current Health Care Cards or Pension Cards Subsidy is only available for the 4-5 year old group
- Program Fee is all inclusive and you will not be required to fundraise or make any further contributions. Over a term our fee is equivalent to $3.70 per hour.
4 - 5 Year Old Group
* Voluntary contribution towards Incursions/excursions
** Cost per Term for terms 2 & 3 Only
- The government does not contribute any funds towards this program.
- Program Fee is all inclusive and you will not be required to fundraise or make any further contributions. Over a term our fee is equivalent to $8.00 per hour.
Why is your fees higher than others?
On paper our fees may appear on occasions to be higher than some of the surrounding preschool but our fees are all inclusive and you are not required to fundraise or pay any contribution towards incursions and excursions. Our hours in the 3-4 year old program are higher than most. When comparing the cost of your child's education it may be beneficial to look at the hourly rate you would be paying for a quality educational program.
Is the kinder funded? / Can I receive any financial assistance?
The 4-5 year old program is partially funded by the government and the fees you pay make up the balance of the running costs. Families with approved Government concession cards are given an extra subsidy. The 3-4 year old program is fully self-funded and no government assistance is provided. We are able to provide receipts for families that qualify for th e Childcare Rebate
What is your refund policy? Can I withdraw my child at any time?
We do not refund fees. If you take holidays or have illness during the year you are still required to pay the full terms fees. You can withdraw your child at any time during the preschool year. Please read the Fees policy for full details.
What is your session time?
The preschool year follows the state school educational year calendar. We have 4 terms and each term is approximately 10 weeks long.
How do I enrol my child into your kinder?
Submit an application through Monash Council website. The council sets the criteria for placement in line with the government guidelines as set out in the Kindergarten Funding G uide Offers from council usually made in end July/Aug Once accepted, Highvale Preschool will send out formal enrolment packs You will be invited to Attend our AGM and information e vening in Nov ,where you will be given information about your child's year and Orientation day Orientation & Interview time to be arranged with Educator in Dec / Jan prior to c ommencement
Does the preschool offer extended hours?
We are a sessional preschool and our program hours do not allow for extended hours.
Does the preschool provide lunch, snacks and drinks?
Parents are asked to provide Healthy lunches and snacks for their child. Highvale Preschool have a "Water Only" policy and as such, children must have only water in their parent supplied water bottles. Families are required to sign a Healthy Eating Acknowledgement when attending the preschool.
Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Most children will have begun their toilet training by the time they attend 3-4 year old preschool and we encourage you to work on your child's training in the months prior to y our child's attendance at Highvale. We know that accidents do still happen. Teachers and staff will work with you and your child to achieve a positive outcome. Please send a change of clothes with your child in case of accidents.
My child cannot speak any English. What should I do?
Teachers and Educators are experienced in dealing with children who have English as a second language. We strongly encourage you to begin to teach your child some basic language skills prior to attending preschool. It can be very upsetting for a child to be left with people they do not know and cannot communicate with.
Simple phrases can help relieve stre ss for your child and help us to comfort them:
- Help me
- I'm hurt
- I feel sick
- I need to go to the toilet
- I need a drink
- I am hungry
- Where's my bag?
- I don't understand
We ask that you encourage your child to understand instructions such as
- Cross your legs
- Wash your hands
- Mummy will be back soon
- Put your hat on please
Watching ABC TV and Playschool may encourage your child to become familiar with the English language.