Starting to think about child care for your little one, but unsure about where to begin – or what the process might even look like?
At The Learning Sanctuary, we’re lucky enough to have a Family Support Team that will be the leaders on your child care journey. From enquiry all the way through to starting at a centre, our Brisbane-based team is there to help.
Being a mix of mothers, grandmothers, ex-educators and child care experts, they know how to offer the best of advice to put you at ease, whether you have questions about individual centres or are seeking advice about the Child Care Subsidy.
Here’s what to expect from the child care enrolment process.
Children’s neurological pathways multiply and develop faster in the first five years than at any other time in their life, and the foundation of a strong relationship with educators is fundamental for future success.
The Family Support Team understand the impact that relationships can have on a child’s learning journey, which is why they’re so committed to linking your family with a centre that’s perfect for you.
Upon enquiry, our team will ask you about your child’s name, age, hobbies, food allergies and dietary requirements to help you determine the right centre fit and book you in for a tour.
Some centres have limited availability, so it’s a good idea to enquire as early as possible. Families often get in touch towards the end of their pregnancy, or as soon as their little one has been born.
The Family Support Team will lock your tour in for you, arranging a time that will suit you best. If there are multiple centres close to you, it’s highly recommended that you tour more than one centre, just to see which you prefer. It may not always be the one you expected to like best!
“I tell families that it’s really important to focus on the ‘vibe’ of the centre,” explains Jarrod from the Family Support Team. “If you don’t feel right in the centre, you’re not going to feel quite comfortable when you’re at work. So it’s really important to connect with the centre.”
24 hours after your tour, the team will be in touch. If you loved the centre and want to enrol, they’ll send the correct forms through; if you’re hoping to check out a different centre, they can also get that arranged.
“We’re always looking to find the right centre fit for a family,” Rhiannon from the Family Support Team says. “If a centre isn’t suitable, we make sure to send a survey and see what we can improve on.”
It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fill out the forms provided by the Family Support team. The team will then check your forms to ensure that all information is correct, especially the details provided to receive the Child Care Subsidy.
“We want to make sure that if you commence care, your subsidy will be approved,” Rhiannon explains. “If something drops off on Centrelink’s side and it hasn’t been picked up, a family may pay full fees. So we analyse the information provided and let the family know if they have to get in touch with Centrelink.”
It’s a positive experience, especially for those new to the system, as our experts are there to ensure everything is done correctly.
From there, the team will also activate your Xplor Home account, putting it into ‘active’ status and adding both your payment details and bookings.
Starting at a centre
Starting at a new early learning centre can be full of emotions for both families and children. Families can get directly in touch with the centre manager to arrange ‘stay and play’ days prior to beginning care, allowing them to begin to build bonds with their educators.
Seven days prior to your official start date, the Family Support Team will be back in touch to confirm your child’s details, including specific information about their routine and favourite activities. They’ll share this information with the centre, ensuring the transition is as smooth as possible.
You are encouraged to call at any point of the day to discuss your child’s learning and activities with their primary educator.
And of course, the Family Support Team will be in touch seven days after your start date, just to check in with how everything went – leaving you feeling supported along every step of the way.