FAQs

Family Day Care is a flexible and affordable education and care option that is designed to meet your child's and your family's specific needs. Personalised care is provided in a small group setting in a nurturing and familiar home environment. 

Our qualified educators are fully supported by Windermere ensuring they are kept up to date with training, regulations and legislation and compliance with the Early Years Framework. 

As an approved and accredited service agency, Windermere provides full administration support to families including:

  • Feedback on your child's placement
  • Matching child to the right educator
  • Regular communication such as newsletters
  • Access to playgroups and networks to aid socialisation and development 
  • Your child care requirements are matched to the appropriate educator.
  • The home based setting provides a familiar, safe and secure learning environment.
  • Current research confirms the importance of strong relationships with significant adults to a child’s early learning. Family day care’s small group environment facilitates strong bonds and promotes effective early learning and social development.
  • Family day care can offer care during standard hours, evenings, before and/or after school, during school holidays and in some cases overnight and weekends.
  • Family day care can provide education and care for children from babies to school age offering the possibility for siblings to be cared for together, all in one location.
  • Family day care provides experiences which reflect the diversity of your community.

Absolutely. As the approved and registered family day care service provider it is our responsibility to recruit, train, support and manage our family day care educators. Together we must engage in the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and work within the requirements of the National Quality Framework (NQF).

This means educators must:

  • Maintain a national police clearance for working with children and possess a Working with Children check.
  • Hold or be actively working towards a Certificate III level education and care qualification.
  • Meet national standards which include maintaining quality learning programs, safe and hygienic learning environments and record keeping.
  • Maintain current first aid and CPR certificates and training in the emergency management of asthma and anaphylaxis.
  • Participate in regular support and monitoring visits conducted by Windermere.
  • Attend professional development training, network meetings and training workshops periodically to maintain currency of skills and knowledge.
  • Maintain current public liability insurance coverage.

All of our educators undergo a number of home safety checks to ensure that their home meets the appropriate safety standards as set out in the governing regulations. Ongoing safety checks are also carried out during educator support visits.

If your Family Day Care educator (or someone in their house) becomes ill and your child cannot attend, we will endeavour to find you an alternative educator. If we cannot find an alternative educator, no fee is payable for the duration of the absence.

Where possible, our educators will always try to take leave at a time that is suitable to their families. We also provide a number of relief educators that may be available during this time.

Each fortnight we will issue you with an invoice for your fees.

Once you sign up for Hub Debit your fees will automatically be debited from your nominated bank or credit card account. However, if you don’t want the fees directly debited from your account, please let us know so we can update the system from our end. You then have the ability through Hub Debit to go in and schedule a one off payment each fortnight to pay your account.

Please note you MUST advise us if you do not want to be direct debited by sending an email to enquiriesECECS@windermere.com.au

Please include your full name and the name of your child in the email.

Ensuring children eat a balanced and healthy diet (with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and water) is very important for their learning and wellbeing.

  • The Early Learning Centre provides breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea plus snacks throughout the day.  Meals and snacks are provided by a full qualified chef who works with the families, children and educators to provide healthy, well-planned meals that meet the daily dietary requirements of children.
  • For those using Family Day Care it is up to families and educators to come to individual agreements as to who will supply meals for children in their direct care. Additional fees may apply but please refer to the separate Fee Schedule for a full outline.
  • All In Home Care families are required to supply their own meals.

If meals or snacks are being provided please ensure you have advised the educator of any special dietary requirements.

A child’s behaviour is often the first and only way they know to communicate their needs. We know that providing children with positive early experiences really does give them a lifelong advantage so our educators are dedicated to:

  • Helping children learn about getting along with others and manage their emotions through positive guidance
  • Being good role models in the way we interact with children and each other
  • Communicating with you if we identify any issues and supporting you to take care of your child’s developmental and behavioural needs.

Vaccination protects against infection, saves lives and protects those who are too young or too sick to be immunised. The risk of complications from childhood diseases like measles is much higher than the risks of vaccination.

If you haven't had your child immunised, we are unable to provide care for your child.

For more information visit health.vic.gov.au.

It's very important for your child's safety that we know when they arrive and leave, so please follow these simple steps. Let the staff/educator know:

  • When your child has arrived or is about to leave. If your child is attending the Early Learning Centre you will also need to sign your child in and out each day
  • If your child will be absent
  • If you have arranged for someone else to pick up your child - only a person authorised by you can collect your child
  • If for any reason you or your nominated person is unable to pick up your child, please call us to make other arrangements
  • If you are running late to collect your child, please phone us as soon as possible. Late fees will apply and if we haven't heard from you after 30 minutes of the expected collection time, we will be required to call your emergency contact person to collect your child.

And for your own safety, please check with an educator about parking options whilst dropping off or picking up your child.

Depending on the age of your child you should consider packing the following:

For babies

  • bottles with formula or expressed milk
  • nappies (except for the Early Learning Centre where nappies are provided)
  • dummy (sealed in a named container)

Older children

  • a water bottle
  • a sun-safe hat that protects the face, neck and ears
  • sunscreen if you prefer an alternative to the one provided
  • at least two changes of clothes and underwear (your child may experience a variety of indoor and outdoor learning experiences including water, sand, paint and collage play)
  • any comfort items such as a toy or blanket that are important to your child
  • any medication (these need to be given directly to your educator or centre staff).

Please make sure everything is labelled clearly.

Please let us know if your child will be absent from scheduled bookings for any reason. When your child returns you will need to sign the attendance record to confirm their absence. It can be helpful to provide documentation to support absence days such as:

  • medical certificates
  • shared care plans (which need to be signed by both parents)
  • court orders
  • rostered days off or rotating shifts.

Please note you will still need to pay for absent days of any kind (i.e. public holidays) unless:

  • Your child attends the Early Learning Centre and it is the 2 week Christmas/New Year closure period
  • Your child attends Family Day Care and the educator (or their child) is ill. In this case we will endeavour to find you an alternative educator. If an alternate educator is sourced you would be required to pay the fees in line with their fee schedule.

Full details are available in the separate Fee Booklet.

When a child is not in care due to illness, this is classified as an allowable absence (of which each child is entitled to 42 per year) and the usual fees apply.

Families accessing HubWorks! through Internet Explorer have experienced some issues so we recommend you use the Google Chrome or Manilla Firefox internet browsers to log in and use HubWorks! If you continue to experience issues with HubWorks! using these browsers please contact the team on 5943 7814 who will assist you.

Yes we do. Excursions are planned in the best interests of the children and for educational purposes. Before any outing we need your written permission and to provide you with an excursion plan outlining where your child is going, times and transport information including the anticipated route. Families are encouraged to join excursions when available

Families are required to sign up to the Hub Debit system through HubWorks! to make payments for family day care fees. You will receive an invoice direct to your email inbox each fortnight and can choose to have the payment direct debited from your nominated account or you can schedule the payment yourself within HubWorks!

 

Once you enter your bank or credit card details into HubWorks! through the Hub Debit system, no one at Windermere has access to see these details. We see the first two and last two digits of your bank account or credit card, the rest appear as XXXX. Your details are secure and protected within HubWorks! by InterPay (a third party company who process the payments on our behalf through HubWorks!) and will only ever be used for the payment of your family day care fees.

If you have advised us that you don’t want your fees directly debited, you can go into HubWorks! and schedule a payment at any time. Select 'settings' (the little cog wheel) image on the top right hand side of your page (as shown below) and select ‘Make a Payment’.

Enter in the amount you want to pay, schedule the date you want to make the payment (this cannot be on the same day you are scheduling the payment so it needs to be at least one day in advance) and then select the ‘Pay’ button.

We will issue invoices to families every fortnight, generally on a Wednesday, and process direct debits to your nominated account on a Friday. Please note that processing can take up to two business days (which means payment may not actually come out of your account until the Monday or Tuesday) so please ensure you leave enough funds in your account.

Yes. If you let us know what day you want your fees to be debited from your account we can ensure that it is processed for that particular day (keeping in mind it may take up to two business days after that to actually come out of your account).

To change your payment day, please contact the team on 5943 7814 or email enquiriesECECS@windermere.org.au with your name, your child’s name, and the day you want your payments to be directly debited.

If you are scheduling your own payments (please let us know if you’re doing this) you have the option to choose any day to make a payment. Please keep in mind that in alignment with our fee policy all fees must be paid within seven days of receiving an invoice. As processing takes up to two business days, if you have not made payment within seven days and do not make payment by midnight on the Thursday prior to your next invoice being issued, your payment may not appear on the invoice when it is issued to you.

Hub Debit is integrated with IntegraPay which is a third party company who process the payments on our behalf through HubWorks! the software package we use to administer our family day care program.

The processing fees are fees set by IntegraPay and are not those issued or kept by Windermere.

All payment methods unfortunately incur some kind of fee - if you choose a bank account as the payment method for your fees you will incur a 75 cents transaction fee for each payment that is processed. If you pay for care every fortnight in a year the total annual fee will be $19.50. Credit cards incur an additional fee of 0.9% of your total payment amounts.

If you notice any errors with your invoice please contact the team on 5943 7814 as soon as possible. With the HubWorks! program we are able to rectify any errors, resubmit your child’s attendance and issue you with a new invoice, usually within two to three business days.

If you are an Australian resident under the age of 65 and have a diagnosed disability (or developmental delay for children under the age of 6) you may be eligible under the NDIS.

Access & eligibility for the NDIS is determined by the NDIA. The NDIS website has an access checker that you can use to see if you are likely to be eligible.

The majority of our consumers are in the South East Victorian region which includes the Cities of Greater Dandenong and Casey and the Shires of Cardinia and Baw Baw.

From the information released so far it seems that it could take eligible consumers up to 12 months to enter the NDIS program because of the phased roll out. Baw Baw Shire is scheduled for 1 October 2017 and Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia are 1 September 2018. But the areas around our service region will transition earlier and we will be able to offer NDIS funded services to consumers living in those areas as the plan rolls out.  

For those consumers who currently participate in State or Federal programs, it’s important to understand that those programs will continue until you start your NDIS plan.

For the most current information on the NDIS please visit www.ndis.gov.au

No. We’ll be ready long before our programs officially transition to the NDIS. Actually, for a number of years now, Windermere has already been providing individually funded services to consumers funded under existing Individual Support Package or DSS funded programs. So we already have well developed systems to support consumers who choose to purchase support using their individualised funding. Obviously we continue to review and improve these services and systems to ensure we can effectively support the increasing numbers of consumers who will receive individual funding.

We also have consumers who had already transitioned into NDIS (as arranged by NDIA) before moving into our area.  Windermere are already an approved NDIA provider and are registered to provide services under the NDIS.

For the most current information on the NDIS please visit www.ndis.gov.au

We are in regular contact with the NDIA and peak bodies such as National Disability Services and Early Childhood Intervention Australia. As more information becomes available we will definitely share this with our consumers via this newsletter, on our website and through information sessions when appropriate.

We have also formed a project team to ensure our readiness including being able to provide advice and assistance for anyone who has concerns about how a move to the NDIS might affect them. As I mentioned previously, we already have experience providing some fee for service options for consumers with access to individualised funding through ISP or DSS programs so we’re sure that will assist us to ensure a smooth transition.

Finally, we have two Consumer Consultative Committee’s - co-ordinated by the Disability team at Narre Warren and the team at Warragul, that work with consumer groups to ensure our services and systems meet the needs of you, our consumer.

For the most current information on the NDIS please visit www.ndis.gov.au

More information is due to be released by the NDIS before the end the year. If you have questions about the roll-out timeline or scheme design, just ask your worker (or visit the NDIS website (www.ndis.gov.au).  We will include additional  information as it becomes available through our newsletter and on our website.

 

We are in regular contact with the NDIA and peak bodies such as National Disability Services and Early Childhood Intervention Australia. As more information becomes available we will definitely share this with our consumers via this newsletter, on our website and through information sessions when appropriate.

We have also formed a project team to ensure our readiness including being able to provide advice and assistance for anyone who has concerns about how a move to the NDIS might affect them. As I mentioned previously, we already have experience providing some fee for service options for consumers with access to individualised funding through ISP or DSS programs so we’re sure that will assist us to ensure a smooth transition.

Finally, we have two Consumer Consultative Committee’s - co-ordinated by the Disability team at Narre Warren and the team at Warragul, that work with consumer groups to ensure our services and systems meet the needs of you, our consumer.

For the most current information on the NDIS please visit www.ndis.gov.au

Family Day Care Educators are not employees of Windermere Child & Family Services. Instead they are self-employed contractors who run their own home-based business, with our support.

This offers you a number of valuable benefits including:

  • Build your own quality early childhood education and care service business
  • Earn an income from the comfort of your home
  • Enjoy tax advantages as a self-employed contractor
  • Choose the hours you work to suit your needs
  • Create your own educational curriculum and early learning experiences for the children in your care in line with the National Quality Framework ‘approved learning framework’
  • Enjoy access to ongoing professional training
  • Build respectful relationships with the children you care for and their families
  • Provide valuable socialisation for your own children
  • Be part of a broader network of Family Day Care professionals in your local area
  • Know you are making a positive contribution to your community.

There is a huge demand locally for quality Windermere Family Day Care Educators, and most of them work to full capacity all year.

Depending on your availability you can expect to earn between $45,000 to $70,000 per year.

Your actual income will depend on a number of factors including your qualifications and experience, the quality of your overall care and education, and hours and days you choose to work. Sometimes it can take a little while to get established.

Running a home-based early childhood education and care service will affect your entire family. Because you will be expected to operate professionally at all times, it is vital that you discuss with your family the impact it will have on them, and the ways you deal with this, before you submit your application.

Here are some of the issues you should consider:

  • When your working day will begin and end
  • How your partner and any older children feel about sharing their home with other children
  • How any younger children may feel about sharing their toys (and you) with other children
  • How your family will feel about the health and safety requirements of providing Family Day Care, such as not being able to bring the family pet indoors while care is being provided
  • How you will deal with the fact that any family members or visitors who smoke cannot do so on the property or in view of children in your care.

If you are accepted as a Family Day Care Educator, be prepared to go through a period of adjustment, which is entirely normal. If you feel it would be helpful, we are happy to visit and discuss your new career with you and your family.

The good news is that the costs of starting up and running a home-based early childhood education and care service business are minimal.

Here is a list of what you will need to cover:

Public Liability Insurance

All Family Day Care Educators are required to have adequate insurance. This is can be arranged through Family Day Care Australia and the cost is very reasonable, premiums payable fortnightly. Information will be sent to you if you are accepted.

Police Check Fee

  • Family Day Care Educator
  • Others over 18

Working with Children Check

  • Cost of Working with Children Check + photo for Family Day Care Educator
  • Cost of photo for others over 18

Family Day Care Educators Levy*

Payable to Windermere Early Childhood Education & Care Services

First Aid Course

  • Level II
  • CPR
  • Asthma Management,
  • Anaphylaxis Management
  • Epipen

Medical Certificate

Cost of a standard visit to your GP only 

Activity materials Items such as play dough, paints, paper and glue

An adequate variety of toys & games

You may prefer to borrow items from the toy library

Safety-related equipment

Items such as:

  • Plugs for electrical outlets|
  • Child-proof latches for detergent cupboards
  • Protection from stove tops
  • A guard for your fireplace
  • Adequate external fencing

Child-related equipment

You will need to purchase some of your own equipment as you become established.

Home business-related equipment

  • Home telephone
  • Working mobile phone
  • Computer
  • Printer access
  • Internet connection
  • Email address
  • Other basic home office equipment.
Please note: As a self-employed contractor running your own small business, taxation is your responsibility. This means you must keep accurate records for your annual returns. We can help by providing you with a list of the information you will need to keep.

Windermere’s Family Day Care service caters for children aged birth to 12 years. The service provides quality early childhood education and care with flexible hours to meet the needs of individual families and their children.

It is licensed and funded by the Commonwealth Government. Family Day Care is provided to small groups of children within the Educator’s home, enabling them to deliver highly personalised care and quality learning programs within a stimulating and nurturing environment. This helps to develop a strong connection between the Educator and each
of the children they regularly care for, which helps to support the children’s identity, connection with the community, wellbeing and communication.

Working closely with our Educators, we aim to achieve four main goals:

1. Environment 

Deliver a stimulating and engaging educational program that enhances learning and development.

2. Curriculum

Promote competence, independence and learning through play.

3. Relationships

Develop respectful and equitable relationships which increase children’s sense of security and belonging.

4. Partnerships

Develop strong partnerships with families to achieve positive outcomes for their children.
The services we offer through

Family Day Care include:

  • Full or part-time care
  • Before and after school care
  • School holiday care
  • Respite care – up to 24 hours per week
  • Occasional and emergency care
  • Weekend, evening and overnight care
  • Care for children with additional needs.

With our Family Day Care services available 24 hours a day, seven days week, we ask our Educators to nominate the hours and days they would like to work, based on a minimum of 3 x 8-hour days. The maximum number of children a Educator can care for at any time is seven children, with up to four being below school age. (This includes any children of your own aged under 12 years).

Yes. You will need to have completed Certificate III in Children’s Services. You will also need to have completed First Aid, Anaphylaxis management, and Asthma management before you begin caring for children.

There are a number of variables in the way we place children with you, including the area in which you live, how many non-school-age children you have of your own, and whether you transport your own children to and from school.

Children come and go from care, so when a child leaves there is no guarantee that another child can be placed with you immediately. A lot of your success will depend on your enthusiasm, dedication, the quality of the education and care you provide, and most importantly, your professional reputation.

Existing service providers (like us!) can keep you up to date about the progress in your area and also advise you about information you should gather in preparation for NDIA planning.

The NDIS website also has some excellent resources for people with a disability and their families to assist with preparation – look for My NDIS Pathway

If you are already using existing Commonwealth or State funding services, the NDIA or Local Area Coordinator will contact you about NDIS access and planning.

For those who may be eligible but are not using services when the NDIS becomes available, you will be able to contact the NDIA and complete an Access Request Form – you will also need to provide evidence of your developmental delay or diagnosed disability.

A LAC or Local Area Coordinator is an organisation who will be providing some outsourced NDIA tasks including:

  • Community development to ensure local community supports better meet the needs of people with a disability
  • Support linking people with a disability to community
  • Planning.

There will be one designated LAC provider in each area. Across many areas, these are still unknown - check back regularly to find out the LAC in your area.

The NDIS recognises specific needs of families who have children under 6 who are experiencing developmental delay, but whom do not yet have a formal disability diagnosis.

Requirements include that the child has developmental delay which results in substantially reduced functional capacity in one or more of the areas of self-care, receptive & expressive language, cognitive development or motor development, and that specialised services or treatments which are individually planned and coordinated are required over an extended period of time.

Full details of early intervention access requirements are available on the NDIS website.

Commonwealth and state-based services and supports will continue until eligible people start their NDIS plans.

Once an eligible person starts their plan they can then choose to purchase their supports from a variety of providers, including their existing service provider if they are happy to do so.

Non-perishable food items, personal care items, brand new gifts, toys and clothes – the list is endless.

But want to know what would really make a difference?

Check out our Helping Hamper and Gift Finder hints and tips

We really would love to take everything on offer, but unfortunately due to health and safety reasons we are unable to accept perishable food items (meat, cheese, yoghurt etc), and items that have passed their expiry date.

We are also unable to accept any second hand/used toys and products, or any items that are dangerous, perishable, or inappropriate (alcohol, cigarettes, weapons etc).

 

Windermere Head Office
48 Webb Street, Narre Warren VIC 3805
(open Mon - Fri 9am to 5pm)

Alternatively, items can also be delivered during the week and on weekends to

The Good Guys Narre Warren
Showrooms 12 & 13, Fountain Gate Super Centre,
Victor Crescent, Narre Warren VIC 3805

 

Drop us an email fundraising@windermere.org.au or give us a call on 1300 946 337 to discuss alternative options.

 

All items gifts, hampers etc should be delivered by 5pm Tuesday 6th December.

 

We like to make sure that everyone receives gifts appropriate to their age and situation.  Our case workers (who deliver the gifts) know best what would suit their families.  They personally hand pick suitable gifts for their families, but importantly it also gives the parents a sense of control in being able to provide for their children.

We do welcome donations of gift wrapping and sticky tape if you would like to include some with your items, that way the parents can wrap the gifts themselves.

You still have the opportunity to give and make a massive difference in the lives of many local children and families, become a merry maker with a tax deductible donation

Sometimes life deals us a bad hand, and circumstances mean families are simply unable to afford food and necessities, let alone gifts. Many have experienced extreme disadvantage, trauma and vulnerability, and are connected with Windermere through one of our life-changing services.

We work at the core of the local community to assist those experiencing adversity. Merry Mission provides an opportunity to bring some Christmas joy to children and families who are doing it tough and would otherwise miss out.

Merry Mission has been running for over 8 years, and has provided more than 9500 gifts and around 930 hampers to thousands of families across our community.

Lots and lots!

Windermere is an independent community service organisation, working across south eastern Melbourne and Gippsland, to help those who need it most. With a history spanning 160 years, we work to build a stronger, connected and supported community. 

Our support comes in many forms; we work together to find the best solutions for the varied and complex issues faced by children, families and individuals in our community. 

With a focus on intervention and prevention, we aim to get in early to make a difference in the areas of:

  1. Family Wellbeing to create positive behavioural changes, respond to violence and/or neglect to enable people of all abilities to actively participate in their community
  2. Development & Early Childhood Education  including support to individuals and children with disability & developmental delays and a range of childcare services
  3. Assistance and support for victims of trauma, assault and/or violent crime
  4. Community Strengthening designed to respond quickly to relevant and emerging needs.

Our services are primarily funded through two channels - government and by our generous community of donors, to whom we are grateful.

We believe that everyone is someone in our community – this is reflected in our approach with those we work with every day.

There are so many ways you can support Windermere, here are just a few ideas:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation 
  • Join us at one of our events throughout the year 
  • Hold your own fundraising event for Windermere
  • Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the lasted news and information 

For more information or to chat further contact one of the team fundraising@windermere.org.au or 1300 946 337

Never fear we have it covered! 

Our talented creative team have put together posters and flyers to get you started.

The dedicated Merry Mission website holds an array of useful information to assist you in your campaign, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for or would like something else, simply give the team a call on 1300 946 337 or drop us an email fundraising@windermere.org.au

 

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