Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Choosing a child care and early education centre
Finding the perfect child care centre is no easy feat. There’s a lot to consider, including location, price, waiting lists and the general ‘vibe’ of the centre. So how can you be confident you’ve made the right decision?
Here are some of our top tips:
- Ask about exactly what’s on offer at the centre. How will they support you when life gets busy? This could include the nutritious meals on offer, flexible or longer hours, or engaging specialised programs.
- Take a close look at the programs and learning opportunities. Children learn through play in the early years, and the educators at your centre will be able to explain how play develops a strong foundation for the ongoing learning journey.
- Look for a friendly team. By booking a tour and spending time with the team members at the centre, you can find out exactly who your child will be interacting with, and how they’ll be inspired throughout the day.
- Check the centre’s rating. The National Quality Standards (NQS) sets a national benchmark for education and child care services in Australia. If interested, why not go ahead and ask the centre manager what their NQS rating is, and what that rating means.
- Ask plenty of questions. The right centre will be able to answer all your questions and put your mind at ease, especially during the centre tour!
- Above all, trust your gut to tell you when a centre is right!
Great Beginnings offers the following:
Great Beginnings accepts child care applications for future enrolments, and we offer enrolment placements as they become available. Our Family Support team will add your child’s name on our waitlist if a centre is currently full in your child’s age group. We will then contact you as soon as places become available.
We also do monthly check-ins to review the availability, and you will receive a text message confirming if you’re still happy to remain on the waitlist each month. When spots do become vacant, we will give you a call to tell you the good news!
If you would like to get an update at any point, you’re welcome to reach out on our Web Chat or give us a call. Our Family Support team can also help you find more centres near you, with the same offerings at the centre you are interested in that have immediate availability.
Attending a child care and early education centre
All child care and early education centres abide by educator to child ratios as determined by the National Quality Framework (NQF). The below table outlines the minimum ratios followed by our centres.
|Age of children||Educator to child ratio||Applies|
|Birth to 24 months||1:4||All states and territories|
|Over 24 months and less than 36 months||1:5||All states and territories excluding VIC|
|Over 36 months up to and including preschool age||1:11||ACT, NT, QLD, VIC|
|1:10 for centre-based services other than a preschool
1:10 for disadvantaged preschools
1:11 for preschools other than a disadvantaged preschool
2:25 for children attending a preschool program
|Over preschool age||1:15||NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, NSW|
(or 1:10 if kindergarten children are in attendance)
Otherwise, for babies, be sure to include: nappy rash cream, dummies, bottles and teats, comfort toy or blanket, sun hat, three spare outfits, spare socks, a jumper and a plastic bag for wet clothes.
For toddlers and preschool or kindergarten aged children, start with: Spare underwear, water bottle or sippy cup, sun hat, closed-toe shoes, two spare outfits, spare socks, a jumper and a plastic bag for wet clothes.
Plus anything else your individual child may need, such as breast milk, a sleeping bag, dummies, medication.
When you arrive at the early education and child care centre, sign your child in and be sure to greet their educators warmly. If your child sees that you have a good relationship with them, they’ll be more likely to trust them too.
It can be difficult to leave if your child is upset. Rest assured our educators will soothe your child and engage them in entertaining activities to help them settle in.
You’re always welcome to call anytime during the day to check on your child’s wellbeing and progress! You’ll also receive daily updates and photos detailing your child’s learning and development on our all in one family app.
Settling in to child care only takes a few days for some children, while for others it might take longer. Rest assured that our team will work closely with your family to ensure the process is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. You can read more on how to prepare for your child’s first day here.
The child care and early education centre will:
- Administer first aid that is appropriate for the injury sustained by the child, as guided by the Educators Senior First Aid Training and Administering First Aid Centre Policy.
- Notify you as soon as possible.
- Ensure that further medical attention is recommended to the families in instances where the child’s injury is such that medical attention is required but does not require emergency medical treatment (e.g. Ambulance).
- Please call the early education and child care centre on the direct phone line and notify them as soon as possible, including the estimated arrival time, so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
- Alternative food will be offered to your child when possible. Families can supply food if there are specific requirements.
Public holidays are charged at the normal daily fee. Families will be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for public holidays if they have not exceeded allowable yearly absences.
We offer 9-hour, 10-hour and 12-hour Flexible Hours sessions. Find out more about optimising your child care subsidy hours here.
Under the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), families are allowed 52 absence days per child, per financial year. These can be taken for any reason, including public holidays and when children are sick, without the need for families to provide documentation.
Absences should only be claimed when care would have been provided if the child was not absent, and the family has been charged a fee for the session of care. CCS is only payable for absences submitted before a child has started at a service, or after a child’s final day of actual attendance at a service, under limited circumstances.
Read our Google reviews
“My son loves it at Great Beginnings Notting Hill. He is excited to go and learns a lot. He is well loved and cared for and everyone is very friendly. The centre is always clean and there is an outdoor undercover area so the kids have lots of time in the fresh air.”
Great Beginnings Notting Hill
“Great educators and service. Can recommend to anyone who is looking for a good child care or kinder for their kids. Thanks.”
Great Beginnings Berwick
“Great centre, the staff are very dedicated to the children and nothing is too much trouble. Beautiful new wooden toys, very clean, always doing art and craft, healthy allergy friendly meals and snacks provided, regular visits from Zoo to you etc and heaps of communication. We could not ask for more.”
Great Beginnings Atherton
“Our son has been going there since it opened. We are all extremely happy with the centre and the staff are great. Very friendly and helpful. I have recently changed jobs and now drop my son off a lot earlier, we don't have time for breakfast at home but, I know that they will give him breakfast. Highly recommend this centre 😊.”
Great Beginnings Pimpama
“I highly appreciate the care for our daughter and the school readiness program is well advanced. Shruti loved her teachers and she still miss the everyday. I recommend them to everyone one in Hornsby area. Thank you Great beginning team for your help and care.”
Great Beginnings Hornsby
“Awesome centre with excellent staff! My son absolutely loves going to daycare each day because the staff are so friendly and genuine. They are very accommodating and provide him with so many wonderful learning opportunities each day. Very easy to communicate with and really understanding of the needs of their families. Couldn’t be happier with the facilities and staff.”
Great Beginnings Halls Head
“Beautiful childcare with lovely people. Staff helped me transition my boy to childcare. Very helpful and communication daily is amazing!!”
Great Beginnings Aveley
“Such a beautiful centre with amazing staff! Every drop off and pick up is met with such a warm welcome and that makes myself and my kids feel comfortable as soon as we enter! Highly recommend.”
Great Beginnings Epsom
“My daughter loves coming to this centre...staff are amazing, and so friendly...always greet me with a smile! Couldn't be happier, my son will be attending this daycare next year also! Keep up the great job girls...!!”
Great Beginnings Curlewis