We’d love to find your child a place at a Goodstart centre, so please give our Family Support Team a call on 1800 222 543 to see which centres near you have vacancies and to arrange a centre tour if you haven’t already had one. A centre tour is a great way for you and your child to get a feel for the centre and to experience our early learning environment first hand.
Once you have completed your tour, your Centre Director will then provide you with an enrolment pack with everything you need to know about the centre, their learning programs and your child’s daily routine. They’ll also provide you with a quote for daily fees and any further information you need. So feel free to ask any questions you may have. We want you to be comfortable and happy that you’ve made the right decision for your child and your family.
If there are no vacancies at the centre of your choice, you are welcome to join your centre’s waiting list. We regularly review these lists and we will contact you if a place becomes available. Alternatively, we can help you find another Goodstart centre nearby with vacancies.
This is an exciting time for you and your child. Every child should have at least one orientation visit prior to starting at their centre so they can get to know the educators and the environment. Multiple visits spread over different times of the day are encouraged, so you can get a feel for how the centre operates.
A specific time will be made for your family to meet with the Centre Director and educators. You will be introduced to the daily operations of the centre including things like staff rosters and family events. You will be invited to discuss your expectations of the centre with the Centre Director, and talk to your child’s educator about your aspirations and expectations for your child. Also, things like programs and practices within the room, children’s routines and rhythms, will all be explained to you.
During the orientation visits, your child will meet the children at the centre so they can begin to form relationships and become familiar and comfortable in their new environment. They will join in on activities and meals happening that day, and find out important information about the centre, like where to find the toilets, playground, and where to place their belongings.
What to expect on your first day
Leaving your child in someone else’s care is never easy - for parents or children. It’s natural to feel a bit anxious. Rest assured, our educators will be there to help you both through the process of dropping off your child and saying goodbye.
On your first day, areas will be set up for your child including a locker or basket for their belongings and a family pocket for parent information. Formal communication will be provided to you at the end of the day to let you know how your child settled in and what experiences and relationships they have engaged in. Your child’s educators will also stay in touch during this important first day to let you know how things are going. At the end of each day you can talk to your educator to see how your child is settling in. You’re welcome to read through the educator’s observations to get a feel for how well your child is adapting to the change as well.
The Centre Director will continue to make regular contact with you during these first few important weeks, to check that your expectations of the centre are being met and that you are satisfied with the level of communication and rapport with your child’s educators. The educators in your child’s room will also be in contact with you to discuss the routines within the centre and room, and share with you the experiences your child has participated in during the day.
Most children – and parents – settle in happily after a couple of weeks. But don’t worry if your child takes a little longer. Talk to the Centre Director or your child’s educators, and together, we’ll find a way to turn those separation tears into see-you- later smiles!
Some useful tips
Separation anxiety is normal in the early weeks, so don’t worry if your child seems upset at first. While there’s no magic formula to make separation anxiety miraculously disappear, there are a few tips that can certainly help:
- Take your child to visit their new centre for orientation and to meet the educators before their first day.
- Talk to your child about what will happen at the centre and reassure them that you’ll be coming back.
- Work together with your child’s teachers and educators – they have plenty of good ideas and reassuring advice.
- Try to keep goodbyes short. It’s important to be strong, leave when you need to go and don’t linger at drop-off time.
- Be calm, respond to your child’s distress and comfort them, but remain firm about leaving.
- Spend extra time with them to reconnect when you come back and ask them about their day. Ask your educator for some useful questions that can help encourage your child to open up about their day’s experience.
Real learning can't be hurried.
Every child develops at a different pace, and when you and your Centre Director feel your child is ready, your child will move to a new room and new experiences. This is what we call “transitioning”. Transitioning between rooms is an important part of growing up and most children become very excited about taking the next step.
Some children need a little more time than others to transition. This is completely natural. Every child is unique and the transition itself takes place in stages. Your child will ‘visit’ the new room for small but increasing amounts of time, and your child will get as much time as he or she needs to make the move. We’ll also stay in touch with you regularly to ensure you’re fully aware of your child’s progress
Things we consider.
By the time your child is ready to transition, your centre will have taken steps to ensure the process is as easy and smooth as possible.
Certain basic social and emotional skills need to be learned before a move is possible and safe, so while your child is in their current room, we assess their readiness to transition. We make very sure he or she is ready to make the transition with as little disruption as possible.
We will then work together to ensure your child is ready to move to the next room.