Every child belongs within their family, their cultural group, neighbourhood and wider community. In the work we undertake, families are our primary partners and Goodstart is committed to genuine collaborative relationships between families and early childhood professionals; relationships where we can value each other’s knowledge of our children, communicate respectfully and freely with each other, share insights and engage in shared decision-making. We encourage families to be involved in the centre, to provide input into learning programs, to spend time with our educators and to contribute their skills and resources to the centre to enhance children’s wellbeing, learning and development. To view our NQS6 - Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities Policy click here.
Key Goodstart policies in this area cover the following topics:
Family Rights and Responsibilities
Goodstart educators ensure practices in the centre respect families’ rights and responsibilities. Equally, at Goodstart centres our families have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a lawful, safe and responsible manner, respect the rights of others, and use appropriate language. Poor behaviour towards any other person is unacceptable, including: all forms of bullying, harassment, abuse, discrimination, actions that put another person at risk of harm, or threats of any kind. Upon enrolling, families agree to the Goodstart Family Rights and Responsibilities policy detailed on our website (and available in hard copy on request). Should families fail to comply with these responsibilities Goodstart may exclude them from the Centre, although their children may not be excluded.
Collection of Children
Only parents/guardians and authorised nominees are permitted to collect your child from our early learning program, and we encourage all families to ensure these contact details and arrangements are kept up-to-date. So we can ensure the safety of your child at all times, photo identification will be requested from any authorised nominee who is unknown to our early learning staff. If your child has not been collected from the centre by closing time and we are unable to contact you, we will contact the authorised nominees listed on your child’s enrolment form. In extreme circumstances where we are unable to contact one of your authorised nominees by closing time, we will contact the necessary authorities for the safe collection of your child. This is why it is important that your contact details and those of your authorised nominees are kept up-to-date at all times.
Enrolment and Orientation
We aim to establish mutually respectful and supportive relationships with families throughout the enrolment and orientation process to promote positive outcomes for your child, and to ensure legislative requirements are met. Throughout the process, families are invited to take a tour of the centre and are encouraged to raise any concerns or questions about the operations of the centre. You may with to complete the relevant documents below to assist you and the Centre Director with your enrolment:
Priority of access
The Australian Government’s Priority of Access Guidelines sets out three levels of priority, which we must follow when filling vacant places when the demand for childcare exceeds supply:
- Priority one - a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
- Priority two - a child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the work/training/study test under section 14 of the New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999.
- Priority three - any other child.
Within these main categories, priority should also be given to the following children:
- Children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
- Children from families that include a disabled person.
- Children from families that include an individual whose adjusted taxable income does not exceed the lower income threshold or whose partner is on income support.
- Children from families with a non–English–speaking background.
- Children from socially isolated families
- Children of single parents.
Under the Priority of Access Guidelines, if there are no vacant places and we are providing care for a child who is a priority 3, the service may require that child to vacate the place in order to provide a place for a child in priority one or two.
We actively encourage families to provide feedback about their experiences with the centre at any time. It is our policy that any problem, issues or disputes are managed fairly and promptly, and are resolved as close as possible to the source of the problem. Families can raise concerns with one of a number of contacts, including Goodstart’s Family Support Team, and someone will be assigned to be responsible for dealing with the issue. Families can also be assured that all Goodstart staff respect the privacy of the family when addressing any concern or grievance.