FAQs | C&K - childcare and kindergarten

FAQs

Published: 28 May 2020

C&K Childcare families

The government announced on Thursday, April 2nd that all childcare would be free. What does ‘free childcare’ mean?

From Monday April 6th, 2020, C&K will not charge a fee to families at any of its childcare centres.

That means there is no ‘out of pocket’, or ‘gap fee’ for families to pay. The Government will determine the length of time that this funding arrangement will be in place. We will provide you with as much notice as possible when ‘free’ childcare is to cease.

Is it really free for everyone, or are the existing means testing arrangements still in place? Do I have to meet an activity test?

Means testing arrangements are no longer in place and there is no activity test to meet to qualify for ‘free’ childcare while this new childcare package is in place. The Government has indicated that childcare is for children of ‘essential workers’ and those families who are experiencing vulnerability.

Am I an essential worker? I work from home – am I eligible for free childcare?

C&K has been asked to prioritise those who need their children cared for because they are working, including when they cannot care for their children safely at home. Other priorities include vulnerable children who need continuity of care, and those who have recently been taken out of childcare.

I’ve lost my job, can my child still attend childcare?

If you have a current enrolment at C&K, then you are welcome to continue bringing your child to a C&K childcare centre.

Can I increase my days?

For any requests to increase days, please get in touch with your Centre Director. It may be that you are placed on a waitlist for an increased number of days. The government has asked people to understand that priority will be given to those who are working and vulnerable children.

I’ve recently cancelled my enrolment, can I enrol again?

We hope so! We would love to have you back, however this is dependent upon available spaces at your centre. Please contact your Centre Director to discuss re-enrolling. It may be that you are placed on a waitlist until a space becomes available.

Can I keep my child’s place if they’re not attending?

This will depend on the availability of places. If we have families in need of childcare, we will need to offer them the place.  If you do not wish to use childcare at the moment, we can put you at the top of our waitlist.  You can tell us when you are ready to return, and we will offer you the next available place.

Will I receive a refund for fees paid?

If you have paid fees in advance for the period after Friday April 3rd, 2020 you will receive a refund for these days. Please bear with us while we process these refunds.

I think we’re a ‘vulnerable family’, how can I check?

We are still awaiting advice about how we can determine this category of eligibility.  As a guide, if you have previously been in receipt of Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS), have been on the highest level of Child Care Subsidy (CCS) or if your doctor or another professional has recommended that your child attend childcare, then you should continue your enrolment. If your child has any special medical condition/s, we recommend that you consult your doctor about how childcare may affect your child’s condition at this time.

Can I still use KindyNow?

Please continue to use the KindyNow app to notify your centre if your child is going to be absent. If you require a casual day, please speak with your Centre Director.

How long will the new ‘free’ childcare scheme be in place?

We anticipate that this package may change in the coming weeks with the likelihood that there will be a return to the former fee-based Child Care Subsidy (CCS) system. We are taking advice from the Australian Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package and this means that currently, no fees are being charged for childcare.

Is it still safe for my child to attend childcare?

We are taking advice from both the Australian Government and the Queensland Departments of Health and Education.  At this time, the health experts have advised that it is safe for children to attend childcare.  At C&K, we have put in place additional measures to protect children and staff.  This includes more attention to handwashing, environmental cleaning and where possible, practicing social distancing.

What do I need to do when I arrive and depart from my Centre?

To ensure the health and safety of our children, families, and employees, we ask that you please follow the below arrival and departure requirements:

  • Practice social distancing of 2 metres with other families, children and teachers/educators.
  • Limit drop off and pick up times to a maximum of 15 minutes. Please contact your Centre if a longer chat is needed.
  • Limit of one parent/guardian (or authorised emergency contact) per child at drop off and pick up. We understand that siblings may need to attend at these times, but we request this be limited wherever possible.

For further information, please refer to the C&K COVID-19 Commitment Statement.

How will my social distancing work at my Centre?

Here is a list of social distancing measures your Centre may implement:

  • When possible, implement staggered or rolling mealtimes (offering meals over a long period of time) to encourage small groups when eating.
  • Place fewer chairs at each table or use more tables for mealtimes and activities.
  • Implement small group learning when possible.
  • Stagger routines so that small groups of children access handwashing and toileting facilities at any one time.
  • Ensure children spend more time outdoors or implement an indoor/outdoor program – providing more space for children and educators to access.
  • Open windows and adjust air conditioners to maximise ventilation.

For further information, please refer to the C&K COVID-19 Commitment Statement.

Do I need to get the influenza (flu) vaccination to enter a C&K Centre?

The Department of Health has recommended that children and parents/guardians receive the flu vaccination. However, this is not compulsory. Families can still attend the Centre if they do not receive the vaccination. 

I’m a not a resident of Australia. Can my child still attend?

Yes, your child can attend if:

  • Your child was enrolled at a C&K branch centre during Term 1, AND
  • You are an essential worker , OR
  • Your family is experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

My child isn’t immunised. Can they attend?

Yes, your child can attend if:

  • Your child was enrolled at a C&K branch centre during Term 1, AND
  • You are an essential worker, OR
  • Your family is experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability.

My child is sick, needs to be isolated, or we want to keep them at home. Will we still have to pay fees?

Childcare - as per Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, you can still access childcare at no cost even if your child is not physically attending the Centre.

Kindergarten - If your child is absent, their enrolment is secured until they return.

Can I book extra days for my child?

Yes, you can. If:

  • You are an essential worker, and your work hours have increased
  • Your family is experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability, and your doctor or other professional has recommended increasing your days.

Can I re-enrol my child? Does my child need to attend?

Yes, if you were enrolled at any time during March 2020, you can re-enrol temporarily, and where there is a vacancy.

If you are an essential worker, experiencing vulnerability or disadvantaged, your child may attend. If you can care for your child at home, your child can access our learning from home programme.

Enrolment offers will be made on a temporary basis as in C&K’s COVID-19 Childcare Package enrolment procedure -  Child Enrolment and Orientation Procedure. 

Once the COVID-19 Childcare Package arrangements end, we will try to give your child a permanent place as soon as one is available.
 

Will families who are newly-enrolled in childcare be charged an enrolment fee?

No, newly-enrolled families will not be charged enrolment fees.

Will I be charged for the week of 30 March 2020 to 3 April 2020?

Yes, fees will be charged for attendance between 30 March and 3 April 2020.

 

C&K Community Kindergarten families

When can my child go back to Community Kindergarten?

The Queensland Government decided that all children can return to Community Kindergartens from Monday 11 May 2020.

Your kindergarten may look a little different when you return as we have made some changes that will help protect the health and safety of your child, your family and our employees.  Please make yourself familiar with the C&K COVID-19 Commitment Statement, which builds on our already robust approach to providing a safe and healthy environment. This will be updated as the situation evolves.

What if we’re not ready to return to Community Kindergarten?

That’s OK, we understand! We will continue to provide our Learning from Home program and look forward to welcoming you and your family back when you are ready to return.

During Term 2, fees will not be charged for eligible-aged children (those who turn 4 before 30 June 2020) and 3-year-olds (who do not turn 4 by 30 June) for 15 hours of kindergarten per week (30 hours per fortnight). If you would like to attend for more than 15 hours per week (30 hours per fortnight), you will still be required to pay fees.

Are ”Extended Hours Kindergarten” (until 6 pm) free too?

Yes,  you will not be charged if you attend our “Extended Hours Kindergartens”:

  • C&K Ascot
  • C&K Carindale
  • C&K Coorparoo
  • C&K Paddington
  • C&K Rosalie
  • C&K Weir

Limited Hours Care – will families receive free Childcare and Kindergarten in Term 2?

Unfortunately, Limited Hours Care was not included in the Community Kindergarten Assistance Package. Therefore fees will continue to be charged. If your child is absent, no fee charges will apply.