Nutrition

Children in Long Day Care may receive 50% to 70% of their daily food intake whilst in care. This is why we employ trained chefs to prepare healthy, well-balanced meals created fresh from our own kitchens. (*)

At Pelicans Early Learning Centres, we understand that good nutrition plays a vital role in promoting a healthy, happy and alert young learner.

That is why we have developed nutritious seasonal menus, in consultation with Nutrition Australia to ensure that each individual child receives their daily nutritional requirements.

We provide your child with opportunities to enjoy healthful foods that promote growth and allow them to learn food preferences and dietary habits that help them live a healthy lifestyle so they are ready for early child development and learning.

All meals are prepared fresh daily on site by a qualified Chef, using only fresh, local market ingredients. We devote significant resources to allergy requirements, and we have created a specific food preparation area purely for this purpose.

In addition we can provide Vegetarian and Halal meals if appropriate.

Our strict supervision and attention to detail provides parents with confidence that their children’s food requirements will be properly met while in our care.

(*) Meals only provided at centres that have a kitchen on-site.

Fire and emergency policy

Regular fire drills are held at the Centre and speedy evacuation is ensured in the event of a fire. Fire extinguishers are strategically located throughout the Centre. As part of our fire safety measures all children in attendance at the Centre are noted from the attendance sheet. Each child is identified during a fire drill. This is why it is important to ensure that you sign your child ‘IN’ and “OUT’ of the Centre each day.

Sun protection

Our centre takes care to protect the children and Educators from direct exposure to the sun. This is extremely important as children are very vulnerable to sunburns, which can increase their chances of acquiring skin cancer by almost 50%. This is one of the most common forms prevalent in Australia and skin damage from sunburn can never be repaired.

Our centre abides by all state regulations and the child care building code in regards to the amount of manufactured and natural shade available in the playgrounds. Shade structures are maintained in the annual playground improvement plan and regular maintenance is conducted as required initiated by the Centre Manager.

We recommend that parents pack clothing for children that will protect them from the sun, such as longer sleeved t-shirts instead of singlets and loose clothing which covers all of their body (i.e. no midriffs or bare backs).

Sunscreen will not be applied to any child without prior written permission from the parent as per the enrolment form guidelines relating to the use of Foreign Substances.

Literature on sun care is available at the centre and for more information on the centre’s Sun Protection policy, please ask the Centre Manager.

Programs and routines

Our qualified educators plan experiences which develop children’s skills in all developmental areas and display the weekly program in your child’s room. Play activities allow children to naturally develop and have the opportunity to guide their own learning. Activity outcomes and individual observations on your child are documented in your children’s files to assist in extending their skills and abilities.

Children have the opportunity for both indoor and outdoor play as part of each group’s routine. The outdoor area is an essential part of the learning environment for children. All age groups utilise our specifically designed playgrounds to test their coordination, balance, skills and strength.

Routines allow times for individual play, small group play and large group sessions. Children’s language and literacy skills are further developed during these times as children are involved in story telling, drama, poems and games. Music also plays a large part during these sessions as children are able to experiment with dancing, singing and exercising their bodies.

Remember, children learn through play.

The centre offers an extensive School Readiness program for children aged 3-6 years based on the National Early Years Learning Framework. The Framework has a strong emphasis on play-based learning as play is the best vehicle for young children’s learning providing the most appropriate stimulus for brain development. The Framework also recognised the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy and social and emotional development).

We believe the value of play is of utmost importance to children as it is their way of learning about their world. While children are playing they are able to express their creative ability, release emotions and can share their feelings.

We aim to guide your child in becoming an effective learner through creating an environment that is challenging and stimulating. The overall aim of our programs is to help your child in developing all areas necessary for success now and in later years.

We like our staff to greet and chat with parents at the beginning and end of the day. This is important in creating a link between home and the centre. We enjoy a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and the family is encouraged to help towards the happy adjustment and general development of the child.

Priority of access

One of the main reasons the Australian Government funds child care is to meet the child care needs of Australian families.

However, the demand for child care sometimes exceeds supply in some areas. When this occurs, it is important for services to allocate places to those families with the greatest need for child care support.

To ensure that the centre adheres to the guidelines issued by the Australian Government, priority of access to child care will be given according to children falling in the following categories:

PRIORITY 1:

A child at risk of abuse or neglect

PRIORITY 2:

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 3:

Any other child

In relation to priority 3, there are some circumstances in which a child who is already in a child care service may be requested to give up their place or change days at the service in order for the service to provide a place for a higher priority child, but only if:

  • The parent is notified of this policy upon enrolments

AND

  • The service gives that parents 14 days notice of the requirement for their child to give up their place or change days.

Within the main categories, priority is also given to children in:

  • Families with low incomes
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • Parents or children with disabilities
  • Families from non-English speaking background
  • Single parent families
  • Socially isolated families

For more information on our Centre policies please speak with your Centre Manager.