Family Alert | Sleep, Rest and Relaxation Policy Review

SLEEP, REST AND RELAXATION POLICY REVIEW

In line with our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of all children attending Enhance Family Day Care services, we are continuing the rollout of new and updated policies for Educators, to guide practice and support their delivery of high quality services.

The Enhance Family Day Care Sleep, Rest and Relaxation Policy, was implemented in May 2021 and is due for review.

It is important to seek feedback and reflect on the implementation of the policy, ensuring the policy is current and continues to be a useful resource for your Educator.

We would appreciate your feedback on our policy and our practices around sleep, rest and relaxation. Your feedback will keep us accountable and ensure we are considering all of our stakeholders' perspectives and the safety of children, during this review.
 
You can find a copy of our Sleep, Rest and Relaxation Policy here.
 
We are interested to hear of any improvements in practices and processes that you think could be refined or changed, and any further feedback regarding this policy.

Please provide your feedback via the link below:

Thank you for supporting Enhance Family Day Care and our commitment to providing children and families with exceptional home-based education and care.

Family Alert | Physical Environment Policies Rollout

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS POLICIES ROLLOUT

Following the successful rollout of the Enhance Family Day Care Quality Area 2; Children's Health and Safety Policies, we have launched our next group of policies and the accompanying training module for Educators.

Our next module, focused on Quality Area 3; Physical Environments, covers the following policies:

These policies have been researched and written in conjunction with leading national authorities and legislative requirements relating to safe, high quality physical environments. The policies have been received by your Educator and will take effect from Monday 30 May. 

What does this mean for you and your child?
As a leader in Family Day Care in Queensland, with your child's safety as our priority, Enhance Family Day Care have put in place a number of policies that are above and beyond legislative requirements. Practice Mentors and Educators will work together over the coming weeks and months to review their practices around their physical environment, specifically in relation to sustainable practices and animals and pets.

We thank you for your assistance with this new process and for your continued trust and confidence in caring for your child(ren).

Family Alert | Updated Fee Schedule

UPDATED FEE SCHEDULE

We are writing to inform you of prospective changes to your family day care fees, which will be initiated from Monday 11 July, 2022.

Each year, Educators review the costs of running their service and providing high quality education and care to your child/ren. As the cost of running a business increases, your Educator may also decide to increase their fees. Enhance Family Day Care (FDC) have made the decision to increase the Service Levy that is charged to Educators. Educators are currently reviewing their fees and, once finalised, will forward you their new Fee Schedule for the upcoming financial year.

Please be advised, your Educator’s fees may change. Once you have received the new Fee Schedule, you can use this online calculator to estimate your out of pocket child care costs. Your Educator will discuss these changes with you. This Fee Schedule will indicate the total hourly fee you will be required to pay.

Both Enhance FDC and our Educators understand the impact of fee changes on families and have taken this into consideration when setting our fees.

When and if your Educator changes their Fee Schedule:

For important information regarding Services Australia, Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Balancing, please click on the button below:

Family Newsletter April 2022

Family Alert | Children's Health & Safety Policies

CHILDREN'S HEALTH & SAFETY POLICIES
Group 4

Following the successful rollout of the Enhance Family Day Care leadership and governance policies, we have now launched the next round of policies, and accompanying training module for your Educators, including:

These policies have been researched and written in conjunction with leading national authorities and legislative requirements relating to children’s health and safety.

Furthermore, we have reviewed the Transporting of Children Policy, which was released in October 2020 following legislation changes. This policy has been updated from the comments and feedback provided by you and our Educators. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to our policy review process. Together, we can continue to deliver high quality care for your children. 

Your Educator has received the policies and will complete a knowledge based quiz to reinforce the content as part of our training module. The policies come into effect from Sunday 3 April.

What does this mean for you and your child?
As a leader in Family Day Care in Queensland with your child's safety as our priority, Enhance Family Day Care have put in place a number of policies above and beyond legislative requirements. Practice Mentors and Educators will work together over the coming weeks and months to review the practices around meals, breastfeeding and bottles, ensuring that practice aligns with the new and updated policies.

We thank you for your assistance with this new process and for your continued trust and confidence in caring for your child(ren).

Family Alert | Waiving the Gap Fee

WAIVING THE GAP FEE
Information for Families

Enhance Family Day Care (FDC) have been actively reviewing the Early Childhood Sector updates and information as released from the Department of Education and DESE. We acknowledge that this has been a confusing time for many and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of your Educator and the Enhance FDC Team, during this unprecedented and constantly changing chapter.

Following sector wide research and recent feedback provided by our Enhance FDC Educators, we support the following options for any Educators / families affected by COVID-19 during the months of January and February 2022:

As a service, our position is that we support each individual Educator's business decision to waive the Gap Fee for families and Educators that are affected by COVID-19.

What this means to you I Gap Fee Waiving COVID-19 Related Criteria
Currently an Educator has the right to choose to waive the Gap Fee and receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS), if a child is unable to attend care for one of the following reasons:

  1. They, or a member of their immediate household, must isolate due to COVID-19 (This includes if they are a close contact or awaiting test results).
  2. The service, or a room at the service, is closed due to COVID-19. This includes where:
    • An Educator cannot provide their usual service because they, or a member of their immediate household must isolate due to COVID-19. Written advice from a state agency is not required.

NB: Educators must not waive the Gap Fee for families in any other circumstances. If you choose to keep your child at home, for non COVID-19 related reasons, you may use your allowable absences but MUST pay a Gap Fee to the service.

Unlimited Absences (time limited)
Your family will have unlimited allowable absences throughout January and February 2022. You will not have to use your 52 allowable absences for the 2021–22 financial year during this period. These absences will be automatically applied in the Child Care Subsidy System.

Gap Fee Waiving
Families who receive CCS must ordinarily make a co-contribution to their childcare fees under Family Assistance Law. This is called the Gap Fee and means paying the difference between the provider’s fee and the CCS amount.

We kindly ask you to consider what implication waiving the Gap Fee will have on your Educator. You may be aware of some childcare centres waiving the Gap Fee for some of the reasons listed above. When a childcare centre waives the Gap Fee, it will not necessarily impact their Educators, as their wages are paid by their employer. As your Educators are independent business operators, waiving of the Gap Fee will directly reduce their income. The Government is not offering any supplementary payments for Educators who waive Gap Fees.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding waiving the Gap Fee, please submit it via the form below:

We recognise that this is a challenging time for many of our families and Educators and the financial ramifications caused by isolating, pausing care or taking leave from work may prove challenging for many.

Financial Support for families having to isolate and loss of regular income:

We believe the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light just how important Educators and early learning is to individual families and the wider community. Enhance FDC are enormously grateful for the energy, time, commitment and educational support that each of our Educators bring to your children and the efforts they make to remain open and available for continuity of care.

We thank you for your ongoing support of your Educator and to our Enhance family.

Family Alert | Leadership and Governance Policies roll out

LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE POLICIES ROLL OUT

Welcome back to all of our families and a very warm welcome is extended to our new families who have joined Enhance Family Day Care in 2022.

To ensure we are continuing to deliver the highest quality of education and care to your child(ren), Enhance Family Day Care will continue the roll out of our 2021/22 Policy and Training Project. This project focusses on creating a new set of policies to support best practice in Family Day Care.

Last year, 5 new training modules, covering the most important aspects of children's health and safety, were successfully implemented  and embedded into practice by your incredible Educators. This year, we are committed to completing the Policy and Training Project by rolling out the remaining policies, along with resources and training that ensure we keep children at the heart of everything we do.

This month we will be introducing three new policy training modules. The first two modules (rolled out simultaneously), cover all policies under Quality Area 7 of the National Quality Standards; Leadership and Governance. The third module will be released later this month. 

The 12 Leadership and Governance policies have been received by your Educator and will take effect from Monday 21 February 2022.

We invite you to access the new policies, highlighted in the Policy Handbook, by clicking on the button below:

We thank you for your continued trust and confidence in caring for your child(ren).

Family Alert | 2022 COVID-19 Response Update

COVID-19 RESPONSE UPDATE
2022 Guidelines

From everyone at Enhance Family Day Care, we wish you and your family a very happy and healthy start to 2022.

As we commence 2022, with the opening of state borders, we would like to unpack what the new Queensland Government guidelines mean for the Family Day Care sector, as of Monday 3 January. 

Mask Mandate: Educators and families are required to wear a mask indoors and if unable to physically distance 1.5m when outdoors; only removing the mask if it is deemed to be a safety hazard or it is seen to impede communication.
Mandatory face masks | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)

Over the next few days, when you enter your Educator's Family Day Care, you will observe the new signs reminding families that masks are required when collecting and dropping off your child(ren) for care each day. Please ensure that you are wearing a mask at all times within your Family Day Care environment.

Vaccinations: Please note that all Enhance Educators, staff,  professional visitors and volunteers will meet the Government mandate to be double dose vaccinated by Monday 24 January 2022, in order to work within or enter a Family Day Care environment.

Confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and Close Contacts:
Please follow the current Queensland Health advice regarding close contact quarantine and testing requirements here.

Steps to follow if you are unwell or have come in contact with a person who has COVD-19
Please follow the current Queensland Health advice here.
If you become aware of a positive COVID-19 case or close contact, being either yourself or a family member please contact your Enhance Service.

Health and Hygiene Reminders
Due to the high number of positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts at present, your Educator has been instructed to follow these practices to keep children, families and themselves safe:

Monitoring and support visits: These remain business as usual. Enhance Family Day Care will continue to conduct their monitoring and support visits, face to face, as long as this is safe to do so. Each visit will be individually assessed.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to keeping everyone safe.

Family Alert | COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

On Tuesday, the Queensland State Government announced a new public Health Direction requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in specific high-risk settings. This means that all workers entering ECEC settings will need to be single-dose COVID-19 vaccinated by Friday 17 December 2021, and be double-dose COVID-19 vaccinated by Sunday 23 January 2022. 

Anyone who works in, undertakes an educational placement in, or volunteers in a school, early childhood education and care service (including Kindergarten, Family Day Care, Long Day Care and Outside School Hours Care) is required to adhere to the vaccine mandate.

Why have they made this directive?
Early childhood education and care settings have been deemed high-risk environments for many reasons, including the assessed risk to children who currently do not have access to protection against COVID-19 with a vaccination.

Who is required to be COVID-19 vaccinated?
The mandate includes Family Day Care Educators, assistants, employees, Practice Mentors, Children Services Managers and other contractors or external persons such as yoga/music teachers or volunteers who support the provision of the education and care program. 

Excluded from the requirement are adult occupants and other people living in the residence, visitors, families, and medically exempt people. Please note the Health Directives may change at any time depending on the health advice provided by the government.

What will this mean to your child’s care arrangements?
The COVID-19 vaccine mandate is requiring all workers in a ECEC setting to have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination by Friday 17 December to continue to provide education and care after Friday 17 December. We are currently working with our educators to understand what the COVID-19 vaccine mandate means to each individual educator.

We will endeavour to provide further information as it becomes available. If you have any questions regarding the vaccine mandate, please contact your Enhance service.
 Wishing you a safe and healthy weekend.

Family Alert | Holiday closure dates and deadlines

HOLIDAY CLOSURE DATES & DEADLINES

In celebration of the festive season, the Enhance FDC offices will be closed from Monday 20 December, 2021, reopening on Tuesday 4 January, 2022. During this time, our Administration team will be processing attendance records over two days only. Therefore, we ask that you review the following checklist, including deadlines, to ensure we can action any work required in preparation for the new year and to maintain Child Care Subsidy and Family Assistance Law compliance.

It is important to discuss care requirements with your Educator regarding the holiday period, at your earliest convenience. Please ensure you communicate with your Educator to let them know when your child/ren will be absent from care and to find out when they will be closed for operation, allowing both parties to make appropriate arrangements.

Please find our checklist and deadlines for the holiday season below, outlining tasks relating to care from Monday 20 December, 2021- Tuesday 4 January, 2022:

Please ensure you submit your Family Leave forms directly to your Educator.

We thank you for your support and assistance in preparing for the end of year by meeting these deadlines. We trust you and your child have enjoyed their time at family day care throughout the year and from our family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy festive season!

Family Alert | Safe Play Spaces Policy Roll Out

SAFE PLAY SPACES POLICY AND GUIDELINES ROLL OUT

Keeping your children at the heart of everything we do, I am pleased to announce our next policy roll out as part of our Policy Refresh Project. Our Safe Play Spaces Policy and Guidelines have been extensively reviewed and researched to align with best practice, changes in legislation and recommendations from leading national authorities. The Policy and Guidelines focus on ensuring that the physical FDC environment and practices relating to children’s health and safety is forefront in our FDC services.

The Safe Play Spaces policy has been received by your Educator and will take effect from Monday 1 November 2021.

You can view the Policy and the Guidelines below:

What does this mean for you and your child(ren)?

Previously, Enhance FDC had a number of policies that referenced safe play spaces, but we now have a policy that combines best practice with legislation and KidSafe recommendations. The purpose of the new, more comprehensive Safe Play Spaces policy is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children enrolled in Enhance FDC services is at the forefront of our service delivery, and that Educators are supported to create and maintain environments that inspire fun and learning while minimising risks.

Practice Mentors and Educators will work together over the coming weeks and months to review their indoor and outdoor environments, ensuring that practice aligns with our new policy and guidelines.

For more information about play spaces and safe environments for children, we encourage you to visit the Kidsafe website.

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions regarding the new policy, please send them to enhance@fdcqld.org or call your local service.

Family Alert | Lockdown Update & FAQs

COVID-19 UPDATE

Lockdown Extended for 11 Local Government Areas

As you would be aware, the Premier has announced the following local government areas (LGAs) will be extending the lockdown, until 4pm on Sunday 8 August, 2021.

Reminder
Anyone who has been in these local government areas is expected to stay at home except for essential purposes. This includes people who have travelled to these areas from other locations.

Please note: Early childhood education and care will remain open for children of essential workers and vulnerable persons only.

Contact Tracing
Queensland Health is continuously updating the contract tracing list and has now included information for Close, Casual and Low Risk contacts. Please remember to check these lists regularly here.

Face Masks
The Queensland Health directive outlines that mask wearing extends to everyone, including all staff working in early childhood education and care. This includes Family Day Care Educators and families.  
A mask should only be removed when communicating with a child, student or person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

Additional Allowable Absences I Childcare in COVID-19 Hotspots
The Australian Government has announced childcare services in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot can access additional allowable absences if the declaration extends for more than seven days.

Families will not have to use their 42 days of allowable absences during the lockdown. Additional absences will be available until the end of the hotspot declaration. During this time the Parent Gap Fee still needs to be paid for absences.

Family Safety Questions
If your Educator is located in a one of the 11 LGAs, they are required to ask you the following questions, on arrival to the service, in order to keep your family and your Educator safe. The below questions will determine whether it is safe for the child to attend FDC:

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, your child cannot attend FDC until they return a negative COVID-19 test and/or complete QLD Health isolation requirements. Your Educator will be guided by and refer to the QLD Health Contact tracing list. Please contact your service if you have questions around this.

Keep up to date with the latest information by clicking on the buttons below:

COVID-19 Information for Services & Families

Cuurent Restrictions for Lockdown Areas

We hope you are keeping safe and healthy during these challenging times.

Family Alert | COVID-19 Snap Lockdown

COVID-19 UPDATE
South East Queensland Snap Lockdown

Following a further six locally acquired cases of COVID-19, linked to Indooroopilly State High School, South East Queensland will be entering a three day lockdown from 4pm today.

To protect the health of Queenslanders, the following areas will be subject to new restrictions:

From 4pm today (Saturday 31 July) until 4pm Tuesday (3 August), residents of the aforementioned areas will only be permitted to leave home for one of the following reasons:

  1. Obtaining essential goods or services, including healthcare.
  2. Attending essential work or child care.
  3. To exercise, with household group and/or on other person from outside your household.
  4. Assisting vulnerable persons.
  5. To receive vaccinations.
  6. To be tested for COVID-19.

Family Day Care will continue to operate, therefore families who decide to not access care will be required to use absences. Absences used will continue to attract a gap fee. For children who are not accessing care the usual absence rules apply unless notified otherwise.

At risk Educators who do not feel comfortable operating during the lockdown are within their rights to not provide care, however, they are required to advise their service and families and cannot charge for absences.

COVID-Safe Requirements

Regardless of where you live, please continue to keep COVID-Safe practices at the forefront of all of your actions and to keep your child(ren) at home if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

If you or a household member are experiencing symptoms or have come into contact with a COVID-19 patient, you are required to get tested immediately, quarantine at home and do not access Family Day Care until you receive a negative result.

If you have any further questions regarding today's South East Queensland and Townsville and Regions Lockdown announcement, please contact your Enhance Service.

We will continue to update families as information comes to hand. For more information, please visit the Queensland Government Website here.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy weekend

Educator & Family Alert | COVID-19 Restrictions - Mask Extension

Family Alert | COVID-19 Restrictions - Mask Extension

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS UPDATE
Wearing of Face Masks Extension

Following yesterday's announcement by the Queensland Government, face mask restrictions will continue to apply in South East Queensland for a further seven days, until 6am Friday 30 July, 2021. This includes anyone who has been to the following impacted areas in the last 14 days.

Impacted areas of South East Queensland include:

If you have been in any of these regions since Tuesday 29 June, 2021, Government directives are to carry a mask and wear it whenever you are outside the house (excluding vigorous exercise or when seated and eating and drinking). If in doubt, always wear a mask.

How does this affect families?

For more information, please view the Queensland Health website by clicking on the button below:

View the Queensland Government Website here

If you have any questions, please contact your service and speak with a Practice Mentor.
Thank you for helping us keep our children, Educators and the community safe.

Wishing you and your family a safe and healthy weekend.

Educator & Family Alert | Mandatory Face Masks Update - Amendment (July)

COVID-19 UPDATE | MANDATORY FACE MASKS FOR BRISBANE

Further to yesterday's announcement regarding the one week extension of mask wearing, please be advised that the Brisbane City Council region is also included in this updated COVID-19 regulation.

We apologise for this oversight. 

Educator & Family Alert | Mandatory Face Masks Update (July)

COVID-19 UPDATE | MANDATORY FACE MASKS

Family Alert | Absences, Annual & Hourly Rate Cap

ABSENCES, ANNUAL & HOURLY RATE CAP

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) rates are adjusted at the start of each financial year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The following rates will take effect from Monday 12 July, 2021:

Hourly Rate Cap

* Please note that Educators can charge above or below the rate cap,
families will receive their applicable percentage of the actual rate charged.

Other factors
Two other factors determine a family's level of CCS. These are:

Annual cap
Families earning more than $190,015 and under $354,305 will have a subsidy cap of $10,655 per year, per child. Families earning under $190,015 will not have their CCS capped.

The current annual cap is available on DESE website.

Absences I Reset as from Thursday 1 July, 2021
Child Care Subsidy is payable for up to 42 absence days for a child in a financial year for sessions of care a child is enrolled in and did not attend, but only for sessions of care where an individual still incurs a genuine fee liability to pay for the care. A reason does not need to be provided for a child’s initial 42 days of absence. Once 42 absence days have occurred in a financial year, Child Care Subsidy can only be paid for any additional absences where they are taken for a reason set out in Family Assistance Law. For more information please contact your Enhance Family Day Care Office.

Family Alert | Lockdown Restrictions Eased for Brisbane and Moreton Bay

COVID-19 UPDATE

Lockdown restrictions relaxed in Brisbane & Moreton Bay

Following the announcements made earlier today by the Queensland State Government, Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will continue to act with caution, however, welcome the relaxation of COVID lockdown restrictions from 6pm today, Saturday 3 July.

For up to date information, please click on the button below, directing you to the Queensland Government's updated regulations on restrictions:

COVID Lockdown Restrictions Update

What does this mean for you if you are in the affected LGAs:

Caution needs to be exercised, with masks being worn outside of the home. Check ins are mandatory whenever you visit a hospitality businesses and associated places of business. Vulnerable people and those aged over 70 years are also requested to limit outings within your communities.

We acknowledge the ongoing restrictions implemented by the Queensland Government and will continue to update families as information comes to hand.

Regardless of where you live, please continue to keep COVID-Safe practices at the forefront of all of your actions and to keep your child(ren) at home if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

If you or a household member are experiencing symptoms or have come into contact with a COVID-19 patient, you are required to get tested immediately, quarantine at home and do not access Family Day Care until you receive a negative result.

Children who are unwell and/or display symptoms of COVID-19 are not to attend care.

If you have any further questions please contact your Enhance Service. Thank you for helping us keep your children, our Educators and the community safe. 

We wish you and your family a healthy and safe weekend.

Family Alert | Lockdown Restrictions Update

COVID-19 UPDATE

Lockdown Restrictions Update

Following the announcements made earlier today by the Queensland State Government, Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will be in lockdown for an extended 24 hours, to Saturday 3 July at 6pm, due to the detection of three new locally acquired cases.

Townsville Regions and the remaining LGAs in South East Queensland will welcome the relaxation of lockdown restrictions from 6pm today, Friday 2 July. This includes the following LGAs:

What does this mean for you?
Residents of Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions will only be permitted to leave home for one of the following reasons:

  1. Obtaining essential goods or services, including healthcare.
  2. Attending essential work or child care.
  3. To exercise, with household group and/or on other person from outside your household.
  4. Assisting vulnerable persons.
  5. To receive vaccinations.
  6. To be tested for COVID-19.

The same lockdown restrictions will continue for Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions until 6pm Saturday 3 July, or until further reviewed by the Queensland Government.

Family Day Care will continue to operate, therefore families who decide to not access care will be required to use absences. Absences used will continue to attract a gap fee. For children who are not accessing care the usual absence rules apply unless notified otherwise.

For Educators in all other restricted LGAs, the lockdown will be eased from 6pm tonight, Friday 2 July and you are to follow the COVID-Safe requirements, listed below.

COVID-Safe Requirements

Residents must carry a mask at all times outside the home and wear them indoors, when social distancing is not possible.

Anyone (Educators or families) who has travelled to the aforementioned areas on or since Tuesday 29 June will need to self-isolate for the three days and follow the same rules.

For more information, please visit the Queensland Government Website:

COVID Lockdown Restrictions Update

Regardless of where you live, please continue to keep COVID-Safe practices at the forefront of all of your actions and to keep your child(ren) at home if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

If you or a household member are experiencing symptoms or have come into contact with a COVID-19 patient, you are required to get tested immediately, quarantine at home and do not access Family Day Care until you receive a negative result.

We remind families that children who are unwell and/or display symptoms of COVID-19 are not to attend care.

If you have any further questions regarding the extension of the Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions Lockdown announcement, please contact your Enhance Service. Thank you for helping us keep your children, our Educators and the community safe. 

We wish you and your family a happy, healthy and safe weekend.