End of Year - Child Care Checklist

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Along with the excitement of Christmas and the prospect of a few days off work, this time of year always seems to bring with it an added level of chaos (as if we weren’t already busy enough!). 

Most child care facilities close down for some of the holiday period and many will have already sent out notes to parents advising of enrolments or re-enrolments for the next year.

To make sure you aren’t caught short as the year draws to a close, here are a few key things you need to ensure are done before you pack up for the silly season. 

1. Be ready to begin child care

If your child is starting child care for the first time in January, then get in touch with your service provider before the end of the year to make sure all the paperwork and start dates are in place. It’s a good idea to meet with the new carer to discuss routines, what your child needs to bring, and to raise any concerns or queries. 

Aside from the practicalities, it’s also important to prepare your child emotionally for their first day in care. To do this, the Raising Children Network recommends that several weeks before they start, you:

  • Ask the service provider for a copy of their daily schedule and make this your child’s daily routine at home by following the service’s lunch, play and nap times.
  • Find out who your child’s main carer or educator will be. Try to get a photo of them to show your child and mention them by name to build a sense of familiarity. 
  • Make short visits to the service so your child can get used to the child care setting, carers and toy collection.
  • Talk positively about the service, the people and the activities. It helps to read or tell happy stories about starting child care and making friends.

2. Claim the Child Care Subsidy

Another very important thing is the Child Care Subsidy, if you are a new family using child care for the first time, you need to establish whether you’re eligible for the Subsidy, and if so, complete a new claim form. For details about how to claim the Child Care Subsidy, click here

Also, the No Jab, No Pay policy continues so your child will need to fully be vaccinated, or on a catch-up schedule, to be eligible for the Subsidy. 

3. Re-enrol for the New Year

If your child is returning to the same centre, you may need to re-enrol them to ensure they have a place in the New Year. This is an opportunity to book different days, if necessary, and if you haven’t heard from your service provider, then follow-up with them to get the paperwork in order.  

4. Update your Child Care Subsidy information

If your child is continuing to attend approved care, it’s important that your Child Care Subsidy details are up-to-date. If your circumstances have changed, then you need to log on to Centrelink via myGov and tell the government about:

  • Your child starting school next year
  • Changes to you or your partner’s activity details or income
  • Changes to your care arrangements or personal circumstances
  • Your new address

If you are changing child care services, you’ll need to confirm your child’s enrolment details online

5. Check for any room changes

Your child may be going into a new room come January, so check with your early childhood service about any changes to facilities, routines or procedures you should be aware of. It’s worth visiting the new classroom ahead of time and discussing your child’s particular needs with the teacher, for example, if they have an allergy or are a preschooler requiring a nappy change table.  

6. Prepare for school

If your child is making the move to big school, then you have a bit of parent homework!

  • Speak with your early childhood education and care provider about the transition and, if applicable, complete paperwork for the return of your bond.
  • If you need vacation care, check whether your service provides this and book a place.
  • Provide the service with your address for any forwarded correspondence, and make sure you collect your child’s reports and artwork before they finish up.
  • Share your contact details with any child care friends, especially if they’re going to the same school, so that you can organise holiday play dates.
  • Double-check your school orientation pack and make sure you have everything in order before school starts, such as getting your child’s uniform and school supplies, schools usually provide a list of what is needed.
  • Say ‘thanks’ to your educators for the great start they’ve given your preschooler.

7. Book your babysitter

Last but not least, summer is the season to be social! This means lots of parents are looking for a child-free outing, so it pays to book your babysitter in advance. 

You may have a trusted teenager, relative or neighbour you can count on for care, however, agencies are a great way to engage a reliable, screened and professional babysitter, and to make things easy, our online booking service connects you with reputable agencies, so you can tick ‘babysitter’ off the list and get into that festive feeling. 

For a printable End of Year Checklist click here.

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