3.5 year old Health Assessment
The 3.5-year-old health assessment is your last scheduled appointment with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse (MCH). This check is free and is funded by the state government. To book your assessment, please ring Mill Park Lakes Maternal & Child Health Centre on 03 9404 8888, your last MCH, or your family GP.
Whilst we care for and educate your child, and have come to understand and know your child, we are not medically trained. During the assessment, your child’s growth, health and development will be reviewed by a doctor or MCH nurse. Three years old is an important point in your child’s development as most general health issues can be identified at this age. If present, intervention resources can be resourced at the earliest possible point to ensure that your child does not fall behind in their learning and development.
Examples include anything from poor vision or hearing, that can significantly impact your child’s cognitive and physical development.
The checks that the health assessment covers are recorded in your child’s My Health, Learning and Development Record or Green book. These areas include:
- helping your child to eat healthy food
- taking care of your child’s teeth
- your child’s vision
- sun protection
- how play helps learning and development
- family relationships and wellbeing
- immunizations (noting that the ‘no jab no play’ policy requires this for your CCS entitlements)
- kindergarten enrolment (noting that we offer a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old accredited kindergarten programme).
Please ensure that if you have any questions or concerns about your child, that you list them in the Parents’ Evaluation of Development Status (PEDS). We can help you with this as we have observations that you can take with you to your child’s appointment. Just before your child’s health assessment, we will send you a detailed observation covering your child’s health and development to help you as an aide.
Your MCH nurse will also give you expert advice and potential referrals for any questions regarding your child’s development.
The assessment will allow educators and families to identify and focus on developmental areas that your child may find challenging or identify that you child is exceeding their developmental norms. We may be able to use this to reach out to specialists or early intervention programs if needed and develop an individual program based on the needs of your child. We will provide you with our own assessment which you can take to support your consultation.
The 3.5-year-old health assessment appointment can be easily missed as it is not something that the MCH will book in for you. We will remind you to book it in, but if you miss your child’s health check it is recommended that you book in an appointment with your family GP or paediatrician.
Centrelink & CRN
Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is an income-tested payment and recognised activities that you do which reduces the cost of your total child care fees. It is available to you if you are a parent, foster parent or grandparent with a child in your care who is attending child care approved for the purposes of CCS by, or registered with, the Government. There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to get CCS.
A CRN is your Centrelink provided Customer Reference Number (CRN). Both you and your child(ren) will need to have CRNs.
CRN is used to access all Centrelink support – most importantly your Child’s CRN is used for CCS. Without your child’s CRN you will have to pay full fees (100%) – only when the Centrelink online system is updated with your child’s CRN is your CCS able to be automatically taken out of your childcare fees.
The system is automated and we cannot override or alter Centrelink’s procedures. This means that the quicker that you get your child’s CRN the better.
If you are already a Centrelink customer then you will have a CRN – this will be found on your correspondence from Centrelink.
If unsure, we recommend you call Centrelink and check if you have a CRN. Most people will have one even if they have not been involved with Centrelink for many years.
Not yet issued with your (parent) CRN
If you are not a customer, then you must first get your CRN before applying for your child’s CRN.
Go to your nearest Centrelink service centre:
- Take your proof of identity documents – check online (findus.humanservices.gov.au/) or ring them (136 150) for what you need
- They will assist with any further documentation and may be able to issue a CRN immediately.
Please note that ringing Centrelink can have delays of 1 to 2 hours and may be a very frustrating experience.
You need to contact Centrelink to request your Child’s CRN. Either:
- Go to your nearest Centrelink service centre with your child’s Birth Certificate to lodge the document and request a CRN for your child, or
- Upload your child’s Proof of Birth or Birth Certificate to Centrelink (through either Centrelink online account or myGov online account1). If you have not received your child’s CRN within a few weeks it is worth calling Centrelink to check if there are any issues.
Most delays in providing a CRN is because Centrelink are awaiting information from you. Once Centrelink have all the required information a CRN can be generated immediately.
Even though you believe you have submitted all the correct documents, they will not inform you if you are missing anything. You need to be proactive and ring them to find out why.
We cannot call Centrelink on your behalf. Due to Privacy legislation Centrelink will not allow us to ask about your account or details.
Once you have a CRN you can register today for a Centrelink online account. You should allow between 5 to 15 minutes to complete the registration process for a Centrelink online account. Once you have registered you can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
A myGov account is required for Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
It is also very handy as it can link Centrelink, Medicare, and Child Support with one username and password. You can then just use this portal to upload documents to Centrelink. The other great benefit is that all your letters are available online. This is very handy as you now have fast easy access to your important documents and they will be retained for future reference. To create a myGov account just use this link and follow the prompts – humanservices.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account
To be entitled to your CCS you will need to log back into your Centrelink account and complete the Confirm Enrolment task. You can do this by logging into your myGov account.
CCS is paid for up to 42 absences per child per financial year. Additional absences beyond 42 days for specified reasons may be approved. Please discuss your circumstances with the Director regarding possible additional absences, otherwise you won’t be eligible for any CCS payments for those days.
In addition, attendance during your last two weeks is required, otherwise Centrelink is likely to not approve your CCS.
A public holiday is counted as an absence at our centre.
You can access your child’s absence record using your Centrelink online account through myGov by selecting View Child Care Details and Payments. You can also do this using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
You can read more about absences from child care on the Department of Education and Training website.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) is a payment from the Australian Government for families who need practical help with the cost of child care to support their child’s wellbeing.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) – transitioning to work from income support payment by engaging in work, study or training activities.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) – to help families experiencing significant financial stress with the cost of child care.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (grandparent) – grandparents on income support who are the principal carers of their grandchild(ren) with the cost of child care.
Kindy or Sessional?(long day care kindergarten or sessional kindergarten)
The Kindergarten programme is designed to equip your child with the necessary skills needed not only to transition smoothly to school but also the skills that they will carry with them throughout life.
Little Learners Early Education is a recognised Government funded approved kindergarten program, is run by bachelor trained early childhood teachers in the two years before school.
These programs are integrated into the long day care hours and provide families the flexibility to work.
|Sessional (15 hours a week)||Our Kindy (12 hours every day)|
Won’t meet all your child’s needs
We will meet all your child’s needs
We provide extensive learning opportunities
Will not meet your needs
Fully flexible – drop-off and pick-up any time
- public holidays except for Xmas, BoxDay and NY. br>
- all school holidays.
Guaranteed entry to School position!
We will get your child School Ready! and then some
Sessional Kindy may appear cheap…
Come and get an accurate quote
As a long daycare centre, our Kindergarten operates from as early as 6:30 am until 6:30 pm.
We provide healthy meals, nappies, educational programs and sleep/rest times throughout the day open all year round except for Xmas, Boxing day and NY days. We are open 52 weeks a year.
If you are also going away for an extended family holiday, you still pay for your child’s position, but you can apply for a 40% gap fee reduction.
Peanuts are legumes (grow underground on roots) and not classified as nuts (tree nuts which grow on a tree). Peanut allergies and tree nut allergies are different. Children allergic to peanuts are often not allergic to other legumes.
An immune system response to something that the body has identified as an allergen.
Symptoms can include any swelling of the lips, eyes or face, hives or welts, vomiting, or any change in your baby’s well-being (becoming very unsettled) soon after giving food.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, rapid and life threatening allergic reaction and is always treated as a medical emergency.
Symptoms can include difficult/noisy breathing, swelling of the tongue, swelling/tightness in throat, wheeze/persistent cough, difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice, persistent dizziness or collapse, pale and floppy.
Severe allergies to foods and insects are two of the most common causes of anaphylaxis. As it is possible to be allergic to any food, it is not possible, nor practical, to remove all possible food allergens from childcare services. Obviously, it is also not possible to remove all insects or ticks that children are allergic to. Minimising exposure to known allergens is, therefore, a more appropriate way to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis.
Good communication between you as parents, our educators and your child is vital.
Food bans are not recommended by regional guidelines or position statements, by Government bodies or by patient/consumer organisations or ASCIA. Banning specific foods from an environment will not eliminate the risk of accidental exposure. It is unreasonable to expect that a childcare service will be ‘nut free’ or remove other allergens and such claims cannot be made.
Unlike food bans, food restrictions may have a partial role to play in very young children (under 12 months old) who might share common toys where cross contamination with food may result in allergic reactions from oral exposure or greater person-to-person contact. This situation is not applicable to older children.
This will only apply to a single room and not the centre.
It is vital that you fill in a Food from Home form accurately so that we can monitor the food entering the service.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your Lead Educator / Teacher, Chef, or Centre Director.
All families are required to provide a current email address which will be used to send your statements and any other correspondence (newsletters and the like). The administration officer will normally email statements every Tuesday regardless of your payment cycle. You will receive your statement each Tuesday prior to payment being processed on Thursday via direct debit.
Your fees are direct debited for the care you are about to use (think of it as paying rent in advance). The bond is there to cover any discrepancies with your account upon your cancellation of care. Upon cancellation of care, and if all fees remain paid, then we will transfer any remaining Bond or advanced payments back into your designated account. A final statement will be always be provided.
Please note if you pay weekly you are required to be a week ahead in fees, if you pay fortnightly you are required to be a fortnight ahead, principally you are paying for the care that you are about to receive in advance.
On your statement you will see that some CCS amounts are BOLD and underlined. This indicates that the amount is an estimate from Centrelink and has yet to be authorised by them. The amount may change once your information is processed through Centrelink each week, and then the actual amount approved will show as normal.
Centrelink cycles are beyond our control and can often take several days to weeks. We have found that most of these clear prior to the next weeks billing cycle.
The administration officer will be able to help you with all questions regarding your fees, Centrelink or your statement. Please call us on 03 9436 9111 within business hours with any questions that you may have. Alternatively, please email the administration officer directly email@example.com
Please discuss this with the Director as soon as you think it might become an issue and a payment plan can be entered into. Please be very proactive regarding this as we have access to a number of resources that may be of assistance to you.
This is a percentage given to you once you have submitted your Child Care Subsidy claim. It is based upon your income. The centre does not have control over your CCS percentage. The centre cannot alter, remove or add CCS percentage if it has been removed from your statement. You will need to contact Centrelink for these matters.
This is the hours per fortnight allocated to you (up to a maximum of 100), after you have submitted your Child Care Subsidy claim. It is based upon the number of hours that you work, are seeking work, study, volunteer, and travel to and from these activities. The centre does not have control over your CCS hours. You will need to contact Centrelink for these matters. If you wish to volunteer at the service then these hours can be used by Centrelink to increase your allocation. Please discuss your options directly with the centre Director.
If your CCS percentage is 50% or less there is a financial year cap of $10,373 applied to your CCS. This means Centrelink will subsidise your fees up to this amount only. Parents on greater than 50% allowance do not have this cap. If you are on 50% or less allowance, your CCS will reduce to zero at that point and you will need to pay full fees until the new financial year rolls over. Please discuss with the Administration Officer if you are unsure if your CCS will run out before the end of the financial year.
Biting is a common behaviour of children, and especially toddlers. It is important for parents and carers to address biting when it occurs, but it is also important to remember that it is normal, and very common, especially in children navigating their relationships with others and/or seeking sensory input.
Children bite for many different reasons, so in order to respond effectively it is best to try and find out why they are biting. Many young children find it stressful to be with same age peers for long periods of time and this can trigger biting episodes. Between 1-2 ½ years of age, children engage in solitary, parallel and associative play (where they watch but don’t play cooperatively with others). They may have difficulty sharing toys or playing cooperatively and only later develop the ability and desire to do so. It is also important to remember that sometimes it may seem like children are biting for no reason at all – but there is always a reason. This can include:
• teething discomfort
• oral exploration
• developing independence
• navigating and experimenting with social relationships
• learning to use muscles in new ways
• frustration from failure to communicate their needs and wants
• adapting to new or changing situations at home or care
• limited self-regulation or self-control (because they are still gaining these skills)
Environmental factors which may cause children to bite include:
• congestion in any one area (too many children in too small a space)
• competition for toys (or a favourite toy)
• over-stimulation (too much colour, noise, activity)
• competition for or insufficient adult attention
There are a few strategies that we implement to prevent biting, that you can try as well.
Reinforce desired behaviour – notice and acknowledge when your child does something positive, especially showing empathy or social behaviour, such as patting a crying child, offering to take turns with a toy or hugging gently. What is most important is that you do not label, humiliate or isolate a child who bites.
Provide cold teething toys, plenty of opportunity for active play and a warm, nurturing environment for children that are experiencing challenges with their emotions. It is important to reflect on the activities set up for the children and dynamics of children in the room to prevent biting.
Between educators, parents and carers, it is important to develop a consistent approach to biting.
Intervene immediately between the child who bit and the bitten child. It is important to stay calm, don’t overreact, yell or give a lengthy explanation. Offer the bitten child comfort and first aid. Wash broken skin with warm water and soap, and apply an ice pack or cool cloth to help prevent swelling.
Use your voice and expression to show that biting is not acceptable. It is important to decide whether to do this immediately, or consider addressing it a few moments later if the child is seeking a reaction out of you. Some strategies for parents and educators include:
• having reasonable expectations
• intentionally teach turn-taking in small groups and considerate behaviour
• give toddlers concrete information (e.g. biting hurts)
• develop a consistent approach to biting
• avoid responses that re-enforce biting
Multicultural Resources and FKA Children’s Services
FKA Children’s Services (fkaCS) advocates for children’s cultural and linguistic rights and provide support to education and care services in the provision of culturally rich environments that reflect a civil society.
Through our membership with fkaCS we are able to access a range of multicultural resources for our children, parents and educators.
Children will have access to a term-by-term delivery of resources which are tailored to each group’s age, developmental stage, cultural and linguistic background and interests. Resources will support all children, including children with various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, to have exposure, education and support in learning about the cultures of their own and of those around them.
If you are a parent who is having difficulty communicating with educators due to language barriers please let us know.
We will find an educator who speaks your language to support you, otherwise we have access to bi-lingual workers at fkaCS who can support you to settle into our service and build relationships with our staff. They can be contacted directly on 03 9428 4471, or preferably, we can contact them for you and arrange a time that suits you for them to visit.
You can also access multicultural resources on the fkaCS website member-only content using the membership ID below. Resources include tip-sheets and translated resources for parents.
Access www.fka.org.au and log in with our Member ID: 430277597
Educators will have access to the fkaCS website member-only content and also the Multicultural Resource Centre (MRC) online catalogue. From here, we can tailor our activities and learning environments to foster the cultural inclusion of all children. Based on the children’s culture, interests and goals, educators have the opportunity to order resources that will be delivered and rotate each term. These resources can be used to build relationships with children who speak a language other than English, and can also support children to expand their knowledge of languages, countries and cultures around the world.
• children’s fiction and non-fiction in over 70 languages
• dramatic play resources including: food, animals, fabrics, puppets and dolls
• music and story CD’s and DVD’s
• percussion musical instruments
• professional resources for educators
Allied Health Professionals Support for Families
Melbourne City Mission. We have a partnership with Melbourne City Mission through which you can access trusted professionals to support your child’s development. Your initial meeting can take place right here at the centre. We will be there to support you in meetings if you desire, and can also provide an abundance of observations and resources that will support the allied health professionals to better get to know your child. If you have access to NDIS funding, they will help you allocate your resources. If you don’t have NDIS funding yet, then they can help you to do so!
If you are looking for a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and/or child psychologist, our contact at Melbourne City Mission is Sally Moore – 0437 675 643. We know how daunting this process can be for parents, so we can also contact them on your behalf, or with you, if you wish. Little Learners endorse Melbourne City Mission as we know and trust that they want the best for our families. In addition to providing access to allied health professionals, they will also conduct information sessions for our families on topics that you wish to know more about.
Northern Kids Hub. You can access the above services at the Northern Kids Hub, located at 27B, 797 Plenty Road, South Morang and on 03 9717 8194. They have the following specialists available for support:
• Time to Shine Therapy – Psychology
• Building Blocks Therapy – Occupational Therapy
• Sound it Out Speech Pathology – Speech Pathology
Alternat options. You can find a comprehensive list of allied health professionals locally and around Melbourne by going to:
• Speech Pathology Australia – Find a speech pathologist
• Australian Psychological Society – Find a psychologist
• Occupational Therapy Australia – Find an occupational therapist
One of the most challenging parts about getting support for your child is finding the time to take them to their sessions. But you don’t have to stress! You can drop them off at Little Learners, and we can take them to their sessions, as part of our allied health programme.
The best part is that we will be there in the session with them, and will relay all information, strategies and progress to you so there is continuity between therapy, care and home.
The first step is to have a diagnosis for your child. Without this it is very hard, if not impossible to access NDIS.
If you do not have a medical diagnosis of a disorder, disability, developmental delay, or other developmental concern, then we can help you during this process. Our documented observations can be very useful for medical professionals in helping them understand your child and their needs. As always, we are more than willing to assist you in any capacity, e.g. assistance in completing forms, providing supporting paperwork, and attending appointments with you and your child if it you if needed.
Accessing NDIS is difficult on your own. It is important in finding an expert in navigating the bureaucratic pathways to access funding.
We recommend the following two NDIS providers:
• Melbourne City Mission – Sally Moore – 0437 675 643
• Contact Brotherhood of St Lawrence – using this referral form.
The Brotherhood of St Lawrence. The Brotherhood of St Lawrence will complete a screening assessment after you submit their referral form. If NDIS is the right support service for you, the Brotherhood of St Lawrence Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) team will develop an NDIS plan and help you apply for funding. Once it has been approved, they will work with you to help you get your supports up and working, and keep in touch and check in to see how things are going once your plan is implemented.
Please note: If you are not eligible for NDIS, that does not stop you and your child from receiving other forms of support and resources.