About Us

Epping’s caring and stimulating kindergarten

Our aim is to provide high-quality and stimulating childcare at our kindergarten in Epping. Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School encourages children between 3 and 6 years old to be confident and successful young learners.

We work within the National Quality Framework and through the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia to ensure that our kindergarten professionals influence your child’s sense of belonging, being and becoming.

Our staff

At Gum Tree Cottage Pre-school, we are all qualified educators with a Bachelor or Master of Early Childhood Teaching or the Associate Diploma or Diploma in Social Science of Child Studies. We have a wealth of experience in taking good care of children and continue to increase our knowledge of Child Studies by attending in-services throughout the year.

During the first three and four months of every year, two bicultural support teachers work at our pre-school for a period of four hours a week each to interact with ESL (English as a Second Language) children. We have found that this program helps to settle ESL children into the kindergarten environment, and helps them to feel safe and happy to engage in play. We endeavour to appoint bicultural support teachers with Mandarin and Korean backgrounds.

All educators hold a current First Aid and Child Protection training certificate, and work as a team, sharing responsibilities, decision making, planning and implementing programs.

Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School philosophy

gum tree cottage pre-school epping
It is our belief that the first 5 years sets the course for the rest of your child’s life.
Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School in Epping helps to shape children’s futures, health, learning and social development, and we make sure that their prospects are bright.
happy safe environment
We believe that all children have a right to belong, education, safety and a right to be respected. Therefore, we have provided a happy and safe kindergarten in Epping where security is given through love and care.
development of the whole child
We cater for the development of the whole child through respect for the individual needs and cultures of each family. By working in partnership with families where everybody is valued, we believe we can provide a holistic approach to children’s learning, development and lives, making children capable and resourceful learners who are active contributors to their own learning.
children treated equally
We believe that all children should be treated equally and we give equal weight to each child’s ideas, emotions and needs. Through broadening a network of secure relationships, children become increasingly able to recognise and respect the feelings of others, and are able to positively interact.
developmentally appropriate environment
We provide a developmentally appropriate environment in which each child will progress from one development stage to the next at their own pace. We believe that our environment has vibrant and flexible spaces that are responsive to each child’s interests and abilities.
national quality framework
We follow the National Quality Framework by offering choice and incorporating the children’s interests into the program. Furthermore, we are following and have a deep understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and National Quality Standards (NQS).
we value family iput
We value the role of families’ input in the kindergarten program and policy decisions. Family involvement is fundamental to a high-quality program. Therefore, we are committed to open and constructive communication with families which includes discussion, children portfolios, journals, journey slide show and newsletters.
educators and parents working in collaboration
We are open for discussion regarding your child’s development and will maintain strict confidentiality as well as reassurance and support where needed. Open discussions regarding care, routines and discipline are highly valued by our educators. All educators and parents working in collaboration with each other will allow for a smoother and successful transition for the child.
in-service training and development
We continue to improve our knowledge and understanding of the child’s development through in-service training. By developing our professional knowledge and skills, we will continually strive to find equitable and effective ways to ensure all children have opportunities to achieve learning outcomes.
local community involvement
We support and value our local community and incorporate the community into our program. Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School utilises local services in an effective and meaningful way, as well as participates in community events.
opportunities to learn and discover
We believe that children learn best through play. Play provides children opportunities to learn, discover, create, improve imagine, problem solve, ask questions and engage in critical thinking.
encouraging and respectful

We accept that a good working team should consist of:

  • Encouragement and respect for each other’s opinions.
  • Being supportive towards each other.
  • Respecting each other’s cultures and individual differences.
  • Using active listening skills when communicating with parents, children and other staff members.
Partnerships are based on the foundations of understanding each other’s expectations and attitudes and are built on the strength of each other’s knowledge.

» Enrolment and withdrawal

  • Parents are invited to visit our kindergarten at an arranged time to meet the staff and educators.
  • A once-only, non-refundable administration fee of $30.00 is charged on enrolment or on a Waiting List application.
  • As a condition of enrolment, a copy of an Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) Immunisation History for your child or certified ACIR conscientious objection form must be provided.
  • Pre-enrolment and orientation time is offered to all new children.
  • A holding deposit is paid on enrolment which equals to two weeks full fees not being subject to the Child Care Benefit (CCB) fee relief. Holding deposits will be refunded at the end of your child’s enrolment at Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School. Please note that once a holding deposit is received, and your child is booked into our kindergarten, the first two weeks of your child’s enrolment cannot be terminated. The holding deposit will be refunded when your child completes term 4 prior to school entry, or earlier. This is only provided that a full 4 calendar week’s written notice of your intention for your child to leave the pre-school is given to the Director, the termination complies with our fees policy, and the pre-school family accounts have been settled.
  • It is necessary to give at least a full 4 calendar weeks’ notice for termination of attendance, or a full fee will be charged in lieu of notice. Please provide the termination notice in writing stating your child’s last attendance day. To make it simple, when you give us a notice any day from Monday to Friday, please be aware that that week does not count. Your child will be expected to attend for at least four more weeks.
  • No child is to be withdrawn during term 4. If your child is withdrawn during term 4, after your child has been attending our kindergarten, the remainder of the term 4 fees are payable. Pre-school does not generally take new enrolments in term 4. Full fee will be charged for non-attendance days as no CCB or Child Care Rebate (CCR) fee relief are available for those absences.
  • The following information affects all the families receiving, or registered with Department of Human Services (DHS), for CCB purposes. If you terminate your child’s enrolment, a minimum of a 4 full calendar week notice is required. Also, if your child reaches the last week of the school year and does not attend his or her last days, you will be required to pay full fees for the days your child was expected to attend. You will not be able to claim the 50% Child Care Rebate (CCR) for those days.
  • The same rules will apply for all newly enrolled children. If a child does not attend on the first booked days the family will not be able to claim CCB for non-attendance days. Full fees will be charged for those absences. Also, you will not be able to claim the 50% Child Care Rebate (CCR) for those days.
  • Your child has 42 absence days, including public holidays, allowed across all approved long day care services, approved pre-schools, family day care and specialised outside hours care services he or she attends. If your child is away for more than 42 days per financial year and you do not provide a doctor’s certificate to justify their absence, your CCB and CCR entitlements will be discontinued.
  • Where vacancies occur during the year, preference will be given to the children already in attendance that wish to extend their days.
  • Please note, that because of the structure of care we provide we are unable to offer 1 day a week enrolments.

» Grievance policy

We welcome parents’ comments and concerns in any area of our work and encourage parents to speak with us if they have any concerns or comments that may help us improve our kindergarten, or performance. Full account of adopted procedures of Parents’ Grievance and Complaints Management Policy is available for your attention in our Policy Folder.

» Communication

As we are a small family oriented kindergarten, we try to maintain personal contact with you on a daily basis. We display experiences of the day as power point presentations, highlighting the children’s group and individual experiences. Please approach the staff at any time with questions or concerns.

Daily contact between parent and teachers is an important part of the kindergarten process. By sharing information concerning your child’s activities and welfare, we can work together to meet the child’s needs. Parent and teacher interviews are conducted twice yearly for developmental progress. If you do have any concerns or grievances, our Parent Grievance Policy is located in the Parents' Library, which we follow to help solve any problems effectively.

From time to time, questionnaires will be sent home to obtain formal feedback on the level of satisfaction with the service we provide at Gum Tree Cottage Pre-School.

Arrival and departure of children:

  • We aim to provide a smooth transition for children between their home and pre-school environments. When arriving at our Pre-school, all parents and guardians must:
  • Sign and note the time on the attendance record next to their child’s name.
  • Inform staff about any relevant information regarding your child that may be pertinent for a smooth day.
  • Notice of any person collecting the child from kindergarten is required in writing if it will be someone not listed on the enrolment form.
  • Medication is to be handed to staff and a medication permission form must be fill out.

When collecting a child, parents and guardians are asked to:

  • Get familiar with the experiences of the day power point presentations and information regarding the child’s daily routine.
  • Discuss the day with staff.
  • Collect any medication from staff.
  • Sign and note the time on the attendance record next to their child’s name.

Photo identification of a newly authorised person collecting a child will be checked before the child is released.

» Fees and payments

  • All fees are due in advance, fortnightly or monthly. Our 2015 full fees are $74.00 per day changing to $78.00 in 2016.
  • Our kindergarten is in agreement with the Commonwealth Department of Education and offers Child Care Benefit (CCB) fee relief and/or a 50% Child Care Rebate (CCR) administered by Department of Human Services (DHS).
  • Fees are payable for 48 weeks of the year including public holidays, sick days and general absenteeism, including parents and school holidays.
  • Please pay the exact amount by cheque or cash, with your child’s name written on the envelope and deposit the fees in the fees box. Alternatively, fees may be paid by internet Direct Bank Deposit. Credit and debit card payments are not accepted and no invoices are issued unless requested. These will be arranged monthly, every 4 to 5 weeks.

» Late fees

Late fees will only apply to parents who are late on a regular basis. This will be charged at $1.00 per minute. Please remember the educators have families and other work commitments too.

» Settling in

This is as individual as your child. It may take a few weeks for your child to settle in, or your child may have periods of distress even after attending the pre-school for a while – this is natural. Parents are welcome to stay at the pre-school as long as they want to.

Sometimes it may be better to leave your child but return early – it depends on your child. Please consult the educators if you are worried or unsure. Never leave your child without saying goodbye and please ring us throughout the day if you are worried.

» Parent involvement

We welcome and strongly encourage parents to be active participants in our kindergarten. We believe that by developing partnerships with families we are able to create the optimum learning environment for their children.

Ways that you may be able to contribute include:

  • Bringing skills to the pre-school to share with children, such as cooking, music, sewing, woodwork and artwork.
  • Notifying staff of other people with skills who could come to our kindergarten, such as hairdressers, artists and police officers.
  • Providing magazines, computer paper, boxes and other interesting junk from home, such as sewing, dress up clothes, doll’s clothes and fancy dress.
  • By being interested in your child’s news about pre-school and helping them feel good about themselves.

Furthermore, we would like to inform you that Gum Tree Cottage Pre-school have adopted an Open Door Policy. It means that family members are welcome to visit our kindergarten in Epping at any time.

» Birthdays

Birthdays are a time of celebration and are very important events in a child’s life which is why we like to make them as enjoyable as possible. You are welcome to send a cake or cupcakes along on your child’s birthday, so that they can celebrate amongst friends. If you wish for their cake to include candles, please provide a separate cupcake to prevent the spread of germs when the child blows those outs. We ask that the cake or cupcakes are left with us in the morning. You are welcome to join the party at 2.30pm for Koalas of up to 20 children, or 2.50pm for Wombats of up to 16 children. Please do not send lolly bags as this is against our Nutrition Policy.

» Rest time

At rest time, the children rest on beds and quiet music is played. Children wishing to go to sleep are given the opportunity to do so, and we welcome them to bring along their favourite soft toy at this time. Rest time is needed to help children relax and unwind from their busy morning schedule. It enables them to have a more positive afternoon and be a happier child at home with you at the end of the day.

» Medication and sick children

Gum Tree Cottage Pre-school cannot provide care for sick children, especially those with contagious illnesses, so we ask for you to please keep your sick children at home. Parents must inform educators if their child requires medication whilst in our care. You will need to fill in and sign a medication form with an educator who will assess all details. Medication must be clearly labelled and in its original packaging. It will be stored safely and correctly by educators and must never be left in the child’s bag.
We have developed a Policy Folder that forms the basis for every decision and activity undertaken at our Pre-school. Copies are available from the office to borrow upon enrolment and at any time throughout the year from our Parents’ Library.

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