Frequently Asked Questions
What measures are in place due to the Coronavirus?
At the homestead, we have implemented a number of measures for increased hygiene and distancing practices. Our new Kiss and Drop Zone encourages parents to leave their little ones at the front reception without entering other spaces. Many stations of sanitiser are located throughout our space, and temperature checks.
With such open indoor areas and the abundance of outdoor space we have, social distancing was already well practiced at Nature’s Atelier which we continue to do.
Is Childcare free for all?
Yes. As announced by the government in April, the early childhood education and care relief package there are no charges to families. The package provides that ‘the Government will pay 50 per cent of the sector’s fee revenue’. It is expected that this package will run until the end of June, at the earliest. We encourage families to reach out about their bookings with enough time for our staff to make arrangements.
What should I do if my child is unwell?
We would ask that any child showing flu-like symptoms to consider avoiding Nature’s Atelier. Of course, we are happy to provide advice as each family circumstance will be different. Please get in touch!
What to Bring
What does my child need to bring each day?
Your child will need a bag containing:
- Water bottle
- Lunch in a ‘Bento’ style box
- Closed in shoes for farm visits and excursions
- SunSmart Hat
- Sunscreen: we do provide this, however some families prefer to bring their own
- Plenty of Spare clothes appropriate to daily weather forecasts (rain, hail, wind or shine!)
- We recommend Mudlars or similar wet weather clothing in winter and gumboots
- for Summer a pair of bathers is also recommended
- Enough Nappies or spare underwear for the day. We encourage cloth nappies please
- You may also wish to provide nappy rash creams
- At least two wet bags – one for soiled/wet nappies or underwear and one for wet or dirty clothes.
Does Nature’s Atelier provide food?
We provide Morning and Afternoon Tea and a late afternoon snack. Our cook provides a variety of healthy vegetarian snacks.
Read more about Meals at Nature’s Atelier here
What should I pack for my child’s lunch?
We recommend that you stock your child’s lunch box with finger foods which you know your child enjoys and which provides a balanced and nutritious diet. Using Bento style lunch boxes and with the lunches being placed in the fridge the food stays fresh and appealing.
What about Medication?
A form will need to be completed for the administration of medications. Medications are to be given to a mentor and should never be left in the child’s bag.
How do you manage Nappies?
We ask parents to provide cloth nappies. Disposable nappies are bad for the environment taking hundreds of years to decompose in landfill. Cloth nappies are not only a sustainable alternative, containing no harmful chemicals or plastics which may harm a sensitive bottom.
Attending Nature's Atelier
What are your opening hours?
A standard 9 hour day at Nature’s Atelier is from 8.00am to 5.00pm. For Long Day Care our centre opens at 7.00am and closes at 6:30 pm weekdays. Nature’s Atelier is closed for public holidays.
Does Nature’s Atelier close over the Christmas Period?
Nature’s Atelier closes over the Christmas break, between the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Public Holidays. In 2019 we will be surveying our current families for expressions of interest in care over this period and may open with a skeleton team to cater to the needs of families over the Christmas period.
Will my child always have the same carers or mentors?
Our mentors work a ten hour day, four days a week so on most days the staff are the same and will be there when you arrive and leave. This means that your child will have consistent staff throughout the day and the week.
What is the best way to communicate with my child’s mentors?
You can discuss your child with the mentors when you drop off and pick up your child or by making an appointment. If you have general queries about your child’s experience at Nature’s Atelier you can contact our Director Gizelle@naturesatelier.wa.edu.au or email@example.com for administration enquiries.
What happens when there is rain or extreme weather conditions?
We have many alternatives for children when it is raining or if the weather is extremely windy or hot. Bush Kindy has a bell tent, an inside classroom, workshop and pottery studio which can be used on those rare days. Although we will take children inside when it is raining heavily we will also support the children to play outside.
What about snakes?
Snakes are part of the Australian landscape, we train our staff to assist children to be safe in the environment, have the environment checked for signs of snake activity both by the staff and by experts when required and provide snake bite first aid kits to staff when in the outside environment.
In the unlikely event that a child is bitten by a snake staff are trained to respond and the Busselton hospital is only 8 minutes from Nature’s Atelier.
How to Enrol
How can I enrol my child at Nature’s Atelier?
At Nature’s Atelier we manage all our enquiries and bookings online through the My Family Lounge (MFL) service. My Family Lounge is easy to use and we have a page dedicated to supporting you through the process here.
If you are new to My Family Lounge, you will need to register. You will then be taken through a registration process to create your My Family Lounge account.
If you need support you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone our office on 08 9755 8573.
At what age do you accept babies for care at Nature’s Atelier?
Nature’s Atelier accepts babies from 6 months of age.
When can my child attend bush kindy?
Children can attend Bush kindy when they are eligible for Kindy under the state system. In some circumstances children can attend if they turn four in July of the school year.
Bookings and Fees
What is the CCS (Child Care Subsidy)?
The Child Care Subsidy, or CCS is an Australian government initiative to assist you with the cost of child care.
You can find out more about the CCS and your eligibility here. The CCS is managed by Centrelink and it may be worth going into your local Centrelink office for advice or assistance.
It is always worth enquiring into your eligibility for the CCS. The amount you are eligible for depends on your family’s income, the type of child care you enrol in and recognised activities. There are many activities that are recognised that may contribute to your eligibility. These include such activities as volunteering, study, unpaid work, self-employment and even looking for work activities.
Once your child has been successfully enrolled for the CCS the amount for which you are eligible will be automatically deducted from your fees. Therefore the amount you will be invoiced for in your fortnightly statements from Nature’s Atelier will be the remaining difference in your fees.
What is the enrolment fee?
Our $100 enrolment fee is essentially an administration fee. For every enquiry made, tour given and for every enrolment process that is initiated Nature’s Atelier invests many staff hours and technical resources. The enrolment fee acknowledges this investment of energy and accounts for the costs of setting up a family in our system.
What is the Bond Fee?
The Bond amount is equal to two weeks worth of fees for one child per family. For example, if your child is enrolled for two days per week we charge a Bond amount equal to 4 days of fees. The Bond amount does NOT have the CCS applied. Subsequent children per family do not incur another BOND amount.
Bond is a security payment to protect against families leaving the centre with outstanding fees and is refunded to your selected account at the cease of your enrolment provided two weeks notice is given and your account is up to date.
How does Nature’s Atelier manage Public Holidays?
Nature’s Atelier does not open on public Holidays, and yes, fees are charged for Public Holidays and our staff are similarly paid for public holidays. Public holidays are state and nationally recognised holidays intended for celebrations, memorials and to support workers with work/life balance. If your regular enrolment falls on the day of a public holiday, with the exception of Monday holidays, you will incur the normal fees for that day. If your child is booked on a Monday then you will receive a 25% discount for the Mondays which fall on a public holiday.
Do I have to pay to keep my booking when I go on holiday?
We offer a discount of 25% on the equivalent of two weeks per financial year after three months of a permanent booking. Two weeks notice of intention to claim the holiday discount is required.
It is important to note that the CCS is applied to 42 absent days per year so that CCS continues to be applied when you take holidays.
Can we make a regular booking fortnightly?
Our bookings are made on a weekly or fortnightly cycle. For example you may enrol for 3 day in one week and 2 days in the second week of each fortnight if you wish.
We acknowledge the diversity of family work circumstances here in South West WA and will do our best to accommodate your needs. Please contact us for support on making bookings on a fortnightly cycle.
Can I book my child in casually?
If your child is not currently enrolled, Nature’s Atelier does not offer casual bookings in the long day care centre.
If your child is enrolled on a regular basis and there is availability we will do our best to accommodate your needs for casual days. We appreciate as much advance notice as is possible so that we can roster on extra staff members if required.
Casual days booked can be cancelled without charge with a two week notice. Cancelled bookings not given two weeks notice will be changed and marked as an absent day.