Category: News and Events

Childcare for Essential Workers

Childcare for Essential Workers

Kool Kidz Childcare – as a leading Melbourne child care provider – is considered an essential service under the Australian Government’s response to COVID-19.

That means we are staying open to look after the children of other essential workers. If you’re required to be at work and need someone look after your children, we are here for you.

It’s a duty we don’t take lightly. As a network of family-run services, we want you to know that your children will be safe and secure with us.

Given the circumstances, we are able to look after children up to the age of 12.

Contact your local Kool Kidz Childcare to discover what options we can provide, or call us on 1300 566 554.

We’re all in this together, and we’re with you all the way.



Covid-19 & Financial Hardship

Covid-19 & Financial Hardship

In this uncertain time, many families can be feeling the financial strain due to the implications of the Covid-19 virus on employment.

It is important for families to maintain routine and normality in times of stress. Continued care at Kool Kidz provides children with familiarity and routine which supports their sense of security. It allows them to maintain developing relationships and continue their learning and development in the Kool Kidz environment.

If you are impacted and are experiencing financial hardship you can apply for Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) temporary financial hardship.

To receive the subsidy, families need to apply for temporary financial hardship assistance within six months from the date of the event. Evidence will be required to support the application and may include, but is not limited to, a letter from an employer (for loss of job), or a statutory declaration outlining the nature of the temporary hardship, etc.
Evidence will also need to show the circumstance/event occurred within six months from the date of application and identify how the event has resulted in a substantial reduction in their ability to pay child care fees.

If granted the ACCS temporary financial hardship will then give the family 13 weeks of up to 100hrs per fortnight up to 120% of the hourly rate.

Families can apply for the subsidy by accessing their Centrelink online account through myGov or by visiting a Centrelink office and applying in person.



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

We would like to provide you with an update on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Kool Kidz, we are carefully monitoring the Coronavirus (Covid–19) situation in Victoria.

Kool Kidz will comply with all Federal and State Governments, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Department of Education and Training (DET) and ensure their directives are followed.

Additionally, we have implemented the following steps:

  • Teaching and practising best practice recommendations for coughs and sneezes.
  • Teaching and practising best practice in handwashing. We love to sing and wash!
  • Increasing cleaning shifts, and ensuring all services are above our already high hygiene standards.
  • Restricted all unnecessary visitors to our services
  • Postponed events and excursions to avoid preventable exposure
    Ensuring we keep the children happy, cared for and panic-free during this time.

Important! To keep our community safe, we need all families and staff to work together.

If you, your child or any member of your family are showing symptoms of Covid–19, DO NOT COME INTO THE SERVICE.

Please ring your service and let them know.

CCS can be paid for up to 42 absence days per child, per financial year, without the need for families to provide documentation, additional absences are also available for reasons defined in the Family Assistance Law, including illness.

Evidence is required to the provider, e.g. a doctor’s certificate. Families will still need to pay the gap fee.

Families may also choose to use any holiday leave accrued which will be charged at 50% as per policy.

Please call your Kool Kidz service if you have any questions or concerns and we will be happy to discuss these with you



5 Ways to Bond with Your Children This Summer

5 Ways to Bond with Your Children This Summer

At this point during the year, you’re probably home with young, energetic children to entertain. During the year we often don’t get to spend as much time with them as we’d like, making the summer holidays a perfect opportunity to do some fun and memorable activities that strengthen your relationship.

Here are five great bonding activities you can do with your toddler or young child:

Arts

Toddlers and young children have enormous levels of creativity and love to make things. In our busy day-to-day lives it can sometimes be hard to arrange time and resources for arts and crafts. Then there’s also the risk things getting a little out of control and suddenly, there’s texta on the walls or glue in their hair.

One art activity at the low-risk end of the scale is painting with washable paints. These are best used outside, where you and your child can enjoy painting the driveway or the side of the garage. Some brands are non-toxic and water based, so there safe for finger-painting and will wash out of clothing.

Washable paint can be purchased from many retailers such as Officeworks.

Another safe way to get creative is with homemade edible playdough. Experiment with different colours and create sculptures and statues.

Follow this easy edible playdough recipe.

Nature

Most young children love animals. They even have a fascination for the larger, scarier ones as long as their safe in your arms! There are animal parks located across Melbourne which are designed to get toddlers and young children involved, allowing them to pet most animals. This is great for bonding, as parents can discuss the various animals with their children.

These are just a handful that we can recommend:

Play

Play is a great way to bond with children and develop a healthy relationship. Research has found that it decreases attention seeking behaviour (aka tantrums) and separation anxiety.

One way to do this is through board games. Yes, the board games we used to play as children are still around! The give-and-take nature of board games is similar to the back and forth nature of conversation. It encourages children to share what they’re thinking, but to also control their emotions and seek suitable ways to express frustration.

Playing outdoors in your backyard or the local park is a great way to teach a new sport and develop fine motor skills. Toddlers can start by learning how to throw a ball. Once they can do this, they can learn how to kick a ball. Then they can progress onto other skills such as catching or hitting a moving ball with an object such as a cricket bat or tennis racket.

Swimming

Living in a city with great beaches and a pool in every suburb, it’s important for young children to learn how to swim. This activity can often get postponed when we become busy during the year, or feel deterred by cold winter weather.

Swimming is great for bonding, as you’re able to teach children new skills and make them feel safe as they overcome their fears and develop confidence. The warm weather in the summer holidays are a great opportunity to introduce your children to the beach (don’t forget a hat and sunscreen). Teach the importance of swimming between the flags, what to do if they get caught in a rip, and how to call for help.

Cooking

Cooking is another way parents can bond with toddlers and young children by sharing their expertise. Some tasks involving knives, the oven and hotplates are best left to adults, however there are many roles which are safe for children as young as two to perform.

These include gathering ingredients from the bottom shelf in the pantry. Pouring ingredients into a mixing bowl and stirring, and sprinkling in food such as raisins or sultanas.

Try some of these recipes or get creative and invent your own.



Information For Families on the New Child Care Subsidy

Information For Families on the New Child Care Subsidy

What is the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?

In July 2018 the Australian Government will introduce a new child care fee assistance package, which will include a new payment known as the Child Care Subsidy.

The new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will replace the existing child care fee payments known as the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR).

How to apply for the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)

If you already have children attending an early learning service, or you are in the process of enrolling your child/children in an early learning service, you will need to apply for the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

Here’s what you need to do:

Create a Centrelink online account

(if you don’t have one already – families already receiving the CCB and/or CCR should already have one)

You can do this by clicking on this link.

You will need your CRN, your child’s CRN and your last payment amount from Centrelink.

(If you don’t have a CRN you will need to telephone Centrelink on 136 150 or visit a Centrelink office.)

Create a MyGov account online

(if you don’t have one already – families already receiving the CCB and/or CCR should already have one)
You can do this by clicking this link.

Once you have done the above:

For Families Enrolling In a Kool Kidz Service For The First Time

Apply for the Child Care Subsidy (via MyGov) 
When logged into your MyGov account, you see Centrelink listed under “Your services” – click on “Centrelink”.

You will then see a blue box at the bottom of the screen which says “Complete your Child Care Subsidy assessment” – click on this box.

You will then see a page which says:

“Your assessment for Child Care Subsidy has been started”.

To complete:

  1. Family income assessment
  2. Activity test
  3. Confirm enrolment

You can complete all three of these items in the one sitting, or you can complete them one at a time. We recommend you do them all at the same time if possible, to avoid the risk of forgetting to get back to this process at another time.

For Families Already Receiving CCB and/or CCR

Provide further information (via MyGov)

Log into your MyGov account and follow the prompts to provide your activity and income estimate for the 2018-19 financial year, provide your activity and income estimate for the 2018-19 financial year and confirm other details.

Again, you can complete all three of these items in the one sitting, or you can complete them one at a time. We recommend you do them all at the same time if possible, to avoid the risk of forgetting to get back to this process at another time.

Families Once Logged Into My.gov: 

Family income assessment

You will be asked to provide your family income estimate for the 2018/2019 financial year.

If you overestimate (meaning you don’t end up earning as much as you have estimated to Centrelink) you will receive a payment at the end of financial year.

If you underestimate (meaning you end up earning more than you have estimated to Centrelink), the amount owed will be deducted from the withheld amount of CCS, or you may have to repay some of the subsidy you have received.

Activity test

The activity test asks you to provide details of your family’s activities such as paid work, study, work experience, running a business, looking for work or caring for a person with a disability, from 2nd July 2018.

The details you provide in the activity test will determine the number of hours of subsidised early learning services to which your family is entitled. You need to understand what sort of activities are included in the activity test to ensure that you are correctly reporting all eligible family activities and claiming the full amount of subsidy.

General overview of subsidised care for number of hours of activity

Below is an indication of the hours of subsidised care families can receive based on their amount of activity:

  • Families in recognised activity 8 – 16 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised care
  • Families in recognised activity 16 – 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised care
  • Families in recognised activity more than 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care.

    In two parent families both parents, unless exempt, must meet the activity test.

In the case where both parents meet different steps of the activity test, the parent with the lowest entitlement will determine the hours of subsidised care for the child.

Put simply, the more activity your family undertakes, the more hours of subsidised care you can claim, so it’s important that you don’t underestimate their anticipated hours or activity.

If your family is doing multiple activities, these can also be combined to meet the Activity Test.

For example, if a parent works and studies, both activities will be included.

The travel time between the early learning service and the family member’s place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity will also be included.

The hours of activity your family undertakes do not need to coincide with the hours that you use early learning services. For example, if your family works over the weekend, you can still use those hours to calculate how many hours of the Child Care Subsidy you are entitled to during the week.

 

Things you need to know before filling out the test

There is a broad range of recognised activities that you can include in the activity test:

  • Paid work
    This includes paid leave, paid or unpaid parental and maternity leave if this is a condition of employment, or being self-employed.
  • Study and training
    This includes being enrolled in an approved course of education or study, or being enrolled in training courses for the purpose of improving the individual’s work skills or employment prospects.
  • Unpaid work
    This includes unpaid work in the family business which is owned by a member of the individual’s immediate family, actively setting up a business, or unpaid work experience or internships.
  • Actively looking for work
    This includes looking for job vacancies, preparing résumés and job applications, contacting potential employers, or preparing for and attending job interviews.
  • Setting up a business
    This includes obtaining finance, advice and support, attending and organising meetings and networking, developing business and marketing plans.
  • Volunteering
    This includes voluntary work to improve work skills or employment prospects, voluntary work for a charitable, welfare or community organisation, voluntary work for a school, preschool or a centre-based day care service (if the work directly supports the learning and development of the children at the school, preschool or service e.g. reading to children).

Note: Being on the Parents and Citizens Committee, working in the school canteen, or coaching children’s soccer team are considered parental duties and would not be considered as a recognised volunteer activity.

If your family takes on a number of different types of activities, these can also be combined to meet the activity test. For example, if a parent works and studies, both activities should be included.

 

Things to include:

  • Travel time and break times
    You should include break times as well as the travel time between the child care service and the family member’s place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity in your activity hours total.For example, in response to the question “How many hours per fortnight do you work?” you should include:
    – the hours that you are paid  to work;
    – your lunch break hours; and
    – the time it takes to travel from your child’s day care to your place of work.For example if you worked 3 x 8hr days with an hour lunch break each day and your child’s early learning centre was 30 minute drive you would have 3 x 8hrs(paid employment) + 3 x 1hr (lunch break) + 2 x 30 min trips per day x 3 days to childcare = 30 hrs per week or 60hrs per fortnight.This also applies to study and volunteer work.
  • Maternity or parental leave
    If a family member is on paid or unpaid maternity or parental leave and this is a condition of their employment, this also classifies as recognised activity. The hours of activity will be the same as what they were immediately prior to commencing parental leave.This means that if a parent was working full time then he/she is still considered to be a full-time employee while on parental leave.
  • Irregular work hours (eg. Casual labour) or running a small business
    If you or your partner work irregular hours or run a small businesses, you can estimate this activity over a three month period. Be sure to count the highest number of hours that you could possibly work in that fortnight.The estimate should be for the highest number of hours anticipated, even if that number of hours isn’t required every day. This provides the flexibility to pick up additional hours of work and know that care will be available. If those irregular hours change, you can update them online as required via your myGov account.
  • Unpaid work
    Unpaid work in a family business can include cleaning on a weekend, completing administrative tasks etc.

What if your activities don’t meet the activity test?

Other activities that do not fall into the recognised activity categories will be assessed by the Government on a case-by-case basis. Families will need to contact Centrelink directly to find out if the activity is supported under the Child Care Subsidy.

If the family earns $66,958 or less a year, and does not meet the Activity Test, they will be still able to access up to 24 hours of subsided care per child per fortnight.

 

Kindergarten/Preschool programs are exempt from the Activity Test

Families are entitled to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if the child attends a kindergarten or preschool program at a centre-based day care in the year before they start school (that is two years before grade one of school).

Confirm enrolment

Upon completing all three items under the Child Care Subsidy assessment, you should be presented with an online Enrolment Summary.

This will display a summary of recent enrolments for your child at your chosen child care service. You will need to action the unconfirmed enrolment by hitting the review button.

The Child Care Subsidy can be backdated up to 28 days prior to the date the Child Care Subsidy claim was submitted or 2 July 2018, whichever is later.

Begin at your chosen Kool Kidz service (if you haven’t already)

Upon enrolment you will be required to enter into a written agreement with the service.

The service will formally advise Centrelink of the details of that agreed care arrangement, which will trigger a request to you from Centrelink (through MyGov) asking you to verify the information provided by the service.

It is important to note that no subsidy will be paid unless you have completed this call to action and the service is likely to charge you the full fee, as they would be unaware of the level of subsidy you qualify for.  

Every time you permanently change your care arrangements, this process will need to be repeated.

Your service is required to give you a “fortnightly statement of entitlement” which sets out your total fortnightly fee, your fortnightly Child Care Subsidy amount, and the resulting out of pocket fee which you will be required to pay.

 

Where can you get more information about the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?

Families can now calculate the level of fortnightly financial support they can expect to receive by clicking on this link to Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder.

This online tool will ask families a set of questions about their circumstances, including the hourly rate of their particular Kool Kidz service, to provide an estimate of their fortnightly Child Care Subsidy.

Please note: In most cases, you will need to know your Kool Kidz service’s hourly rate before using this tool.

Please speak with your service directly to determine the hourly rate.

If you have any further questions about these upcoming changes, talk to our friendly office staff or contact the Centrelink Family and Parent line on 136 150 (Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm).

 

Sources:

Australian Childcare Alliance
Department of Education and Training



Kool Kidz Gardenvale Open Day Saturday April 14th!

Kool Kidz Gardenvale Open Day Saturday April 14th!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce the Open Day event for Kool Kidz Gardenvale has been set for Saturday, April 14th!

With a big day planned, full of family activities, special service tours and the opportunity to meet the management and education team at Kool Kidz Gardenvale.

With a high amount of demand we encourage all parents to secure a spot by registering their interest to enrol, simply visit www.koolkidzgardenvale.com.au and fill out a quick online form.

 

2018 03 01 10 08 24 Open Day Gardenvale A4 Poster.pdf And 5 More Pages ‎ Microsoft Edge



Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day Article in The Age!

Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day Article in The Age!

Read the latest article in “The Age” newspaper on Kool Kidz Tarneit’s relaunch on February 24th! Click here or below on the image to read the article.

Don’t miss the Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day, February 24th from 10am-4pm. Contact Owner/Approved Provider Sam Johnson for any question or to secure a spot by calling 0407168018.

2018 02 13 10 26 37 Tarneit Childcare Centre Rises From The Ashes



Kool Kidz Cranbourne West Open Day This Saturday!

Kool Kidz Cranbourne West Open Day This Saturday!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce our new service coming to Cranbourne West with an Open Day set for Saturday November 25th, located at 1-5 Whitfield Boulevard, Cranbourne West VIC 3977.

Families will get an opportunity to meet the Approved Provider Addy Singh with his team of educators, take a tour of the new facility as well as partake in the exciting activities offered on the day including a sausage sizzle, animal farm, children’s performers, free barista made coffee and so much more!

As spots are limited we encourage all families who are interested in sending their children to Kool Kidz Cranbourne West to please go to www.koolkidzcranbournewest.com.au and register your interest. Please give call us on 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554) for any questions.

Cranbourne West Open Day



Kool Kidz Gardenvale Coming Early 2018!

Kool Kidz Gardenvale Coming Early 2018!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce a new service for the Gardenvale area, Kool Kidz Gardenvale will be located at 239 Nepean Hwy, Gardenvale, conveniently located right near the corner of Nepean Hwy and North rd.

With a stellar reputation in the chidcare and kindergarten industry Kool Kidz Gardenvale will feature state of the art facilities, amazing play spaces, an experienced chef, a full time barista providing complementary drinks to parents and lots more!

As spaces will be limited all parents are encouraged to go to www.koolkidzgardenvale.com.au and register their interest, for more information call 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554).

 

Copyright@my Little Tribe Photography 2016



Kool Kidz Tarneit West Open Day August 26th!

Kool Kidz Tarneit West Open Day August 26th!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce our new service opening in Tarneit this coming August, Kool Kidz Tarneit West will utilise the same Kool Beginnings Curriculum used at Kool Kidz Tarneit which tragically burnt down over a month ago. We are excited to provide families in the area our new service “Kool Kidz Tarneit West” located at 345-351 Hogans rd, Tarneit which will have its open day on August the 26th.

Families will get an opportunity to meet the Approved Provider Tash along with her team of educators, take a tour of the new facility as well as partake in the exciting activities offered on the day including a sausage sizzle, animal farm, children’s performers and so much more!

As spots are limited we encourage all families who are interested in sending their children to Kool Kidz Tarneit West to please go to www.koolkidztarneitwest.com.au and register your interest. Please give call us on 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554) for any questions, we are very excited to be bringing another Kool Kidz to the Tarneit area.

Tarneit West Open Day Doublesided Dl Flyer