Rationale:

The purpose of this fee policy is to outline the guidelines surrounding fees and the responsibilities of all parties.

Aim:

  • To give concise information surrounding all parties’ responsibilities.
  • To maintain the financial viability of the service.

Strategies:

  • All parents to be given a schedule of fees upon enrolment.
  • Parents will be given at least four weeks’ notice of impending fee increases. We try to schedule increases on a bi-annual basis around January and July.

Attachments:

Childcare fee schedule, school care fee schedule and guidelines

Enrolment Levy
  • On Acceptance of an enrolment all new families will be required to pay a non-refundable enrolment levy of $80.
  • Re-enrolment – existing families will be required to pay a non-refundable enrolment levy of $65.
  • Levy payments can be made by direct debit/bank transfer only (no Cash).
Bond Payment
  • When an enrolment is accepted and a date identified for commencement for a new child, the bond (see bond schedule below) is required to be paid no later than five working days after the position has been accepted or by the date specified in the Enrolment Letter of Offer.
    Bond Schedule
    • 4 + enrolled days    $100 per Family
    • 1 – 3 enrolled days  $50 per child – capped at $100 per Family
  • Bond payments can be made by Direct Deposit/Bank Transfer only (no Cash).
  • Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre will hold the Bond until the family leaves the service and is fully refundable provided all fees are paid up to date and the required 2 weeks’ notice in writing has been provided to the service.
  • Upon leaving the service the family must complete a Bond Refund form – providing there is a bond balance remaining after fees are paid the bond amount will be refunded via direct debit with 4 weeks.
Enrolment Procedure
  • Enrolments are offered to families from the waiting list via email and follow-up phone calls.
  • To secure a child’s enrolment families are required to pay an enrolment fee and bond – as per above and confirm acceptance via email.
  • Families are required to provide the following documents records upon enrolment: Completed enrolment form (online, link supplied in a letter of offer) Birth Certificate AIR – Australian Immunisation Register Medical management plans – if applicable AIR – Australian Immunisation Register
  • Families must sign A Complying Written Agreement to confirm the terms of the agreement – this is to be completed via the Owna parent app – this will be available to parents prior to commencement.
Enrolment Patterns
  • Attendance patterns may be between one and five days, Monday to Friday. Enrolments will be the same days per week (regular pattern of use). We encourage families to consider a minimum booking of two days, as we find that children are more settled in this instance. Approved kindergarten is a minimum 2 day per week enrolment.
  • We do not offer rostered long day care enrolments.
  • Request to change an enrolment (increase or swap days) is subject to the two-week notice period and can only be accommodated where a vacancy exists, and licensing requirements can be maintained. If the request is unable to be fulfilled the request will be recorded on the internal waiting list and will be offered if the request is available in the future.
  • Casual/Additional days can be booked via contacting administration providing a vacancy exists and licensing requirements can be maintained – additional days will be charged as per the current fee schedule (attached).
  • Kindergarten (Queensland Government Approved Kindergarten) – Kindergarten is for children in the year before commencing Prep (children who are 4 by 30 June in the year they start) https://earlychildhood.qld.gov.au/kindy/age-requirements-and-enrolment
    • The kindergarten programs operate 8.00am – 3.30pm, Monday – Friday.
    • We offer wrap around care outside of these hours (6.15am – 6.15pm).
    • Kindergarten operates as per Qld State School Terms, care is available in the school holidays, but we ask that 2-week notice is given if not attending (holiday rate would apply if required notice is given)
    • The kindergarten program is delivered by an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT)
    • Children must attend a minimum of 2 days per week (15 hours) to meet the kindergarten requirement.
    • 2024 – 2025 Kindy to prep transition – Children can continue to attend until week ending 19th January 2025 (week 5 of school holidays)
    • Children offered enrolments into before and after school can attend vacation care 20/01/25 – 24/01/25 (week 6 of school holidays)
  • Before / After School Care (Kin Kora SS, Wests SS, Central SS) – we offer a 3-tier fee system – permanent, rostered, and casual. Priority is given to permanent bookings – see fee schedule and enrolment guidelines attached.
  • Vacation Care (Qld State Schools) – The roll is open for bookings from week 7 of each school term. The booking request form is emailed to families at this time and requests will be processed as per our priority system (see schedule). Bookings may be amended or cancelled up till 5pm on the last Thursday of each term pending availability. Families will be notified via email if bookings are confirmed or waitlisted. Cancellations cannot be made once the vacation care period commences, unless its due to a medical reason (Dr cert required). Normal charges will apply for all booked days if absent. For 6-week (Dec/Jan) vacation period all the above will apply but once the vacation care period commences the normal 2-week cancellation period will apply.
Absences (Initial 42 days)
  • Childcare Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Childcare Subsidy (ACCS) are payable for up to 42 absence days for a child in a financial year. A reason does not to be provided for the child’s initial 42 days of absence.
  • In shared care arrangement (where separated parents claim Childcare Subsidy individually for the child’s care), the allocation of 42 absences relates to the child, not to each individual claimant.
  • Each child receives a new set of initial 42 absence days at the beginning of the financial year.
Public Holidays
  • Public Holidays are charged at the normal daily rate (holiday rate does not apply)
  • Public holidays are counted as an absence day if the child would normally have attended the service on that day (if it wasn’t a public holiday).
Additional Absences
  • Once 42 absence days have occurred in a financial year, Childcare Subsidy and Additional Childcare Subsidy can only be paid for any additional absences where they are taken for a reason defined in the Family Assistance Law. These reasons can include any of the following:
    • the child, the individual who cares for the child, the individual’s partner or another person with whom the child lives is ill.
    • the child is attending preschool.
    • alternative arrangements have been made on a pupil-free day.
    • the child has not been immunised against a particular infectious disease, the absence occurs during an immunisation grace period and a medical practitioner has certified that exposure to the infectious disease would pose a health risk to the child.
    • the absence is because the child is spending time with a person other than the individual who is their usual carer as required by a court order or a parenting plan.
    • the service is closed as a direct result of a period of local emergency.
    • the child cannot attend because of a local emergency (for example, because they are unable to travel to the service), during the period of the emergency or up to 28 days afterwards.
    • the individual who cares for the child has decided the child should not attend the service for up to seven days immediately following the end of a period of local emergency.

Absence days taken for the above reasons, after the first 42 absence days have been used, are called ‘Additional Absence Days’. There is no limit on the number of these days for which CCS may be paid as long as they are taken for the reasons specified above and supporting documentation is provided.

ENROLMENT CANCELLATION
  • Notice of an enrolment cancellation is subject to two weeks’ notice in writing.
  • When a family has confirmed their last day, but the child does not attend their last booked session of care, no CCS will be paid for any days after the child’s last physical attendance (Childcare Services Handbook). Full fees will apply.
  • An enrolment will be cancelled (cessation on care) if a child is absent for 5 or more consecutive weeks. Cessation will be applied and as per above no CCS will be paid for any days after the child’s last physical attendance (Childcare Services Handbook). Full fees will apply.
GENERAL FEE INFO (see fee scheduled attached)
  • Fees are payable by Parents/Guardians as agreed on the enrolment form. Parents/Guardians are liable for all childcare usage charges regardless of CCS eligibility.
  • Childcare fees are charged for permanent days booked, including absences
  • Casual days are charged as per normal fee.
  • Normal Fees are payable for all Public Holiday’s (holiday rate is not applicable) if a public holiday falls on your usual enrolled day.
  • Families are required to give two weeks written notice of intended holidays to receive the scheduled holiday rate ($30 per day discount).
  • Invoices of childcare usage are created Tuesday’s weekly for one week in arrears and are available for viewing on the Owna Parent App
  • Payment of fees will be direct debited weekly from a nominated bank account or credit card as per completed DDR via Fat Zebra (Merchant). Credit card surcharges apply.
Payment Of Fees (Fat Zebra)
  • All Parent/Guardians are required to pay fees through Fat Zebra – weekly automated direct debit from a nominated bank account or credit card. Credit Card surcharges do apply.
  • Direct Debit must be arranged prior to the child commencing care – DDR (direct debit request) authority must be completed via Owna.
  • Direct Debits will occur on Wednesday’s weekly for 1 week in arrears of childcare usage. An alternate payment day can be arranged in consultation with administration.
  • It’s the responsibility of the family to ensure that sufficient funds are available and that the correct bank account / credit card details are provided to ensure that fees are processed smoothly each week.
  • A $2.50 default fee will be charged to accounts if payments are declined.
  • Should a direct debit be unsuccessful families will be required to immediately bring fees up to date in the next week’s payment cycle or via internet transfer direct to Rainbow Valley. Cash payments are not accepted.
Late Fees
  • If children are on the premises after closing a late fee of $15.00 per minute will apply from 6:15pm
Debt Collection
  • If at any stage you experience financial difficulties, please speak to the Director or Administration Assistant immediately. We may be able to offer a negotiated payment plan option for families genuinely in need of assistance to ensure the gradual payment of fees
  • Failure to make agreed payments will lead to the termination of the enrolment and instant referral to an authorised Debt Collection Agency
  • Families who leave the Centre with an outstanding account will be forwarded a final invoice to the last advised address for payment within 7 days. Failure to make such payment will result in referral to an Authorised Debt Collection Agency.
Family Assistance (FAO)
  • Families may be eligible to receive assistance from the Commonwealth Government towards the cost of childcare fees – CCS (Childcare Subsidy)
  • It is the responsibility of families to apply for this assistance, please see https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au or contact your nearest Family Assistance Office – 136150
  • It is the responsibility of the families to ensure their records with Centrelink are up to date.

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Acknowledgement

The educators  and children at Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre wish to acknowledge and pay respects to the past, present and future traditional  elders of the land in which we work, play and learn.

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