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Frequently asked questions

What age should I enrol my child?

Natural Steps is licensed for children from 3 months to 5 years old. We encourage parents to put their children on the waiting list as soon as possible.

What do I send my child with each day?

When your child is getting dressed for the day, please remember, they will be running, jumping, get paint and glue on their clothes and can get wet and muddy.

Each day your child will need to bring

  • A NAMED special bag (school bag).
  • Two changes of NAMED clothes.
  • A NAMED drink bottle (with water). The drink bottle is to go home with your child every day and returned the next day clean and with fresh water.
  • NAMED shoes that are easy to get on and off by the child.  (Some children bring slippers for inside play)
  • In summer a NAMED sunhat that can be left at the kindergarten.
  • In winter a NAMED raincoat, NAMED woollen hat and NAMED gumboots.
  • Children that are being toilet trained will need extra changes of clothes and extra spare underpants/nappies.
  • Children in nappies please bring nappies in daily.

“THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER, ONLY BAD CLOTHES”

At times, when it is raining, we do go on walking excursions and play outside - wearing our raincoat and closed in shoes (gumboots are referred). Also, in our carpentry area shoes have to be worn at all times.  Please note we do not keep spare clothing at the centre as sharing clothing is not in our practice. Should your child run out of clothing you will be phoned.

What food should I bring for my child?

Unless your child has special diet requirements, Natural Steps is able to provide a balanced diet for all the children, therefore no food is required from home. Please see the Manager if your child has special diet requirements. 

Water is the best drink to quench thirst. All parents are requested that they daily provide their child with a portable drinking bottle for them to use in their classroom. The drink bottles are to go home with the child every day and returned the next day clean and with fresh water.

Natural Steps employs a full-time cook to prepare and serve nutritional meals during the day. We are subject to a National Programme 2 under the Food Act 2014. Our menus run on a weekly cycle and are reviewed every 6 months.

  • No chewing gum, lollies or food that contains NUTS are permitted into the centre. WE ARE A NUT FREE CENTRE
  • A copy of the weekly menu is displayed at the centre and daily recorded at the children’s sign in station.
  • We request that children arrive to the centre dressed and have had breakfast and are ready to start the day.
  • We recognise that celebrating a child’s birthday is a special occasion. Please see your child’s teachers on how birthdays are celebrated at the centre.
Do you give children holidays with no fees?

Yes. Each centre has its own structure. Please see the manager for further information.

What happens if I am late in picking my child up?

The centre closes at 5.30pm. Please call us if you are running late so we can let your child’s teacher know. There is a late fee of $20.00 for the first 15 minutes and $1 per minute onwards.

Who can pick up my child from the centre?

Only people who have consent on the enrolment form. If you need additional people please speak to a teacher and email the centre with adults name, relationship to the child and contact information. Please do not be offended if a teacher asks for photo ID when your child is being picked up.

Do children need to be toilet trained?

No. If your child is still in nappies or toilet learning just let a teacher know. We find that coming to the centre helps children to learn this skill quickly. 

Should I bring my child to the centre if they are sick?

If your child is feeling unwell or displaying any of the symptoms below, we ask that they remain away from their kindergarten and return 24 hours after the final symptom. In particular, watch for:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • A high temperature
  • An unidentified rash
  • Conjunctivitis (unless medical treatment has been applied for at least 24 hours)
  • Any other symptoms of a contagious illness
  • Head lice (after treatment)

If you are unsure about whether your child can attend, please discuss with the teaching team or phone the centre.

What is the policy on food allergies, food intolerances and special dietary requirements?

Allergies, food intolerances and special dietary requirements is a shared responsibility of the child’s family and the centre. Allergies, food intolerances and special dietary requirements are recorded on the child’s enrolment form and in our software package. If food requirements change parents are required to notify the centre via email.

Occasionally, we have children with severe food allergies. Please avoid bringing peanuts or nuts to the centre. This includes nutella, peanut butter, peanut brownies, peanuts or nuts of any kind.

If you have any queries, please see our Food Policy or talk to your child’s teacher.

Can you follow my baby’s particular routine?

Yes. The aim of our baby care centre is to provide a safe and comfortable environment where babies and toddlers can feel “at home”. This is why we believe it is very important to follow each child’s particular routine. We work together with parents who usually inform us about any changes in children’s routines and we follow the same at the centre.

Do you have daily diaries for babies?

Yes we do. We believe a strong and supportive bond between our centre, the baby and family is imperative to assist in the learning development and progress of each baby and toddler in our care. This is why we encourage daily diaries to pass on messages and to communicate easily each day.

How will I know what is happening each day?

Evidence is documented in each child’s portfolio. This is available for you to view and discuss at any time. We encourage family contribution on a regular basis and the portfolio is for you to keep once it is full. When your children leave our care to start school – it’s yours forever!

Where will I find the centre policies and ERO report?

Natural Steps has an Operation Manual. This holds all our policies, practices, ERO Report, MoE Funding Audit, The Early Childhood Regulations and Licensing Criteria. It is readily available for you to access at the centre. Also our policies can be found online via Storypark. Should you wish to receive a copy of a policy please speak to your child’s teacher or the Manager or email us at the centre.

Have more questions?

Contact us with your enquiry.

Contact us