Harmony Policy Summary

NOTE: To download a full copy of our comprehensive 'Parents Handbook' in Adobe Acrobat format, click here.

Welcome! At the child-oriented Harmony Child Learning Centre the children are the most important people. Harmony has an Open Door policy for parents to visit, breastfeed, and talk.

Harmony strives to support families in today's busy world by providing various programs to meet the needs of parents and children and to give young children a head start to enjoyable learning and independence.

Scientific research (including the renowned Ontario Report 1999) shows without doubt that the quality of life in the first five years has the most lasting impact on every human’s future success.

Philosophy and Goals
The philosophy upholds the belief that the Harmony Child Learning Centre is an educating and caring community that involves children, their families, and their educators in a warm and supportive environment. Harmony aims: Hours of Operation
Harmony’s hours of operation are 7.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday to Friday (4.00 p.m. on the last operating day of the year). Harmony closes on public holidays and for two weeks over Christmas/New Year.

Two-way Communication
The more comprehensively we know your child, the better the staff can meet your child's needs. We ask that you communicate to your child's qualified Early Childhood Educator any events or changes in your child's life or routines. Staff will follow the child's interest and the parents' wishes with regard to toilet training. Parents are warmly invited to contribute to the daily program, or participate as a member of the Parent and Staff Committee. The Harmony staff communicate with parents through daily verbal or written notes, periodic newsletters, open meetings, and written developmental reports on their child's progress.

Arrival and Departure
The written learning program runs 9.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and includes routines such as meals, toileting, and rest time. Before and after these times is free play. Note that no child will be released to a stranger if the Manager or Second-in-charge has not been notified by phone, letter, or in person. Suitable photo identification must be shown to staff. Parents are welcome to stay awhile on the first day of attendance and also visit two or three days beforehand, at no charge, for orientation and to help with settling.

Parents/authorised persons must sign in and out, with times and initials, including sick days and other absences, in the attendance file at the front entrance. This attendance record is very important because it is also used for a head count in the event of evacuation of the building.

Fees
Fees are assessed in order to fund the highest quality care and learning program run by tertiary-qualified educators and well experienced assistants, using the best possible physical facilities and equipment, and includes food. Parents may apply for government subsidy of fees through the Family Assistance Office at Centrelink. The amount of this subsidy, Child Care Benefit (CCB), depends on gross family income and the number of children in care. An additional rebate is available for parents who are working, training, studying or looking for work and is not income-related. Families can still receive their entitlement of subsidy for up to 30 days per financial year, when their child is absent. Any sick days that are accompanied by a doctor’s medical certificate are not counted in the 30 days. Overtime rates at $10 per 15 minutes or part thereof after 6.00 p.m. are payable directly to the staff member on duty.

Click here for current fees and payment options.

Because staff are on duty every day, fees are payable whether the child attends or not (i.e., during sickness, family holidays) and public holidays. A refundable Holding Fee is held until termination of enrolment. An Annual Administration Fee covers set-up of all paperwork and computer input. Iron-on labels for your child’s clothing are compulsory and may be purchased through Harmony.

What to Bring
Please make sure that all your child's belongings are clearly labeled with his/her name. All children are to bring:
  • a bag for belongings and work samples
  • a piece of fruit for morning snack (except babies under 12 months old)
  • a pillow case to identify mattress (part-time children only)
  • 2 changes of clothing (suitable for the season)
  • a sunhat (stays in Harmony)
  • a water bottle (goes home each day)

    Additional for preschool children:
  • a large box of white tissues

    Additional for younger children:
  • enough disposable nappies for each day (approx. 5 per day), or a bag for the week
  • formula, milk, and juice in bottles or sipper cups (sipper cup can stay at the centre)
  • a soft security item (optional)

    Nutrition
    Harmony’s Cook provides a wholesome 2-course lunch between 11.10 and 11.45 a.m., based on the main food groups and using no added salt and as little sugar and fat as possible. Filtered drinking water in mugs is provided several times a day (boiled and filtered water for babies under 12 months). To reduce risk of allergic reactions from immature stomachs, we do not serve egg, dairy, or wheat products to children under the age of 12 months.

    Any unusual dietary requirements should be communicated to staff. Morning snack between 9.15 and 9.30 a.m. is the pooled fruit brought from home, or pureed fruit for young babies under 12 months of age. Afternoon snack is served after the rest period, at about 2.30 p.m. For children staying after 5.30 p.m. a drink and Vegemite sandwich is served.

    Health
    Under the state children's services regulations, child care centres are not permitted to accept any child suffering from a contagious infection, e.g. ear, eye, or nasal discharge, infected sores, unexplained rash, diarrhoea, abnormal temperature. Harmony staff use the National Health and Medical Research Council publication Staying Healthy in Child Care for reference, exclusion guidelines, and notifiable diseases.

    Staff
    The Harmony staff have a wide range of qualifications and experience relevant to your child's care and learning:
  • Diploma of Children’s Services (0-12 Years) 2 years full-time
  • Children’s Services Certificate III, 1 year part-time
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Music, art and drama
  • Foreign language and culture
  • Kindy/Preprimary computer programs

    Staff to child ratios are as follows:
  • 0 - 2 year olds: 1 to 4
  • 2 - 3 year olds: 1 to 5
  • 3 - 6 year olds: 1 to 10

    Programming
    Our three highest priorities are safety, caring, and hygiene. These include safe and clean equipment and facilities, as well as good manners and common courtesies, and lots of hugs and one-to-one contact by caring staff. Discipline is through redirection of inappropriate actions and positive reinforcement of desirable behavior. Under no circumstances will physical punishment be implemented.

    Well qualified and experienced staff spend paid time researching and preparing appropriate resources and plans for the children in each age group. Staff recognise that young children learn through doing and that every play situation presents an opportunity for staff to extend a child's thinking, logic and problem-solving, choices and decision-making, vocabulary, science and math knowledge, etc. Staff members participate in regular staff meetings and attend professional development sessions.

    Staff access community resource units for special skills, resources, diagnosis, and knowledge:
  • Council libraries
  • Ethnic Child Care Resource Unit (ECCRU)
  • Resource Unit for Children with Special Needs (RUCSN)
  • State Child Development Centre, W.A. Department of Health
  • Meerilinga Young Children’s Foundation Inc. and Meerilinga Training College

    The Harmony philosophy recognises that Australia is a society of diversity and different practices and values. It aims to provide opportunities so that each child can develop to his or her full potential regardless of class, culture, disability, gender or race. This approach is known as an anti-bias curriculum, whose objectives are as follows:
  • To help children develop a positive self-identity/self-esteem
  • To help children comfortably interact with diverse people
  • To help children learn about the unfairness of bias, prejudice, and stereotyping
  • To empower children so that they can stand up for themselves or others

    Activities for Joeys & Possums concentrate on physical coordination (gross and fine motor), social/emotional development and cognitive skills, with constant verbal interaction and frequent expressive storytelling in order to stimulate language. As for all children in Harmony, there are many willing arms to hold, comfort, and rock. Staff will work along with parents’ wishes for successful toilet training.

    The pre-kindy Koalas continue to participate in a balance of indoor and outdoor activities and quiet and active play, using music and movement, arts and crafts, table games, storytime and discussion, climbing and running, etc. Again verbal communication and listening are very important for the building of self-confidence and expression of needs and feelings of the young child.

    A qualified Educator, with Assistants, run a preschool curriculum for Bilbies. Educational tools help children learn abstract concepts such as classification, measurement, comparison, cause and effect. They can participate in caring for animals (e.g. fish, chickens) showing an appreciation for nature and the environment. Children are offered a foreign language and culture (French) through songs, cooking, stories, conversation, etc., and the 4 & 5 year olds can become familiar with the use of a computer and appropriate software for pre-math and pre-reading skills.

    Using the book The Virtues Guide written by Linda Kavelin Popov for young children, the human virtues such as kindness, trust, respect, excellence, cooperation, are discussed and practised, so that they become part of their daily routine. The end-of-term holiday programs provide a break from the preschool curriculum, and excursions are organised to interesting venues in the metropolitan area.

    The preschool children also learn Letterland (phonetic alphabet) and numeracy. Visiting community workers, artisans and craft experts, senior citizens, and ethnic workers add another dimension to children's experiences. When staffing and weather permit, the Harmony staff may arrange various exploratory walks and discoveries in the local neighborhood. Prior permission will be sought from parents for any transported excursions.

    The educators make sure that the 5 to 6 year olds going into Year 1 from Harmony have mastered the important skills of listening, concentration, following instructions, making decisions, and staying on task.

    A comprehensive Parent Handbook is always available at the main entry for parents and covers everything families need to know whilst in Harmony.

    We trust that our association at the Harmony Child Learning Centre will be a long and happy one.

    Fun and Learning in Harmony
    for under school age children

    148 Hancock Street
    (Cnr Sackville Terrace)
    Doubleview, WA 6018
    Phone: (08) 9244 2920 Fax: (08) 9244 8448
    Email: info@harmonylearning.com.au
    Website: www.harmonylearning.com.au