We understand that settling your child into care can be a new experience. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about our services and programs.
What time do your Before and After School Care programs close?
Each service is different, and program hours reflect the needs of the community. Most Before School Care Programs operate from 7.00am until the first school bell. Our Before and After School Care programs start at the end of the school day and close between 6 pm and 6:30 pm, depending upon each school's requirements.
Will any food be provided?
Yes. In our Before and After School Care program, your child is provided with a healthy breakfast of toast and spreads, cereal, milk, juice, seasonal fruit and yogurt. Children are also offered with seasonal fruit, followed by a variety of healthy snacks like sandwiches or wraps, pasta and rice. They will also receive an afternoon tea of seasonal fruit.
Can my child do their homework?
Working on homework tasks are encouraged. Our educators are able to assist and provide support for children completing projects and homework tasks.
Why am I asked for ID when I pick up my child?
Staff may not know who you are. They will ask for ID to cross reference with your child’s enrolment forms, which has the name/s of contacts that are authorised to collect them.
What do I need to do prior to my child attending?
You must enrol your child. The quickest and easiest way to do this is through our online parent portal - My Family Lounge. This portal is secure, convenient and accessible 24-hours a day. Enrolment takes around 10 minutes. You can register now, or sign in if you already have an account.
Through this portal you will also be able to upload any supporting documentation about your child, such as their immunisation records, medical management plans, parenting orders, etc. The information we collect enables us to meet our legal and compliance requirements. It is necessary for provision of service and will be kept in strict confidence.
Do I need to re-enrol every year?
No. However, if there are any updates to your contact information, emergency contacts, account details or your child’s health, we need to know about it as soon as possible. You will be forwarded an annual reminder to let us know if there are any changes to your booking for the following year. The usual cancellation periods apply.
How do I make a booking?
Through the enrolment process, you will have created an online account which is a secure online space for managing your account, booking and enrolment information.
The online parent portal allows you to make and cancel bookings anytime. All bookings should be communicated in writing, so families are encouraged to use the online portal. If you choose to book in person you will be asked to write down your request, typically on a booking request form found in the sign in/out area.
Families have the option of permanent or casual bookings. Reduced fees are available for permanent bookings that repeat from week to week throughout the year. Casual bookings are available at any time up to and including the day of care.
Bookings may be changed or cancelled with 7 days' notice. Cancellations with less than 7 days' notice will incur the session charge, less Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate.
How do I find out if I qualify for the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate?
The friendly YMCA Children’s Services Customer Service Team are specialists in the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate and can assist with most general enquiries.
I need to get my child into care today, how do I book them in?
You can book into care at any time up until 3pm on the day of care, via your My Family Lounge account. From 3pm rolls are printed and we recommend calling the service directly. If your child is not aware that they will be attending After School Care, please also contact the school office and ask them to let your child and their teacher know. If there are no spaces available in the program you will be able to see that on the online portal.
My child has a medical condition. What documentation do I need to provide?
If your child has a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis you need to speak to the coordinator of the program. You will need to provide a medical management plan signed by your child’s doctor. The coordinator will create a risk minimisation plan with you based on your child’s medical management plan that identifies and reduces risks to your child’s health while attending a program.
I am separated from my partner; can we have separate accounts for my child?
YMCA Children’s Services will work with you to find a solution to meet your needs. Each partner who has a separate financial responsibility for the child (or children) will require their own account/enrolment.
It is also important to note that YMCA Children’s Services has strict requirements around signing children in and out of a service. Specifically authorised adults are only permitted to leave with their child if safety, parental wishes, and custody requirements are adhered to.
Custody arrangements are in place, how can I ensure these are adhered to?
To ensure your child's care is appropriately managed, we will require a copy of any applicable Court Orders, parenting orders or parenting plans. We will review the information and the documents will be attached to the child's records. All information is treated confidentially and with sensitivity.
If there are any changes, we ask that you notify us promptly. Where a court order, parenting order or parenting plan has been provided, we will ensure all necessary educators are aware the orders are in place. If an attempt is made to breach orders, the parent/guardian with custody entitlements will be contacted immediately. The police will also be called.
Do you charge by the hour or session?
YMCA Children’s Services provides session-based care across all programs. The fee is set with the total duration of each session considered.
What is the charge for my child to attend?
Each service is unique and the fees reflect the needs of the local community. Information on your specific Centre can be obtained from the mychild.com.au website, by calling the YMCA Children’s Services accounts team, or directly from the Centre or program.
All YMCA Children’s Services are eligible for the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate. These reduce the cost of child care by 50% or more and are available to almost all parents. Call the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50 to find out more.
How do I pay?
All enrolments include information about your preferred account for direct debit payments. Account payments are processed by direct debit fortnightly, unless you make alternate arrangements.
Regardless of these arrangements, direct debit information is required prior to the commencement of care. You can also make one-off payments over the phone by calling the Accounts team on (03) 8371 0500. B-PAY is not a valid payment option.
When will payments come out via direct debit?
Your statement will be issued every two weeks on a Monday, with direct debit payments made automatically on the Thursday following the issue date.
How do I view my statement?
A statement of attendances and fees will be emailed to you each fortnight your child is in care. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a statement outside this period. Remember to provide your child’s full name and the centre they attend in the email. Posted statements incur a postage fee.
Before we send your statement, we first verify your child's attendance at the program, and then submit the relevant information to the Federal Government for calculation of your benefits and rebates. Once these reductions have been confirmed, your statement is issued. This ensures all applicable fee reductions and discounts provided by the Government can be applied.
If you have any questions relating to your child's attendance, when statements are issued or due, or how to read your statement, please contact our accounts team on (03) 8371 0500.
What if I am having payment difficulty?
We understand that from time to time families need a little extra help. We recognise this and ensure a change in financial circumstances does not become a barrier to accessing high quality care. To support parents, our Accounts Team is on call to provide confidential assistance to families experiencing hardship. For more information or to discuss your individual circumstances in confidence contact the Accounts Team on (03) 8371 0500.
What is your cancellation policy, for all types of bookings?
To cancel a booking you need to give seven days written notice to the service or the Children’s Services office. You will not be charged. If you cancel within seven days charges will apply.
Can I provide a medical certificate, when my child is unwell and unable to attend and be reimbursed?
As of the 1st of January 2015, medical certificates are no longer accepted and our seven-day cancellation policy applies.
Why is there a late charge of $2 per minute after closing time?
If you are running late please call the service 10 minutes before close to notify the staff and ensure your child that you are coming. After our closing time, it is outside our operation hours as stipulated by our licence. After this time our program ceases to operate, so a fee of $2 per minute will apply.
Questions about operations, activities or special care requirements can be directed to the local Manager/Coordinator.
Bookings and cancellations can be made online through the Online Parent Portal, or in writing to the Centre. Bookings and cancellations made online instantly generate an email to the Centre.
The Accounts team are available Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm.
Phone: (03) 8371 0500
Fax: (03) 8371 0550
Address: 74A Lincoln Rd, Essendon VIC 3040
Changes to your contact details, copies of your statements and many other activities may also be performed through the Parent Portal or by contacting the Accounts team.
Feedback and other enquiries
Use the details above to contact us directly or to provide your feedback on the program or your experiences with our organisation. The success of our programs depends on the feedback we receive and we welcome your comments.
If you have any questions that haven’t been addressed here, feel free to contact us at any time.