Introduction

This policy has been developed to ensure that Alstonville Community Preschool Inc. (ACP) complies with the Priority of Access Guidelines set by Family Assistance Law and defined by NSW State Government Funding Agreements. Failure to meet these Guidelines is a breach of the conditions of continued approval for receiving State Government funding.

Goals

Alstonville Community Preschool Inc. will follow the Priority of Access Guidelines at all times when enrolling children. The waiting list application will reflect these guidelines to ensure that access is provided to families using these priorities.

Strategies

The preschool will use the Priority of Access Guidelines to prioritise the waiting list and to allocate available preschool places to families.

The Priority of Access Guidelines followed by all state funded preschools are defined by NSW State Government funding Agreements. In no particular order, these are:

  • Children who are at risk of harm
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • Children from low income families
  • Children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children in their year before school (with highest priority given to children closest to school entry.

The preschool endeavours to meet the needs of the children and families in our community while complying with the above guidelines.

Evaluation

All enrolments will strictly adhere to the Priority of Access Guidelines to ensure equity and consistency for the community.

Who is eligible for a funded preschool place?

Children eligible for a funded preschool place will be either:

  • At least 4 years old on or before the 31 July in that preschool year and not yet in compulsory schooling; or
  • At least 3 years old on or before 31 July, and from a disadvantaged background (i.e.from a family holding a low income Health Care Card or Aboriginal children).

What about children who aren’t eligible for government funding?

Preschools with spare capacity can continue to enrol and charge fees for children who aren’t eligible for a funded place, but will not receive government funding to reduce fees for these children.

All preschools in NSW must assess their ability to offer places for 3 year olds and at what level these fees should be set.

At Alstonville Community Preschool we do believe it is important to continue to offer affordable preschool for three year olds, whilst still ensuring the financial viability of our service. We have made available a limited number of 3 year old places in 2016 and will continue to assess this for 2017 enrolments.

In October this year a new funding model was introduced which will have the effect of reducing our fees for 2017. Read more about this new funding model here.

Statutory Legislation & Considerations

  • Child Care Benefit (Eligibility of Child Care Services for Approval and Continued Approval) Determination 2000 (subsection 2051 Family Assistance (Administration) Act)
  • Priority of Access Guidelines for child care services
  • Department of Education and Communities Funding Agreement
  • Family Assistance Law

Links to National Quality Standards/Elements 6.1.1, 6.3.3, 7.3.2