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Policy: Room Allocation

Guiding Principle

The Committee of Management realises its responsibility to provide equitable access to the Centre to the residents of the City of Stonnington. This policy is in place to support that access. The policy is to be read in conjunction with the Access and Management of Waitlist Policy.

The policy applies to the Director and all staff, parents enrolled in the Centre and all others who may be assisting with the allocation of places within the centre.

Policy Statement

When children are accepted into the centre they will be allocated a room according to birth date. The centre aims for the birth date range for each room to be no greater than 12 months from the youngest to the eldest.

The birth date range in each room will be from 1January to 31 December. WECC calculates/ assesses the age range of children in rooms from 1 January to 31 December. Children are eligible for their preschool funded year if they turn 4 years of age by 30 April. Research and analysis completed at WECC has established that a significant number of children born in the January-May period will hold off for school entry a further year.

Our researched recommendation is that once securing a position at WECC, your child continues with that group commencing and completing each year together.

We encourage children to move through the rooms in sequence; allowing children the ability to form strong social relationships with their peers and to be given the opportunity to grow and develop in an environment they feel secure in.

We are guided by the National Early Years Learning Framework for Australia which states;

"Belonging - knowing where and with whom you belong- is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighbourhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children's interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. In early childhood, and throughout life relationships are crucial to a sense of belonging. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become."

Due to the demand for places in childcare and kindergartens across Stonnington, we encourage parents to consider when accepting positions at WECC; their child's age and the room that they will move through in sequence, in line with WECC's above recommendation.

Children in Room 5 who in the view of the kindergarten teacher, and in conjunction with the Preschool Field Officer using the preschool guidelines for a second year of preschool funding, may require an additional year of room 5 (4 year old Kindergarten).

If a second year of preschool funding is not approved by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) then the full cost of a second year in Room 5 will be met by the family.

Parents who wish to delay their child's entry to school may request to repeat at any given year throughout their time at Wattletree. However, by doing this the child relinquishes their existing placement, with priority given to those children progressing into that room in sequence. No guarantees of placement are provided for repeat year across all rooms at WECC.

We understand that we must allow for flexibility within our room allocation policy and as such the guidelines for skipping rooms and moving up rooms throughout the year are outlined below.

Skipping rooms refers to;

  • A child moving through the rooms at WECC and entirely missing a room in that sequence, in order to attend another room. E.g. Finishing their year in room 3 and starting the following year in room 5 (entirely missing room 4)

Moving up rooms throughout the year refers to;

  • A child commencing in the following room throughout the year. E.g. A child currently in room 3 moves to room 4 prior to June 30 that year.

Policy Guidelines

  • To ensure objective decisions are made, priority of children moving up/skipping rooms will be based on age and the request being made by the child's parent/guardian (please see below for further information).
  • Only children born in the months of Jan-April are eligible to skip rooms/Move up rooms throughout the year, unless a child with a pre January Birth date is older than peers in room
  • To allow teachers to sufficiently prepare children for their following year of education moving up/skipping room opportunities will only be available up until 30th of June any given year.
  • If skipping a room/moving up a room throughout the year, priority of vacancies will be given as follows;
  1. To children on the internal waitlist for the room (children who already have a place and would like to increase/change days)
  2. To children moving through rooms in sequence
  3. Children who require an extra year in the room (repeating the year)
  4. By age of child (eldest child is offered position first)
  5. If two children with the same birth date are competing for a position it is decided by
    1. child who entered the centre first
    2. was on the waitlist first (depending on information available)

N.B. Priority of access guidelines above are based entirely on the availability that WECC has to offer. All rooms are often at capacity so the likelihood of positions becoming available is infrequent.

  • A child skipping rooms/moving up rooms throughout the year must only attend one room at a time; days are not to be spaced over two rooms at any time within the centre.
  • There is no trial period offered, as the centre aims to be at capacity at all times
  • If a child skips a room it will be understood (by signing offer letter) that the child may not be able to move back if they do not cope, subject to positions available
  • Due to the extensive waitlist, only a short amount of time will be given to accept positions, offer letters will clearly stipulate the due dates of form.
  • Forms will not be accepted after this due date.

Please see the below procedure if you would like your child to be considered to skip rooms/move up a room throughout the year;

If you would like your child to be considered to skip rooms or to be offered the opportunity to move up rooms throughout this or the following year, please provide a letter prior to the 31st of March of the year of/before the request is to take place. This emailed letter must include;

  • The child's full name
  • Child's date of Birth
  • Outline what your request is
  • Include the days that you would like your child to be considered for.

Under no circumstances will letters be accepted after the 31st of March unless vacancy permits.

To ensure informed decisions are being exercised if choosing to skip/move through the rooms, Wattletree Committee of Management strongly recommends the following guidelines are also followed.

  • Seek the opinion of an external assessor, to consider your child's readiness (at parents cost and prior to offer of places). Please follow suggested link provided: http://earlylife.com.au/info/school-readiness-assessments
  • Recommend a discussion with the Kindergarten teacher (if time permits) or view their program in action.

Last review date:

June 2011

Source:

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/
http://earlylife.com.au/info/node/18

Belonging, Being and Becoming National Early Years Learning Framework for Australia

Victorian kindergarten policy, procedures and funding criteria 2010–12

Related Policies:

3.1 Access and Management of the Waiting List.