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Policy: Access and Management of Waiting List

Guiding Principle

This Centre aims to respond to the needs of the local community and to be inclusive of all children and families. No child will be excluded from the programs on the basis of sex, race, religion or developmental delays or disabilities.

Policy Statement

As there will usually be more families requesting access than there are places available, there will be clear guidelines for the management of the waiting list and for the allocation of places.

This policy applies to the Director and any others assisting with the waiting list and allocation of places, and also to all families applying for a place and those families already in the centre requesting to increase days.

The purpose of this policy is to achieve fair and equitable access, and to inform families on the procedures to be followed.

Policy Guidelines

A computerised waiting list will be maintained. Children will be listed in date of birth and date of application order. Siblings will be cross-referenced.

Families apply for a place by filling in the application form and paying a $50 per family, non-refundable administration fee. This is paid once only. Payment of this fee does not guarantee a placement.

The application form needs to be filled in once only and will remain active from year to year as long as the family advises any changes of contact detail and returns the update slip posted out.

The family may telephone to advise the Centre of any changes to contact or booking details, and families may wish to telephone to enquire whether and when a place is likely to become available. Telephone often is discouraged as it is time consuming and does not increase the chances of being allocated a place.

Families will be contacted by telephone when an offer of a place is to be made. This can happen at any time during the year.

Given the number of families on the waiting list, the Centre will make contact only to offer a place, or when an update slip is posted. If the update slip is not returned by the due date, the child will be taken off the waiting list. There are very few circumstances whereby a child will be reinstated on the list once taken off.

An offer may be turned down without jeopardising the position on the waiting list.

No family on the waiting list will be guaranteed placement in the Centre. Families are advised to pursue other options in case a place is not offered. As the Centre is very popular, there will be families who are unsuccessful in securing a place.

Parents already in the centre who wish to increase days will also be subject to the Priority of Access Guidelines below.

The centre requires that all families book a minimum of 2 days.

The Priority of Access Guidelines are rigorously and objectively followed. There is no way for parents to be given special priority except as stated below.

Priority of Access - To Long Day care and Kindergarten Programmes

  1. Stonnington Residency: Though this Centre operates independently through an incorporated parent management group, the Stonnington Council provides the building as a community resource. Therefore, in the interests of fairness, first priority is given to residents of the City of Stonnington. Proof of residency will likely be required.
  2. Government Guidelines - Child Care Services Handbook: The centre is required to work within the guidelines of the Australian Government as laid down in the Child Care Services Handbook.  It is recognised that in some locations demand for child care exceeds supply and in those instances services should allocate places to families with the greatest need for child care support.

The handbook sets out the following three levels of priority:

  • Priority 1 – a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect
  • Priority 2 – a child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy the work/training/study test under section 14 of the Family Assistance Act
  • Priority 3 – any other child [subject to sibling priority at WECC).

In relation to three and four year old Kindergarten Programmes, the above applies, however, as the Centre is a preschool of choice for many local families, a number of places will be offered to families who are attending for preschool only, if the vacancies are available. The number of places will vary from year to year.

  1. Siblings: Siblings of children currently attending or who have attended within the previous 2 years will be given priority. In the situation where two families in equal circumstances are competing for a position, that family with more than one child in the centre at the same time (sibling matching) will have priority.
  2. Date of application: In circumstances where two families in equal circumstances are competing for a position, the date of original application- (as per the Wait List Application date) will be the determining factor. This will also apply to parents already in the centre wishing to increase days.
  3. Centre Management: Occasionally, the Centre must protect the quality of care through the allocation of places. This will be in an exceptional circumstance eg when there are several children with additional needs in the one grouping. This is at the Director’s discretion subject to the Committee of Management approval.

Last review date:

February 2011


  • Stonnington Council
  • Department of Human Services
  • Family Assistance Office

Related Policies:

3.2 Room Allocation Policy