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My Child’s Health

3.5 year old Health Assessment

The 3.5-year-old health assessment is your last scheduled appointment with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse (MCH). This check is free and is funded by the state government. To book your assessment, please ring Mill Park Lakes Maternal & Child Health Centre on 03 9404 8888, your last MCH, or your family GP.

Whilst we care for and educate your child, and have come to understand and know your child, we are not medically trained. During the assessment, your child’s growth, health and development will be reviewed by a doctor or MCH nurse. Three years old is an important point in your child’s development as most general health issues can be identified at this age. If present, intervention resources can be resourced at the earliest possible point to ensure that your child does not fall behind in their learning and development.

Examples include anything from poor vision or hearing, that can significantly impact your child’s cognitive and physical development.

The checks that the health assessment covers are recorded in your child’s My Health, Learning and Development Record or Green book. These areas include:

  • helping your child to eat healthy food
  • taking care of your child’s teeth
  • your child’s vision
  • sun protection
  • how play helps learning and development
  • family relationships and wellbeing
  • immunizations (noting that the ‘no jab no play’ policy requires this for your CCS entitlements)
  • kindergarten enrolment (noting that we offer a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old accredited kindergarten programme).

Please ensure that if you have any questions or concerns about your child, that you list them in the Parents’ Evaluation of Development Status (PEDS). We can help you with this as we have observations that you can take with you to your child’s appointment. Just before your child’s health assessment, we will send you a detailed observation covering your child’s health and development to help you as an aide.

Your MCH nurse will also give you expert advice and potential referrals for any questions regarding your child’s development.

The assessment will allow educators and families to identify and focus on developmental areas that your child may find challenging or identify that you child is exceeding their developmental norms. We may be able to use this to reach out to specialists or early intervention programs if needed and develop an individual program based on the needs of your child. We will provide you with our own assessment which you can take to support your consultation.

The 3.5-year-old health assessment appointment can be easily missed as it is not something that the MCH will book in for you. We will remind you to book it in, but if you miss your child’s health check it is recommended that you book in an appointment with your family GP or paediatrician.

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/childhood/parents/mch/threeyearsold.pdf

Allied Health Professionals Support for Families

Melbourne City Mission. We have a partnership with Melbourne City Mission through which you can access trusted professionals to support your child’s development. Your initial meeting can take place right here at the centre. We will be there to support you in meetings if you desire, and can also provide an abundance of observations and resources that will support the allied health professionals to better get to know your child. If you have access to NDIS funding, they will help you allocate your resources. If you don’t have NDIS funding yet, then they can help you to do so!

If you are looking for a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and/or child psychologist, our contact at Melbourne City Mission is Sally Moore – 0437 675 643. We know how daunting this process can be for parents, so we can also contact them on your behalf, or with you, if you wish. Little Learners endorse Melbourne City Mission as we know and trust that they want the best for our families. In addition to providing access to allied health professionals, they will also conduct information sessions for our families on topics that you wish to know more about.

Northern Kids Hub. You can access the above services at the Northern Kids Hub, located at 27B, 797 Plenty Road, South Morang and on 03 9717 8194. They have the following specialists available for support:
• Time to Shine Therapy – Psychology
• Building Blocks Therapy – Occupational Therapy
• Sound it Out Speech Pathology – Speech Pathology

Alternat options. You can find a comprehensive list of allied health professionals locally and around Melbourne by going to:
• Speech Pathology Australia – Find a speech pathologist
https://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/
• Australian Psychological Society – Find a psychologist
https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist
• Occupational Therapy Australia – Find an occupational therapist
https://otaus.com.au/find-an-ot

One of the most challenging parts about getting support for your child is finding the time to take them to their sessions. But you don’t have to stress! You can drop them off at Little Learners, and we can take them to their sessions, as part of our allied health programme.

The best part is that we will be there in the session with them, and will relay all information, strategies and progress to you so there is continuity between therapy, care and home.

Accessing NDIS

The first step is to have a diagnosis for your child. Without this it is very hard, if not impossible to access NDIS.

If you do not have a medical diagnosis of a disorder, disability, developmental delay, or other developmental concern, then we can help you during this process. Our documented observations can be very useful for medical professionals in helping them understand your child and their needs. As always, we are more than willing to assist you in any capacity, e.g. assistance in completing forms, providing supporting paperwork, and attending appointments with you and your child if it you if needed.

Accessing NDIS is difficult on your own. It is important in finding an expert in navigating the bureaucratic pathways to access funding.

We recommend the following two NDIS providers:
• Melbourne City Mission – Sally Moore – 0437 675 643
• Contact Brotherhood of St Lawrence – using this referral form.

The Brotherhood of St Lawrence. The Brotherhood of St Lawrence will complete a screening assessment after you submit their referral form. If NDIS is the right support service for you, the Brotherhood of St Lawrence Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) team will develop an NDIS plan and help you apply for funding. Once it has been approved, they will work with you to help you get your supports up and working, and keep in touch and check in to see how things are going once your plan is implemented.

Please note: If you are not eligible for NDIS, that does not stop you and your child from receiving other forms of support and resources.

Behavioural & Cultural

Multicultural Resources and FKA Children’s Services

FKA Children’s Services (fkaCS) advocates for children’s cultural and linguistic rights and provide support to education and care services in the provision of culturally rich environments that reflect a civil society.
Through our membership with fkaCS we are able to access a range of multicultural resources for our children, parents and educators.

Children will have access to a term-by-term delivery of resources which are tailored to each group’s age, developmental stage, cultural and linguistic background and interests. Resources will support all children, including children with various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, to have exposure, education and support in learning about the cultures of their own and of those around them.

If you are a parent who is having difficulty communicating with educators due to language barriers please let us know.
We will find an educator who speaks your language to support you, otherwise we have access to bi-lingual workers at fkaCS who can support you to settle into our service and build relationships with our staff. They can be contacted directly on 03 9428 4471, or preferably, we can contact them for you and arrange a time that suits you for them to visit.

You can also access multicultural resources on the fkaCS website member-only content using the membership ID below. Resources include tip-sheets and translated resources for parents.

If you wish to access member-only multicultural resources on the fkaCS website please get in touch with enquiries@littlelearners.net.au for log in details. Resources include tip-sheets and translated resources for parents.

Educators will have access to the fkaCS website member-only content and also the Multicultural Resource Centre (MRC) online catalogue. From here, we can tailor our activities and learning environments to foster the cultural inclusion of all children. Based on the children’s culture, interests and goals, educators have the opportunity to order resources that will be delivered and rotate each term. These resources can be used to build relationships with children who speak a language other than English, and can also support children to expand their knowledge of languages, countries and cultures around the world.
Resources include:
• children’s fiction and non-fiction in over 70 languages
• dramatic play resources including: food, animals, fabrics, puppets and dolls
• music and story CD’s and DVD’s
• percussion musical instruments
• professional resources for educators

Parent Support

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and your Centrelink Reference Number (CRN)

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is an income-tested payment and recognised activity that you do which reduces the cost of your total child care fees. It is available to you if you are a parent, foster parent or grandparent with a child in your care who is attending childcare approved for the purposes of CCS by, or registered with, the Government. There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to get CCS.

A CRN is your Centrelink provided Customer Reference Number (CRN). Both you and your child(ren) will need to have CRNs.

CRN is used to access all Centrelink support – most importantly your child’s CRN is used for CCS. Without your child’s CRN you will have to pay full fees (100%) – only when the Centrelink online system is updated with your child’s CRN is your CCS able to be automatically taken out of your childcare fees.

The system is automated and we cannot override or alter Centrelink’s procedures. This means that the quicker that you get your child’s CRN the better.

If you are already a Centrelink customer then you will have a CRN – this will be found on your correspondence from Centrelink.

If unsure, we recommend you call Centrelink and check if you have a CRN. Most people will have one even if they have not been involved with Centrelink for many years.

Not yet issued with your (parent) CRN

If you are not a customer, then you must first get your CRN before applying for your child’s CRN.

Go to your nearest Centrelink service centre:

  • take your proof of identity documents – check online (humanservices.gov.au/) or ring them (136 150) for what you need;
  • they will assist with any further documentation and may be able to issue a CRN immediately.

Please note that ringing Centrelink can have delays of 1 to 2 hours and may be a very frustrating experience.

You need to contact Centrelink to request your Child’s CRN. Either:

  • go to your nearest Centrelink service centre with your child’s Birth Certificateto lodge the document and request a CRN for your child; or
  • upload your child’s Proof of Birthor Birth Certificate to Centrelink (through either Centrelink online account or myGov online account). If you have not received your child’s CRN within a few weeks it is worth calling Centrelink to check if there are any issues.

Most delays in providing a CRN is because Centrelink are awaiting information from you. Once Centrelink have all the required information a CRN can be generated immediately.

Even though you believe you have submitted all the correct documents, they will not inform you if you are missing anything. You need to be proactive and ring them to find out why.

We cannot call Centrelink on your behalf. Due to Privacy legislation Centrelink will not allow us to ask about your account or details.

Once you have a CRN you can register today for a Centrelink online account. You should allow between 5 to 15 minutes to complete the registration process for a Centrelink online account. Once you have registered you can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

A myGov account is required for Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

It is also very handy as it can link Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support with one username and password. You can then just use this portal to upload documents to Centrelink. The other great benefit is that all your letters are available online. This is very handy as you now have fast easy access to your important documents and they will be retained for future reference. To create a myGov account just use this link and follow the prompts – humanservices.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account.

You can check your child’s CRN by accessing your Centrelink online account through myGov or using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

To be entitled to your CCS you will need to log back into your Centrelink account and complete the Confirm Enrolment task. You can do this by logging into your myGov account.

CCS is paid for up to 42 absences per child per financial year. Additional absences beyond 42 days for specified reasons may be approved. Please discuss your circumstances with the Director regarding possible additional absences, otherwise you won’t be eligible for any CCS payments for those days.

In addition, attendance during your last two weeks is required, otherwise Centrelink is likely to not approve your CCS.

A public holiday is counted as an absence at our centre.

You can access your child’s absence record using your Centrelink online account through myGov by selecting View Child Care Details and Payments or by  using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

You can read more about absences from child care on the Department of Education and Training website.

You or your partner must be living in Australia and have 1 of the following:

You may also meet the requirements if either:

  • you or your partner are a student from overseas, sponsored by the Australian Government to study in Australia
  • you’re in hardship, or special circumstances apply.

 

  there is a Court Order in place regarding the child.
  a grandparent is a primary carer of the child.
 a primary carer has had income reduced from your last years tax return, or from last months pay slip.
  a primary carer is transitioning from income support to work, e.g. job seeker.

Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) is a payment from the Australian Government for families who need practical help with the cost of child care to support their child’s wellbeing.

https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/10._what_is_the_accs_child_wellbeing.pdf 

Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) – transitioning to work from income support payment by engaging in work, study or training activities. https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/11._what_is_the_accs_transition_to_work.pdf 

Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) – to help families experiencing significant financial stress with the cost of child care.

https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/12._what_is_the_accs_temporary_financial_hardship.pdf 

Additional Child Care Subsidy (grandparent) – grandparents on income support who are the principal carers of their grandchild(ren) with the cost of child care.

https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/13._what_is_the_accs_grandparent.pdf

Why Kindy is Better Than Sessional

The Kindergarten program is designed to equip your child with the necessary skills needed not only to transition smoothly to school, but also the skills that they will carry with them throughout life.

Little Learners Early Education is a recognised Government funded approved kindergarten program, which is run by degree-qualified and trained early childhood teachers for 3 and 4 year olds.

These programs are integrated into the long day care hours and provide families the flexibility to work.

As a long day care centre, our Kindergarten operates from as early as 6:30 am until 6:30 pm. If you are also going away for an extended family holiday, you still pay for your child’s position, but you can apply for a 40% gap fee reduction.  
Kindergarten for Three Year Olds

As with 4 year old Kindergarten, our program for 3 year olds is led by degree-qualified early learning specialists and aligns with the Early Years Learning Framework.

A quality kindergarten program will have more of an impact for children who start at age 3 rather than 4. (The benefits are even greater for children who are in vulnerable circumstances.)  That extra year at Kindy provides a child with the opportunity to become more socially adept, be better able to cope with their emotions, and to develop better attention skills.

A great kindy program for 3 year olds will lay the foundation of literacy and numeracy through play based learning, which is either self-directed or teacher led to inspire curiosity and discovery, creating seamless learning and building strong pathways academically and socially.  As they transition into 4 year old Kindy, children apply the skills and learning they’ve acquired through play into more focused learning that is designed to prepare them for Prep.  This “scaffolding” of skills and learning across two years of Kindy creates great learning habits, develops stronger literacy and numeracy, and develops emotional resilience.

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