Did you Know...
Statements can be confusing for everyone!
We’ve created a document to help parents and guardians better understand their statements. If you’re still having trouble though, Bindi is more than happy to go through it with you. She can be contacted on 6242 5004 – Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.
Our statements will always show 4 weeks’ worth of bookings, but charges will only be for 2 weeks’ worth of bookings. Why? We charge part of the billing period in advance but CCS entitlements are finalised by Services Australia in arrears. We show the previous 2 weeks on your statement in case your actual CCS entitlement was different from your estimated entitlement.
Where do your fees go?
Everyone knows that the NBCA is a Community Association and is therefore not focused on profits for owners or shareholders.
To help illustrate how the NBCA is an organization focused on the children, staff, and community, below is an approximate breakdown of a typical year’s budget and how revenue is allocated.
As you can see, 82% is spent on staff wages and their oncosts which is obviously our main cost (as it should be).
Our Educators and staff are the backbone of the NBCA.
How the NBCA centres manage food requirements for the children?
Firstly, before we can even start cooking, we need to follow Regulations with at least one staff member with a Food Safety Certificate. We like to get feedback on our menus from Nutrition Australia to ensure it is a balanced diet for young children. Then we must ensure the food storage and temperatures are correctly maintained plus checking deliveries arrive at the correct temperatures. Then just to be sure we are doing everything perfectly, we have regular inspections of our kitchens and procedures.
We like to create a very diverse menu for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to cater for children from 6 weeks to 5 years. Not to mention assist with additional meals or variations for intolerances and allergies such as Gluten, lactose, sesame, or children who are vegetarian. Then the challenges always crop up such as when a child doesn’t feel like eating the lunch provided, no worries, we can help out with an alternative option.
We spend approx. $2.75 per day per child. This may not sound like a lot but it also includes the younger children who are only on purees or not on solids at all. This figure per child equates to over $150k per year across our two centres. We have heard some centres only buy pre-packaged food and even spend as little as 65 cents per day per child!
How do we do this? Well, the staff are amazing at managing the budget and buying food when it is on special or in season. But while we have a budget, spending less to make more profit is NEVER the case. This is just one of the benefits of being a part of a Community run Association.
With all these challenges the children are able to be offered a huge variety of food experiences such as favourites like spaghetti and lasagne to more diverse meals such as sang choy bao, barramundi, bush tucker meals or even Moroccan lamb with couscous.
Be rest assured, your children and their nutrition are being well and truly looked after at Cooinda Cottage and Flynn ECEC.
Why the NBCA doesn’t use an App?
In this technologically saturated world, it may seem odd that the NBCA is not making use of a Centre/Family App. This decision was not taken lightly, and it was only after much consultation with families, staff and committee members exploring the complexity of this issue, that the NBCA voted against the use of an App. It is important to understand that there are a range of Apps addressing different needs: for communication and photo sharing; for enrolments, bookings and absences; for documentation and reporting. Some Apps address all whilst others only address one or some of these areas.
Depending on the specific need an App is addressing, these are some of the main reasons we do not make use of one:
Photos: 39% of the children at the NBCA Services cannot have their photos shared, making the sending out of individual or group photos a time-consuming task. We want to maximise the time educators spend with the children to provide quality early childhood education.
App and Software: To implement a comprehensive App, we would need to introduce a new software to replace current systems. Whilst we are able do this, such a large-scale project for the sole purpose of an App is difficult to justify.
Regulations & Staff Development: An app often does a lot of the research work for Educators, rather than allowing staff to think about the activity and what areas this relates to. In addition to this, an App and the areas required are not part of our regulations or National Quality Framework.
We currently communicate with our families via an SMS service, private Facebook groups, regular newsletters, daily journals, emails and face-to-face conversations. Whilst we do not use an App at NBCA centres, we recognise the importance of communicating with families, and are continually open to ways in which we can improve.
What Ratio actually refers to for the Early Education Sector?
Ratio is the amount of staff allocated to children in an entire centre, not simply the one room.
Below are the centre ratios from CECA for Early Education services;
Birth to 24 months – 1:4
24-36 months – 1:5
36 months up – 1:11
Over pre-school age – 1:15
To help explain this further, if a centre with 4 rooms (one each of the above age groups), with 15 children in each room, they must have a minimum of 10 staff in that centre at any one time.
If a centre has 20 children in the 24-36 month age group, they may choose to not utilise the 4 staff in that room depending on the activity. A great example of this is if the 20 children are asleep in a 24-36 month room, there is not a requirement to have 4 staff to meet the ratio. A staff member would obviously be in the room with the sleeping children but extra staff can then be utilised where they are needed more within the centre.
This also means that when staff have lunch, a break, or spend time working on documentation and programming, an additional staff member is required in that room for that period to ensure the correct ratios are maintained.
This can often be a juggling act to get the right balance of staff in the centre, especially with staff off unwell, however, the NBCA is proud to always exceed our ratios and ensure we have additional staff on hand to assist in any way needed.
The NBCA exceed the regulatory staffing requirements?
Without knowing all qualifications across our two services, we can help you with this jelly bean in a jarnotion.
NBCA have more Early Childhood Teachers (ECT’s) than required, between the centres we arerequired to have 4 ECT’s.
The NBCA actually employ 10 ECT’s
The minimum requirement for Diploma qualified staff in Education and Care services is a minimum of 50% across each service.
Again, NBCA exceed this regulation as many of our educators who are not room leaders, also hold a Diploma qualification.
Many of our certificate 3 educators are keen to continue with their qualifications, with many signing up to complete their Diplomas.
Collectively, the NBCA is proud to exceed minimum regulatory requirements, all of which ensure quality curriculum outcomes for your children.