Starting Childcare

Starting childcare is an exciting time that is full of new experiences. To ensure your child makes a smooth transition to their new Montessori Academy childcare setting, it’s important to get organised ahead of time, ease them into their new routine, and positively support your child as they settle into their new early learning community.

The tips below will help make your child’s first day at childcare (and the days after) a positive experience as they come to understand that their new environment is a safe, fun, and happy place that is full of amazing learning opportunities!

Tips for a Positive Start to Childcare

  • Bring your child on the initial centre tour and get them excited
  • Talk positively about all the fun things they will experience
  • Involve older children in organising and labelling their personal items
  • Talk about their new routine and what to expect in the lead up
  • Attend the orientation session to help your child settle in
  • Talk about the feelings your child may experience to prepare them
  • Ask your child’s Centre Manager or Room Leader for settling tips
  • Read stories about starting school

Preparing for the First Day

How can I prepare my child for their transition to childcare?
  • Bring your child on the initial centre tour and observe how they interact with the environment, children, and educators
  • Talk positively about the exciting things they will experience, play with, and learn at Montessori Academy
  • Involve your child in choosing, organising, and labelling the items they will take with them to childcare
  • Talk about their new routine and what to expect in the lead up to starting childcare
  • Attend the orientation session with your child to help them settle into their new environment
  • Talk about the emotions they may experience and how they can help manage their feelings
  • Read stories about starting school
  • Take a look at our blog for additional resources
What should I pack for the first day?

At Montessori Academy, we want to set your child up for a successful transition to childcare. This means ensuring that your child has all the comforts of home to feel safe and secure at their new home away from home. We ask that families pack the below items to ensure children have a sense of familiarity in their new setting.

Toddlers and Preschoolers Aged 2-6

  • Water bottle labelled with your child’s full name
  • Sun-safe hat labelled with your child’s full name
  • Two sets of spare clothes labelled with your child’s full name
  • Healthy lunch in a labelled lunchbox if your childcare centre is non-catered
  • Backpack labelled with your child’s full name
  • Cot-sized bed sheets and a blanket stored in a calico bag labelled with your child full name (supplied weekly)
  • 3-4 nappies per day, wipes, and nappy rash cream (you can supply these on a weekly basis)
  • Comforter if your child needs one

Infants Aged 0-2

  • Water bottle labelled with your child’s full name
  • Backpack labelled with your child’s full name
  • Sun-safe hat labelled with your child’s full name
  • A spare set of clothes labelled with your child’s full name
  • Bed sheets and blanket labelled with your child’s full name
  • Re-usable fabric bag (to store your child’s sheets) labelled with your child’s full name
  • A healthy lunch in a labelled lunchbox if you’re attending a non-catered centre
  • Bottles and formula or expressed breastmilk labelled with your child’s name (if your child needs)
  • 3-4 nappies per day, wipes, and nappy rash cream (you can supply these on a weekly basis)
  • Comforter or dummy if your child needs one
What time should I arrive?

We recommend that families contact their Centre Manager to discuss their arrival time for the first day. Where possible, your Centre Manager or child’s Room Leader will want to greet you and help support you in settling your child into their new environment. Once your child is settled into their new routine, we do recommend that all children arrive before 8:30am to ensure they make the most of the Montessori Work Cycle.

What should I expect when I arrive?

Upon arrival, you will be greeted warmly by your Centre Manager or your child’s Room Leader. They will show you how to sign in, where your child’s locker is, where to put their belongings, and where the bathrooms and ammenities are located. Next, they will introduce your child to their classmates, and welcome them to the classroom.

Once your child has been introduced, we recommend that families say a quick goodbye at the door, and leave the classroom. It’s best not to linger as this can cause confusion and prolong separation anxiety.

Families are welcome to stay on the premises for a short period of time (out of sight) as their child settles in. Please talk to your Centre Manager if you need any support with settling your child or if you have any questions or concerns. We want all families and children to feel welcomed and supported so that they make a smooth transition to their Montessori early learning community.

What's the best way to say goodbye?
Saying goodbye on the first day can be an anxious time for children and parents. We recommend that you say goodbye at the door with a kiss, cuddle, and a smile on your face as you walk out the door. Remind your child that they will have a great day and that you will be back later to pick them up. It’s important your child knows that you feel comfortable and positive about their new environment.
We recommend that families don’t linger, and that if you choose to stay a while, that you remain out of site as this can be confusing and prolong separation anxiety. It can also cause other children to become unsettled which disrupts the peace and harmony of the Montessori classroom. Please talk to your Centre Manager if you need any support. We want all families and children to feel welcomed and supported so that they make a smooth transition to their Montessori early learning community.
What can I do to help ease my child's separation anxiety?

It’s very normal for children (and parents) to have feelings of anxiety when they first start childcare. It takes children time to get used to their new routine, build positive relationships with their educators and peers, and come to understand that their new environment is a fun, safe, and happy place. Supporting children with separation anxiety can be challenging; however, just remember that this stage will soon pass, and that most children are quite settled within a few minutes of their families leaving. If you are ever concerned, you are always welcome to call the centre to check in on your child, or book a meeting with the Centre Manager to discuss additional support for settling your child.

Tips to Ease Separation Anxiety

  • Bring your child on the initial centre tour so they develop a sense of familiarity
  • Talk positively about the exciting things they will experience, play with, and learn at Montessori Academy
  • Involve your child in choosing, organising, and labelling the items they will take with them to childcare
  • Talk about their new routine and what to expect in the lead up to starting childcare
  • Attend the orientation session with your child to help them settle into their new environment
  • Talk about the emotions they may experience and how they can help manage their feelings
  • Read stories about starting school
  • Establish a quick goodbye ritual where you leave smiling, calm, and confident to build your child’s confidence and sense of security in their new environment
  • Be consistent with drop off and pick up times so your child becomes familiar with their new routines and knows what to expect
  • Practice being apart by leaving your child with a trusted adult or family member for a few hours
  • Tell them when you will pick them up in child-specific terms i.e. “I’ll pick you up after rest time before afternoon snack”
  • Take a look at our blog for additional resources
How can I check in to see if my child has settled?

Families are welcome to call the centre to check in on their child at any time throughout the day. Our team will always provide you with open and honest feedback about how your child is settling in. If your child is unsettled, rest assured that an educator will contact you, and advise you if you need to pick them up. Families also receive regular photo updates throughout the day via our family communication app. These updates show what activities your child is engaging in as well as their eating, sleeping, and toileting schedule.

How will I know what my child did during the day?

Families are provided with login details to our family communication app on their child’s first day. The app is updated throughout the day with photos and information about the activities your child is engaging in, their daily routine for eating, sleeping and toileting, and general updates about the centre. The family communication app is also home to all of Montessori Academy’s policies, useful parent resources, and developmental reports specific to your child.

What time should I pick my child up?

We recommend that families pick up a little earlier during their child’s first week to help ease them into their new routine. Earlier pick up isn’t compulsory; however, many families have provided feedback that this was helpful for them. For example, you may have your child attend from 8 am – 1 pm on their first day, then 8 am – 2 pm on their second day, and an hour longer each day. A gradual transition allows children to progressively increase the amount of time they spend at childcare each day in preparation for their new routine.

What should I do if I need extra support or have any questions?

Starting childcare can be a challenging time for families. It’s very common to feel anxious and uncertain at the beginning of your childcare journey. First and foremost,  we want you to know that you are always welcome to share your feelings and experience with us, and that we are here to support you in any way we can. We are deeply honoured that you have entrusted us with the education and care of your child. We want to create a home away from home for your child and to provide you with a supportive community for you and your family. If you need anything, please contact your Centre Manager, or our Family Care Team on 1300 000 162.

How long will it take for my child to settle in?

Every child is different when it comes to settling into childcare. Some children settle within a few days, others within weeks, and some may be unsettled at drop-off for a longer period of time. There are many factors that affect a child’s settling time, including their personality type, learned behaviours, separation anxiety, enrolment pattern, age and stage of development, and what’s happening in other areas of their life. If you have any concerns about how your child is settling in, please talk to your Centre Manager or your child’s Room Leader. They will work with you to help your child make a smooth and happy transition to their new Montessori Academy childcare centre.

Enrolment Information

How do I enrol?

If you’re interested in enrolling, we encourage you to book a tour of the Montessori Academy childcare centres that are closest to you. Families are welcome and encouraged to visit as many Montessori Academy childcare centres as they like. It’s important that you find the right centre, staff team, and facilities that will best nurture and support your child.

During your tour you will have the opportunity to meet the Centre Manager, learn more about Montessori education, and ask any questions you may have about the program or facilities. We encourage families to get a good feel for what we do so they understand what’s so special about our educational approach and teaching approach.

If you are interested in starting, the Centre Manager will provide you with an Enrolment Kit or Waiting List depending on your expected start date and centre vacancies. A member of our Family Care Team will follow up with you after the tour to answer any outstanding questions and to assist you with the paperwork.

If you join the Waiting List, you will receive quarterly updates on your child’s position, as well as useful information about the centre, and Montessori learning resources.

Book a Tour
I'm not ready to start yet. What are my options?
For families who aren’t ready to start childcare yet, it’s a great idea to join the Waiting List for your preferred Montessori Academy childcare centres. Families are welcome to join the Waiting List for as many centres as they would like for an administration fee of $50 per child.
We recommend that families join the Waiting List early (some families do this as soon as their child is born) and that you regularly update your details in the lead up to your child’s expected start date. Our Family Care Team will be in touch quarterly to touch-base and provide important updates about the centre.
Joining the Waiting List early provides greater certainty surrounding whether a position will be available when you are looking to start childcare. The best time to join the Waiting List is when your child is under the age of two. The infant room for ages 0-2 is the only room with a guaranteed annual intake as these children will transition up to the toddler classroom and program.
What is the best age to start childcare?

The best time to start childcare depends on each family’s situation, needs, and preferences. Children who begin the Montessori Program at an early age typically settle in quickly and enjoy the full spectrum of benefits associated with the Montessori Method. These children are more likely to progress to the high end Montessori materials in the Preschool Program as they have developed a complete academic foundation across all curriculum areas. However, children of all ages thrive in the Montessori early learning environment.

What is the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and how do I apply?

The Child Care Subsidy is a government payment that reduces families out-of-pocket costs for childcare, including: Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care or Outside School Hours Care.

All Montessori Academy childcare centres are registered for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

If you’re new to childcare, we recommend that you apply for the claim as soon as possible. For more information, you can visit Services Australia.

Apply for the Child Care Subsidy
What is a Customer Reference Number (CRN)?

A CRN is your Customer Reference Number with Centrelink. It is 9 numbers and ends with a letter. For example: 123 456 789A.

If you receive or have ever received income support from Centrelink, such as a Maternity Leave payment, or Parental Leave payment, you will have a CRN.

You’ll find your CRN on letters or emails from Centrelink.

If you can’t find your CRN, or don’t know if you have one, you’ll need to follow the steps to get a CRN. For more information, you can visit Services Australia.

Get a CRN
How do I get a CRN?

Families need to supply the CRN for the parent claiming the Child Care Subsidy as well as their child’s CRN when completing the Enrolment Kit.

The quickest way to get a CRN is with myGov. To start you need a myGov account. If you don’t have one, you can create one. Once you’ve created your myGov account, follow these steps to prove your identity online and get a CRN.

  1. Sign in to myGov.
  2. Select I need a CRN.
  3. Follow the prompts to enter your identity details to prove who you are.You’ll need 1 of these documents:
    • Australian birth certificate
    • Australian citizenship certificate
    • Current Australian passport
    • Australian Visa

    You’ll also need 1 of these documents:

  4. Enter details from your Medicare card.
  5. Enter some personal details.myGov will share this information with Centrelink to check if you have a CRN. If you don’t have a CRN, they will give you one.
  6. Your new Centrelink online account will link to your myGov account.
  7. You’ll need more identity documents at a later date to complete the identity requirements.
  8. You’re now ready to claim a Centrelink payment.

If you can’t get a CRN online, you can call Centrelink to prove your identity over the phone. Once you have a CRN, you can make your claim using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Where can I find my child's AIR Immunisation History Statement?

You can get your child’s Immunisation History Statement straight away using either:

If you can’t use Medicare online, your vaccination provider can print your immunisation history statement for you.

You can also call the Australian Immunisation Register and ask them to send your immunisation history statement to you. It can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post.

Please note that the ‘Blue Book’ is no longer accepted when enrolling at a childcare service. Your child’s Immunisation History Statement must show ‘Immunisation history status: Up to date’ as at the date you enrolled.

If your child’s immunisation status is not up to date you must provide proof that your child is on a a catch up schedule. This will be shown up on your Immunisation History Statement once you have visited your General Practitioner to organise a catch up schedule.

Enrolment Process

Starting Childcare

Childcare Subsidy

Learning at Home

Daily Routines   

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