Family day care costs can add up quickly, so there are some government programs that offer financial assistance to parents. Staff at any Mission Australia Early Learning center can provide information to parents regarding some of those programs, and direct them to where they can apply. One program, called Child Care Benefit, can be claimed right at the center to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. This program is based on income and paid to Education and Care Services. The Child Care Rebate program is not based on income. It covers fifty percent of out-of-pocket expenses for child care, up to a cap amount that is determined annually. Everyone who pays for family day care is eligible.
Jobs, Education, and Training (JET) early learning centre fee assistance is a program with income and eligibility requirements. Parents must be participating in programs that will help them enter, or re-enter the workforce. The centers, which are non-profit, provide long day care, kindergarten classes, and after school care for children ages newborn to five years. Their goals are to help children reach their potential, build strong communities, and support parents. There are eighteen centers in New South Wales, for example, and fourteen in Victoria. The total number throughout the continent is currently fifty-three. Parents can utilize the website to locate the center nearest them, inquire about availability, book a tour of the local center, or enroll their child. When both parents need to work, or choose to work, a reliable and nationally recognized day care center is a great place to bring a child.
There are four elements to the holistic approach of each center. They are education, nutrition, environment, and community. These are combined in each day to develop healthy children who are instilled with a love of learning, so they can reach their full potential. Learning models have been designed by professionals within the early education field.
Outdoor play areas are safe and extensive. They include natural elements, such as trees, plants, and grass, activities, and equipment. All the food that is provided meets national nutritional guidelines, meets the needs of the children, and is appropriate for their age group. Any medical or religious dietary needs for an enrolled child will also be met. Centers are integrated into local areas to help meet some of the needs of the community. Children are taught about the local history, visit interesting sites, and begin to appreciate belonging to a community.