Rainbow Pre-school - Top quality pre-school education in a natural bushland setting.
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Rainbow Pre-school, Winmalee
53 Singles Ridge Road
Ph: 02 47 54 4910

STAFFING: Staffing ratios are set at one adult per 10 children and we have a maximum of 28 children per session. All staff members have had many years of experience working with young children and are happy to assist / advise with any problem that may occur.
The staff members are:
Mrs Joan Murray Dip. Ed., Pre-Sch. Cert., M.A.C.E., J.P.  Director / Teacher
Mrs Debbie Filmer Cert 111, R / Authorised Supervisor & Advanced Child Care Worker
Ms Denise Trent Dip. Art Ed., Cert 111, Advanced Child Care Worker
Mrs Michelle Jones Cert 111, Advanced Child Care Worker
Mr James Murray B.Ed.,Dip.Teach.,Grad Dip.Ed.Admin (Dist.,) J.P. (Science)

The children address the staff by their titles ie. “Mrs. Murray” and so on.
HOURS:Rainbow Pre-school is open from 8.00 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during public school terms. Our pre-school program runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. 

Parents may require the extra time before or after hours offered or pre-school hours only.
Please advise us if you are going to be late (car trouble etc) or if another adult is going to collect your child.
FEES:Fees have been set at $42.00 per day in 2020 for pre-school hours of 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. with an additional charge of $4.00 per 30 minutes for before and after care.
Upon enrolment, we require two weeks fees in advance as a bond to secure your child’s place. This will be deducted from your fees when your child leaves Rainbow.
This bond cannot be refunded if you change your mind or without two weeks notice. 
Notice must be given during term time. An email or telephone message during the school holidays is not acceptable.
If you have enrolled your child but your child has not actually attended Rainbow, we require four weeks notice during term time.
General fees are due two weeks in advance. We work on a fortnightly cycle.
You may pay by the month or the term in advance if you wish. We prefer to use Internet Banking or by cheque in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and “mailed” in the fees box located in the kitchen area.
Deposits are recorded on a Monday morning at 6 a.m. and given to our bookkeeper. She usually has the receipts back to your child's folder by Wednesday. 
LATE FEES: Staff members are employed until 4 p.m. each day.

Children attending from 9 a.m. - 3 pm, must be collected no later than 3.15 p.m. (We know how busy Hawkesbury Road can be at school pick-up time.)

Collection after 3.15 p.m. is charged at $4.00 until 3.30 p.m.

If you do not collect your child until after 3.30 p.m., without prior arrangement, two staff members have to remain with the child due to Child Protection regulations. There will be an additional charge of $20 per 10 minutes.

Every extra half hour that your child attends, by prior arrangement, is charged at $4.00.

QUIET TIME:The children are encouraged to have some quiet time after lunch each day. This also allows us some time for the slower eaters to eat a reasonable amount of food (to keep their parents happy,) to catch up on odd pages for portfolios that children may have missed, to practise speech therapy exercises with children who attend speech therapy and to tidy up our eating area after lunch. Quiet time lasts for approximately 30 minutes and is the quickest half hour of the day!!!

MORNING TEA: Each child is asked to provide a piece of fruit to share for morning tea. The fruit should be placed in the fruit basket, under the Rainbow clock, upon arrival.

We supplement this with fruit from our vegetable patch, which our children pick.

The staff will prepare the fruit and it will be shared amongst the children at morning tea time. Each child will be offered a glass of light milk or water to drink. There is always water available for extra drinks.
LUNCH:We attempt, to the very best of our ability, to promote healthy eating habits. Each child requires a healthy lunch in a labeled lunchbox. Don’t be alarmed if your child does not appear to eat much at pre-school, it may be that they have better things to do! (Our son has grown to 182 cms on fresh air!)

A small sandwich of about two slices of bread, a drink of water and a biscuit / some crackers / a muffin and a piece of fruit may be all that they need. Yoghurts/custards/similar should be kept for home please. No canned or bottled drinks or "poppers" (due to their high sugar content) chocolate, lollies or chips please.
We are a NUT-FREE ZONE. No nut products or nuts in any shape or form. Any nut or chocolate products will be placed in your child’s folder and returned to you.

We are also a PRAWN-FREE ZONE. Please no prawns, prawn chips or similar.
PROGRAMS:Every week we have a literature focus (chosen from our 3000+ collection of books!)
The book chosen as the literature focus will be the basis of art and craft activities for the week. Playschool programs also follow a weekly theme and we may use that in addition to our literature theme. All work done in other areas will fit into the theme being studied to the best of our ability so that all learning is in context.
Our Outdoor Play Area has been designed by the award winning designer, Mr Ric McConaghy and "brought to life"by Ken Brown Landscapes. We believe it to be the most beautiful playspace ever! 

Gross Motor skills in all areas are assessed regularly and observations taken daily on a group of children when playing outdoors.
Our children play outside first thing in the morning during summer. We ask that you apply sunscreen and to your child before arriving at Rainbow. We have a supply of both for use in emergencies.
While we take every precaution to minimalise the number of mosquitoes in our backyard, some things are beyond our control.

Every child is required to bring a small bottle of drinking water, clearly labelled with their name, and placed in our outdoors water tub. They will use this during outdoors play.

CHILDREN'S FOLDERS: Every child has a folder in the trolley, which is at the front door at the morning and out the front of Rainbow, in the eating area, in the afternoon.

All work, notes, mail, receipts etc will be placed in their folders each day for your to collect.

BOOKS GALORE! I love books! The children will be offered lots of top quality children’s literature throughout their time with us. We have literally thousands of books and we change our selection of books offered to the children regularly.
Each child is guided through reading and writing activities and supported in their development throughout the day. We have a literacy session each day and all children are praised for “having a go” no matter what stage they may be at in their development. We actively encourage each child to “have a go.” Each child is challenged by new learning experiences and supported in their efforts during their time at Rainbow.
Once a child has demonstrated that they have mastered the basic skills of reading and have the maturity to be successful, parents will be offered instructional reading books for their children. If you wish to have short instructional reading session with your child, you are very welcome to borrow some of our books. We work on an honesty system.
Our Mini Environmental Education Program actively encourages children to help care for our environment by recycling, composting to our worm farms, feeding our native birds, looking after the bush, keeping our play are free of rubbish, growing and picking our own fruit and vegetables, weeding and planting seeds.
We compost our fruit scraps and keep our worm farm well supplied. In return the worms keep us well supplied with first class compost and “worm wee” for our plants.
Our Developmental Play Program caters for all stages of development and preferred learning styles. We believe that children all develop at different rates, crawling, walking, talking, toilet train etc and their learning in all areas is the same. This is why we choose to mix the age groups at Rainbow.
Our Indoor Play Equipment has been colour coded (in colours of the rainbow of course.) Each day the children should look to see what colour it is today and know that on a red day, all of the red containers will be available and so on. This system allows the children to play with a varied selection of activities and as we have more colours than days of the school week there will be a natural rotation of activities. Our daily program is available for you to view.
Staff members are happy to complete some of the follow up exercises with children receiving speech pathology on the days that they attend, if time allows.
CLOTHING: We belong to the NSW Cancer Council’s SunSmart Program. Each child must wear a hat when they play outdoors. Wide-brimmed, bucket hats or legionnaire styles are permitted. Caps and visors are not appropriate. This is a year round policy.
Loose, comfortable clothing is most suitable for pre-school activities. Perhaps a tracksuit for cold days and longer length shorts/ leggings and t-shirts on warmer days.  Upper arms, thighs and midriffs must be covered at all times.
Clothing should allow your child to move freely and participate fully in all activities without fear of dirtying or crushing their pretty dress / good pants.
Footwear that allows the child to run, jump, crawl etc should be worn. Joggers and strong sandals are best and safest for a day at pre-school.
Please no party shoes and shoes with slippery soles. Thongs and "crocs" are banned due to safety concerns.
We have Rainbow Pre-school t-shirts and sunhats available for purchase in a wide selection of colours. They are of good quality and a reasonable price.
In case of “accidents” each child should have a spare pair of undies and a change of clothes in their schoolbags. If the “accident” should require more than a clean pair of undies or change of clothes, you will be contacted. All clothing should be clearly marked with the child’s name.
Paintshirts and aprons will be provided for all creative (messy) activities and every effort will be made to keep your child as spotless as possible, however, paint and young children seem to be magnets to each other! We have found that washing in cold water is best for removing any paint.
Inevitably your child will not go home as clean as when they arrived but the enjoyment they have had and the smile on their faces at the end of the day will make it well worth buying that extra packet of Preen or similar!
ILLNESS & INJURY: Rainbow Pre-school has a fully equipped first aid kit and staff who hold current First Aid and Senior First Aid certificates.
In the case of an illness or injury to your child, the Director will contact you or one of your emergency contacts immediately to advise you.
If your child requires medical treatment and we cannot contact you or your listed emergency contacts, your child will be taken by a member of staff to Dr. Mike De Vries, who is our emergency doctor your own doctor or the ambulance service will be contacted as the case requires.
The child will be returned to the care of the parent or nominated contact as soon as possible.
A child will only be given prescription medicine according to the instructions on the medication. 
Parents / carers must complete the appropriate documentation in the Medications Folder. In the case of an emergency, staff will accept the instructions of a medical practitioner.
If your child is too ill to attend pre-school, you may swap the day with a child who also attends. Fees cannot be refunded for missed days.
In the case of serious emergency / illness, the appropriate emergency services will be called immediately.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Evacuation drills are carried out each term. We will let you know when, so that you can discuss it with your child. We assemble at our mailbox and read out all of their names from the roll to check that everyone is safe and accounted for.
The pre-school is fully equipped with fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, which are serviced regularly. (Should we ever have to be evacuated for a bushfire or similar, the usual evacuation location is the Springwood Sports Club.)
We will endeavour to the very best of our ability to keep you up to date via our Facebook page by mobile phone but, as happened during the October 2013 Bushfires, we may have limited coverage, some handsets do not work due to individual network problems and limited battery life.

(We may also not know where we are being evacuated to. During the October 2013 Bushfires, we left for Ellison Public School, could not go there as it was in "lockdown," ended up at Springwood Public School and had to walk to the Springwood Sports Club.)

We are unable to contact individuals. We will ALWAYS post updated information on our Facebook page, when we can get a signal.
PETS: We usually have several fish and sometimes visiting dogs, guinea pigs or rabbits. We have had a few "slithery creatures" over the years too. 
ADVISORY SERVICE: The pre-school has access to the Early Childhood Advisory Service at Lapstone, the Blue Mountains Child Development Unit at Katoomba and the Lower Mountains Family Support Unit at Blaxland. They are able to assist you and us with problems such as speech therapy, behaviour modification, dietary needs and readiness for school. I also have many contacts from my years in teaching in primary schools.

Joan Murray is a trained Positive Parenting Program facilitator. "Triple P." Please discuss with the Director any special needs that your child may have.
BOOK SALES:I told you that we loved books! You will notice from time to time some samples of books etc left by various sellers. If you wish to purchase you write your name on the list, you will them be given an appropriate envelope via your child’s folder and payment should be made in the fees box. Payments should be clearly labelled with your name. Please don’t trust us to remember if you give any of us cash in our hands.
LIBRARY BORROWING: We operate a library each day. Your child may bring along a library bag or pillowcase, clearly labeled with their name. During the day, they will be asked to choose a book, which they wish to borrow. We have 3000+ titles available. Library bags should be placed in the Borrowing Box on top of the red mailbox, near to the front door. Each child may borrow ONCE per week.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: The pre-school is closed on all public holidays. Fees are not payable.
BIRTHDAYS: Although we do not encourage “junk food,” birthdays are very special times in your child’s life and should be celebrated. You are most welcome to provide a cake. Please remember that we have up to 28 children each day and it is not always easy to cut a 15 cms sponge cake with 10 cms of cream into 28 equal pieces.
If your child has a food allergy to some of the ingredients in birthday cake or is on a restricted diet, you are requested to provide suitable cup cakes etc that we can keep in our freezer for when we have another child’s birthday.
SHOW & TELL: We have posted a roster for Show and Tell dates for the year on this website. Basically the child may bring in something special to talk about and share with their friends. It is always good to have a practice at home first.

If you feel that your child may be reluctant to talk, it might be an idea to jot down on a piece of paper a few details for the teacher doing Show & Tell that day. We have “split” the group alphabetically so that we are not too overwhelmed at any time.

You will have been given a printed copy of this list on the first day that your child attends this year.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, no weapons or toy weapons for obvious reasons.

ARRIVING / LEAVING: When you arrive at pre-school you are encouraged to help your child to put their bag away, hat on, fruit in basket etc and to settle them at an activity. Never “disappear.” Make a point of saying goodbye to your child and reassure them that you will be back to collect them later and leave promptly. We will give them an extra cuddle for you if they are a bit distressed and you can phone us for reassurance when you get home just to put your mind at rest.
Never “bargain” with your child on the spot e.g. Okay, I’ll stay until you do a puzzle and then agree to stay until they draw a picture and so on. This is giving your child control over you and they are actually seeking security by you setting the limits. “Stick to you guns” and when it is time to go, go. Remember that you are the parent not them.
PARENT INFORMATION: Parents are welcome to visit at any time. Our door is always open to you and a member of staff will help you to the best of their ability. If you wish to talk with the Director, it is best to arrange a suitable time as she may be teaching and the needs of the children must come first. If you wish to telephone, after 12.00 noon is best.
Parents will be kept up to date with events via a notice board and news on Facebook. Parents are most welcome to advertise any personal items for sale etc via our notice board.
LICENSING: We are licensed by Dept of Education Early Education and Care.
COMPLAINTS:At all times parents and children will be treated with courtesy and respect by staff members.  We model positive interactions, manners and respect for moral, religious and ethical values.
Conversations with staff members are kept confidential unless permission is given by you to talk on your behalf e.g. with outside agencies.
If you should have a complaint about a staff member, please see the Director. Anonyomous complaints will be ignored.
If you should have a complaint about the running of the centre or the Director, you may contact Dept. of Education Early Education & Care. (You must give your name and contact details.)
ENROLMENT OF CHILD: You may submit your completed enrolment form at any time. We must sight and have a copy of your child’s original / most recent birth certificate and proof of immunisation before they begin attending Rainbow.

Please make sure that you read all of these General Information Sheets before submitting your enrolment application.
WITHDRAWAL OF CHILD: If you wish to withdraw your child from Rainbow, other than beginning “big school,” we require two weeks notice in writing during the school term. Letters should be placed in the fees box or mailed. You may withdraw your child at short notice but your bond will be forfeited in lieu of notice. The pre-school only operates during school terms for receipt of mail / emails/ telephone messages.
We believe that at Rainbow Pre-school we have combined the very best of the Early Childhood and Education practices both for Australia and from overseas with a few innovative ideas of our own.
If you have seen any other good ideas in action at other pre-schools, please tell us about them (We are not too proud to steal!)
“If there is something that we are doing wrong,
please come and discuss it with us.
If there is something that we are doing right,
please tell all your friends on Facebook!”
Updated January 2020
53 Singles Ridge Road
Winmalee, 2777
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. -  4 p.m. during school terms.
(Pre-school Program 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
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