Children's program parents' handbook
The children's program at the City of Sydney's Pine Street Creative Arts Centre provides afternoon art classes during school term and a holiday program for primary school-aged children. We also run art programs for young teenagers aged 11 to 15 years. Course outlines are made available on our website before each school term and holiday program starts.
The maximum class size for the school term program is 10 students – the mimimum number of enrolments needed for a class to run is 7 students. The holiday program caters for up to 20 children aged 5 to 8 years and up to 10 children aged 9 to 12 years.
The centre also runs programs for young aged 16 to 26 years and holiday programs for young people aged 13 to 18 years.
Please note: we are not licensed to cater to children not yet attending school. Children must be at least 5 years of age and attending primary school to enrol in any of our programs. We cannot care for children under school age. If you must bring a younger child to the centre they must be supervised at all times.
Pine Street aims to provide and manage a high quality and accessible arts program for children, which encourages, stimulates and promotes in the arts and local cultural activities.
The program aims to actively encourage children to learn about their world and to express themselves in a fun and imaginative way. We aim to provide an environment where children feel safe, cared for and are creatively inspired, which encourages cooperation and positive interaction between participants and tutors.
Rules are clearly established and are based on positive guidance and logical consequences. Positive behaviour will be expected and self-discipline skills are encouraged and developed.
Children must not attend the centre without supervision outside our operating hours. Our term program hours are:
- classes for 5 to 12 year olds: Monday to Thursday from 3.30pm – 5pm
- classes for 11 to 15 year olds: Monday to Thursday from 4pm – 5.30pm
- classes for 5 to 12 year olds: Saturdays from 11.30am – 1pm.
The holiday program hours are Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm. The centre is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Federal duty of care laws state that under no circumstances must staff find themselves alone with a child. It is not possible for Pine Street to provide extra staff if your child arrives early or is picked up late from the centre so it is important that students and parents adhere to our program operating hours.
Signing in and signing out
Chilren must be accompanied by a parent/carer/other authorised person to sign the child in and out of the centre when attending a program, unless the child has permission for independent access. Such access is only allowed for children aged from 11 to 15 years after written authority has been given by the parent/carer. The written authority must be submitted to the children's program coordinator before the program or course starts.
A child with independent access cannot bring or take their younger siblings aged 5 to 10 years with them. Children aged 11 to 15 years who have independent access must still be enrolled and booked into a program by their parents or carers. Children will only be allowed to leave the centre with:
- parents/carers, unless a court order restricts access to the child
- a person authorised by the child's parents/carers to pick up the child.
If someone different will be picking up your child, please either state their name in the sign-in roll on teh day, or contact the centre and advise the children's program coordinator beforehand. If someone new to the centre arrives to pick up your child we will ask them to show us identification. They must also be over 16 years of age.
If a person who arrives to pick up a child appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs we will insist that the person does not drive home. In this case, we will call a friend or relation who can pick them up or call a cab on their behalf.
If children are not collected on time, parents will be required to complete a late parent register form and fines will apply. Parents who are late collecting their child more than 3 times will be barred from booking their children into further programs at the centre.
Please note: staff have the right to deny independent departure from the centre even if it has been authorised by the parent/carer if the staff member judges that the child is at risk leaving the centre unsupervised by an adult.
You must inform the centre at enrolment if there are any legal restrictions on either of the parents or anyone else accessing a child. We cannot refuse a parent access to their child unless we have been provided a copy of a court order that restricts or denies them access to the child. We can only act on information we have in writing.
Parents/carers are responsible for supervising their children while they are dropping off or picking up children. Parents/carers and siblings not enrolled cannot stay in the stuido once the workshop has started.
The supervision ratio during our programs is one staff member for every:
- 10 children during holiday program workshops
- 15 children during visits to the local park
- 15 children during lunch breaks at the centre
- 10 children during term program classes.
Registration, bookings and cancellations
A completed registration form is mandatory for all children attending programs at the centre. It must be renewed each year your child is enrolled at the centre.
All bookings must either be prepaid or supported by credit card details.
The holiday program is sent by email 3 weeks before it starts, which will include the exclusive booking date and time for the program due to its popularity. Bookings for the holiday program can only be made via email from 10am on the specified booking date. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Cancellations made up to 2 weeks before the course starts will be charged a 25 per cent adminsitration fee. Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the course starting will not be refunded.
A missed class will not be credited or refunded. Missing a class is the student's responsibility.
We make every effort to ensure advertised courses go ahead, however, the centre reserves the right to change a program either before or during the course and to cancel any program if not enough studentrs enrol. If the centre cancels a course you will be offered an alternative course or a refund if your payment has already been processed.
Please take the time to read our bookings, payments and refunds policy for more information.
We welcome your involvement in our programs. You can visit the centre to share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.
We recommend reading the workshop or course program to do some simple preparation or an introduction with your child about the themes investigated in their workshop or course. This will increase your child's learning experience and their confidence.
After each school term and holiday program we send parents/carers a participation evaluation form. We appreciate you completing and returning it to us at your earliest convenience. These evaluations are essential to further develop the program.
Meals, nutrition and allergies
The centre does not provide meals or drinks other than water. Ensure your child brings a water bottle to be refilled. Please do not allow your child to bring soft drinks or too much chocolate, or other sugary foods to the centre. These products can present behaviour management problems. We will not allow a child to open a can of soft drink at the centre.
Nuts and nut products, sesame and sesame products are banned from the centre due to the risk they pose to children with allergies and potential anaphylaxis. Please check the labels on all packaged foods to ensure nuts or sesame are not primary ingredients. Other foods that are harmful to some children will be banned on advised days.
Please understand anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction and remind your children not to share food and to wash their hands before and immediately after eating. If you have booked places for another family's children you must communicate this important information to them. If another carer will be looking after your children you must also communicate this information to them.
Health and safety
We request that you familiarise yourself with the emergency evacuation procedures at the centre, which are practised, evaluated and reviewed by staff on a regular basis. At the beginning of each class children are instructed on the centre's rules including the evacuation procedures.
The centre is a regulated workplace, therefore, under health and safety laws closed-toe shoes are essential footwear for all children participating in our programs. Children who arrive at the centre wearing inappropriate footwear will not be allowed into the building and program fees will be forfeited.
The centre and the City of Sydney request that children do not bring valuable items with them when attending our programs, including mobile phones. The City will not take responsibility for the loss or damage to valuable items.
If you want your child to bring a mobile phone to the centre the following applies:
- The mobile phone is to be used for outgoing calls only.
- It must be kept in the child's bag and switched off.
- If the child needs to make a call they will be supervised by a tutor.
Parents wishing to contact their child during a class or workshop can contact the Pine Street office on 02 9245 1503 or the Darlington Centre on 02 9288 5640 and we will happily make it possible for you to speak to your child.
If your child is experiencing problems at the centre, we request thay you encourage your child to speak to staff first. This presents a more immediate and effective way to address any issues. Staff and tutors have been directed to intervene if they believe a child is calling someone who is not a parent or carer, or an emergency contact that is listed on the child's enrolment form.
Managing illness and medication
We insist that you do not send sick children to the centre to avoid any infection spreading quickly among children and staff. Children who are visibly sick on arrival at the centre will not be allowed to enter the building. If a child becomes sick while they are at the centre:
- Staff will contact the parent/carer or the emergency contact listed on the enrolment form for the child to be collected immediately.
- If the situation is critical staff will contact the parent/carer immediately and seek emergency medical attention for your child.
If you want your child to take or be given medication while they are in our care at the centre you must notify us that your child needs medication and complete an authority to administer medication form for each day you want medication given to your child. The form must also be completed if you allow your child to take medication themselves.
Staff at the centre will only administer medication that:
- has not expired (past its use-by date)
- has been prescribed by a doctor
- clearly displays the chemist's label, the child's name and the prescribed dosage.
We will not administer over-the-counter medicines, such as paracetamol without medical authority. If a child needs these types of medications parents will be contacted to collect their child immediately.
Naturopathic or herbal medicines will only be administered to a child if the medication is accompanied by a letter from a person qualified to prescribe such medication, which must also state the recommended dosage.
In an emergecny we will only administer a single does of paracetamol or Ventolin that is provided by you if you have completed the relevant form and provided written authority. Under such circumstances you will also be contacted and asked to collect your child as soon as possible.
Accidents and first aid
Our staff are trained senior first aid officers and have completed anaphylaxis awareness training.
If a child has an accident while they are in our care we always provide first aid no matter how small the injury. An accident and incident report form will be completed, noting where and how the accident happened and the fist aid that was given to your child, which we will ask you to sign and give you a copy.
If a child has a serious injury we may call an ambulance and take the child to hospital. In such an event, we assess the need to take your child to hospital based on St John's ambulance first aid procedures. Any costs will be the responsibiliy of the child's parent/carer/family.
Managing children's behaviour
We emphasise preventive behaviour management, which ensures children have plenty of interesting activities to engage them while any potential for conflict is minimised through effective supervision. We use positive guidance and encourage good behaviour, and use redirection methods to manage behaviour where possible. Rules for children are clearly displayed around the centre, which are consistently reinforced. Consequences for breaking the rules are logical and are discussed with children in advance.
The centre's programs are arts-based services – children make art all day. If your child does not enjoy fine motor activities they may not enjoy the program.
If a child is disruptive during a class, parents/carers will be informed by the supervising tutor at pick up time with the actions taken to manage the child's behaviour outlined and explained in detail. We will request a meeting with the parent/carer if we feel your child's behaviour is putting themselves, or others at risk at the centre, or if their behaviour is consistently undermining the learning experience of other children. The purpose of the meeting will be to develop ways together of managing your child's behaviour.
Children will only be excluded from our programs as a last resort if after many attempts their behaviour continues to put themselves or others at a level of risk that we cannot manage.
If you have concerns or issues about any aspect of the centre, the program or our staff, you are always welcome to raise it with us. As a first step, we ask that you discuss your concern with the children's program coordinator.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, or if your concern relates to the children's program coordinator, you can raise it with the senior operations coordinator.
Children's program coordinator
Ph: 02 9245 1503
Senior operations coordinator
Ph: 02 9245 1503
Last updated: Wednesday, 21 August 2013