ELC starting information

We welcome you to Mount Scopus Memorial College. 

As we start to prepare for the 2021 academic year, please review the following information carefully regarding your child commencing at a Mount Scopus Memorial College Early Learning Centre. There is a lot of information so ensure you diarise event dates and information deadlines.

Please click through on each topic to access the information that you will need.

ELC hours and College calendar

Kindergarten program only

Monday to Thursday                                   8.30am – 3.00pm 

Friday                                                            8.30am – 12.00pm 


Casual care

Beforecare                                                     7.30am - 8.30am

Aftercare  Monday to Thursday                   3.00pm - 6.00pm 

Aftercare  Friday                                           12.00pm -5.00pm (Summer) / 4.00pm  (Winter)

Holiday program                                           7.30am - 6.00pm Mon-Thu / Fri - 4.00pm or 5.00pm per above


Extended care program 

Operates during school term only - includes kinder program, beforecare and aftercare per hours above


Long day care program 

Operates 48 weeks per year* - includes kinder program, beforecare, aftercare and holiday program per hours above.


Further information on these options is available by clicking here.

*In line with department regulations, 48 weeks per year indicates that the program will operate at least one day in a week. The number of operational days may vary in line with the calendar each year and the days of the week that Chagim and public  holidays fall on. 

Calendar

Complete information regarding school dates for the coming two years can be found on the Mount Scopus website which can be viewed here.

The kindergarten program operates in line with the school terms in the calendar with the following exceptions:

  • The kinders operate on staff development days in Terms 2, 3 and 4. 
  • Holiday program is available during term holidays.


Eligibility to commence and required documentation

The eligibility criteria are listed below:

1. The child will turn three years of age no later than 30 April, 2021

All children will commence at the start of the year, including those who have not yet turned three. Children must still be turning three prior to 30 April, 2021 to be eligible to commence. Please note we do not take into consideration a child’s date of birth when assessing whether a child should progress or repeat so your child should not commence if you are doing so with the intention of repeating them in Lower or Upper Kinder. 

2. Expectation of day time continence

There is an expectation that a child entering Mount Scopus Memorial College Early Learning Centre (ELC) has achieved the acquisition of independent toileting skills by the time they begin Lower Kindergarten. Please see the next tab for further toileting information.  Support is available from  a toileting specialist and support provided in this area.  For any queries or support in this area, please contact the school nurse on 9900 4677.

3. All required documentation completed and submitted

The key documentation required include the following:

  • Birth certificate - if not already submitted at the time of enrolment, we shall contact you to request this.
  • Medical and emergency contact information 
  • Government required data 
  • Child Care Subsidy Form / Waiver - accesss via the fees and subsidy tab below.

You will receive the required login credentials and be enabled to complete the medical and emergency contact information and the government required data later in the year.

Kinder readiness, deferring and repeating

Once a child commences Lower Kinder the school will assess whether a child should repeat a year, in consultation with parents, based solely on the child’s development. A child’s date of birth is not a factor considered by the school when recommending whether repeating a year level is necessary or not.

If parents wish their child to repeat when the advice from the school is not to do so, then we cannot guarantee there will be a place for a child to repeat either of the kinder levels. If we are able to offer a place for a child to repeat when it is not recommended by the school, then parents may be liable to pay additional costs in lieu of government funding for that kinder place if the funding is withheld. 

Some children with specific learning difficulties such as those with autism, speech issues and the like, would not necessarily benefit from repeating a year. Targeted support strategies may better assist with the child's development. 

The following lists some developmental pointers a child might show when they are ready to come to kinder. Children who are ready may not be able to demonstrate all of these skills.

If your child can do most of these things they are ready for kindergarten:

  • Follows simple instructions in daily activities and routines.
  • Performs some self care tasks independently such as pulling up undies, feeding themselves, washing hands.
  • Is toilet trained during the day.
  • Does not become too upset when things don't go their way. 
  • Understands simple questions (who, what, where).
  • Responds and speaks in short sentences rather than single words. 
  • Engages in play independently or with others.
  • Shows an interest in varied activities.
  • Responds to adult guidance in order to participate in new activities.
  • Manages transitions from one situation to another.
  • Can manage a full time program.
  • Is able to separate from caregivers.

Therefore if you are already concerned about your child being ready to progress into Prep after one year of Lower Kinder and one year of Upper Kinder you may need to consider deferring their start in Lower Kinder until the following year. 

To guarantee a place in Lower Kinder in 2022 written confirmation of your wish to defer your child is required to be sent to dkain@scopus.vic.edu.au by Friday 9 October, 2020. Once the place offer process for Lower Kinder 2022 is underway then space cannot be guaranteed for late deferrals. 

If you do have any issues concerning you about your child’s readiness or support that you believe will be required then please contact Enrolments so we can discuss strategies with you. 

Toileting skills and expectations

We expect that all children starting kinder will be toilet trained during the day, including at nap time, and are able to undo and fasten their clothes as part of the self-toileting process. Having children who are not yet toilet trained affects the quality of the program as the educators are taken away from the children’s learning and development. In a class of up to 25 children, an average of five to ten minutes per accident has an ongoing impact on the learning of the child leaving the group, as well as the entire class as learning  activities are interrupted.  

  • If a child has not acquired independent toileting skills when commencing Lower Kindergarten due to a disability, developmental or health related issue that impacts on the child’s ability to achieve independence in toileting skills, it is the family’s responsibility to provide this information to the school nurse on matron@scopus.vic.edu.au.  
  • Parents will work in collaboration with staff and referral service/paediatrician as outlined in parent responsibilities in toilet coaching  skills pathway.

Class placement information / profile form

At Mount Scopus we want to see our children flourish. Our aim is for children to not only develop their intellectual skills but also their social and emotional wellbeing. This is the time that they begin to learn valuable social skills and use them to build meaningful relationships. We want children to become resilient, sociable and confident learners.

When considering class placements, we take a long term approach. We know from experience when a group of familiar children start together, the first few days are comforting but this can often lead to social exclusivity and the inability to make new friends in the long term. For this reason we do not place cousins in the same class.

With this in mind, we ask you to complete a child profile form and include the names of up to three children your child is familiar with (if available) who will be entering Mount Scopus in 2021 in the form. 

Before you complete this form please ensure you read the Orientation opportunities tab. 

Please click here to access the form for FKI.

Please click here to access the form for GBH.

You will need to complete this prior to Friday 9 October, 2020 in order to have your child's information taken into account during the class placement process.  We shall endeavour to put your child with one familiar friend, but where possible, shall not place entire social groups together. 

Requests for a specific teacher, even based on experience with an older child, will not be considered. Parents can write an e-mail to the ELC coordinator, Shana Upiter stating relevant information that may include not being placed with a relative, any specific learning requirements needed for their child or any information relating to the social/ emotional needs of their child.  

Our aim is for our children to develop their resilience so that as young adults they will have the skills to adapt to the ever changing challenges of life, coping with inevitable setbacks, losses and disappointments, but be able to return to a state of emotional well-being.

In November you will be advised of your child's class. This will determine which date your orientation session is scheduled for. You will also be given a pack which will include your child’s specific starting details, an order form for the sunhat and boys' kova, along with a comprehensive information booklet about how the kindergartens operate. 

Kinder commencement schedule

In order to facilitate a smooth start to the year each class is split into two groups. The smaller groups allow the teacher and children to get to know each other in a calmer environment which has proven to benefit all involved. The groups are then staggered in their starting schedule with half days over the first week. 

Parents have the option of having their child attend full time from the first day if required.  Please advise your class teacher of this at your pre-commencement meeting.

The official start date for Lower Kinder is Monday 1 February with the first group commencing that day, and full day kinder for all children commences Monday 8 February.

Group A

Monday 1 February                 Arrive 8.30 - 9.00am                Finish 12.00pm (no lunch)

Wednesday 3 February            Arrive 8.30 - 9.00am                 Finish 1.00pm (bring lunch)

Group B

Tuesday 2 February                 Arrive 8.30 - 9.00am                 Finish 12.00pm (no lunch)

Thursday 4 February               Arrive 8.30 - 9.00am                 Finish 1.00pm (bring lunch)

Both groups   

Friday 5 February                   Arrive 8.30 - 9.00am                 Finish 12.00pm (no lunch)

Please note

  • If you have a preference to start your child on the Monday as opposed to the Tuesday or vice versa please email lnathan@scopus.vic.edu.au with your child's full name and your preference.
  • Aftercare is available from Day 1 for each group, that is if your child is in Group A they can attend aftercare from Monday and beforecare from Wednesday.  If your child is in Group B they can attend aftercare from Tuesday beforecare from Thursday.


Out of School Hours Care
Beforecare and aftercare (cost included in Extended Care and Long Day Care program options)

The school offers casual beforecare and aftercare. Aftercare sessions include activity workshops which operate on a term by term basis.

Beforecare runs from 7.30am; aftercare is available until 6.00pm Monday to Thursday and 4.00pm or 5.00pm on Friday depending on the time of year. 

A late collection fee is payable per block of 15 minutes if the child is still on the premises after the stated closing time. We encourage parents and carers to arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to closing to allow for handover and collection. 

Casual bookings can be booked in via the parent resources section of the App from mid-January; ensure you have downloaded the app by this time. 

Activity workshops are ordinarily run every day in aftercare and are advertised prior to the beginning of each term break . These includes activities such as  Soccerwise, musical theatre or yoga. Even if your child would not ordinarily attend aftercare, you can book them in. 

Workshops need to be booked in for the whole term. Even if you have selected the Long day care or Extended care fee structure for your child you will still need to book them into the specific activity workshops if you would like them to participate. 



Holiday program (cost included in Long Day Care program option)

Mount Scopus offers holiday programs for ELC children after they have commenced kinder. Although generally run at each campus sometimes these will be held at one campus based on the maintenance needs of the College, varying between FKI and GBH, with children from each campus kept together in different rooms to ensure they are with other children who are familiar to them. 

Holiday programs open for bookings approximately two weeks prior to the holidays. Our OSHC Coordinator works hard to provide a wonderful variety of activities and incursions for our kinder-aged children each holiday.

The holiday program complements our kinder program to ensure that our ELCs are open for 48 weeks per year. The ELC is closed for two weeks over the Summer break, all Chagim including the whole of Pesach and gazetted public holidays. Outside of school term, the holiday program operates at all other times including all staff development days. Refer to the College calendar by clicking here.

Prices for casual OSHC bookings are available on the relevant fee schedule each year.  The fees for the school year will be finalised  early in December, approximately six weeks prior to the year commencing.

**COVID notice** 

  • some activity workshops may not be able to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic period.
  • no food will be provided during the COVID pandemic period.
Communicating with parents

Parent communication

Your child will be involved with various staff for their pastoral care as well as their education.

For pastoral care, your first point of contact is your child's classroom teacher.  Your child’s teachers will contact you shortly after  your child commences. 

Overseeing the pastoral care of all students is the ELC or Campus Coordinator, who liaises closely with the classroom teachers and  Student Services. The Deputy Principal - Primary, is also at the campus regularly throughout each week.  

For educational queries, please contact the classroom  teacher directly.  Teachers are available to answer any queries about your child throughout the year and are best contacted by email or via a phone message which will be returned when they are not teaching. 

The parent / teacher meetings are held in Terms 1, 2 and 4 for ELC students and Terms 1 and 3 for school-aged students.

School-aged students will receive a comprehensive academic report in Terms 2 and 4. 

If you have any concerns about your child which you feel you need to advise prior to commencement then please contact Enrolments.

Communicating with separated parents

All communication with parents is predicated on the basis that, unless there are court orders in place to the contrary, parents share responsibility for the long term welfare of their children and have the right to be involved in, and communicated with about all relevant issues. 

Parents are responsible for advising the College of any changes in their family situation. If parents separate and then reconcile, this information should also be passed on to the College.

The College maintains systems which clearly show the details of both parents to teachers and other relevant staff who are responsible for communicating directly with individual families. Teachers and other staff are trained in how to read and act on this information.

The vast majority of information regarding students' activities and learning is posted on the Scopus App (and SeeSaw for ELC and school-aged children).

Emails or phone calls are only used for individual and private matters.

Consent is required from both parents for their child/ren to participate in some activities however if one parent does not respond, then it is presumed that they will abide by the response of the other parent. If one parent provides consent and the other withholds it then the student will not be able to participate in the activity.  

We understand that in some cases, communication between separated parents and sharing of details can be a sensitive issue. We urge all parents to understand that the procedures developed by the College are designed to place their child/ren's welfare as the top priority and allow the staff responsible for their well-being to proceed with clarity. Ensuring the information we have remains current is vital to achieving that outcome. 

Most tools used by the College (Scopus App, FlexiSchools, SeeSaw, QK Kiosk) are based on individual rather than family user so the processes do not differ for split families, However, for  the key tools, Parent Lounge and Operoo, separated parent/guardian users of these apps may have different or additional procedures when using them from other families - please click here to access.

Orientation opportunities

Please diarise the relevant dates outlined below. More detailed information will be sent in advance of each event. 

Children

The orientation opportunities are designed to ensure that by the time they commence kinder next year, children feel comfortable in the environment and have been provided with the chance to make social connections. Information will be provided in due course on each of these, but they include the following, the details of which are elaborated upon below:

●    Gan Gani Term 4

●    Chanukah welcome session 

●    Pre-commencement interview 

Most families have already registered for Gan Gani in Term 4. Whilst we aim to accommodate all families who wish to attend, capacity is limited and some sessions book out almost immediately. 

**If we are able to resume face to face sessions at any stage during Term 4, these will be subject to COVID safe guidelines and thus numbers may be limited.**

Towards the end of the current school year we shall invite you and your child to visit the campus and enjoy some Chanukah fun at the kinders. This will be an opportunity for you to meet the leadership team and kinder teachers, and for your child to familiarise themselves with the general environment and garden. 

**COVID notice**: 

In line with the restrictions on numbers;  

  • each child may only attend with one parent,
  • this event will be held predominantly outdoors,
  • siblings aged over 12 months, including school siblings, are not able to attend.

This will be a drop in session; you are not expected to remain for the whole time, so if you need to collect a school aged child we suggest you arrive at the start of the session as school siblings are not able to attend. 

FKI - Monday 30 November, 3.15pm - 4.00pm

GBH *- Tuesday 1, Wednesday 2, Thursday 3 December, 3.15pm - 4.00pm

*The actual date and will depend on your child's class allocation and all details will be advised in early November.


Registration for these sessions is via the child profile forms in the Class Placement tab.

Prior to the start of kinder next year, an appointment is scheduled for each child individually to come with their parent/s to meet their general and Jewish studies teachers. This provides the time for teachers to learn about each child and any specific likes or dislikes that they have. Allowing time for this meeting helps to smooth the transition into kindergarten. These will take place on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 January 2021.  This information will be included with the class list information sent out in December. 

Parents

Nor are parents forgotten. If you are a first time kinder parent you may have many queries about the day to day program and logistics. Please diarise the dates and information will follow closer to the time for the following opportunities  on offer for parents:

  • Lower Kinder parent information evening: Monday 16 November, 2020 (via Zoom)
  • New Parents Welcome:                             *Wednesday 27 January, 2021 

     (*event to be confirmed in line with current regulations) (first time Scopus parents only)

  • Information and orientation session:

                                                          GBH - Wednesday 3 February, 2021

                                                          FKI - Thursday 4 February, 2021

Once the year commences teachers and the school communicate with parent through a number of digital Apps:

The Seesaw App is a digital portfolio showing both group and individual learning. 

Teachers and admin post notices to the Scopus App regularly updating them on upcoming events, giving vital information.

Each campus posts a newsletter weekly which can also be found on the App.

It is important for parents to keep up to date with these notices as this is a main communication forum. 

See the Websites, apps and portals tab for more information.


New Parents Welcome

First time parents at Mount Scopus in all year levels will be invited to our New Parents Welcome sessions scheduled to be held just prior to school commencing. In 2021, ELC parents will be invited on the evening of Wendesday 27 January, 2021. This allows the opportunity to meet some of the College Leadership Team, as well as other new parents. Invitations will be sent in December. 

Websites, apps and portals

The following guide outlines the details for all year levels across the College.

College website

The College website hosts a range of information, including:

Campus details

Primary and Secondary curriculum handbooks,

College calendar

Parent handbook, 

Parent Lounge access,

Our Scopus Family - donations; volunteering; Parents Association, alumni, grandparents and friends

The Scopus Facebook page is also accessible via our website. Please note: in line with cyber safety guidelines we ask that photos are not tagged, nor any names of children in the photo divulged. You can ‘friend’ this page in order to access regular posts of photos and other information from across the College.

The Scopus YouTube channel is linked to the website.  It is worthwhile revisiting some recent announcements and Rabbi Kennard's end of term messages which really showcase the energy and diversity of what is on offer at Mount Scopus. 

Two of the key tools that are used at Scopus are the Parent Lounge and the Scopus App. 

Scopus App

Almost all daily information and notices, as well as newsletters are delivered via the Scopus App.  As all information is distributed via the Scopus App please take the time to read carefully to ensure that you subscribe to all relevant groups once you know your child's class placement. 

To access the installation guide click here

For details about groups you will need to subscribe to please click here

The App also hosts links to a range of other resources and portals for parents that are discussed in this guide, such as Flexischools, the Caf online ordering system; Operoo; the Campion resources list; and the Driver Bus online booking portal, as well as providing another convenient link to Parent Lounge.

Parent Lounge

You will be issued with information to access Parent Lounge in the lead up to your child commencing.  Parent Lounge is used for a range of purposes, primarily:

  • accessing school academic reports and in Year 7 onward, your child's ongoing assessment results, 
  • maintaining your current contact details, and sharing them with other parents in your child's year level, 
  • organising parent teacher interview times,  
  • paying school fees, and 
  • accessing 'How To' videos for the portals and apps - NB: you will only be able to access this once you are a current parent. . 

Operoo (formerly CareMonkey)

The College uses Operoo to fulfill its duty of care in medical and consent requirements for excursions and other off-campus activities. This system also provides you as parents with the opportunity to update medical information promptly and accurately.  

In the lead up to a student’s first day at school, parents will receive an invitation from Operoo to create a profile for their child, and share it with the College. Once you have created your child's profile, you can also opt to share them with any entity with a duty of care for your child/ren, eg Maccabi.

If you are already an Operoo customer through another organisation, you will be notified by the Operoo system that the College has joined. If so, adding the College as a trusted user is as simple as clicking on that notice.

Flexischools 

Cafeteria orders can be made via Flexischools. It is accessible via the Parent Resources section on the Scopus App or via a web browser - www.flexischools.com.au

Parents set up an account for each child and then can place orders ahead of time, or up to 9.30am on the morning that lunch is required. Orders can also be changed or cancelled.  

There is a range of daily specials, both hot and cold, that vary from day to day.

This is particularly handy if students have left their lunch at home and are not carrying cash with them.  

Some Parents Association lunch orders in the primary school are also made via Flexischools.

SeeSaw 

SeeSaw is an online learning journal and digital portfolio used at Mount Scopus from Little Learners to Year 6. 

Seesaw is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share their learning and what's been happening in the classroom.

Parents need to download the Seesaw App via the App Store and then are invited by the class teacher to access their child's journal at the start of the year. 

Fees, government subidies and funding

Our ELCs  are licensed as Approved Long Day Care Centres through Mount Scopus Memorial College Early Learning Limited (ABN 44 611 377 881). By submitting the Child Care Subsidy form, we are able to process the government subsidy for you if your family is eligible. 

Centrelink submits all subsidies directly to a child's ELC which reduces the out-of-pocket fees paid by families. 

Please complete and submit the Child Care Subsidy Form by Friday 30 October.  If your child has not yet attended child care you may need to apply to Centrelink to determine your eligibility so factor this into your lead time.

As well as the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), families suffering temporary financial hardship or have a child at risk, amongst others, may also be eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS). Further information is available via Centrelink

Fees and the fee policy are always available on the College website - click here to access - and will be updated each December for the following year.

In 2021 you will have the choice to select from three options which will be the same at both campuses; 

  1. Kindergarten program only (fee is frozen from 2020)
  2. Extended Care
  3. Long Day Care 

If you select the Kindergarten program only then you will be able to book into Out of Hours School Care (OHSC) on an ad hoc basis as needed. 

If you select Extended Care (kinder + beforecare and aftercare) then you will be able to book into the holiday program on an ad hoc basis as needed. 

If you select Long Day Care then this is fully inclusive of beforecare, aftercare and  holiday program for all operating days. 

If your family is not eligible for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) then you will need to pay the Tuition Fees in full to the College.

All three programs attract the CCS and ACCS for eligible families.

Direct debits, pre-payment and the CCS

If you are unsure as to the level of CCS that you will receive and wish to set up a direct debit for fees, then our Accounts department will work with you to determine a suitable direct debit payment, which can then be adjusted if necessary, once the subsidy amount is known. 

This can only be done until after the fee statements have been issued in January. A direct debit form will be sent with the fee statement where you can indicate the dollar amount of the CCS you expect to receive over the calendar year. That can be amended during the course of the year if there are any discrepancies or changes to the level of CCS you expect to receive. 

Families who are pre-paying their fees will need to phone Accounts after their statement has been received and advise them of their expected CCS amount, which will be factored in when calculating the pre-payment discount. 

Any enquiries regarding your family's eligibility or subsidy level should be directed to Centrelink. 


As part of the funding agreement we are obliged to advise that the Federal Government provides for 15 hours of kinder per week for each child in the year prior to entering school. Parents may be able to access a free kinder program for the entire 15 hours per week at another centre. The structure of fees for the Mount Scopus kinder programs are for around 30 hours per week.


Summary checklist

Summary checklist:

  • complete and submit child profile form by Friday 9 October 
  • email a head shot of your child with their name in the subject line to tgrinblat@scopus.vic.edu.au by Friday 9 October.
  • submit the Child Care Subsidy form with information or waiver by 30 October, 2020.
  • once requested, ensure all medical and emergency contact information is completed by Friday 13 November.
  • schedule pre-commencement parent/child/teacher meeting after class lists are issued in early December.
  • download SeeSaw App by 15 January 2021
  • download Scopus App and subscribe to groups by 15 January 2021
  • check and update information on Parent Lounge by 15 January 2021
  • complete child profile on Operoo by 15 January 2021
  • order sunhat (and kova for boys) as directed in the pack issued in November/December
Useful contact information

ELC Key Contacts

Once your child commences, the following are the key contact details you may require.

ELC Coordinator:                                                       Shana Upiter                              03 9900 4648

OSHC Coordinator:                                                   Beny Zimberg                               bzimberg@scopus.vic.edu.au

Fink Karp lvany Campus:                                                                                              03 8554 4700

To contact campus administration

To contact all teaching staff

To contact all student support  staff

OSHC FKI                                                                                                                           0411 560 380

Szalmuk Family ELC at Gandel Besen House:                                                             03 9900 4600

To contact Campus  Coordinator                           

To contact campus administration

To contact all teaching staff

To contact all student support  staff

OSHC GBH                                                                                                                        0450 565 024 

Accounts:

Child Care Subsidy enquiries                                 Edit Kucharski                                 03 9834 0023

Tuition fee payments                                              Carmen Stania                                03 9834 0026

Main Reception - Gandel Campus, Burwood:                                                              03 9834 0000  

For general enquiries at the College  

To contact financial and clerical administrative staff  

Principal’s Office:                                                                                                          03 9834 0005  

To contact College Principal only:                         Rabbi Kennard

 

Deputy Principals:  

Deputy Principal, Primary:                                   Greg Hannon                                  03 9900 4602

Deputy Principal, Director of Alter Family School of Jewish Studies and Ivrit

                                                                                 Matti Borowski                                03 9834 0003

Parents Association                                                                                                     03 9834 0160

                                                                    

Useful tips on preparing your child for kinder

• Start talking about Kinder to your child. If they been attending Gan Gani tell them they might be at kinder with some of the children from their group.  

• When you receive your teacher’s photos with your class list, put them up where your child will see them and use their names often in conversation. Let their names and function become part of your regular conversation at home. 

• If you haven’t already, encourage your child to sleep without a nappy during their daytime nap. Remember to ask them to use the toilet beforehand. 


Practice skills that children will need at Kinder. 

o Encourage them to toilet by themselves, first with supervision, and then checking, and then gradually allow them to master the whole process, including undressing, sitting, wiping, dressing and handwashing. 

o Let them practice eating lunch from the lunchbox they will have at Kinder; unwrapping their sandwich, opening their yoghurt, drinking from their water bottle unassisted. 

o Allow some time to practise opening and closing their Kinder bag. 

o Encourage them to start dressing themselves, particularly being able to put on a jacket and jumper.