Enrolling Your Child in Daycare

daycare classroom

Enrolling your child in a Sydney child care centre for the first time can be a daunting experience for any parent. With a variety of choice in the local Greystanes and Brighton Le Sands area, it is important to consider a day care centre where your child feels comfortable and at ease.

To start the process, begin by asking yourself the question what are the child care centres near me? Once you considered all the early childhood centres in best proximity, consider the learning environment where your child can feel comfortable.

There are many types of early learning centres that cater to different age groups and provide unique services. Find one that best fits your family’s situation. Once you’ve decided on which child care centre for your child, it’s time to inquire about the enrolment process and the requirements that you need to provide.

Child Care Enrolment Process

We would love to have your kids become one of our berries at the Berry Patch Preschool and Long Day Care Centre. The enrolment process for The Berry Patch is easy. You may visit our Waiting List Application page and answer a couple of questions about your child as well as your contact details. You also need to provide your enrollment preferences, including your choice of centre location—Kellyville Ridge Preschool, Rouse Hill Child Care Centre, Greystanes Preschool, and Brighton Le Sands Child Care Centre. We will also take note of your preferred days of the week, dietary requirements, and other additional needs.

Rest assured that we regularly review our application page. We will get in touch with you if a place becomes available. Once you have been accepted, there are some requirements that you need to provide to enrol your child.

School Enrolment Requirements: What do I need to enrol my child in preschool

When enrolling your child, here is the information that you need to provide in detail:

  • Your child’s basic information and special needs. These may include your child’s dietary preferences, sleeping and toilet habits, as well as emotional and social preferences. If your child has food allergies, it is best to provide it immediately beforehand. Finally, it would be a great help to us if you describe school activities that your child enjoys.
  • Your contact information. Here at The Berry Patch, we prioritise the safety of your child. That’s why we need you to provide detailed information on how to contact you in case an important concern arises. We also need information on other carers or guardians who take care of your child in your stead, especially during pickups.
  • Your child’s immunisation status. To finalise your enrolment, you must provide us with your child’s immunisation status certificate from the Australian Immunisation Register. This certificate will show that your child is up to date on their vaccinations or has a medical reason if not. This policy will reduce the transmission of diseases and reinforce the importance of immunisation as a means to prevent diseases. If you have problems regarding the certificate, let us know and we will be glad to assist you.

Enrol your child in the best preschool in Sydney. Contact your chosen The Berry Patch Preschool and Child Care Centre location for more information.

Berry Patch Meeting National Quality Standards (NQS)

Our children are the future of our country. For this reason, the Australian government aims to provide parents with the means to raise their children under the highest standard of early education. To meet this, the government put into effect the National Quality Framework (NQF) across the country in 2012 through the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).

happys kids at the berry patch preschool centre

National Regulations: Education and Care Services

The National Quality Framework standardises the quality of childcare with a range of benchmarks that childcare providers need to meet. These benchmarks are called the National Quality Standards (NQS). The standards are composed of several quality areas that the government deems essential to the development of children. These areas include:

  • Educational Programs and Practice. The goal of this area is to ensure that each preschool and daycare centre has educational programs that nurture the development of life skills and social experiences that children need.
  • Children’s Health and Safety. This area aims to minimise the risks and dangers to children’s health and simultaneously promote their physical and psychological well-being.
  • Physical Environment. This area examines how the environment is designed and assess how it promotes a range of experiences that aid children’s development.
  • Staffing Arrangements. The goal of this area is to ensure that only qualified educators teach and supervise children.
  • Relationships with Children. This area aims to promote relationships with children with a focus on respect and sense of belongingness.
  • Collaborative partnerships with families and communities. This area ensures that communication with families and communities is essential to support the development of children.
  • Governance and leadership. This area aims to provide a system that supports effective leadership that promotes a positive learning environment.

Service ratings under the National Quality Framework

There are six ratings that childcare providers can receive from the National Quality Standards. These are:

  • Excellent – the highest possible rating that the ACECQA can award.
  • Exceeding National Quality Standard – can be acquired by getting a rating of Exceeding in four out of seven quality areas.
  • Meeting National Quality Standard – awarded to providers that meet the requirements of the NQS.
  • Working Towards National Quality Standard – given to providers that may have some elements that do not meet the National Quality Standards.
  • Significant Improvement Required – given to service providers that fail to meet the standards in a way that poses a risk to the safety of children.
  • Provisional – given to services that are yet to be assessed by the National Quality Standard.

What the National Quality Standard Ratings Mean for Families

Using these seven quality areas of the National Quality Standards, your child’s daycare centre, preschool, and other childcare services are rated. These ratings are essential guidelines when choosing your childcare provider. When looking for a Brighton Le Sands preschool, you need to ensure that the childcare centre meets and even exceeds the National Quality Standards

The Berry Patch Preschool and Long Day Care Centre meets the benchmarks set by the National Quality Standards. To know more about the steps that we take to meet these standards, send us your questions using our contact page or visit a Berry Patch Preschool near you.

Everything You Need to Know About the Child Care Rebate

Our children’s formative years are some of the most crucial moments in their development. As parents, we all want to give them the best environment to foster good values and character formation. That is why even if an early learning centre is a bit expensive, we know that it is worth it.

Fortunately, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover your childcare costs called the Child Care Rebate.

What is Child Care Rebate?

child care rebateChild Care Rebate, along with Child Care Benefit, is one of the two financial assistance programs provided by the Australian Government. It can cover up to 50% of your childcare costs up to an annual limit of $7,613 per child.

While the Child Care Benefit is based on your income, the Child Care Rebate is not income-tested. Even if your income is too high for you to receive financial assistance from Child Care Benefit, you may still be eligible to get the rebate.


Who is eligible for Child Care Rebate?

To claim the Child Care Rebate, you must:

  • Have a Child Care Rebate approved child care service. These services have prior approval from the Australian government to pass the rebate to families. These child care services include:
      • long day care
      • family day care
      • outside school hours care
      • vacation care
      • in home care, and
      • occasional care

    The Berry Patch is a child care service approved for Child Care Rebate.

  • be eligible for Child Care Benefit, even if your income is too high for financial assistance. Child Care Benefit requires that along with using an approved child care service, you must also be the one responsible for paying the child care fees. You must also immunise your child.
  • meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate along with your partner (if applicable). These activities include:
    • paid work
    • self-employment
    • setting up a business
    • studying or training
    • voluntary work
    • searching for work

    There are no minimum hours required for you to be eligible for the Child Care Rebate, with the exception of voluntary work. If your voluntary work is not done to improve your work skills, you are required to at least 15 hours per week or 30 hours per two weeks.

How and when will Child Care Rebate be paid?

As we’ve previously mentioned, the Child Care Rebate covers up to 50% of your out-of-pocket child care expenses with a limit of $7,613 per child annually. These expenses are your total child care cost after deducting Child Care Benefit and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance. Once you reach the limit, you will not have any further rebate until the next financial year.

The government pays your Child Care rebate in four ways. You may choose which payment method you prefer to be applied to the entire year.

  • Direct payment fortnightly. The government will pay your rebate directly every two weeks. If you choose this option, the government will hold 15% of your entitlement if you have Child Care Benefit that is greater than zero.
  • Direct payment quarterly. The first quarter starts on the first Monday of July with each quarter consisting of 13 weeks. The government will pay for the rebate in October, January, and April. For the last quarter, the payment will be made only if you have a remaining balance.
  • Direct payment annually. The government will pay for the rebate as a lump sum to your nominated bank account after assessing your claim.
  • Paid to your child care service. The government will pay your child care service provider directly after they send your child’s attendance information.

To know more about Child Care Rebate, send us your inquiry using our contact page.

Tips to Prepare your Child for Preschool

Starting preschool can be anything between really exciting and absolutely terrifying for a young child. Either way, it is an important milestone in your child’s life. To make sure your child has a positive transition into this new environment, here are a few tips on preparation.

Firstly, talk with your child about how they feel about starting preschool and what it is going to be like. Tell your child what will be expected of them, using positive language to make it sound exciting and not overwhelm them. Replacing put-downs like “That’s wrong” with positive wording as in “It would be better to…”  also models the social skills they will need going into preschool. Going over basic rules and expectations of behaviour will help your child learn to treat their self and others with respect.

preschool classroom

Familiarise your child with the preschool and its staff. Your child should have a chance to visit the preschool they will be attending beforehand and meet the staff. Being familiar with a setting makes it far easier for a child to feel confident in. It also makes it easier for staff to get to know your child and find out what works for them.

If possible, it would be great for the child to have some familiar faces of their own age as well. Before they officially become a preschooler, joining a group orientation will give them a chance to make some friends. Having other children to share the beginnings of preschool learning experience can make transition much smother.

How Parents can help their Children Adjust to Kindergarten?

mum and preschool kidMany children find it hard to adjust to kindergarten at first as they have to learn to adapt to new situations every day without a parent beside them. When helping your child adjust to preschool, communication is key. Asking questions about their day encourages them to open up about their worries and gain confidence with reassurance. When they come across a complication, promoting helpful thoughts and reinforcing “can-do” attitudes will stimulate development. Remember that a preschooler is enduring possibly the most rapid development in their life, as the NSW Government Preschool Handbook states.  Preschool education introduces a range of problem solving skills that should be positively reinforced by parents and caregivers at home. With consistent affirmation, young children become less anxious about their new environments, can learn quickly and therefore can adjust faster. Give your child a chance to show you what they have learned at home as they will benefit from practicing.

Getting Ready for Preschool Checklist

  • Make sure your child knows where they will be going and what they will be doing there.
  • Talk to your child about how they feel entering preschool, answer questions and offer reassurance.
  • Take your child to visit the kindergarten and introduce them to the staff.
  • Explain the rules and expectations that the child will encounter.
  • If you know other parents who are taking their child to the same school, try to arrange and opportunity for the children to meet.
  • Make sure your child’s belongings have permanent labels on them. This includes clothes, shoes, bags and any toys or show and tell items etc that your child brings to preschool.
  • Make sure they know basic hygiene practices, for example how to use the toilet and how to wash their hands properly.
  • Teach them how to properly introduce themselves to staff and other preschoolers; giving their name and asking politely for theirs.

At The Berry Patch Preschool and Long Day Care Centre, your child will experience a positive and motivational preschool education. Enrol now to ensure a place in our friendly learning space where your child can develop essential life skills alongside other keen children. We provide quality preschool and child care in Kellyville Ridge, Rouse Hill Pemulwuy, Greystanes and Brighton Le Sands.

Visit our waiting list procedure and waiting list application for detailed information.

5 Types of Books Best for Preschool Age Kids
reading nook

Reading Nook at The Berry Patch Preschool & Daycare Centre

Whether they are leafing through the pages of educational material or colouring their favorite cartoon characters, children learn a lot through books. Parents have now introduced books even before their kids are dropped off at daycare or preschool.

Children’s books are a proven method for learning, be it in the classroom, out of school or right in the comforts of home. But of course, there are certain types of books that work better than others in boosting your children’s intelligence.

Board Books

The simplest of preschool books facilitate learning among infants and toddlers. Such is the case for board books, marketed to little boys and girls ages 3 and below. As fundamental preschool learning books, they are designed in such a way that babies will find them easy to hold.

Typically, board books present one word per page or a few, very simple sentences at most. The letters of the alphabet, numbers one to 10 and colours of the rainbow are prominent early learning concepts. Nursery rhyme books can come in the form of board books as well.

To ignite their senses, some board books have interactive features to further engage kids. These can be textured “touch and feel” sections to pop-outs and pull-tabs. Some even have sound effects and word pronunciation installed.

Activity Books

Joining the ranks of beloved kindergarten books are activity books. These run the gamut in terms of difficulty and design. WIth so many possibilities, you can guarantee that kids will always have a challenge in store for them.

Word search puzzles, spot the difference, connect the dots, mazes and the like all teach them observational and analytic skills. It also instills in them a healthy dose of competitiveness.

Picture Books

Capturing the attention of tiny tots, picture books highlight bright and fun imagery. This form of children’s literature is one of the most popular preschool books in Sydney. Subjects range from detailing family life and experiencing animal adventures to identifying feelings and celebrating holidays.

Kids story books that are illustrated also fall under this category. They contain simple enough plots that children ages 4 to 6 can easily follow.

Sticker Books
One of the most exciting kids books, sticker books possess an appeal that will never fade. Peeling stickers and posting them on another surface actually helps develop abilities. You get motor skills and hand coordination as you pull up the edge of a sticker and pin them on without it getting stuck on your fingers.

Series Books

Turn wide-eyed youngsters into voracious little readers with books in a series. Over the years, many authors have expanded their children’s collection by continuously adding more titles. Sometimes, these come in a boxed set perfect for reading in school or bedtime storytelling.

Most schools make sure to stock up on preschool reading books written by the same author and/or illustrated by the same artist. The idea is that once children get to know the core characters, they will want to keep following them on their next adventure. Make sure that you pick a preschool that has a well-stocked library.

At The Berry Patch, our ever-growing library features popular children’s books. We showcase classics that have stood the test of time as well as new titles that will surely become favorites. Enquire now by contacting any of our offices.

3 Things To Consider When Choosing A Preschool

Giving your child the best start to their education is one of the most commendable things you can do as a parent. Are you only focused on preschool programs or do you want to enroll your child in pre-K classes first?

Either way, choosing a centre that provides an excellent environment for preschool learning is crucial. Parents registering their children at a school for the very first time face the challenge of making a decision.

Before you begin listing down options, know that every child is different. Stages of development and types of intelligence vary greatly. What works for your neighbours’ kids might not be the ideal fit for your child’s specific needs.


A preschool’s method of teaching should be in line with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). In the EYLF, a holistic approach is applied to early childhood education. This integrates several aspects of learning—mental, physical, social and emotional.

A well-rounded kindergarten curriculum equips kids for primary school, where education is more structured. Therefore, the approach taken plays a significant role in your child’s critical formative years.

In Sydney, there are many different preschool teaching philosophies in practice. Whatever the approach, the goal is to provide child-centred and play-based learning opportunities. Each preschool will implement their own programs and activities. Evaluate all of them fully to better understand what suits your child best.


Aside from math and science for preschoolers, the school must place an emphasis on interaction with the environment, students and teachers. As such, play-based strategies for learning should be employed.

Opt for a preschool with impressive child care facilities such as slides, obstacle courses and other structures you can expect in an outdoor playground. Look for multiple recreational areas that encourage children to sing, dance and create art as well.

When children are free to play, they are able to make sense of the world and how objects operate. Playtime also encourages them to hone their social skills. A good social foundation will carry them through the relationships they make in formal schooling and in the real world when they grow up.


The Berry Patch Prschool & Daycare Logo“Should I go for a preschool near me?” That is one of the questions that is sure to pop up when going through options for your preschooler. Some parents base their selection purely on geography. They feel that naturally, the school closest to home is the right one.

Would you prefer that the school also has daycare offerings? How much of a factor is the provision of healthy school lunches at the centre? If these criteria are important to you, choose a trusted name in early childhood education such as The Berry Patch. Contact any of our offices for more info.

How to Help Preschoolers Deal with Separation Anxiety

Separation is hard. For the littlest of kids, the concept alone seems impossible. You can have your kids prepare for preschool early on but sometimes, there is no telling how they will react when that day finally comes.

While some kids embrace the first day of school wholeheartedly, others would be a lot more apprehensive and afraid. They may start whining and crying on the way to school, refuse to go inside the classroom or lie on the floor kicking and screaming when you’re about to leave.

Scenarios like these have been played out over and over again. These are summed up in two words—separation anxiety.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a form of disorder wherein excessive anxiety is experienced when one is removed from the home environment or an attachment figure. In young children, separation anxiety is manifested in their fear of being split from their parents or guardians.

For babies, separation anxiety can start as early as seven to nine months. It’s the age where infants associate love, care and safety with the adult that spent the most time with them. This is referred to as the primary caregiver, a role usually filled by mums.


You will stumble upon a lot of advice on how to deal with separation anxiety but before you follow them, make sure to understand the needs of your child first. Separation anxiety symptoms can differ from one child to another. Typically, children will either cry, throw a temper tantrum or be extra clingy—or exhibit a combination of these behaviours.

Turn Things Around With These Tips

The number one rule for saying goodbyes? Say goodbye. Distracting your child with a toy or a gadget and then sneaking out will only worsen the situation. Your kid might be even more upset than you intended once he realises that you just vanished without a word.

When you do say goodbye though, stay calm and relaxed. Children are quite responsive to their parents’ reactions. Showing sadness and concern will influence your son or daughter’s emotions so it’s best to be as encouraging as you can.

When you drop off your children at a daycare or kindergarten, keep in mind that you are leaving them in an entirely new setting. Prior to the first day of their new schedule, spend time at the location. Introduce your kids to the child care coordinators and preschool teachers beforehand. That way, they will get a sense of security and trust when left under the care of people they are familiar with.

Get Assistance for Child Separation Anxiety

The Berry Patch Preschool LogoTo little girls and boys, no one can compare to the affection shown by mum and dad. But it is important to let them know that they can receive the care and attention they need from other adults too.

When choosing a daycare or preschool centre, consider the adults’ ability to connect and empathise with your kids. At The Berry Patch, we’ve dealt with separation anxiety in children each time a new school year begins. Providing consistent support in a healthy, child-friendly environment is what we take pride in. Contact us today for more details.