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FAQ's - Childcare Services

How can I enrol my child in a childcare centre?
Parents/guardians can apply online by downloading the application from here or obtain it from the respective childcare centre. The application form together with the necessary documents has to be forwarded to the childcare centre coordinator. Only one application is to be submitted per child.

Is admission to the childcare centre on a first come first served basis?
No, admission is not on a first come first served basis. Allocation of placements is based on the eligibility criteria and the final decision is at the discretion of FES management. Applicants will be informed when the placement shall start when such placement is available. Parents/guardians shall also be made aware of settling-in procedure. The settling-in period takes approximately two weeks and during this time it is expected that there is full cooperation from parents/guardians. The child is closely monitored during such period and feedback is given to parents/guardians about the child’s progress.

If I work on a shift basis can I change the days the child attends every week?
Days are agreed upon beforehand and cannot be changed on a weekly basis.

Will you teach my toddler how to use the toilet or do I have to prepare him/her myself?
FES has a Toilet Training Policy to guide parents and staff.

If my child has a running nose can I still bring him/her to the childcare centre?
A doctor’s note indicating the ailment of the child and whether he/she is fit to attend the centre or otherwise, is always required. In order to protect both the sick child and the other children, the coordinator reserves the right to phone up parents to pick up their child in case of suspected contagious illness.

My child was sick for only one day; do I still have to bring a medical certificate?
Yes, a medical note is always required for any absence due to illness. A doctor will examine the child and certify that he/she is fit to attend again. The certificate needs to include the day that the child can attend the nursery again or else the number of days in which the child will be absent.

If my child is sick and I have a medical certificate, does this affect the Free Childcare Scheme absence allowance?
Any missed days and unused hours will still affect the Free Childcare Scheme absence allowance. Therefore it is very important to book any pre-set days that the child will miss in order to leave the absence allowance for sick and emergency cases.

Can I increase the number of days and the time frame that my child attends the childcare centre after a few months of attending?
Always discuss your needs with your centre coordinator. If there is availability, there should not be a problem to increase both the number of days and time frame. If no vacancy is available, the coordinator will take note and inform you once a vacancy arises.

Can I bring my child for only once a week?
Should there be availability, you can bring your child to the childcare centre for only once a week. However, in order for your child to settle more easily, a minimum attendance of two days per week is highly recommended.

Is there a minimum number of hours that I am required to apply for?
There is no minimum number of hours required. However, it is important to respect the hours agreed to and booked with the centre coordinator.

Do you heat/warm up food for our children?
Yes, we do heat and warm up food for the children. Parents are asked to instruct the childcare staff either verbally or in writing if any food requires being heated/warmed up.

​Is the childcare assistant who takes care of our child always the same?
FES uses a key person approach which means that the family has a one point of reference, namely the person who spends most time with your child. FES encourages all childcare assistants to get to know the children. This ensures that all members of staff build a good relationship with the child, thus facilitating the process when staff is on vacation leave. 

What happens if my child takes longer than expected to settle down?
FES has a transition policy to guide staff and parents during transitions.

I was called to pick up my child from childcare because he/she was sick. When I took him/her home he/she was fine. I did not take the child to a doctor because there was no need. Is that okay?
Under these circumstances, a medical certificate is still needed to certify that the child is well. We need to ascertain that ther are no contagious illnesses in order to safeguard the well-being of the child, other children and staff.

My child is eligible to start kindergarten in February but he/she will start kindergarten in a church school in September, may I leave the child in childcare until September? I know I will not be eligible for the Free Childcare Scheme and I don’t mind paying but I really don’t wish my child to have a lot of transitions and he/she is not even 3 years old.
While these concerns are understandable, we can only offer childcare services to children until they are eligible to move on to government Kindergarten. Children who are 3 years of age by end of April are eligible for Kindergarten on the 1st of February, while children who are 3 years of age by end of December are eligible for Kindergarten on the 1st of October of that same calendar year.

I am a single mother, looking for work and have been separated from the father of my child for a while now. The father (who is currently in employment) and I are not on good terms. The child does not see the father and I receive no monetary support from him. Even though the father works he does not support me in any way. Why do I have to pay for the service if my social benefits are under 10,000 euro per year?
Contributions are calculated by combining the family (legal guardians) income. Unless a court decree is provided which states that you have the sole custody of the child, the income of the father will still be calculated for contribution purposes.

Do you have a website for the parents, were we can log on to see weekly photos of our children doing activities and participating at the centre? 
At the moment we do not offer this service. However our childcare centres always ensure good communication channels with parents/guardians.
 
Do you have CCTV which we can log into on the internet?
No, due to confidentiality and data protection this service is not offered.