Our Priority of Access Policy

Our Priority of Access Policy ensures that we offer childcare and kindergarten places to children and families with the greatest need. 

You can download the policy to read more about our Priority of Access process. 

My family needs urgent support – who can I talk to about childcare or kindergarten?

Please call us right away on 9205 5555 if your child or your family are:

  • at risk of abuse or neglect
  • in out of home care
  • experiencing family violence
  • experiencing a sudden change of circumstances impacts on the ability to provide care for a child.

What services does the policy apply to?

The policy applies to all childcare (long day care, occasional care and outside school hours care) and kindergarten services delivered by Council. The policy also applies to services delivered by another party from a Council building.

Which children and families receive priority?

We give priority to children and families facing various challenges and hardships, with the top priority going to children at serious risk of abuse or neglect.

The policy also prioritises people with disability or chronic illness, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, and refugees and asylum seekers.

Our policy also favours families living in Yarra, and children with siblings already attending our services.

If two children fall within the same priority area, the child with the highest ‘priority score’ will be offered a place first.

Download the policy to see the complete list of priority areas.

How do you decide what my child’s priority score is?

If two children fall within the same priority area, the child with the highest ‘priority score’ will be offered a place first.

Points are added for each of the main priority areas your child qualifies for (e.g. a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect) and extra points are added for any of the sub-tiers they qualify for (e.g. child with a disability or developmental delay).

Download the policy to see the complete list of priority areas.

How do I know if my residence or workplace is in the City of Yarra?

The City of Yarra includes the suburbs of Abbotsford, Burnley, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Cremorne, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Princes Hill, Richmond and parts of Alphington and Fairfield. You can view a map of Yarra to help you check. 

Will my child be asked to leave if a higher priority child requires a spot?

No. Once your child has been accepted into one of our services, we will not ask them to make way for another child.

How long will I have to wait for a place?

We offer places in order need, not in order of application, so it isn’t possible to say how long the wait will be. We only consider order of application when two children qualify for the same priority area and have the same priority score. If you request a place at more than one centre, this may result in a reduced waiting time.

Who do I speak to if I want to begin a new application, change my details or preferences, or ask questions?

Contact us today at crsonline@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.

Definitions

A guide to some of the words and phrases that appear in our Priority of Access Policy.

Asylum seeker or refugee  A child or family that originally entered the country on a humanitari-an visa. This includes the registered child being born in Australia to parents that are an asylum seekers or refugees.
Child at risk

A child who is:

  • being support by Child Protection, Child First or the Orange Door
  • linked in to a social support agency
  • out of home care including kinship care
  • cared for by their grandparents
  • from a family who qualifies for Additional Child Care Subsidy.
Child Care Subsidy

This is the main way the Australian Government assists families with their child care fees. The Child Care Subsidy that commenced on 2 July 2018 

  • replaced the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) with a single, means-tested subsidy
  • is generally paid directly to child care providers to be passed on to families

Learn more about Child Care Subsidy at the Department of Human Services website.

Chronic or serious health issue 
(for parent/carer)

 

A physical or mental impairment that impacts of a parent/carer’s ability to provide care for their child. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • a family member with cancer, neurological disorders or cardio-vascular issues
  • sibling with chronic diabetes, epilepsy requiring substantial medical attention, hospitalisation and allied health support. 
Serious change of circumstances

A life event that impacts on a parent/carer’s ability to provide care for a child.  Examples could include:

  • death of a parent or caregiver
  • loss of housing
  • incarceration
Disability diagnosis (for a parent/carer or other family member)

A formal diagnosis of a physical or mental impairment that impacts of the parent/carer’s ability to provide care for their child. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • a parent who is needing mobility assistance
  • a sibling with some types of autism
Low income We use the Commonwealth Government Child Care Subsidy com-bined family income threshold for the highest subsidy as our low income benchmark ($66,958 as of May 2019).
Priority score If two children fall within the same priority area, the child with the highest ‘priority score’ will be offered a place first. Points are added for each of the main priority areas your child qualifies for (e.g. a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect) and extra points are added for any of the sub-tiers they qualify for (e.g. child with a disability or developmental delay).