ALL YOUR HUMANIST

CEREMONY QUESTIONS ANSWERED ...

What to bring on attendance?


On a daily basis the children need to bring the following in a clearly labelled bag, but not a plastic shopping bag due to the risks for the child:

  • At least two complete changes of clothes including socks, underwear, pants/shorts/dress, t-shirt/skivvy, jumpers, singlets and shoes.
  • Children toilet training should bring a minimum of 6 pairs of underpants, pants, socks and another pair of shoes.
  • A dummy, bottle, [formula if required] and a comfort toy or rug (if required)
In Winter:
  • Warm hat
  • Coat
  • Gum boots
In Summer
  • Sun hat
  • Clothing that covers shoulders
  • Sunglasses
Please note: that all items of clothing etc, should be clearly labelled with the child’s name. Parents should also ensure that your child is dressed in clothes and shoes that allow them to freely participate in all activities. Do not put their best or going out clothes on your child when they come to the Centre. Children will be participating in many messy activities and whilst smocks etc are provided, children will manage to get some paint etc on their clothes. If children are toilet training, they should be dressed in pants that are easy to remove ie: tracksuit pants or pants with no zips or buttons. It is very important to consider which shoes to send your child to the Centre. Shoes which cover their toes and are fitted to the children’s feet are acceptable. Thongs and slip on shoes are not to be worn to the Centre. If parents are unsure on any clothing requirements please see the staff in your child’s room or the Centre Manager.




When and how to pay fees?


The following information is general details regarding payment of fees at Arndell Park Early Childhood Learning Centre. Fees for the first twoweek’s attendance are due on the first day of enrolment at the centre and thereafter should be paid weekly via direct debit. Full fees are to be paid for all the days the child is enrolled including Public Holidays and days of absence.




How does Childcare Benefit affect fees?


Childcare Benefit (CCB) is available to subsidise your fees. Application forms and information brochures are available from the Centrelink office. Please contact Family Assistance Office (FAO) on 13 6150 when commencing at the centre as FULL FEES will be charged until your CCB percentage is advised to our centre. A full explanation of Childcare Benefits and parent’s responsibilities is available from the centre office




What if I can't collect my child on time?


The centre closes at 6.30pm. Parents/guardians should be aware that their late arrival places significant stress on the children and staff. As a result it is the policy of the Centre that from 6.31pm a late fee of $15.00 for every 15 minutes or part thereof after closing time will apply until the child is collected. This amount is payable immediately and will attract the $20.00 Account keeping fee. Continual lateness will ensure cancellation of care. Should you not collect your child after fifteen minutes; the emergency number on your enrolment form will be called. Should we not be able to contact any one on the contact numbers provided, we will notify the police and follow their instructions. It is very important that the parents/guardians inform the centre if they are going to arrive later than 6.30pm to avoid the above procedure taking place. However this does not exempt the paying of the late fine. It is extremely important that you notify and keep the Centre up to date with your emergency contacts.




What are the Arrivals and pickup procedures?


Children are to be delivered to and collected from inside the building by a responsible adult. Parents/guardians or delegated person/s must sign their children in and out of the centre using the Attendance Book provided in your child’s room. In cases of emergency we need to be sure of who is in the centre. In the case of absences, please telephone the centre when you know your child will be absent. Your child’s absence will need to be recorded on the attendance record as a requirement of the Family Assistance Office. A parent’s signature is also required to acknowledge the absence. Please ensure that a staff member knows when your child has arrived and is informed of their departure. The Centre must be informed if a different adult is delivering or collecting your child or if he/she is being collected earlier or later then usual. This notification must be in writing. Persons collecting children from the service on behalf of parents must be 18 or over.




What if my details change?


It is extremely important for the welfare of each child that the centre maintains current enrolment details. For this reason parents are requested to promptly advise the Centre Manager of any changes to contact details, workplace, marital status, people authorised to contact your child, allergies, immunisation, etc.




How can I enrol my child at your centre?


We strongly advise and recommend that parents visit and tour our centre facilities and to have full consultation with our centre manager to discuss the needs of your child. This will allow parents to make an informed decision about enrolling their children at our centre. The enrolment process includes the completion of an enrolment form plus an "All About me" form for the child(ren) and other required documentations such as the an up-to-date immunisation certificate, any medical action plans from family GP. For families with mulitple children to enrol at our centre, an enrolment form must be completed for each to be enrolled at our centre.




How if I have complaints or concerns about your service?


We value your feed back and concerns seiously as we endevour to always improve our sevices. The parent should initially discuss the concern with the relevant educator. Our educators will address your concern with the centre Manager for an appropriate resolutiion If the parent still feels further action is necessary after discussion with the relevant educator they can call our centre on 9369 5888 or book a 1-on-1 meeting the centre management to discuss the matter.





HUMANISM... SAY WHAT?

“What is a humanist ceremony?”


A unique celebration of you and your relationship, free from religion or convention. You can create a totally personal and bespoke ceremony that is right for you. But non-religious doesn’t have to mean non-traditional and many couples still enjoy bringing in traditional elements of a wedding ceremony but the main thing is – it is totally up to you!




“What is humanism and do you talk about it a lot in the ceremony?”


To me, Humanism is about celebrating our relationships with family, friends and our partners. It is about treating all those that we encounter with dignity, respect and kindness regardless of their perspective, background or beliefs. A friend once said it very clearly… “so basically humanism is just not being a d**k??!” and yes…. I suppose it is! In terms of talking about humanism in your ceremony, I believe that the day is a celebration of you and your relationship and whilst it is important to explain the type of ceremony you have chosen to have I do not personally feel a need to go into significant detail about humanism itself. I hope that if your guests enjoy the ceremony they will be naturally inquisitive about what it is all about!




“We’re not actually humanists – or at least we don’t think we are. Can we still have a humanist wedding ceremony?”


Of course! Humanism is about inclusivity. Besides, if you are non-religious and look to science, reason, empathy, and compassion in order to live an ethical and meaningful life, then you’re amongst those with a humanist outlook without even realising it!




“My grandmother / aunt / dad etc. is religious and I don’t want them to be offended. Will a humanist wedding be okay?”


Nearly every ceremony is attended by guests of different faiths and of none, and we feel passionately that everyone present should feel comfortable and involved. I always say at the beginning of each ceremony “they have chosen to celebrate their commitment to one another through a humanist wedding ceremony which is not anchored in religion but instead allows for them to reflect their own personalities, their beliefs and their aspirations for a marriage together, I do hope that whatever your background you will find this an enjoyable and significant occasion.”




“What happens at a wedding ceremony?”


Each ceremony is written specifically for the couple; there is no set format. But as a guide, a typical wedding might include readings or poems, information about the couple and why they are choosing to marry and perhaps some music. The couple will make vows or commitments to each other and often exchange rings.




“How long does a humanist wedding last?”


It depends on what you want to include, but as a guide around 30-45 minutes.




“All sounds great but I have a wedding to plan…..does having a humanist ceremony involve a lot of work?”


I’m not going to lie to you….because humanist weddings are so personal they do take a little more time to plan than a church or registry wedding. I need to get to know you and hear all about your adventures so far in order to create something totally unique and authentic to you, but it’s well worth the effort. In terms of what exactly is involved – usually a couple of meetings with me and some time going through some questions by yourselves - most couples crack open the vino and have a blast reminiscing so it really isn’t work at all! Promise!





THE LEGAL BIT

“Will we be legally married after a humanist wedding?”


Unlike in Scotland and Northern Ireland, humanist weddings in England do not currently have legal status (I know…it is bonkers… believe me we are working on it!) However, it is really easy to take care of the legalities at a local registery office and use your humanist wedding as your ‘real’ wedding. All couples I marry comment on the fact that they did not feel any differently about their ceremony, it still has all the gravitas, the only difference is you don't need to sign any paperwork (who likes paperwork anyway right??) In fact… there really are some advantages to humanist weddings not having legal status yet. For example, there is no restriction about what can or cannot be included and most importantly there is no restriction as to where you can get married…. A forest, the beach or the side of a cliff – it opens up so many possibilities! We continue to campaign hard for humanist weddings to be legally recognised in England and in July 2020 a case was taken to the High Court. The ruling from the judge was that not recognising humanist marriages as legal IS discrimination. However, frustratingly, she then said that as the Government are currently carrying out a review of marriage more generally that she would not go as far as to say they the Government are actining unlawfully and so we are now waiting for the outcome of the Government's commission on marriage which we hope will now include humanist weddings.... it is a case of when rather than if!




“When do couples get married legally if they are having a humanist wedding?”


This depends from couple to couple. Many will have taken care of the paperwork at the register office in the days before their humanist ceremony, perhaps just taking a couple of people along as witnesses. Others do this on the same day as their humanist wedding, making it all part of the celebration, whilst others leave the legalities until after.




“Do we have to be get legally married if we want a humanist wedding?”


No. There are various reasons why people might want the public statement of commitment and celebration without legally registering their partnership as a marriage and humanist celebrations allow for this.




“If we have to get married legally at a different time and place, will a humanist ceremony actually feel like a wedding?”


YES I PROMISE! A lot of people are understandably concerned about this but every couple that I have married have all felt that their humanist ceremony was the real deal as what mattered most to them is being surrounded by those they love as they make public commitments to each other.




“Will guests feel like they are at our ‘real’ wedding if it isn’t legally binding?”


Absolutely. Indeed, guests often comment afterwards that the occasion was much more moving and meaningful than other weddings they’ve been to, because it was so personal.




“Do we have to tell people that the wedding isn’t legal?”


It is up to you. I can talk to you about how you want to manage this. Nothing needs to be said publicly, however, it’s perfectly possible to explain the legal situation in a positive way.





HUMANISM... SAY WHAT?

“What is a humanist ceremony?”


A unique celebration of you and your relationship, free from religion or convention. You can create a totally personal and bespoke ceremony that is right for you. But non-religious doesn’t have to mean non-traditional and many couples still enjoy bringing in traditional elements of a wedding ceremony but the main thing is – it is totally up to you!




“What is humanism and do you talk about it a lot in the ceremony?”


To me, Humanism is about celebrating our relationships with family, friends and our partners. It is about treating all those that we encounter with dignity, respect and kindness regardless of their perspective, background or beliefs. A friend once said it very clearly… “so basically humanism is just not being a d**k??!” and yes…. I suppose it is! In terms of talking about humanism in your ceremony, I believe that the day is a celebration of you and your relationship and whilst it is important to explain the type of ceremony you have chosen to have I do not personally feel a need to go into significant detail about humanism itself. I hope that if your guests enjoy the ceremony they will be naturally inquisitive about what it is all about!




“We’re not actually humanists – or at least we don’t think we are. Can we still have a humanist wedding ceremony?”


Of course! Humanism is about inclusivity. Besides, if you are non-religious and look to science, reason, empathy, and compassion in order to live an ethical and meaningful life, then you’re amongst those with a humanist outlook without even realising it!




“My grandmother / aunt / dad etc. is religious and I don’t want them to be offended. Will a humanist wedding be okay?”


Nearly every ceremony is attended by guests of different faiths and of none, and we feel passionately that everyone present should feel comfortable and involved. I always say at the beginning of each ceremony “they have chosen to celebrate their commitment to one another through a humanist wedding ceremony which is not anchored in religion but instead allows for them to reflect their own personalities, their beliefs and their aspirations for a marriage together, I do hope that whatever your background you will find this an enjoyable and significant occasion.”




“What happens at a wedding ceremony?”


Each ceremony is written specifically for the couple; there is no set format. But as a guide, a typical wedding might include readings or poems, information about the couple and why they are choosing to marry and perhaps some music. The couple will make vows or commitments to each other and often exchange rings.




“How long does a humanist wedding last?”


It depends on what you want to include, but as a guide around 30-45 minutes.




“All sounds great but I have a wedding to plan…..does having a humanist ceremony involve a lot of work?”


I’m not going to lie to you….because humanist weddings are so personal they do take a little more time to plan than a church or registry wedding. I need to get to know you and hear all about your adventures so far in order to create something totally unique and authentic to you, but it’s well worth the effort. In terms of what exactly is involved – usually a couple of meetings with me and some time going through some questions by yourselves - most couples crack open the vino and have a blast reminiscing so it really isn’t work at all! Promise!





THE LEGAL BIT

“Will we be legally married after a humanist wedding?”


Unlike in Scotland and Northern Ireland, humanist weddings in England do not currently have legal status (I know…it is bonkers… believe me we are working on it!) However, it is really easy to take care of the legalities at a local registery office and use your humanist wedding as your ‘real’ wedding. All couples I marry comment on the fact that they did not feel any differently about their ceremony, it still has all the gravitas, the only difference is you don't need to sign any paperwork (who likes paperwork anyway right??) In fact… there really are some advantages to humanist weddings not having legal status yet. For example, there is no restriction about what can or cannot be included and most importantly there is no restriction as to where you can get married…. A forest, the beach or the side of a cliff – it opens up so many possibilities! We continue to campaign hard for humanist weddings to be legally recognised in England and in July 2020 a case was taken to the High Court. The ruling from the judge was that not recognising humanist marriages as legal IS discrimination. However, frustratingly, she then said that as the Government are currently carrying out a review of marriage more generally that she would not go as far as to say they the Government are actining unlawfully and so we are now waiting for the outcome of the Government's commission on marriage which we hope will now include humanist weddings.... it is a case of when rather than if!




“When do couples get married legally if they are having a humanist wedding?”


This depends from couple to couple. Many will have taken care of the paperwork at the register office in the days before their humanist ceremony, perhaps just taking a couple of people along as witnesses. Others do this on the same day as their humanist wedding, making it all part of the celebration, whilst others leave the legalities until after.




“Do we have to be get legally married if we want a humanist wedding?”


No. There are various reasons why people might want the public statement of commitment and celebration without legally registering their partnership as a marriage and humanist celebrations allow for this.




“If we have to get married legally at a different time and place, will a humanist ceremony actually feel like a wedding?”


YES I PROMISE! A lot of people are understandably concerned about this but every couple that I have married have all felt that their humanist ceremony was the real deal as what mattered most to them is being surrounded by those they love as they make public commitments to each other.




“Will guests feel like they are at our ‘real’ wedding if it isn’t legally binding?”


Absolutely. Indeed, guests often comment afterwards that the occasion was much more moving and meaningful than other weddings they’ve been to, because it was so personal.




“Do we have to tell people that the wedding isn’t legal?”


It is up to you. I can talk to you about how you want to manage this. Nothing needs to be said publicly, however, it’s perfectly possible to explain the legal situation in a positive way.





LET'S TALK WEDDINGS