Challenging behaviour in our children can be really … well, challenging! How do you ‘handle’ a child who suddenly refuses to wear shoes or sit in her carseat/seatbelt or eat, period? Here are some tips to help you regain that snuggly, loving relationship you used to enjoy before your baby became a…gulp…PERSON!
(1) Remove the word ‘handle’ from your parenting vocabulary entirely. Your child isn’t a lion to be tamed or a dog to be trained! He’s a person, an individual with thoughts, interests, concerns, wants, and needs that are totally separate from yours. Respecting him as a separate individual not only models the value we need to place on others in our homes and communities, but also sets the stage for a mutually respectful relationship in his teen years and beyond.
(2) Slow down! Often simplifying our lives is the key to simplifying our parenting issues. Rushing a child from one activity to the next doesn’t expand her horizons; it stunts her creativity and inherent zest for life, which are the building blocks of a life-long love of learning. When she digs her heels in, pay attention! She’s trying to communicate a very deep need for time and space to learn about the world, to play and grow, and to just ‘be.’
(3) Small children have very little control over their lives, and the more powerless they feel, the more likely they are to make eating, getting dressed, going to the potty, etc. a battle of wills. Giving choices, engaging your child in making plans, and being flexible and responsive on a daily basis are good ‘proactive’ parenting, but little people are notorious for their awkward timing in deciding to suddenly assert their independence! Be prepared for those challenging moments by deciding ahead of time how you will respond. (See below for some ideas!)
(4) Listen, listen, listen! The first question parents ask me is almost always, “How do I get my child to listen?” And my first response is usually, “How well do you listen?” As Ralph Waldo Emerson so aptly put it, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” In other words, our children learn best by imitation. If every time our little ones ask for our attention we say, “Just a minute,” then we cannot expect instant attention from them. If when they speak to us our eyes constantly stray back to our computers and iPhones, we should not be surprised if they have a hard time looking at us when we ask them to. Listening is a two-way street that starts and ends with us, the adults.
(5) Boundaries are our friends! Many people believe that Gentle Parenting is a form of un-parenting, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gentle Parenting is involved parenting~interactive, engaged, active parenting. It takes focused attention, planning, participation, research, and so much more to be an empathetic, responsive parent who is in tune with their child’s needs and who is prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to meet those needs. That said, in any home, like in any civilized society, boundaries are necessary for everyone’s safety and comfort. It is in the choosing and maintaining of those boundaries that Gentle Parenting distinguishes itself. In a gently parented home, boundaries are focused on guiding rather than controlling children and are maintained through empathetic and creative resolutions rather than harsh punitive consequences. (See below for some ideas!)
(6) Watch your attitude! Do you have angry eyes? A sharp tone? Do you issue commands and demand compliance? Do you sigh and roll your eyes when frustrated with your little one? All of these things contribute to creating resistance in children. Really, who wants to cooperate with someone who is demanding, impatient, sarcastic, angry, etc? Does feeling like a burden or a failure ever motivate anyone? Is a desire to please rooted in correction or connection? Think about how you like to be treated by authority figures (supervisors, law enforcement, etc.) and then treat your children the way you want to be treated! This not only reduces challenging behavior, but also models The Golden Rule~Do to others as you want them to do to you…an excellent life lesson!
Here are some ideas for your Gentle Parenting toolbox:
• Little one refusing to put on shoes before leaving the house? First, ask him why he doesn’t want to wear them. A toddler most likely won’t be able to/want to explain, but you’re modeling courtesy and opening up a dialogue, both good connection points. A three-year-old, though, might just surprise you with a very logical, in their own mind at least, response! Second, don’t react; just scoop the shoes up, and take them with you. If the refusal to wear shoes continues at the park/in the library/at the doctor’s office, etc. calmly tell him he can sit in your lap or in the stroller and hang out with you until he’s ready to wear his shoes.
• If a tantrum results, remember to stay calm – deep breathing, counting silently, and remain present. Some children respond well to a parent quietly talking, offering words to express what the child may be experiencing (i.e. “It’s frustrating when we have to do things we don’t like. I can see that you’re angry, and that’s okay. Let’s just sit here together for a while.”), while other children become more upset when a parent attempts to interact with them during a tantrum and are comforted simply by your quiet presence, a gentle back rub, or playing with a Calm-Me-Jar. Getting to know your child is an important part of Gentle Parenting and will help you to ‘read’ these situations so you can be responsive to their unique needs.
• A place for Time-Outs. Typically, I advise parents to use Time-Ins instead of Time-Outs in order to connect-to-correct, but there is one area that I advise the use of Time-Outs … the ‘Time-Out Toy Box!’ When a toy is misused (i.e. thrown, used to hit, drawn on, fought over, etc) and a gentle redirection has been given, the next step for the toy is to be put in the ‘Time-Out Toy Box’. Little ones generally find the concept of a toy being put in Time-Out rather humorous and go along with the removal without a fuss (the toy can be returned after an exaggeratedly stern warning to the toy letting it know what is expected of it and that it must listen to ‘the boss’ ~ the child, lol. They love that!), but remember to communicate, listen, and be flexible. If the removal of a toy brings about a strong negative response, it may be that the inappropriate behaviour was more than just over-exuberance, in which case a Time-In might be needed. Again, being in tune with your child will help you to ‘read’ the situation and respond appropriately.
• The most challenging, independent children tend to be the ones who need the most intentional parental reconnection. Strong will=Strong need! It is often the strongest-willed children who identify most closely with their parents, oddly enough. While there is no denying how difficult it can be to raise a strong-willed child, seeing the purpose behind the behavior can make the journey much more manageable. Try to view their seemingly constant testing as them doing ‘research’ on you, seeing where your strengths and weaknesses are, and discovering all the ins and outs of being you. Also, taking the time to explain why you make the decisions you do, why you said this, why you didn’t say that, answering the endless questions patiently and openly, can alleviate some of the challenging behaviour by offering them insights into who you are without them having to ‘dig’ it out of you!
L.R. Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R. Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting (Release date: May 2014) the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series.
I hope this has been of some help.
Wow how fast the year is going and what a wonderful year it has been. Thank you for all the wonderful Fathers who came to our first ever Father’s Day Breakfast, it was a huge successes.
We have a few reminders for parents:
With school holidays approaching please remember to fill out a holiday leave form which is found in the parent room. We also have a new form now for parents to fill out if your child has had an accident at home and you need to inform your educators. These forms are called Injury on Intake Forms and are kept next to the holiday leave forms in the parent room. This helps the educators keep up to date with your child and so they don’t just see a big bruise and wonder “did that happen here or at home”.
If we could also please remember to not only shut the door which goes into the Busy Bee/Wombats yard but to lock it, that would be great. We are still noticing that some parents are just letting it swing shut and it is not closing, this does not provide a safe space for our children. So please as this is the third reminder this year can we all work together to provide a safe environment for our children by shutting and locking the door behind you.
Parking can be tricky in the afternoons, so if you are planning to be a while catching up on your child’s day please park on the street, this will then let parents whom are in a rush to leave to be able to leave in their cars and not be blocked in.
There is nothing better than catching up with your child’s educator at the end of a day to find out how their day went. Please keep in mind that the centre does close at 6:00pm, if you are wanting to come in collect your child’s belongings and then have a chat to your child’s educator about their day that you should get here at least by 5:50pm to give yourself that time. We love looking after your children but our educators have families to get home to and see how their days went too.
Children love toys and often have special toys, please remember that if they bring a very special toy to the centre there is a chance that the toy could get lost or broken. Check with your child’s room if they do Show and share and that could be a way to share a photo or story from home instead of bringing in toys.
Don’t forget our next parent BBQ is on the 31st of October and we are still needing a Brumbies family to organise it, if you are interested please let the office know.
With the cooler weather we need to remember to be dressing our children in warmer clothes that are appropriate for the temperatures when they play outside. Younger children are more susceptible to cold for a simple reason: Their smaller bodies lose heat rapidly. Younger children also are less likely to actually realise they’re getting cold, which means the job of keeping them warm (and knowing the signs it’s time to go inside) falls to parents and our Educators. Here’s how to make sure your kids are not too hot, not too cold, but just right—which is especially important during cold weather.
Step One: Even for babies, layering is the way to go
Put babies and children in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions. That’s because pockets of air between clothing layers actually help trap heat. Layering also allows kids to remove a jacket or sweater, instead of choosing between being overheated or freezing. (In other words, don’t just throw on a parka over those PJs!)
Step Two: But not too many layers…
Layering your child with too much outerwear can actually make them colder. That’s because excess layers can cause your child to sweat, which makes their clothes wet, which allows the cold and wind to bring their temperature down.
Step Three: Learn layering 101
There are three basic layers you should know — and materials that are good for each. While it can seem overwhelming if you’re not, say, an alpine climber, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Here are the basics you need to know:
1. Base layers (the layer right next to your child’s skin)
• What it does: wicks moisture
• Materials to look for: wool or synthetic fabric such as polyester
• The right fit: snug
2. Middle layers (goes over the base layer)
• What it does: insulates
• Materials to look for: wool, down, or fleece
• The right fit: close to body without restraining movement
3. Outer layer (the outermost layer)
• What it does: protects your child from cold and wind
• Materials to look for: jacket or shell; outerwear that’s also breathable (such as those made from Gore-Tex) are key if your child will be physically active
• The right fit: allows easy movement and has plenty of room for layers
Step Four: Avoid the cotton
• You know that jeans and cotton pants absorb rain and water, but even in cold, dry conditions, cotton absorbs sweat. And wet cotton + cold weather=very cold kids. If it’s cold out, it’s best to avoid cotton altogether.
Step Five: Make sure clothes (still) fit
As tempting as it is to squeeze those tootsies into last year’s bootsies, feet need room to wiggle. Shoes and jackets that are too tight can limit circulation, contributing to cold limbs.
Step Six: Pack a dry bag
You know that it’s always good to have extra clothes on hand for kids. In the winter, extra clothes are essential. One jubilant splash in a puddle or one wet sleeve from washing their hands would result in one cold little one. Pack extra clothes such as, socks, pants, shirt and jumper for just those occasions.
We hope these steps help you in dressing your child for daycare. Please remember to bring shoes and jumpers as it can get a tad cold in the playgrounds. The Educators will ensure that the children keep their shoes/socks and jumpers on in the morning and afternoons when the weather is coolest.
We had our first Working Bee for the year on Saturday, 17th June and it was a massive success. Thank you to everyone who came along to help us give the Centre a lift. This year we chose to focus on things we could spruce up and improve within the Centre and it is great seeing all of the work put in. We had lots of new plants planted in our front garden and our garden in front of the Kookaburras room. It was great to see so many green thumbs – great work guys. The poles got a fresh coat of paint in the Busy Bees/Wombats playground thanks to some hard working parents. In the Kookaburras everyone worked hard to clean up the sandpit, varnish the seats, deck and fort and last but not least we had some new turf put in. We cannot thank you all enough for sparing your time and coming in to help us brighten up the Centre.
The flu season is fast approaching and we are seeing an increase of high temperatures going through the Centre. We ask for your consideration, if your child is showing signs and symptoms of being sick, please keep them home and seek medical advice and a clearance letter (if needed) to be at the Centre. I thought I would go through our High Temperature Policy with you as there have been a lot of temperatures lately. Our Policy has been made following the guidelines of the Staying Healthy in Child Care Book which is set out by the government.
Fever is not an illness in itself, but is the sign of an illness. Children get fevers for all kinds of reasons. Most fevers, and the illnesses that cause them, last only a few days. But sometimes a fever will last much longer, and might be the sign of an underlying chronic or long-term illness or disease. A fever is a high temperature. As a general rule, in children, a temperature of over 37.5°C or a temperature of over 38°C or higher is a fever. Fevers are quite common in young children and are usually mild. A normal temperature in children is 36.5°C to 37°C although it depends on the person, their age, what they’ve been doing, the time of day and which part of the body you take the temperature from. If your child’s face feels hot to the touch and they look red or flushed, then they may have a fever. You can check their temperature with a thermometer. It can be worrying if your child has a high temperature, but it is very common and often clears up on its own.
At Blackwood Street your child can stay if the temperature does not go over 38°C. If the temperature rises this usually means there is something underlying going on and the child may be unwell. The Educators at Blackwood Street care about your child and their welfare and will give you a courtesy call to administer Panadol. A Panadol form giving us permission to administer Panadol should have been signed by a doctor and it lasts for a year. Our Policy states that there is a 24 hour exclusion period for temperature over 38°C. This is put in place to give your child time to rest and get over any viruses which may have caused the temperature. We understand that everyone leads a busy life and this can be a nuisance having to keep your child home for 24 hours, especially when the temperature has gone down.
The reason we have this exclusion period is the viruses could still be active in your child’s system and when they are in care they love to share everything from snot, drool to germs. So we ask that you please be understanding of this as we have everyone’s best interests in mind and a duty of care to all of the children in our care.
At Blackwood Street we are committed to delivering the best quality of care and education for your children. We have a dedicated team of fully qualified Educators and Lead Educators who are passionate about working with you and your family to provide the best care possible. Recently we have had some staff changes and welcomed some new Lead Educators into our community. We would like to welcome – Sharon to Kookaburras, Haifeng to Brumbies, Laura to the Brumbies/Kookaburras float role, Anna to the Wombats/Busy Bee float role and Cassie who will be joining the Wombats team. We are now fully staffed and have built up some great Casual staff to use when educators are away – welcome Kelly, Jane, Sally and Catherine to our team. I’m sure you have seen them around the Centre already.
In Blackwood Street we pride ourselves on being a Community Centre and providing that community spirit within the Centre. We have been doing this through the year by having some BBQ’s every second month. These are to be run by a room parent representative who will organise the BBQ. This is done by organizing parent helpers to cook, handle money and hand out food on the day. By being the parent representative/organiser of one of these events you will earn four hours towards getting your working bee levy back. Our next BBQ will be on the 31st July 2017 and we need a room parent representative to help organise this. Please let us know in the office as soon as possible if you would like to help.
Our Working Bee has been postponed until Saturday, 17 June 2017. Wwe are planning some projects for this event and hope to get some helpers for the event as well. Again this time will go towards earning back your working bee levy.
Centre Photos will be held over three days in July on 11th, 12th and 13th. We are using a new company this time and would like to hear your feedback when you get the photos back.
Just a reminder that we are a Sun Smart centre and all children need to be wearing Sunscreen. A way you can help with this is by sunscreening your child before you come to the Centre or applying it when you get here by making it part of your drop off routine. It can get very busy in the morning when the educators are settling children so this would help them out and would be greatly appreciated. Even though the weather is getting cooler the children still need to have their sunscreen on as this follows the regulations and our policies.
If you love our Centre as much as we do can we ask you for a spare minute to write a review on our page. We would love to hear your positive feedback and thoughts.
I would like to touch base on the safety of the children in our care and how important this is to us. One area of safety that is always of concern to the Centre is the Blackwood Street entry door. Some of the issues we see are:
• Parents letting people in – We understand that there are days when you may have forgotten your swipe and we can all relate to it when the office is closed that it is difficult to get into the centre without a swipe. However letting people in who are standing in the front foyer could lead to potentially serious incidents. We ask that if you arrive and there is a person standing in the front foyer and the office is closed that you let them know that you will get one of the centre educators to come and greet them and verify that they are a parent and allowed access to the centre. Extra swipes can be purchased from the centre so mum, dad, grandparents and regular pick up contacts can have one.
• Parents opening the door before signing in on the iPad and letting their older siblings hold the door open – This is a potential hazard as younger children can leave the playground into the front foyer and maybe even out into the car park. We ask that you please either take your child/children in, drop them off, settle them and sign in on the iPad on your way out with the door securely closed behind you or before opening the door sign in on the iPad then take your child/children through to drop them off and settle them with the door securely behind you.
• Parents don’t look behind them before closing the door – Children are very quick and can slip through the door behind you if you are not aware or checking when you open the door. We ask that at all times when entering and exiting doors and gates to the centre and playgrounds that you constantly check around you to make sure you are only letting your child/children through and that no children are following you through the doors and gates.
We thank you for your understanding and assistance with this. Should you have any concerns regarding safety at the Centre please see me, contact me at the Centre on 33541244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have had a great start to the year with all of the children settling in nicely to their new rooms and environments. We celebrated Chinese New Year by hosting a Lantern Parade, where the families could come and watch. This was a great way of exploring different cultures and embracing our community. We would love to celebrate more cultural celebrations within the Centre, so please share with your rooms any festivals or cultural experiences that you celebrate at home that we could celebrate here at Blackwood Street too.
I am looking forward to an exciting year of celebrations and lots more shared community events.
Thank you to the Fundraising Committee for helping organise the barbeque and to all the families who helped make the day successful with the generosity of donations – we made $2051 on the day.
Such an amazing effort but my biggest thanks goes out to all of our mums and dads that gave up time on Father’s Day to help out on the day at the BBQ. It was a lot of fun.
Father’s Day Afternoon Tea
On Friday, 2nd September we had the pleasure of spoiling and giving thanks to our dads for all that they do with an afternoon tea and fun activities from fishing to woodwork and digging in the sandpits on the excavators. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and I hope you all enjoyed your gifts from the children. I know there was a lot of excitement during the making of the presents. I hope they were kept hidden in all the hiding places that the children came up with.
Due to the amount of illness going around the community lately we advise if your child has a high temp or isn’t well that they stay home to prevent the spread of illness. If your child does get a high temp over 38°C while in care we are required by Staying Healthy in Childcare Fifth Edition to contact you to collect your child and enforce a 24 hour exclusion. If your child has vomiting or diarrhea before coming to the Centre or your child is sent home with vomiting or diarrhea we are required by the Public Health Unit to enforce a 48 hour exclusion.
If an exclusion period is necessary to be applied to your child, you will be required to have a doctor’s clearance certificate for your child to return to the Centre. It is appreciated if you could please notify the Centre stating the illness of your child so we can provide health alerts and report to the recommended regularity authority if required.
Children being left in the car
As the weather is warming up we are seeing some parents leaving children in the car when they come to the Centre to pick up siblings. Whether the air conditioner is on in the car or not, there are still risks and dangers with leaving kids in the car. Please do not leave children in the car. The Parent Room is available for older siblings to sit in if you do not want your child’s older siblings to come into the Centre while you pick them up.
If you would like any further information regarding any of these issues please see me or phone me at the Centre.
Our barbeque at Bunnings at Stafford is coming up fast on Sunday, 4th September 2016. I would like to say a big thank you to all the families who have put their name on the roster to help out on the day and to all the families that have kindly donated drinks and other items. There are still parent helper vacancies on the roster from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. We are also still taking donations of the following items listed below. If you are able to help out please hand donations in to the office.
• Bottle Water
• Tomato Sauce
• Barbeque Sauce
• Serviettes and Paper towel
• Orange and Apple poppers
• Pepsi Max
• Large Eskies
Blackwood Street Child Centre is on a Local Matters Jar at Grill’d at Everton Park during September so head into Grill’d Everton Park during September and put your token in the Blackwood Street Child Centre jar. The group with the most tokens in their jar at the end of the month is the winner of the $300 – so the more people that go in and put a token in our jar, the better our chances of winning. Don’t forget to tell family and friends about the Blackwood Street Child Centre Jar.
Kindy Open Day
On Saturday, 9th July we had our first Open Day. This Open Day provided the opportunity for families to come in to meet the Educators and Early Childhood Teacher, and experience our Kindy program. Thank you to all the families who came. I hope you found the morning informative and it helps you in making the best decision for your child’s Kindy year. If you were not able to attend and you would still like some information, you can book a time to come in and see the Kindy program in action and talk to either Rachel our early childhood teacher, Sonya our Educational Leader or myself. We will also be putting together a question and answers sheet of the most commonly asked questions about our Kindy program which will be emailed out in the coming weeks.
Each year at the beginning of July the Centre has a change in roster. The roster rotation gives staff who have been rostered on the later shifts for the past 6 months the opportunity to do earlier shifts for the remaining 6 months. As of 4th July 2016 our new roster has been implemented. What does this roster change mean for you and your child? This means that the Educators that you are used to seeing at the end of the day will now be here in the morning to greet you and help settle your child, and visa versa. We understand that changes in your child’s routine may be unsettling even though the Educators are familiar to the children. If you have any concerns about this roster change please see either your child’s carers or myself.
As we are coming into winter we are seeing an increase in infectious diseases. I would just like to take this opportunity to remind all families that there are exclusion periods that we must adhere to from Staying Healthy in Childcare and the Public Health Unit. I have listed the main illnesses and their exclusion periods below.
Each time an infectious disease is notified to the Centre a fact sheet on the illness will be put up on the main entry doors to the Centre and rooms. If you would like to read more about the illness a copy of the “Staying Healthy in Child Care – 5th Edition” is located in the Blackwood Street front foyer. For a full copy of our Infectious Diseases Policy please click here and for a full copy of our High Temperature Policy please click here.
If you have any questions regarding any of the above information please see me or contact the Centre on 3354 1244.
On Saturday, 28 May we had our first Centre working bee. There were lots of jobs to do both inside and out and we got most of them completed. I would like to say a really big thank you to all the families who helped on the day. We really do value your time and support.
Biting is very common in children under the age of three and is virtually unavoidable when cared for in groups. It is important to know that biting is a normal behaviour that some children will go through. Each day your child’s educators implement strategies to minimize the risks of biting in their groups but from time to time there will be incidents where biting has been unavoidable. We understand that this may be distressing for both the family of the child who has been bitten and for the family of the child that bit. If you have concerns about this issue please speak to your child’s educator and a parent meeting can be arranged to discuss biting and strategies being used. You can also click on this link for valuable information on biting, reasons why biting may occur and what we can do to help.
Now that the colder weather is here I would like to remind parents of appropriate footwear for child care. The Centre has a barefoot policy for outdoor play however during winter appropriate footwear such as runners can be worn. Unfortunately shoes such as gumboots and sandals are too slippery for the obstacle courses and become more a hindrance and a safety concern. Therefore the educators will still continue to take off these types of shoes during outside play. So if you would like your child to keep their shoes on throughout the day please dress your child in runners.
Over the past month we have been trialing a secure and accessible ePortfolio called Storypark. Storypark records and communicates your child’s learning to you and gives you the opportunity to provide feedback on your child’s interests and abilities as well as being able to contribute to your child’s planning and goal setting. We are excited to announce that this trial has been very successful and is now being embedded as part of our curriculum and recording of child’s learning stories. One parent from each family is being invited to join Storypark so you can set up your secure login. Once you have accepted you can also invite other family members eg spouse, grandparents to join Storypark so they also can see your child’s learning stories. We hope you enjoy Storypark as much as we do. Don’t forget to leave us a message letting us know how you are enjoying Storypark.
Recently there have been some incidents in the media that have occurred at schools and child care centres around Australia. We have been reflecting on these incidents and our own practices. The safety of the children in our care is extremely important. One area of safety that is always of concern to the Centre is the entry door to the Blackwood Street Child Centre. Some of the issues we see are:
We thank you for your understanding and assistance with this. Should you have any concerns regarding safety at the Centre please see me, contact me at the centre on 33541244 or email me on email@example.com
The Flu Season
With the colder weather fast approaching, we are already seeing some virus in the Centre. We have recently had 2 cases of Brionchiolitis (RSV), 1 case of Croup (RSV), and 2 cases of Hand Foot and Mouth in the Centre. Please click on the links beside each infectious disease to read the Staying Healthy in Childcare fact sheets. If your child is showing signs of being unwell, please keep them at home and seek medical attention. (Don’t forget to get a doctors certificate and clearance to come back into the Centre.)
The national immunization program schedule Queensland has recently changed to include a new diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (Whooping Cough) vaccination at 18 months of age. To ensure all Queensland parents are aware of these changes, Queensland Health has updated print and electronic resources which provide guidance on what has changed in the schedule, what milestones babies and children should receive their free vaccinations and other important facts about immunization. The Vaccination Matters brochure forms a part of Queensland Health’s childhood immunization campaign which aims to remind parents that vaccinations need to happen “on time” to give children the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. It also reminds parents to know their facts when making decisions about vaccinating children. For further information, visit http://vaccinate.initiatives.qld.gov.au/ .
“Inclusion involves taking into account all children’s social, cultural and linguistic diversity (Including learning styles, abilities, disabilities, gender, family circumstances and geographic location) in curriculum decision making processes. The intent is to ensure that all children’s experiences are recognized and valued. The intent is also to ensure that all children have equitable access to resources and participation, and opportunities to demonstrate their learning and to value difference (Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) p24.)”
At Blackwood Street Child Centre we pride ourselves on the inclusion of all children and their families into our Centre and community. This is through warm welcomes, family photos, respecting parenting styles and incorporating them into the programs, special days, cooking experiences and lots of conversations and hands on experiences.
Recently we have had the pleasure of supporting two families currently at the Centre by raising awareness to causes close to their hearts. The first was our Facial Palsy Awareness Day. The children all had half their faces painted and joined in meaningful discussions throughout the day. The second was our Autism Awareness Day where we all wore blue. The children enjoyed blue experiences and playing with blue balloons until they popped and again lots of the discussions throughout the day. The Centre also supports a family of the Centre with meals from the kitchen as their child was diagnosed with a tumor and is currently going through chemotherapy. These meals have been invaluable on the long days that the families have had and peace of mind to know that when they get home they are able to have a nutritional meal instead of take away.
We know that many of our families from time to time experience hard times. What we want you to know is that we are not just a daycare centre where you drop your children off to play while you go to work. We are a caring community centre which means you are not alone and we can help and support you through these times. If there is any way we can help or if there is a cause that is close to your family’s heart that we can raise awareness for, please let either your child’s educators or myself know. We are here for you.
I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that Sharine (Brumbies) will be finishing up at the Centre on Thursday, 14 April. Sharine is moving back to WA to be with family and we wish her all the best in her move and future endeavours. Momo (Wombats) has also chosen to leave the Centre. Momo has recently found out she is pregnant and would like to take the time to rest through her pregnancy and raise her baby. We wish Momo all the best through her pregnancy and with the safe delivery of her baby.
We are currently recruiting for suitable candidates for these positions. We aim to provide continuity of care and stability for the children through this process by rostering our familiar casuals into these roles.
If you have any concerns regarding these changes please see me. Also if you know of anyone that would be a suitable candidate please make them aware of our website or Seek for available positions.
Gates and doors at drop off and pickup times
Drop off and pickups can be a very busy and rushed time. During this time we often see the main door not being locked behind parents, room doors being left open and gates being left open allowing some children to wander through into the different playgrounds and also into the office foyer. Please ensure you have closed the doors and gates behind you and that the two locks on the front door have been locked so we can continue to provide the safest environment possible for all children at the Centre.
Transitioning of Children
From time to time during the year children have the opportunity to transition to the next room when they reach goals, milestones and achieve the age to move up. It is extremely important to us that all children transitioning have ample time to transition and adjust to their new room, new friends and educators, therefore, we transition children slowly allowing for children to periodically transition usually through a 2 week period. However, we understand that some children may need more or less time depending on how they are going with their transition. We currently have vacancies available in all rooms so if you are interested in your child transitioning to the next room, please discuss with your child’s teacher their readiness for the next room, or contact me at the Centre on 33541244.
I would like to welcome back all of our current families and welcome to the Centre all of our new families. If there is anything I can do for you or you would like to provide feedback on our services and program please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or please call the Centre on 3354 1244.
Room Configurations for 2016
The start of 2016 has begun with some changes to the configurations of many of our rooms. This has occurred due to the introduction of new child to staff ratios. I understand that this has been confusing and frustrating for some families. I have outlined the changes below:
Koalas Room – age range 0 – 2 years of age. There has been no changes to the staff to children ratio of 1:4.
Joeys Room – age range 15 mths – 2 years of age. There has been no changes to the staff to children ratio of 1:5.
Wombats – age range 2 – 3 years of age. The ratio for this room has changed from 1:6 to 1:5. This room has 15 children enrolled a day to 3 full time educators.
Busy Bees – age range 3 – 4 years of age. This has changed from last year where the room was a 2.5-3 years of age room. The ratio for this room has changed from 1:6 to 1:11.
Brumbies – age range 3.5 – 5 years. This has changed from last year where the room was a 3-5 years room. There has been no change to the ratio of 1:11.
Kookaburras – age range 3.5 – 5 years. This has changed from last year where the room was a 3-5 years room. There has been no change to the ratio of 1:11.
If you would like to discuss these concerns or changes further please do not hesitate to contact me at the Centre.
Transitions throughout the year
I often get asked if we do transitions of children throughout the year as the children get older. The answer to this is yes. However it does depend on a number of considerations. Firstly it is to be agreed upon by the child’s family. Many families look at their child doing a full year in one room for continuity of care and stability for the child. There needs to be the availability of days in the older room and your child needs to be ready for the transition. Please talk to your child’s educators throughout the year if you are interested in your child transitioning. The Educators and myself will continue to regularly communicate to you transition opportunities.
This year we would like to provide opportunities for our families to connect with a wide range of professionals such as Triple P programs, Speech Therapist to deliver language development information nights, health professionals to deliver information nights on a range of topics from allergies to child development. If there is a topic that maybe of interest to you and your family please email me on email@example.com and I will source a professional to deliver an information night.
This year we will be running Ginger Sports and Happy Feet classes again. Information on these classes and cost can be found on the wall beside the iPad in the front foyer of Blackwood Street Centre. Ginger Sports will be here on a Tuesday afternoon and Happy Feet will be here Wednesday and Thursday mornings. If you would like any further information please see either myself or the office.
We recently had a lovely Christmas lunch with all the children and staff. I would like to thank Donna for all her hard work.
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the team for 2016 and to advise of some changes to the staff for 2016.
Libby Hempel will be retiring at the end of 2015. Libby has been with the Centre for the past 3 years and will be missed.
Rachel Gillam will be joining our team from Monday, 4th January 2016. Rachel is a mother of 4 who has just recently completed her Bachelor in Education (Early Childhood). Rachel will working with Sueleen in the Brumbies room in a co-teaching environment.
Sueleen Quach also has joined our team during the past two weeks. Sueleen is an ECT and will be working with Rachel in the Brumbies room in a co-teaching environment. Sueleen has spent the past 3 years working in Tokyo teaching early childhood and English. Sueleen is able to speak 3 languages and we are excited to be able to incorporate this into our programs for 2016.
Erin Thompson has been a casual employee with the Centre through 2015 and has accepted a permanent role as an ECT and Lead Educator in 2016. Erin is a mother of 2 and is looking forward to getting back into early childhood teaching. Erin will be working in the Kookaburras room on a Tuesday and as a Lead Educator Float on a Friday.
Please take the time to welcome Rachel, Sue and Erin to the team and introduce yourself and your family to them.
Below is a full summary of the rooms and staff for 2016:
Koalas – Lead Educators Jessica Howell (Mon, Tues) and Kim Dawney (Wed-Fri); Assistant Educator Lisa Delaney (Mon-Fri).
Joeys – Lead Educator Jessica White (Mon-Fri); Assistant Educators Julie Bishop (Mon, Tues), Tracey (Wed), Mia Clatworthy (Thurs, Fri).
Wombats – Lead Educator Corinna West (Mon-Fri); Assistant Educators Lisa Mitchell (Mon-Fri) and Paula Elton (Mon-Fri).
Busy Bees – Lead Educator Angela Alvey (Mon-Fri); Assistant Educator Robyn Rawding (Mon-Fri).
Brumbies – ECT Rachel Gillam (Mon-Fri); ECT Sueleen Quach (Mon-Fri).
Kookaburras – ECT Jeannie Prangell (Mon-Fri); Lead Educator Brittany Vella (Mon, Wed-Fri); ECT Erin Thompson (Tues).
Float Lead Educators – Kerry Powdrell (Mon-Fri), Jessica Howell (Wed-Thurs), Erin Thompson (Fri)
Float Educators – Jenny Densley (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri), Julie Bishop (Thurs, Fri), Tracey (Tues, Thurs)
Lastly I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a safe holiday and New Year. I look forward to seeing all of our families back with us on Monday, 4th January 2016.
Working Bee – I would like to say a huge thank you to all the families that helped out at the working bee. We had a very long list to get through and everyone’s hard work definitely paid off with the Centre looking refreshed. Also we can’t forget to thank Donna for the beautiful cakes she made for us to keep our energy up on the day.
Children being left in the car – We have had concerns from fellow parents that there are still parents leaving children in the car when they come to the Centre to pick siblings up. Whether the air conditioner is on in the car or not there are still risks and dangers with leaving kids in the car. Please do not leave children in the car. The Parent Room is available for older siblings to sit in if you do not want your child’s older siblings to come into the Centre while you pick them up.
Children’s Christmas Party – The Children’s Christmas Party is fast approaching. There are still some opportunities for you to complete your working bee hours if you were not able to come to the official working bee. On the main door at Blackwood Street is a list of roles available on the day at the Children’s Christmas Party. Also don’t forget to bring in a book wrapped and named to the office for Santa to give to your child/children.
Enrolments for 2016 – Enrolments for 2016 are almost finalised. By now you should have received your letter of offer which is confirmation of your 2016 enrolment and forms that need to be filled out and returned. If you have not yet received this or handed your forms in to the office, please see me and I will reprint them for you.
All the tokens have been counted and Blackwood Street Child Centre has been voted number 1 at Grill’d Everton Park for the month of September and will now receive a donation of $300. I would just like to say a huge big thank you for all the support from our families, friends, staff and the wider community who went to Grill’d Everton Park and put a token in our local matters jar.
There has been an increase of parents and carers leaving children in the car while they come into pick up siblings. With the weather heating up I would like to remind you that children are not to be left in the car. You are more than welcome to bring your children into the cool of our parent room until you have collected your children.
As you may be aware recently there was a snake sighting in one of our neighbouring backyards. I would like to assure you that we are doing everything possible to keep the children safe. Staff are very diligent and constantly assessing the playgrounds safety. We have developed a snake sighting procedure and this is currently being practiced with the children. Each staff member has a whistle, if a snake is sighted a staff member will blow the whistle which will signal to the children to stand still where they are and listen to where their carers would like them to calmly walk to. A snake handler will be contacted to remove the snake and only once the area is cleared will the children be allowed to play again outside.
If you would like to know more about this please come and see me.
Blackwood Street Child Centre is on a Local Matters jar at Grill’d Everton Park during September so head into Grill’d Everton Park during September and put your token in the Blackwood Street Child Centre jar. The group with the most tokens in their jar at the end of the month is the winner of the $300 – so the more people that go in and put a token in our jar, the better our chances of winning. Don’t forget to tell family and friends about the Blackwood Street Child Centre Jar.
Wow the past month has been a very busy one. We started the month off with the Oceanlife Experience which gave the children the opportunity to learn about creatures through hands on experiences. It was very great seeing the confidence in the children to touch many unusual and unfamiliar creatures such as sea cucumbers, sea slugs, sea urchins and sea stars.
On 3rd March and 18th March we had our Queensland Fire & Rescue Service Centre audit. The QFRS through this audit looked at the Centre’s evacuation procedures, maintenance records of fire extinguishers and further fire safety documents the Centre is required to keep. We received a pass in all areas. The QFRS then observed an evacuation drill and we were all very excited to then see the fire truck.
On 14th March, eight of our dedicated staff refreshed their CPR and First Aid training. Throughout the year we have two opportunities for staff to annually refresh their CPR and First Aid certificates. This year we would like to give parents the opportunity to do a first aid course at the Centre. Expression of interests are being taken now and a suitable date will be booked in.
Next month on Monday, 13th April we will be holding an information night to parents about language development for children. The information night is free and will be held at the Centre from 6:30pm to 7:30pm and will be run by Belinda Fisher a Speech Pathologist from Let’s Talk Development Hub at Woolloongabba. There will be an opportunity to speak with Belinda individually at the end of the night and if you have any concerns about your child’s language development Belinda can do mini screenings at the Centre for a cost of $40.
With Easter just around the corner, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter and long weekend.
The centre is committed to the professional development of our fabulous team. Through the connections of Sonya Mortimore, our Educational Leader, we have been gifted with the opportunity to connect and visit other centres around our area. Through these visits we are able to reflect on what makes our centre unique, while gaining ideas on room set ups and inspiration on both outdoor and indoor environment setups.
Some areas of interest to the centre are sustainability, a gardening program, a recycle program and enhancing our indoor/outdoor learning experiences. We are currently seeking expressions of interests to guide us with the implementation of our gardening program. If you are a gardening enthusiast and are able to assist the centre to get our gardens, worm farms, and maybe even a compost bin up and running, then we would love to hear from you. We are not asking for endless hours. It maybe that you have some spare time in the mornings and afternoons when you are dropping or picking up your children or a grandparent that would like to visit the centre.
I would like to personally thank all the parents who supported our Bunnings BBQ last Sunday and in the lead up to the day. We had an amazing amount of donations and a great team of parents who helped out. There were a lot of great laughs and great sales pitches from Raul Lapido to sell his lemonade and from Sam Petterfy to sell sausages and Brittany Vella to continue to sell drinks at the end of the day even after we had packed up.