January Family Newsletter 2019

From the Director

The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.
– Maria Montessori

Welcome to Term 1 2019, we hope you all had a relaxing time over the festive season. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new families as well as farewell our school leavers and wish them all the best for their next adventure.


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Important Information from Admin

Signing In/Out

Under the new Child Care Subsidy, as of Monday 14 January 2019, approved providers will be required to report drop off and pick up times for each child for whom Child Care Subsidy is being claimed, when submitting their weekly session reports to the Federal Government. This will ensure that any CCS entitlements are paid and deducted from child/ren daily fee.

Drop of and pick up times are recorded when the parent/guardian sign the child in/out via the iPad.

To ensure your ongoing CCS payments please ensure your child is signed in/out at every attendance.

Statement of Entitlement

Regulations also now require us to provide a Statement of Entitlements (your account) to parents/guardians of children eligible for CCS or ACCS enrolled in our services once every fortnight which includes details of the sessions of care provided and the resulting fee reduction amounts. As a result this will mean that from the next charging (24/1/19) we will be providing you with an account that covers a 4 week period – the current week, the previous week and the next 2 weeks.

Notice of intention to Leave

Long Day Care – When families no longer require a place in the child care classes, the centre must be notified in writing. Please note we require a minimum of 4 weeks written notice. The account will be settled using the funds from the bond payment. If there is any outstanding balance then the family must finalise that immediately. If the family has a credit this amount will be refunded to them once their account has been reconciled.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Once you have provided your 4 week notice period the Child Care Subsidy is only applicable up to your last day of attendance. If your last day of attendance is prior to the end of your 4 week notice period you will be responsible for the payment of the full fee of each day from the last day of attendance until the completion of the 4 week notice period.

Fortnightly Payments

Our Centre relies on the timely payment of fees to enable us to meet our obligations to pay operating costs, most of which have fixed and regular dates for payment. We ask that sufficient funds are held in your nominated account to meet your fortnightly payment.

Accounts are emailed to you on the Tuesday prior to the Thursday charge and we ask that you review your account and contact the Admin Centre by the Wednesday (4pm at the latest) should you have any queries as we are not able to reverse payments after that time

Reminder of Change in payment provider

As previously advised, our software provider is changing the company that processes our payments. Your statements will from 21/1/19 show Debitsuccess (this changes from Ezidebit).

Grow free cart

Have you accessed our cart outside Reception?

Families, staff members and the wider community can drop off their surplus fruits, vegies, preserves, eggs, seeds, seedlings, etc and take someone else’s. It is about giving what you can and taking what you can. If you have anything in which you would like to donate please place it upon the cart http://www.growfree.org.au/


Welcome back for 2019! The Starfish educator team continues into the new year with Zoe, Susie and Hannah.

In January, we have a small group of children we will be supporting in their transition to the Grasshopper Classroom. It was a busy end to 2018, lets look back on the learning shared together.

During October, we completed our Montessori Sensorial unit, exploring the final 3 senses Visual (identifying differences), Baric (pressure and weight) and Auditory (discriminating between sounds). We displayed the experiences offered to the children through the classroom display board connecting it to our Centre philosophy. A highlight this month was having a donation of outdoor resources, just in time for the warmer weather!

Throughout November we spent more time outside and ensured there was a rotation of meaningful experiences prepared alongside the gross-motor activities. We invited the children to engage in gardening, creative arts, imaginative play with small worlds and sensorial experiences in the outdoor tubs!

In November, we also observed the children demonstrating extended focus and persistence with fine motor challenges. It was delightful to observe them experimenting to discover effective strategies when using stacking, nesting and open/close resources.

In December, we began our end of year celebrations creating family gifts, exploring themed sensorial and creative activities, enjoying joyful music and movement opportunities and coming together for the Centre Party. Through recurring parent input; encouraging verbal communication and supporting independent toileting was a big focus that we have continued into the new year!

The activities of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum are divided into three categories; Care of the Environment, Care of the Person (oneself) and Grace and Courtesy.

Each fortnight we continue focus on an element from each category. Each element is chosen based on either following the children’s interests, parent input or intentional teaching. So far, for ‘Care of the environment’ we have focused on washing, packing up and resetting, caring for centre pets and maintaining our garden.

For ‘Care of the person (oneself)’ we have concentrated on supporting the children through dressing and undressing themselves, self-help skills at meal times, participating personal space and safe play, applying sun protection and increased water intake during warmer days.

We have used circle time to promote our ‘Grace and Courtesy’ topics such as taking turns, respectful interactions, verbal communication for needs and welcoming others.

In October, we began our ‘Trip around the World’ exposing our children to different cultures by introducing other people’s way of life; their writing, religion, music, clothes and cooking. We immersed ourselves in Japan in October, India in November, stopped in December for festive celebrations and now restarting in Australia for January.

We look forward to celebrating Australia’s culture with ‘Australia Day’ coming up this month! Acknowledging our Indigenous community, participating in Australian inspired cooking experiences and enjoying Australia’s music and sport!

We look forward to another great year!

From the Starfish Team

I’d like to say a warm welcome to all the children and families in the Canary room.

The transitioning children have settled well into the daily routine and have begun establishing friendships with peers and educators. If you have any concerns please do no hesitate to come and see me because I’m more than happy to work with you to assist in you child’s development and learning. To further assist a communication diary is located in each room to enable families to write important messages to the educators.

We have started our learning about recycling! We have organised an area in the classroom with different coloured bins for our recycled items. The children have been busy cutting blue and green pictures from magazines to create a picture of the earth, which will be displayed above our recycle bins in the Canary classroom.

The children have been involved in group times where they need to sort different items and place into the correct recycle bin.

Each fortnight we focus on a different letter-sound. During morning group time, the children trace around the letter using their finger and then look at pictures of objects that begin with the letter-sound. The children are encouraged to draw a picture of something that begins with the letter-sound on the white board.

During individual lessons I have been teaching the children about the letter-sounds in their names by referring back to the letter-sounds chart and also working on their name writing skills. The children are encouraged to practice writing their names after they have traced around the letter so they understand how to write the letter. The children liked drawing a picture of themselves after writing their names!

The Canary children practice writing the sound of the week and also draw pictures of objects that start with the sound of the week in their Literacy Book. We have been learning how to hold the pencil with the correct pencil grip (we have pencil grips) and also learning how to write the letters the correct way (children learn this through tracing around the letter flash cards).

The children are each provided with a large name tag so they can start learning how to write their names, either tracing on the window or traced on the table. The children seem to like tracing their names and then decorating their names with a variety of materials such as paint, glitter and coloured bits of paper.

The Canary daily routine and fortnightly plan are displayed in the room – I encourage families to provide feedback on both documents to ensure that the children.

From the Canary Team

An over view from the last three months of learning in the grasshopper room, our veggie patch has surpassed our expectations, the grasshopper have a morning routine where they take it in turns to water the garden; which at this point in time has a pumpkin plant growing, chives, rhubarb, sliver bet, carrots, cabbage and cucumber.

They are getting close to picking and placing out on the grow free cart. Our plan for the next lot of veggies included tomatoes and strawberries.

Our cooking lessons have extended to using different kitchen tools nutribullet and with the centre menu the children have been offered the chance to make scones, pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, rolls, meat balls, salad making, fruit cutting, juicing and pancakes every second Friday.

Over the coming months, the cooking lesson will be held in the kitchen where the children will be offered the chance to cook lunch for the whole centre.

A big thanks to Jessica and Emma who came into the centre back in September with baby chickens for the whole centre to take a look out. Oliver, Torry, Alex, Zach and Carla all seemed to enjoy this hands on experiences holding the chickens and asking Jessica how to care for them.

Since October our grasshopper family has grown Torry, Maple and Alex have joined us from the starfish room. We have also had Nicholas, Lucas, Kai, Aisha, Lara and Imogen join our Treasured tots family who have settled well into the room and are build connections with educators and peers.

We have also had Albert move into the canary room taking the next step in his education Albert will soon be joined by Emma, Lara and Alana.

The creative experiences in the classroom have included shaving foam, ice, coloured ice, playdough, feet painting, slime making, drawing, painting, sticky tape, gluing and making beaches in the sand pit. A favourite seemed to be hands on creative experiences shaving foam and food colouring; all the children enjoyed changing the colour and burying their hands in the foam.

Steph and I hope you have enjoy seeing the art work coming home.

Our classroom routine has changed to suit the children needs and one change has been a group time dedicated to music, which involves action songs, nursery rhymes, musical instruments and cd books this is well received by all the children; they all pick their instruments sit down on the mat, the educators ask what song they would like and while singing shake and bang their instruments making their own beat.

If at any time you wish to find out more about your child’s day all would like to share some information about your weekend please speak with Vanda or Steph.

From the Grasshopper Team