From the Director
Hi everyone, welcome to another Brahma Lodge Newsletter. Well Happy Feet is finally back, we have a lovely new teacher called Mel who has come to us with a fantastic background in fitness and family day care. The children have loved getting back into the swing of things and fondly remember all of the songs and moves. If your child is not enrolled in the Happy Feet Program and would like to attend on a Tuesday, let me know and I can send them for a trial first. It costs $9.50 per week and incorporates dance and fitness with a different educational theme each week.
We would like to welcome all our new families who have started with us over the last few months. It’s always lovely to watch new friendships blossom and witness the ease children have with one another. We hope you enjoy your time spent here. We’d also like to farewell Hudson in the Canary room who has been with us from day one and leaves us to start his journey at school. He has been a treasured member of our little community and all his friends are going to miss him dearly.
School photos have been taken and are currently processing. We expect to have them back in the next 3-4 weeks.
Have a read of The Importance of Outdoor Play blog (Taken from the Montessori Academy)…..
With the chill of winter settling in, it is timely to discuss the importance of outdoor play. During the cooler months, it is common for children to be restricted to indoor play at home, and only permitted to play outdoors when it is warm and sunny.
Many parents fear that their children will not “like” being outside in the cold, or that they will get sick from being outside in the cold fresh air. For this reason, it is particularly important that young children enjoy outdoor activities in their early childhood education service.
Playing outside in autumn, winter, and early spring, each present their own unique opportunities for exploration and learning. Therefore, outdoor play should be embraced in all types of weather, as it is crucial for children’s ongoing development.
Most adults associate winter with getting colds and illnesses such as the flu. However, it is not exposure to the cold that cause these viruses. In fact, it’s likely to be increased exposure to poorly ventilated indoor environments, where bacteria and viruses live. By encouraging outdoor play in winter, children gain much needed exposure to fresh air and Vitamin D, while avoiding bacteria.
During the spring and summer, children become familiar with bright green foliage, flowers in bloom, and a warm climate. As the change in season, they come to see different characteristics in their environment, such as brown grass, fallen leaves, and ice.
These developments provide children with new experiences and opportunities, such as learning about the seasons, and the life cycles of plants. Through outdoor play in the winter, children also learn to see their environment through a different lens, and progress from being unconscious to conscious observers of their environment.
It is important that children remain active in the cooler months so that they continue to build emerging skills that are crucial to their physical development.
Outdoor activities also promote emotional health benefits, such as self-confidence, and the ability to assess risks. By encouraging outdoor play in the winter, children learn to identify hazards, such as slippery surfaces, and moderate their behaviour to ensure their safety.
Social outdoor play also provides children the opportunity to exercise and stretch their imaginations. In winter, the physical changes to the outdoor environment provide children with new opportunities for socio-dramatic play, and winter-themed games.
There are so many benefits of being outside in winter, we do not want to miss opportunities to learn and play just because the weather is cold. All we ask is that children come prepared: pack coats, beanies, gloves and several changes of warm clothes so we can keep them snug and safe. We also highly encourage gumboots. You are welcome to leave them in your child’s locker or pack them each day if you please, but they will be a saviour of socks and shoes if it is muddy outside. We will endeavour to source a stock of gumboots to have at the centre but in the meantime, some from home would be great.
It is extremely important that you regularly check your MyGov as Centrelink may send you tasks and messages requesting you to update your details with them and to notify you of any changes to your entitlements. It is important to understand that it is the families’ responsibility to manage your CCS with Centrelink.
For some of our families the annual CCS cap may have been reached which means that until 30/6/19 full fees will apply. The annual cap will reset on 1/7/19.
As some of you may be aware, there have been many “glitches” (Centrelink’s own wording) in the new CCS system. We have attempted to notify you when we have identified changes to your CCS but, as we do not receive any notification this may not always be the case.
Some important points that you need to be aware of regarding CCS entitlements are that children can have up to 42 absences (including public holidays and sick days) before your CCS is no longer paid. If your child has 8 weeks of consecutive absences, Centrelink will cease your child’s CCS enrolment and recover any paid CCS back to their last physical day of attendance. If you travel overseas, CCS is no longer claimable if you are absent for 6 consecutive weeks. If any of these instances are likely to occur it is very important you discuss this with your Director.
Can you please ensure you regularly check your emails as this is the primary means of communication from the Administration Hub.
Stay warm everyone.
The youngest members of our community have been hard at work developing their gross motor skills. From crawling, first steps at walking, rolling, sitting, and standing to climbing steps, jumping, running and whole body manoeuvring. These skills are fundamental to children’s balance, co-ordination and movement of their large muscles.
We recently welcomed a new friend to the classroom. Our pet fish, Barry. Children assisted in setting up his bowl with rocks, a plant and water before introducing him to his new home. We talked about how fish swim and named many other aquatic animals that also swim. Barry has proven to be very popular and receives lots of attention throughout the day. In the coming weeks we will explore other sea creatures and what they look like.
We have observed increasing group participation lately and are proud of the negotiation, turn taking, ‘communication’ and patience that is developing. Children are becoming very familiar and comfortable with one another which enables confident and happy children.
Miranda, Chris and Amal continue to be the three permanent Primary Carer’s in the room. If you need to discuss any issues or changes or just want to touch base please don’t hesitate to approach any of us. We like to keep as up to date as possible and in turn are more than happy to do the same. We really appreciate all the lovely feedback we have recently received and cherish the connections and bonds we are creating daily.
The Starfish Team.
A special welcome to our new families who have joined us from the Starfish Room and others who are fresh to the centre experiencing their first Child Care moments. It can be daunting to begin with, but very rewarding as children settle and find their way. We have had a big focus on making transitions into the room as smooth as possible by nurturing children’s needs and emotions and learning their routines and cues. We assist by constantly communicating with them so they know what is happening and what is coming next, we move slowly and act with purpose so the environment makes sense to them.
Arts and Cooking have been a favourite these last couple of months. Children are very interested in cutting and painting so these are activities we have readily available. Cooking experiences are becoming more often as they are a fantastic opportunity to develop an array of skills. Maths, science, fine motor, collaboration and turn taking. In addition, there is an added bonus of eating something yummy you have created.
We have ventured out on several nature walks with our buckets in hand. We make our way around the block in a small group and collect flowers, twigs, acorns and leaves to bring back to the centre and create with. We often talk about how to be safe near the road and to Stop, Look and Listen.
Sensory Exploration is very much enjoyed in the Blue Jay room, especially when it is messy like gloop. The children used different resources to make patterns in the gloop and used their hands and fingers to feel the texture. They scooped it up with their fingers and watched it drip back into the tub. There was lots of discussion about hot, cold, sticky, wet, dry, hard and soft.
We look forward to what the next few months will bring and ask that you share with us anything new, exciting or out of the ordinary that may occur outside of Treasured Tots. We enjoy being able to connect the two together.
Blue Jay Team
As of Monday the 3rd of June Rachel has been appointed the new Permanent Qualified in the Canary Room, she will work Monday – Thursday alongside Caitlin who works Tuesday – Friday. With the numbers growing during the week, we are looking at putting a third staff member in to cover Monday, Friday and possibly one other day to help share the work load of programming and primary care. We will keep you posted as to who this may be.
A few weeks ago we celebrated National Reconciliation Week and we learned some amazing things about our indigenous culture. We used natural resources such as leaves to do a variety of printing and painting, we created dot paintings and aboriginal symbols and made and decorated “Talking Sticks” that are used at meeting times. This has taught us about everyone getting a fair chance to talk without interruption, and showing respect to all, especially our Elders or “Olders” as the children would say. The theme of Reconciliation week was ‘Grounded in Truth- Walking together with Courage’ so we had many discussions about working together to keep harmony and looking after each other, particularly our new and younger children in the room We discussed being honest, taking responsibility for our actions and awareness of our feelings, as well as others.
Construction is such a huge part of the day at Treasured Tots, especially amongst the boys. Lots of collaborating and imaginative work is produced when using blocks, magnetics, duplo, stickle bricks, gears and more. We’ve seen robots, car parks, fire stations, rocket ships, work sites and ‘the tallest tower ever’!
We have noticed that quite few of our children are wanting to bring drink bottles to childcare. We have decided, in consultation with Naomi, that we would like children to bring in water bottles from home.
This will help with our sustainability in using the dishwasher, cross- contamination of germs and would be good practice for school readiness. So please bring in a labelled bottle for your child, but please remember that they must go home and be washed at the end of the day. If you forget to bring one, we will still have glasses and water available. The glasses will still be used at meal times to aid independence and practical life skills.
I am sure you have noticed that the weather is freezing at the moment especially in the mornings and evenings. Unfortunately, we are unable to keep children inside all day and it is really good for them to experience different climates so if you could please provide warm coats, beanies and perhaps gumboots so that the children can enjoy the experience of winter play. We will certainly be mindful of those who have coughs and colds. Remember: “It is not about the weather, it is about appropriate clothing.”
Finally, could we just remind families that children should not be bringing food into the Centre from home. It is vitally important as per our policy that we are able to monitor what food is provided to ensure we are mindful of allergies, cultural beliefs and nutrition.
The Canary Room Team.