As part of our commitment to embedded critical thinking and action regarding sustainability, we have set our children a very important task! Children from all age groups will be involved in conducting a sustainability audit for the centre!! Over the coming weeks, the educators will be assisting children to look around our centre and comment on how we manage waste, air, electricity etc. The educators have also planned  some fantastic provocative questions for conversations, ‘Can air be dirty?’, ‘Where does electricity come from?’, ‘Where does the water go?’ ‘Who needs water?’ etc…
After receiving back the audits, Chloe and Anna will devise a plan of action, informed by the requests of the children.

What Next: Make improvements to operations to improve sustainable practices.

Quality Areas: 3.2.3, 1.2.3

A run-in with some bad plumbing today has made Anna and I reflect on sustainable practices within our service. How can we improve our relationship with our environment? In what creative ways can we educate the children about the impact our lives have on the world around us? We have started this journey by asking for suggestions from families. We will then take these ideas to our professional development day in April to assist in establishing a sustainability statement, policy and plan of action. Please feel free to contact us with your ideas!

What Next: Family consultation

Quality Areas: 3.2.3, 6.2.3,

Anna and Chloe both grew up in different states. We both found it tricky to move to a new area with children and not know ‘the basics’. After chatting about this experience we decided to start a project that would serve a dual purpose – to connect new families to the services in the area, and to support some of the small business owners in our community. And so, the My Story Local Services Directory is born. This will be distributed to current and new families. Inside they will find all they need to know as a parent in the Hills District (e.g. late night chemists, vets, therapists, playgroups, early intervention, financial counselling, migrant support etc.).

What Next: Continue to connect with local services to gain insight and advice regarding the welfare of young children and their families.

Quality Areas: 6.1.3, 6.2.3

 

 

Thank you Miss Narges for your beautiful decoration of our foyer in celebration of Persian New Year! We are very lucky this year to have Harmony Day and ‘Norooz’ on the same day. The Preschool children have also completed some pictures of their own interpretations of the decorations.
All of our educators are making plans to bring experiences from other cultures into the program so that all children can feel a sense of belonging, and to ensure that all cultures, values and beliefs are respected in our service.

What Next: Diversify our menu to incorporate traditional dishes from cultures represented in our community.

Quality Areas: 6.1.2, 6.2.3

 

A casual chat in the staff room about the different cultures and experiences the educators and staff bring to this service has led us to reflect on our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture. On reflection, we all felt like we should be more knowledgeable about our indigenous cultures, and specifically those of our local land. To kick start a larger piece of improvement work around cultures, difference and inclusion we have started a Reconciliation Action Plan. As we navigate this process we will share updates with you, and ask for feedback from families and educators. If you are part of our community and either identify as Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander, or you have some knowledge you could share with us, please get in touch.

What Next: Develop a comprehensive RAP and share with families/community

Quality Area: 6.2.2

…Kind of…

Chloe has contributed a chapter to a book titled “Working Mums – Stories by real women on how they manage children, work and life”. Chloe was approached to contribute to this book after she experienced her ’15 minutes of fame’ after her Open Letter to Senator Leyonhjelm in response to his comments on ECEC went viral. In the chapter, Chloe talks about her experience as both a provider (owner/Director) and consumer (Mummy!) of Early Childhood Education and Care. The book is available for parents to borrow and flip through if they would like to. Hopefully some of the stories resonate or even inspire the families of our community.

Quality Areas: 6.1, 6.2.3

Our service is growing, and so Anna and Chloe have reflected on our staffing and rostering arrangements. We wanted to free up one of our permanent educators to float between rooms, offering a helping had during routine times during the day and allowing educators to program for their children. To facilitate that we have hired the wonderful Jade full-time to teach a group of older toddlers. We (children, families and staff!) are very lucky to have her join the My Story Community.

What Next: Roster mindfully to ensure children and families always have a familiar face at drop off and pick up.

Quality Areas: 7.1.5, 4.1.1

Anna and Chloe, together with Room Leaders and the Educational Leader have spent some time in meetings reflecting on our ability to support children with special needs. We believe that observation and documentation of children’s learning and development isn’t simply a regulatory obligation, it should be an opportunity to proactively assess the physical environment and educational program with a view to improving engagement for ALL children. To this end, we have begun liaising with the Inclusion Support Officers within the Inclusion Support program. Over the coming months we intend to consult and then embed changes in all quality areas so that ALL of the children in our community can thrive equitably.

What Next:Provide parents with Parent/Teacher evenings to discuss their child’s individual needs.

Quality Areas:6.1.3, 6.2.2

Since taking over the service Chloe and Anna have been wanting to ‘warm up’ the front foyer. We think it’s important for a child’s first impression of our centre to be one of wonder and warmth, rather that sterility or formality. Chloe was VERY excited about the prospect of donating her husband’s tree root to the centre. Although it is definitely a beautiful piece, it does take up quite a lot of living space in a 3 bedroom house! Van (Our cook) has assisted the children in propagating succulents to decorate the tree root. We hope that many children to come can experience a little bit of the magic of the natural world when they come into our space.

What Next: Involve the children in some herb and vegetable growing.

Quality Areas: 1.2.2, 3.3.2

 

As part of our continuing effort to improve the centre and meet the needs of our family, we sent out a new survey to families. In this survey we focussed on the expeditions families have of our educational practice documentation, and the improvements they would most like to see in the physical environment for the upcoming quarter. Anna, Chloe, Rick and Will have met to analyse the results and form a business plan for the months ahead. As always, we appreciate the feedback from families and feel excited to be collaborating in a meaningful way.

What Next: Inform families of the planned improvements. Provide consistent documentation of educational program and practice centre-wide.

Quality Areas: 1.1.4, 6.1.2