February/March 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to my favourite season of the year, Autumn – absolutely the best time of year in Canberra – it really looks its best as the leaves change colour and the first frosts appear. Roll on winter is my motto, I am not a summer person!
I hope the recent heavy downpour of rain did not cause too much disruption or damage to your home or workplace. The rain was needed however, not so heavily in the short period of time. I am pleased to report the UPCCC buildings are old but very sturdy and withstood the deluge.
Since the last newsletter, several new families have commenced at UPCCC. We welcome you to our community and hope your time with us is happy and rewarding.
At the start of each year one of the main focus areas in our education program is building a positive Educator-child relationship. This relationship assists the children to feel secure, which then enables them to explore, play and learn. As I go around the centre throughout the day I see how well our Educators are supporting each child’s transition to their room, and how the children are happy and engaged in play and learning.
We look forward to a great 2018. We have a variety of events planned for the year, including incursions and excursions for the children and also community events for all the families. We will keep you informed as the events draw near, and hope you will be able to join us. Helen Chan our Educational Leader has booked Kenny Koala to visit the Toddlers and Preschool late in Term 1.
ACT Policing’s Constable Kenny Koala is designed to educate children in child care, preschools and primary-aged school on a range of safety themes, and to encourage them to turn to police for help and advice. Helen also booked the very popular Jungle’ Jamming which will be returning in Term 2 and presenting a workshop where the children will experience the fun of drumming, singing and dancing with the most amazing performers. These performers were well received last year by the children and staff. The preschool educators performed some great dance steps to the beat of the children’s drumming skills
Finally, a reminder to parents to be patient, drive slowly and take care when entering and leaving the car park. Avoid walking across the car park, use the footpaths and always hold your child by the hand. Remember, road safety starts with you.
Update on Garden upgrade
The garden is now progressing steadily with the handover date still March 2018. Our nursery and toddler Educators are so pleased to have more access to a larger area of the inner garden and the children are enjoying the additional space to explore. The children were excited with the arrival of the mini Bobcat, they had a birdseye view as it dug up the nursery garden area.
A very big THANK YOU goes to all of our Educators who have continued to give the children such excellent care and education opportunities under extreme conditions. It is a testament to the professionalism of our educators that the care and education of the children and the support for families during transition continued so smoothly.
Dates for your diary
Thursday, 29th March 2018
University Preschool & Child Care Centre – Gecko room
A light luncheon will be provided between 12.00 & 12.30
The AGM will commence at 12.30 and go to 1.30
We look forward to many of our parents joining us for your AGM.
Staff Development Day – Friday 13th July 2018
The UPCCC Management Committee places a great emphasis on providing professional development opportunities for their staff. Ensuring our educators are informed and up to date with recent developments in Early Childhood Education is an important part of providing quality programmes for the children. As well as opportunities for individual educators to participate in training throughout the year, the committee sets aside one pupil free day per year to enable the whole UPCCC staff team to participate in a comprehensive tailored workshop. UPCCC joins with Heritage Centre and Cubby on Campus Centre for Staff Development Day (SDD) which is held in the July School holidays on Friday, 13th July. Pop this date in your diary now as the centre will be closed. More information on this year’s SDD coming soon.
Workshop on Feeding Fussy Eaters – Wednesday, 11th April
Are you in need of help with managing your fussy eater or are lacking inspiration for meal and snack ideas to feed your family?
Parents are very welcome to join us in a 2 hour workshop presented by Kate Freeman a registered nutritionist, health writer, presenter and owner of The Healthy Eating Hub in Harrison. This session is designed to teach you more about preparing healthy meals and snacks using fresh foods in a way that is simple, fresh and balanced.
The session will take place in Gecko room at UPCCC on Wednesday, 11th April – 6.30 to 8.30.
Please let Lynley or Eileen know if you would like to attend.
Early Childhood Influenza Vaccination Program (ECIVP) 2018
Our neighbours at Heritage Centre have arranged for an Influenza Vaccination Clinic to be held at Heritage Centre on Friday 18th May from 10.00am to 1.00pm. This service is offered to childcare centres in Australia and aims to increase vaccination rates in children and reduce the incidence and spread of influenza. UPCCC and Heritage Centre children, parents and staff will have convenient access to an influenza vaccination within the childcare setting. For more information refer to the ECIVP Fact Sheet. More information will be emailed prior to 18th May.
UPCCC Intergenerational Program
Goodwin Age Care Ainslie commenced their monthly visits to Toddlers on Tuesday, 27th February. Our visitors were warmly greeted by the Toddlers, who then proceeded to use the Home Corner tea set to offer our visitors a ‘cuppa’. This led to lovely interactions between the children and visitors. We had a great sing-a-long, much enjoyed by all. It is amazing to see how the visitors enjoy many of the ‘old’ songs. They remember the words and their eyes light up, their feet start tapping and they love to dance and sway to our singing. It is a beautiful scene to watch. The next visit is scheduled for Tuesday, 20th March.
Around The Rooms
Orientation visits are still ongoing, and we continue to focus on supporting families during transition to the centre and building relationships with our families.
Orientation visits continue and staff spend time with each family sharing information about the children’s needs and routines and ensuring parents know they are welcome to visit their baby anytime during the day.
We are growing some future mountaineers in Gumnuts with lots of interest in climbing high. The Educators have set up a set of steps to enable the children to further develop and challenge their gross motor skills. Picture books and conversations are happening throughout the day. We observe the children sitting on the knee of their educators enjoying a cuddle, chat or sharing a book. These everyday encounters support the children to build and grow strong relationships over time.
The Possums educators are supporting their children to develop independence by providing real tasks and challenges that allow children to attempt difficult and challenging work. The children are given the opportunity to remove their bibs and wipe their faces after meals, and many are very keen on removing and putting on their own socks and shoes. Experiences that are not simple and that require practice and perseverance help children to become resilient and provide a sense of tremendous achievement
The Bilbies and Kooaburras have been out and about in the community. As well as the visit from the Residents of Goodwin Ainslie the Kookaburras and Bilbies enjoyed a morning walk and babyccino at the ANU Supermarket. They were warmly welcomed by the supermarket staff and the babyccino’s were a great hit! Then it was off to Crawford School Gardens to explore the environment. There they met the Preschool children and together they had great fun. The benefits of our outings enables the children to enjoy and learn to care for the natural environment and it is a great form of exercise that promotes well-being and good physical activity.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year our Bilby Educator May cooked fried rice for the children’s lunch. It was not only a delicious treat, it tasted so good many of the children came back for second and third helpings. The value of cultural celebrations includes increasing the children’s understanding of, and respect for, diversity and differences
The gymnastics program is progressing well and very popular with the children. Discovery walks to the Crawford School Garden were enjoyable, with the children exploring and collecting lots of natural resources from the environment. New pavers were laid in the garden, and the workmen were not only busy laying the bricks, they were busy answering lots of questions from the children.
One of the goals for the Gecko room is to empower the children and support independence. The teachers have introduced a “Leader of the Day” program, which enables each child to have the opportunity to be an “assistant teacher”of their class for the whole day. Each day one of the preschool children is given the responsibility to support the teacher’s by being the classroom helper. Giving young children the opportunity to be in-charge of the group empowers the child, supports the growth of independence and is a proud moment for the child