April 2017 – Newsletter
I hope you enjoyed the Easter holidays and had a chance to catch up on some relaxation time with your family.
Since the March Newsletter we have had several new families join the UPCCC community. We welcome these families and hope their time with us will be happy and rewarding.
Food Week was a huge success and we thank our parents for the support they give to this great centre fund raising activity. Our educators work hard to ensure the children are offered a lovely variety of nutritious foods
Toddler Playground Construction
You will have noticed Eddie has been busy building a new bridge in the Toddler garden (with the assistance of his band of Toddler apprentices).
Our Educational Leader Mel is arranging several exciting excursions for the children during April and May.
Autumn is here
Autumn is here and it s time to add warmer clothing to your child’s spare clothes locker. Don’t forget to add spare socks – there is nothing worse than cold feet!
Management Committee Report
The first business of the meeting was the election of office bearers for the 2017 UPCCC Management Committee.
Stephanie Peatling reported on the success of the Annual General Meeting held on Friday, 31st March, and thanked those parents who attended.
How Children Learn Through Play
Play is something in which humans of all ages from diverse cultures engage, although the purpose for and the type of play may be different across ages and cultures. Relationships between children and with adults are central to learning and teaching through play. Two-way interactions and the exchange of ideas and thinking between children and adults in play contexts influence children’s continued motivation, sustained interest in the experience and what they learn.
UPCCC Children out and about - UPCCC is very fortunate to be located in the most beautiful setting in Canberra and our educators and children have been taking the opportunity to go out and about to look at the wildlife and the blossoming trees around the lake and on campus. Recently, the toddlers went for a picnic lunch by the lake, and the Gecko’s ‘buddied’ with the Gumnut babies for a walk to the sculpture garden at Crawford School. The Gecko’s did an amazing job taking care of the babies and whilst out walking, they met our lovely neighbours from Heritage Centre and enjoyed a walk and chat with them. An excursion to the ACTION Bus Wash is being planned for November, this is a most popular excursion and this year some of the nursery children have been invited to join this exciting outing. More details about this excursion will soon be available in each room
Sun Safe Reminder - An important reminder that from the beginning of August is Hats ON Again for all ACT early childhood services. In Canberra average daily UV levels reach 3and above for part or most of every day between August and May. From the beginning of August through to the end of May 2017 sun protection will be required for at least part or most of each day in Canberra (yes, not necessarily all day).
UPCCC YOGA PROGRAM - UPCCC is fortunate to have a trained Yoga Teacher on staff. Our Educational Leader Mel Collings is trained to teach Yoga to adults and children. Mel has recently returned to work following Maternity Leave and will resume Yoga in every section on Mondays commencing 3rd October.
Is Yoga beneficial for children ? The answer is yes! Yoga is a fun way for children to develop important skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment. In the yoga class there is a balance between spontaneity and structure, so that the children learn to listen to each other as well as express themselves creatively. Children learn best when they are having fun, so Yoga for children classes interweave story, song, games and poses, allowing children to learn in a multi-sensory environment which explores kinesthetic, visual, aural, inter-and-intra-personal learning. This makes yoga for the children much more active than yoga for adults, and much more fun!
2017 Enrolment Requirements - Thank you to those parents who returned the Enrolment Requirements for 2017 Survey, your prompt response is very much appreciated. It may seem a little early to ask for your care and preschool requirements for next year however, it takes time to consider each request to vary your child/children’s current enrolled days and to work out how we can best assist you. We then have to match your days with families on the waiting list. This task will be on going until late October – early November, when Lynley will email you confirmation of 2017 enrolment.
We understand that circumstances will mean some parents will have to make late changes to their requested days and we will do our best to accommodate your needs however, we are unable to make definite promises at this time. If you have not returned your survey please do so as soon as possible.
UPCCC AGM – this will be held next Thursday, 24th March 2016, between 12 & 1.30 pm. A light luncheon will be available from 12 pm and the meeting will start promptly at 12.30 pm. If you are able to attend please contact the centre on 61254113
Children’s Common World Relations – Our Preschool has been invited by Associate Professor Affrica Taylor from UC and Dr Tonya Rooney from ACU to be part of a research project looking at Children’s Common World Relations. A small group of 12 children from both the Geckos and Echidnas will be participating in the Project and will participate in regular walks with Affrica and Tonya as well as a Preschool Teacher and any parents that want to join in. The aim of this project is to develop an early years environmental pedagogy that:
- encourages children to pay close attention to the nonhuman inhabitants and features of their local natural environment (or what is referred to as the children’s ‘common world’s’);
- builds upon the ‘common world’ relations that children form through their repeated interactions with wildlife, natural features and elements in their local environment. For instance, this might include children’s relations with insects, trees, grasses, water, birds, rocks…; and,
- Finally, considers the way in which the weather and the seasons affect relations and fosters an environmental ethics of care based upon these real- life relations.
The children will go on regular weekly or fortnightly walks on Thursdays. The aim of the walks is for the children to explore the natural environment around the Centre, and to observe and record their interactions with the wildlife, natural features and elements that they find there. The researchers will use a combination of field notes, photographs and short video clips to record these observations. The children will also be given the opportunity to take photos and short video clips of the things that interest them while on the walks. The AV recordings made on the walks will be available for parents to view, and will be integrated into the Centre’s standard practices of pedagogical documentation and feedback on children’s learning.
The project also involves the children interpreting what they have seen, heard, felt and discovered and sharing their insights with each other and the rest of the children in the Preschool.
Further information regarding this research can be found at http://commonworlds.net/portfolio_page/walking-with-wildlife-in-wild-weather-times/ There is also a blog page which will have notes on the various walks and children’s discoveries. The blogs can be found at http://commonworlds.net/category/walking-with-wildlife-inwild-weather-blog/
We are excited to be a part of this project and look forward to our ongoing involvement.
A message from ACT Government - SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT A new ‘Child Development Service’ has commenced this year in the ACT supporting families with concerns about their child’s development. This may include concerns with speech and language, movement, hand skills, self care, social or emotional development.
This new service will provide assessment and referral for children 0-6 years, as well as children up to 8 years with complex needs and who have not had a previous diagnosis. An autism assessment is also available for children aged to 12 years.
Some initial therapy sessions for children who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be provided.
For more information visit
REMINDER - We remind parents to drive slowly and with great 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. REMEMBERRoad Safety starts with YOU.
Management Committee - The University Preschool & Child Care Centre is an Incorporated Association and all of our families are automatically members of the association. We are a Community Based not for profit centre and we are managed by a voluntary Management Committee comprised of parents, the Director and representatives from the staff.
Our AGM will be held on 24th March and more information about this very important meeting will be included in the February Newsletter. From February, when all of our new families have commenced, we will be actively encouraging parents to consider joining the 2016 committee.
If you would like to find out more information on the role of the management committee, the sections, the curriculum, or if you have any concerns, or any great ideas that you feel would benefit the centre, please do not hesitate to contact Lynley, Eileen a staff member or a Management Committee member. We are here to assist you in any way and also to ensure that your needs are being met and that your family is welcomed and that you feel you are a special member of UPCCC
New Families - We extend our thanks to parents & Children new to UPCCC for the time spent in the centre during orientation. This is such an important time where you have the opportunity to spend as much time as you need with your educators sharing information and insight about your special child. We recognize that no one knows your child better than you do, and we value your advice and knowledge. Similarly we are more than happy to share information with you about your child’s experiences and progress each day. As well as the important daily discussions, we encourage you to take time to look though the floor books and daily journals which have photos and stories about happenings throughout the day.
We welcome and enjoy having parents visit and share their interests, culture or talents (musical, cooking, art, craft, hobbies, professional, even spending time reading a story, sharing your language through song and storytelling) with the children. If you would like to be involved in this way, don’t be shy, talk with your Educators and together you can organize a time to present your contribution to the program.
The end of the year is fast approaching with only 2 days before our last day for 2015 so I thought I would take this time to wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season. I hope that you have the chance to relax and catch up with family and friends over the holiday break. Thank you all for your support during the year and for sharing your children with us during 2015.
Our numbers have been low this week and the staff have been busy cleaning tables, chairs, cupboards and benches and striping art works from walls in readiness for a fresh clean start to the New Year. Walking around the rooms this morning you can’t help but notice how bare and lacking in life they seem.
For those families and children who have already left for the year and will be moving on to new adventures in 2016, I wish you all the best. For those families that will be returning to UPCCC in 2016, I look forward to welcoming you and your children back for another challenging and rewarding year.
All the best
Our last day for 2014 has arrived. Our numbers have been low this week so we have been combining the children into one room in each section which has provided the opportunity to strip the vacant rooms to prepare them for our annual clean and walking around the rooms this morning you can’t help but notice how bare and lacking in life they seem.
I would like to thank all our families for their support and for sharing their children with us during 2014. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and look forward to another challenging but rewarding year in 2015
Thank you to those parents who returned the Parent Surveys. Ensuring we are able to assist enrolled families with their requirements for Preschool and child care in 2015 takes some time to organise however, Lynley has been able to give most parents the days they require. We are now in the process of inviting new families to join UPCCC in 2015, and those families are very excited to be joining our community.
Centre Refurbishment Update
The centre refurbishments are scheduled to commence in January 2015. The major work will take place in the Nursery with a children’s toilet to be installed in Possums. In addition to this all current entry ramps and steps will be replaced, shatter proof film will be attached to windows and fire alarms and emergency exit signs will be upgraded. This work is scheduled to take 6 to 8 weeks and during this time the nursery section will be relocated. Parents will receive full details of how we will manage during the refurbishment process once the commencement date is set. Don’t worry, as we have been through previous centre refurbishments and the staff are skilled with relocating groups and making everything work well.
The Preschool and Toddler Food Week was a great success The children enjoyed the daily menu and our parents appreciated a week of not having to prepare lunches. Food Week is one of our most popular and successful fund raising events.
A Time of Sad Farewells
Sadly at this time of the year we are saying goodbye to many of our Gecko children, as they leave to commence primary school. Many of these children commenced in Gumnuts with Mirja, Cass, Home and myself and we have very fond memories of the children and their families. We have watched them grow and develop amazing skills and now they are very excited and ready for the next big stage in life. We wish the children and their families all the very best for the future. We like to keep in contact with our families and welcome your visits and emails to keep us updated on your child’s progress.
Centre Holiday Period Closure
Our last day will be Wednesday, 24th December 2014. We will then be closed until Tuesday, 6th January 2015.
The Management & Staff extend our very best wishes to all our families for a very happy, peaceful & safe Christmas holiday season
Happy Christmas to all
31/10/2014 – Halloween dress up day
11 & 14/11/2014 – Class Photos
19/11/2014 – Parent Information Sessions for 2015 placements
24 – 28/11/2014 – Food Week
5/12/2014 – Children’s end of year party
24/12/2014 – Last day for 2014
6/01/2015 – First day for 2015
Market Day Success
Thank you to all of you who came along and supported our Market Day. What a wonderful day it was. The weather was perfect, the chefs on the BBQ turned out magnificent food, the offerings on the Bake Stall were irresistible and the donations of quality toys and clothes ensured there were bargains galore to be had.
It was lovely to see so many of our families – past, present and even some that may join us in the future all enjoying the general ambiance and catching up with friends.
Special thanks to the Market Day Committee – Stephanie, Thu, Monda, Taite & Jess for all your hard work. It really paid off. Not only was it a great day, it was also a financial success raising $3,900 which will go into supporting our Educators to attend national and international conferences.
We are all so fortunate to have such a supportive community who value and understand that quality outcomes for children come from having Educators who are provided with opportunities to access quality development, feel valued and are supported in their roles.
The ANU have approved funding for the refurbishment of all four campus Early Childhood Centre’s to ensure we comply with National Regulations. The proposed works include, signage upgrades, glazing to doors, safety glazing to all windows, hand washing sink installed in staff room kitchen, door hardware in Toddler sleep room, upgrade to access ramps, the replacement of glass mirrors with non-glass mirrors in Nursery & Echidna bathroom and upgrade to nappy change areas in Nursery with the inclusion of a children’s toilet in the Possums room.
Several of these upgrades will mean that there will be disruptions to the rooms and may involve temporary movement of children to other rooms within the Centre. There is no news yet on when these refurbishments will be undertaken but we will endeavour to keep everyone informed.
The beginning of August is when daily UV levels start rising in Canberra to levels that can cause damage to unprotected skin. And whilst August and September can still be cold in Canberra, it is the time to reach for the brimmed hats and to start thinking about sun protection .
As per the UPCCC Sun (UV) Protection Policy, our educators have commenced applying an approved sunscreen to the children before Morning and Afternoon outdoor play.
We ask parents to apply sunscreen to their child each morning and to ensure your child is wearing protective clothing for outside activities ie hats, shirts or dresses with collars, high necks and sleeves, trousers, long shorts or skirts made from closely woven material. Sunglasses are also a valuable protection for the children’s eyes. For more information go to ACT Cancer Council
Don’t forget our Market Day which will be held at the centre on
Saturday 25th October
10.00am – 1.00pm
Bring your family and friends and enjoy the company of our wonderful community.
POOLITZER PRIZE WINNER ANNOUNCED
Today in conjunction with our grand opening Stephanie the President of the Management Committee also awarded a Poolitzer Prize to our wonderful Handyman Eddie for his cheerfulness, passion, and attention to detail in maintaining our centre and ensuring our environments look great. A well deserved prize.
GRAND OPENING – Toddler/Nursery Cubbie
Today we had the grand opening of the new Toddler / Nursery Cubbie – which because it was designed and built by Eddie has been named “Eddies Fort”. Eddie cut the ribbon for us this morning and we then celebrated with a community sing-along with Susan and Georgia from the Music Engagement Program (MEP)and a picnic morning tea. What a wonderful way to start a beautiful, sunny, late winter day in Canberra.