We have had a very positive start in 2021, with many new families joining our community. When we ask people how they heard about our Centre, the response is overwhelming by word of mouth and reputation. Firstly I would like to extend our sincere thank you to all of the wonderful staff here. After their much-deserved break over the Christmas period, they hit the ground running as our Centre enrolments climb to full capacity.
Our Vacation Care program proved popular again in January with Miss Cull, Mrs Ncube, and their team. Experiences such as Giant Screen Movie days, Tech Fun & Robot Building, visits to the Baldivis Children’s Forest, Scavenger hunts, Ninja inflatables, Get Messy days, to name a few. We understand that juggling work commitments and caring for children can be tricky for families. We are very blessed as a centre to extend our services to our school and the external community to ease the care pressures for our families during the school holidays. Children had a great space to unwind, spend time with friends, and get a break from their school demands. Like our Long Daycare programs, Ms Cull & Mrs Ncube are very experienced in programming opportunities for children to continue learning and developing during the school breaks, having fun, socializing, and creating new friendships and all through play. When school starts, our before and after school care begins, which is also a popular choice for families to assist them with their working commitments during school term. This year the studio opened for before-school care, and Mr Marwick can provide the “Arts” as an extension to the Minasan program. The studio is a well-loved space by the children in the Centre because there is no limit to your imagination and creations unravel.
Every January is a bittersweet moment for our Kindy Room. As Mrs Ralph, Ms Haecker, and Ms Musgrave prepared to say goodbye to their Kindy children as they embark on their new journey as Pre-Primary students. The Centre held a graduation ceremony for our Kindy and Pre-kindy children and invited our families to come and see their child receive their certificate on stage, appropriately dressed in their graduation costume, and enjoy an afternoon team with their class. It was a wonderful celebration and a significant milestone in their educational journey.
Ms Holly, Mrs Bainbridge and Ms Cassel welcomed their 3-year-olds into the Pre-kindy room, where they will spend the next year learning and developing their skills through play to get them school ready for 2022. Our Pre-kindy program is essential for our young ones as their brains are spongy, and developmentally there are prepared to soar. It’s a necessary time where our children get a thirst for learning, foster a love for the school, and create a true sense of belonging among their learning community. It is incredible to watch children develop and transform in this space, and we are extremely grateful for the Educators that journey with them. This year Ms Holly has focused on skilling, transitions, emotions, and working closely with her team in encouraging our children on building their independence.
Mrs Striepe, Mrs Raine, Ms Grace and Mrs Wasserfall said goodbye to their children who transitioned into Pre-Kindy with Ms Holly and her team and welcomed their new children aged from two years to two and a half. Our children are thriving, from co-sharing outdoor spaces with our babies to a whole new room and outdoor area that allows more age-appropriate risky play. Our Educators experience a lot of excitement, a lot of big feelings, simple sentences formed; however, complex conversations take place, pretend play, independence, new thinking skills, and an appetite to explore. Mrs Striepe programs for Language development, talking and listening, reading, dramatic play, and working on extending our children’s conversational skills that develop through their time in Pikanini 1.
Pikanini 1 is home to our 18 months – 2-year-olds. Each stage between one and two is unique and exciting in its way, and 18-month-olds are no exception. More growth goes on in these twelve months than any time after, and it is so much fun to watch our children blossom into full-blown toddlers who love to create and explore. Mrs Laqere, Ms Colleen, Miss Mackenzie, and Miss Kenny develop programs that support their children’s interests. You can see our children enjoy lots of sensory play, gross motor activities, picnics outside, water play, painting, chalk work, and singing. Their language is still developing; however, our children have no trouble letting each other know exactly what they are thinking.
In our Bambini room, our youngest child joined us at just six months old. Miss Cho, Miss Carissa, and Miss Jasmin provide such a lovely, caring, and nurturing environment for our Babies to grow in. They also focus on encouraging children to develop their sense of agency and confidence. Miss Cho programs a lot of sensory experiences for taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. This learning type builds nerve connections in the brain, encourages motor skills, language development, and fosters ‘scientific thinking and problem-solving. Along with a shared outdoor space, our children transition with ease from one area to another, creating connections with all educators. It is also the most visited room by our staff who always offer comfort to our babies who need it.
Atelierista Corey Marwick provides endless opportunities for our little hands to create. From the learning stories published by Mr Marwick, you can see why both Educators and Children enjoy this room. Using real tools, real materials, and unlimited imagination, our children create new characters, objects, and art pieces. Listening to their articulation of what it is and how it became, and seeing their little minds unfold and work to piece everything together, why we all become Educators. As soon as Mr Marwick walks through the Centre, the delight on children’s faces knowing that the studio will be open for business never gets old.
Our Kitchen and Housekeeping team Cherrie, Elizabeth, Maureen and Mariana, are in the heart of our Centre, working hard every day to provide nutritious lunches, clean sheets, hats and blankets for our children. A big thank you to Marianna, our housekeeper, not only for the wonderful work she does daily but also for going that extra mile. Marianna found beautiful soft blanket material, which she then cut up and sewed for the children in our Centre. As a centre, we experience moments like these often. Staff go above and beyond and they always think of the children even when they are not at work.
Our administration team hit the ground running this year with continuous enrolments, tours, compliance, event planning, staff coordination, professional development, staff meetings, and training; it has been full steam ahead. As a Centre in January, we celebrated Australia day. In February, it was Chinese New Year, and we are now gearing up for our whole Centre celebration of Harmony Day. Families will join us on Wednesday during Harmony week to celebrate the Diversity of Australia. Our Centre is thriving with the Gymnastics program on Tuesdays during school terms, Miss Mel from Happy Feet on Mondays, Thursday & Fridays, Community playgroup on Friday morning, and our enrolments nearing capacity. We couldn’t do what we do without our dedicated staff, especially our casual team members and our student mentors, who are all a vital part of our success.
We are looking forward to what 2021 has in store for our Childcare community and look forward to updating you all along the way.