Chief Operating Officer
Welcome to our March family newsletter for 2023. When developing family partnerships, Petit Early Learning Journey aims to support children in reaching their full potential. Our belief —Partnering with families fosters strong reciprocal relationships — seeks to establish a strong foundation of trust and honesty between our families, children and educators and it is embedded into our everyday practices through our philosophy, policies, methods, environment and curriculum. The most important aspect of our relationship is listening, understanding and supporting what matters most to our families.
The benefits of our family partnerships are noticeable within our centres where children are developing enhanced feelings of safety and belonging, bonding with educators and building positive relationships with other children. In addition, we are noticing an increased involvement from families sharing information with us about their expectations, how their children are feeling, their interests and what they are learning and experiencing outside of our environment. This vital information helps us to plan and provide a continuity of care and learning between the home and the child’s studio, with our educators reciprocating with observations about the child’s experiences. Two-way communication between our families and educators, either in person at drop-offs and pick-ups or through other means, such as the Storypark app, leads to a positive learning environment and improved outcomes for children.
As part of our commitment to family partnerships, we provide a scan code for online access to our policies and procedures and a coupon for the Nourish Baby program. Along with our family survey, regular newsletters, emails, noticeboards and family meetings, we provide many ways for families to communicate with us. We also welcome parent participation in centre-based events, support with excursions, and family visits to share information about their background, cultural identity, careers, hobbies or favourite books.
We frequently reflect on the relationships we build and welcome your conversations and feedback. Our educators value learning about your child’s days away and new interests. Please speak with your Centre Director if you have questions about our curriculum or your child’s learning programs. We are always here to help.
Notice to families: Changes to child care subsidy
From 10 July 2023, the Australian Government and Services Australia is changing how your Child Care Subsidy entitlement is worked out. Child care will be cheaper for most families.
For more information on the CCS changes go to: servicesaustralia.gov.au/changes-if-you-get-family-payments
Reminder to all families: Confirm your 2021–22 income
You must confirm your 2021–22 income before your Child Care Subsidy (CCS) can be balanced. You can confirm your income by lodging your tax return, or telling Services Australia that you don’t need to lodge a tax return and confirm your income.
You will receive an outcome once your CCS has been balanced. Learn more.
Bianca Macaulay from Petit Early Learning Journey Caloundra
Congratulations to Bianca Macaulay, Educator at Petit ELJ Caloundra who is our exceptional team member for March. Bianca is highly valued for her personable interactions with children and their families across multiple studios and especially with the babies, where families including those that have recently become part of the Petit ELJ community feel at ease leaving their children with her.
Bianca’s environments are meaningful and an inspiration. She creates such a welcoming first impression and during a recent tour a family were so delighted with what they experienced the first thing they said was, “Wow this looks amazing”. Bianca’s contribution to the team and the culture at Caloundra is outstanding. She is always positive and has a genuine infectious smile.
What do you like most about being an Educator with Petit ELJ Caloundra?
I enjoy coming to work each day to spend time really getting involved and building relationships with the children, families and other staff members. I like to provide opportunities for children to learn, develop and have fun each day. There is never a dull moment. I love the things children say, the cuddles and the laughs!
How did you come to work in early childhood education and care?
I worked at Woolworths for nine years but always wanted to work with children. My partner said, “Why don’t you do it then?” So I enrolled to study for my Diploma in Early Childhood care and Education at TAFE. I went and did my placement at the first centre I applied for and then got a full-time job as an assistant educator. From there, I had two children, stayed home with them, ran a family daycare for a little while and then started my journey with Petit ELJ Caloundra.
How do you know when you have had a meaningful impact on a child’s learning and development?
I know I have had a meaningful impact on the children when they have built a secure attachment with me, and they demonstrate trust and confidence to come to childcare each day. Also, when they seek out new challenges, make new discoveries and then celebrate their own efforts and achievements with me.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned from the children you work with?
The most valuable thing I have learnt from children is to rediscover childlike joy, such as the first time they see a plane fly through the sky or when they hear the sound a musical instrument makes when they shake it. They also teach me that play is so much more than just play. Play is the basis for so much of children’s cognitive and social development. They are fearless. They won’t let anyone tell them that they can’t do something!
Focussing on the Annual Curriculum Goal at Petit Early Learning Journey Marian
Report by Educational Leader Letitia Da Silva
At Petit ELJ Marian, our previous focus for our Annual Curriculum Goal was building strong connections with our families, drawing educators’ focus to embedding connections with families and children at our centre over the past year.
We have confidently grasped and implemented our Circle of Security approach developing these secure and connected relationships and understanding the children we care for daily. These connections are evident between educators, families, and children.
Feedback from our assessor for our 2022 Assessment and Rating Process showed that our service had strong relationships with the children. In the photo above, Educator Roslyn Watson engages children from our Treasure Cove and Blossom Hill studio with recycled arts and crafts.
Our next step and current focus for our Annual Curriculum Goal is on educator knowledge and understanding of our learning through play pedagogy. Learning through play pedagogy is part of our Petit ELJ Marian philosophy – “Learning is an active process, a keystone to play-based pedagogy”.
Educators are unpacking their understanding through critical reflection and learning practices to implement support for children to learn through play by utilising the indoor and outdoor environments as the third teacher and a resource for children’s interests.
In practice, we intentionally use our strong connections with the children to notice their learning communicated through their interests within their learning environments. We respond to this learning by adding resources to the environment to encourage extensions of learning in different areas, such as inquiry, explorations, problem-solving, numeracy, and literacy.
Our educators also use valuable open conversations and communications with families about their children to assist with the extension of their learning within our care and education environment.
Petit Early Learning Journey Hamilton supports WaterAid
Report from Centre Director Monica Padua
Petit ELJ Hamilton is dedicated to supporting various community causes to raise awareness and funds in a fun and meaningful way. At the start of this year, we planned to support different community organisations by raising funds and engaging children in relevant experiences.
In February, we supported the Heart Kid’s foundation by organising a Disco in our yard to raise support and awareness for children impacted by congenital and acquired child heart disease.
Earlier this month, we also participated in Clean Up Australia Day. We brought the children outside the centre to pick up rubbish and discussed the importance and impact of keeping our environment clean.
Then, we supported Water Great Day! for WaterAid which fell on the United Nations declared World Water Day on 22 March. The day was filled with water-focused activities, investigation, and education on the importance of clean drinking water. And our new rainwater tank filled up just in time!
Our families have been very generous in donating to our causes and they looked forward to the fun experiences for the children. In previous years our team of educators has organised fundraising for causes close to their hearts. We had Crazy Hair Day to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis, and we also wore blue to fight Motor Neurone Disease, to name a few. Our families also organised a donation jar to help raise funds for breast cancer.
Our children, families and educators benefit from learning more about these current and relevant issues, and we learn to care for each other. We are all encouraged to be community-minded and aware of our health and well-being, different parts of the world and global challenges.
We will continue with this annual project of giving and sharing while also learning to build positive connections with our families and community for the rest of 2023.
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Latest parent review
Petit Early Learning Journey Forest Hill
“This was my son’s first childcare and all the staff were so understanding and patient. He settled in so well and has become such a confident and social boy. Couldn’t be happier with how everyone made sure he felt comfortable. Thank you!”
– Pei-Lee Chew
Our culture: Celebrating personal development and employee growth success stories
Learning and growing are a part of life, regardless of age. The early childhood sector strongly focuses on professional development for teams and individuals. As well, Petit Early Learning Journey recognises that personal development and individual employee growth matter.
Experiences from around our services
Petit Early Learning Journey Burleigh learns Auslan
As part of our inclusive program, our Blossom Hill studio educators at Petit ELJ Burleigh teach Auslan as part of their daily yarning circles. Auslan is a sign language unique to Australia. Our children can now sing “I can sing a Rainbow” using sign language.
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