Alison’s update

Alison Hill Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer

Welcome to our March 2024 Family Newsletter. In December, following the return of our family survey results, we announced four focus areas across Petit Early Learning Journey for 2024. The first area, Staffing, included retention and leadership development, and I am pleased to be able share with you a key strategy within this area that, following an initial pilot, has now been rolled out across all of our centres. Under this strategy we updated our remuneration framework introducing higher rates of pay for all our qualified educators and new allowances rewarding team members for supporting continuity of care with permanent rostering patterns, and for taking on additional responsibilities that have traditionally been incorporated in the Award hourly rate.  As a result, we have not only recognised and rewarded our teams, but we have been able to attract more qualified educators and significantly reduce employment vacancies at all centres.

We also continue to develop our team learning culture by broadening our focus on leadership development. We are working with centre leaders and Educational Leaders to guide their centre’s Lead Educators and team to understand and implement the educational program, assessment, and planning cycles in a manner which exceeds the expectations of the National Quality Framework.  This then has an enormous influence on our second focus area, Care, as it encourages our educators to reflect daily on how we connect and support the children with a secure base for them to explore and it also establishes a safe haven that is welcoming for them to return to at any time.

It is important to us to create an environment where children’s safety and well-being is paramount.  This begins and ends with each centre’s drop-off and collection procedures and we would like to take this opportunity to outline the ways in which you can assist. First, always sign in on the QK Kiosk before taking your child to their studio and sign out after you have collected them from their studio or family grouping area. Second, make verbal and reciprocal contact with an educator before you leave your child in the studio and again when you collect them. Finally, the door to the studio must remain closed at all times to ensure all children are kept safely in the areas designated for them under our care and direct supervision. No child is allowed outside of the studio by any person other than their designated contact when being dropped off or collected.

Thank you for helping us create a safe and collaborative space for our children. Please talk to your Centre Director if you would like more information on drop off and collection procedures. We are always here to help.

Exceptional performer for March

Petit Early Learning Journey’s Monthly Newsletter March 2024

Irina Balart from Petit Early Learning Journey Wooloowin

Congratulations to Assistant Director Irina Balart from Petit ELJ Wooloowin, this month’s exceptional performer. Irina provides outstanding support to the team and has impressed us over the last couple of months by stepping up even more.

Irina always has a positive attitude and embodies being, belonging and becoming. She seeks answers and provides exceptional service, engaging in meaningful experiences with the children. Irina is a good role model who works well within the team and is developing her leadership skills.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Assistant Director?

I enjoy working closely with the families, assisting them with their queries and getting feedback about the service. One of the best parts of working at Petit ELJ is seeing the children’s faces greeting you in the morning and waving to you on the way out. Moreover, I am grateful to guide and mentor such an exceptional team and support them throughout the day. Since I started as an Assistant Director, my main goal has been to build positive relationships with our families, children, and staff and create partnerships with our community.

What inspires you to work in early childhood education and care? 

Seeing the children’s growth and development while they play inspires me to work in early childhood. When I started working first as an educator, I enjoyed creating positive relationships with the children and being in their circle of trust. When children develop their sense of belonging, their confidence to explore their world grows. As educators, we have the power to guide children and impact the way they interact with others. I have been working at Petit ELJ for two years and am proud to see the children thriving in their environments.

What is it like to be part of a team at Petit ELJ Wooloowin?

I love that we all learn from each other and that our team constantly seeks ways to extend their knowledge. At Petit ELJ Wooloowin, we have formed good relationships and enjoy celebrating centre events such as the staff Christmas party and community baking sales. We all collaborate and ensure the whole team is supported and mentored to grow professionally. Our team engages in reflective practices to develop their understanding of their daily practices. Our goal for this year is to encourage everyone to share their strengths, knowledge and skills.

What is your most memorable experience with Petit ELJ to date?

One of the most memorable experiences has been working with our Petit ELJ Wooloowin Community by organising centre events, fundraisings, and excursions. One of our partners has been Act for Kids, an organisation based in Wooloowin that delivers support services to children and families who have experienced or are at risk of harm. We organised a baking sale fundraiser in October 2023, and this month, we have been collecting cans so that the children from Act for Kids can create a sustainable garden. These experiences and the positive feedback from the service have been enriching.

Community connections

Petit Early Learning Journey Wooloowin’s Community Space

Report by Educational Leader Liz Wisowaty

At Petit Early Learning Journey Wooloowin, we are creating a dedicated community space in our centre to welcome families. The space is for sharing information about what is happening in our centre and to provide other resources for families.

It has a family library for informative resources on important issues, such as developmental milestones or the importance of dental hygiene for children. There is a noticeboard for business cards and flyers where families can add their own or share information about local businesses. It displays a cultural connections map showing the many places worldwide where our team has associations. You can also find information on our weekly community incursions, such as pottery, tennis, sports and movement, Spanish lessons, and sign language. It will also be a place for parents to access information we receive from local schools throughout the year.

The community space also houses our donation stationwhere families can give or take items as needed. Books, canned goods, children’s toys, and clothing are currently waiting for new homes.

In addition to the physical space, we have created a weekly family email to share information about what is happening in the centre, such as policy updates, planned staff absences and special events and experiences.

Communication has always been an important topic when listening to families’ feedback. We want parents to be engaged with the service and feel supported. Building collaborative partnerships is vital, so we are always open to suggestions. Families should feel a sense of belonging at our centre, just as their children do.

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