Chief Operating Officer
Welcome to our May newsletter for 2022. Routines and rituals are essential in creating and maintaining cohesion and familiarity both at home and in our education and care services. When your child arrives at our centre, our Educators purposefully use routines and rituals to support your child’s transition from one environment to another. Our curriculum is intentionally filled with routines and rituals that continue throughout the day to provide a smooth flow between the different rhythms of your child’s day and their experiences. Routines help build structure, flow, consistency, confidence and a sense of belonging. Deliberate cues and actions signal to children a sense of what will happen next. As they identify repetitive patterns in their daily experiences, children learn to predict behaviours and develop a sense of security.
We often use the words “routine” and “ritual” interchangeably, even though they have different meanings. In our everyday adult lives, routines can often become second nature; we do them without putting too much thought into the process. But on the other hand, routines in early childhood environments have the potential to become rituals, especially when routines are emotional or can deepen connections. When we think of rituals, we often think about ceremonies like weddings however, they can include habitual practices that we do with meaning. In early childhood education and care, this may include special practices that help children to feel more secure or celebrate their efforts. For example, when it comes to transitioning from indoor play to outdoor play, the routine of putting on a hat and sunscreen to go outside can become a ritual by intentionally making it child centred. Instead of rushing out to play, our Educators may purposefully slow down the experience to consider how a child puts a hat and sunscreen on and why they are essential for outdoor play. Likewise, individual routines around mealtimes can be intentionally ritualised to offer children choices.
At Petit ELJ our Educators support the intentional practice of making everyday routines into rituals with meaningful learning opportunities, promoting positive energy and awareness.
In the coming months at Petit Early Learning Journey our services will conduct mid-year family meetings to collaboratively discuss and empower families as decision-makers to plan their child’s learning goals and learning journey. These family meetings also allow us to have deeper conversations about children’s ideas, interests and any goals or concerns that families may have. They also provide an opportunity for our services to develop meaningful partnerships with families and to connect families with community support professionals such as speech therapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and paediatricians.
If you were unable to attend a mid-year family meeting and would like to arrange a different time or if you have an interest in learning more about your child’s routines, rituals and rhythms, please talk to your Centre Director. We are always here to help.
Kihra Millard, Assistant Centre Director & Educational Leader from Petit Early Learning Journey Caloundra
Our exceptional team member for May is Kihra Millard, Assistant Centre Director and Educational Leader from Petit ELJ Caloundra. In April, Kihra received the centre’s team appreciation award for “Outstanding Educator”. Kihra started with Petit ELJ at the beginning of January this year. During this time, she has become an invaluable member at Petit ELJ Caloundra, especially for her enthusiastic approach to everything she does.
Kihra shows exceptional dedication to building relationships with children, their families and the team. She is celebrated for her fresh ideas and the positive support she provides to individuals and studio teams while seeking feedback to continuously improve her own contributions to the team. Besides being highly regarded for her incredible effort and the support she provides to her peers, Kihra’s happy and positive nature is a pleasure to work beside. Thank you, Kihra.
What do you like most about working at Petit ELJ Caloundra?
I love that I get challenged every day at Petit ELJ. I have a beautiful team to work with, and I enjoy being in the moment with them, the families and the children. I’m a very bright and bubbly person. So, I guess that fits in well with our team, to be like that. I enjoy supporting them and seeing them grow within themselves and myself. I value my involvement in the learning journey when a team member comes to you for support or guidance with their professional development or queries how to turn theory into practice. And you give them time, support and the help they need with the research. Then, observing them take what they’ve learnt on board and how they grow as a person and Educator in their studios.
What inspired you to pursue a career in early childhood?
Twelve years ago, I started working with children straight out of school. First, I completed my Certificate III at school, where we did our practical experience one day a week at a local centre. Then, I completed my Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and stepped straight into a Lead Educator role. Working with children as they grow and investigate the world, being there to support them and observe those light bulb moments is rewarding. You can see that they’ve learnt something new for the day or crawled or used scissors to cut for the first time; that curiosity and a sense of fulfilment are what it is all about. I love giving back to the children and their families and thrive in our team environment.
What is your favourite part of the day?
I like the early mornings and late afternoons the most. Mornings because I can greet all the families and the children coming into the service. Then, at home time, so long as the studio support is easing, I get to have cuddles with the children and support their transition to home. I enjoy being with them, and it is nice to have a break away from the reception desk. Of course, I also enjoy being behind the desk as I have a lot to do, but these moments give you that time away to be with the children, and I love that.
What is your most enjoyable experience with the children and their families?
My most enjoyable experience is when I’m getting to know more about our families, especially when we welcome them into the Petit ELJ Caloundra family. The families appreciate the time we take to nurture our relationships with them. I firmly believe that meeting and greeting our families, listening to their stories and learning about their children are essential for what we do. Those connections that we create from day one are so important. As a mum, I believe these family partnerships have purpose and meaning, and it is what I want as well for my child and family.
Reminder: Approaching deadlines for balancing CCS with Services Australia
Last month, we provided the following reminder to families. As these deadlines are fast approaching, it is important that you take action now if you have not already done so, to confirm your income:
Families are reminded of two approaching deadlines for balancing their Child Care Subsidy (CCS). You must take action before 30 June 2022 to avoid losing CCS or incurring debt.
- The first deadline relates to families’ 2020-21 income. CCS will stop if families do not confirm their 2020–21 income before 30 June 2022.
- The second deadline relates to families’ 2019-20 income. Families who are yet to confirm their 2019–20 income must do so by 30 June 2022 to avoid paying back all CCS for this period. Plus, you will also lose your CCS and Additional Child Care Subsidy eligibility from the first CCS fortnight of the 2022–23 financial year, as well as any eligible top-up.
If you miss either of these deadlines, you will need to confirm your income again. In addition, if you miss the second deadline, you will also have to repay any current or previous child care related debt or enter into a repayment arrangement.
You can find out more information on these two deadlines at Services Australia including current exemptions.
More on nurturing creativity with Petit Early Learning Journey Richmond
In Part II of Nurturing Creativity, we revisit the importance of children’s imaginative expression and explore more examples of children’s experiences with Olivia Moloney, Educational Leader, at Petit Early Learning Journey Richmond.
“Children express their creativity through many different experiences,” says Olivia. “It is important to tune in to children’s individual learning styles so their unique disposition can be nurtured and enhanced in their own way.”
“Children use their creativity to express themselves, represent their thinking and make sense of the world. Therefore they must be given the right tools to do so.”
“Educators can provide an inviting and engaging environment to nurture children’s creativity by using open-ended resources, natural materials and an abundance of thought-provoking experiences.”
“Children express their creativity through ways other than art. It can also be fostered through play, constructing, imaginative play, music or even outdoor play, depending on the child’s disposition for learning.”
Examples from our studios on nurturing creativity
“The children in our Darling Drive studio are using their portfolios to express their creativity. Accessible at all times, the children can find their book, select the art materials they would like to use to draw, paint, cut, and create their own pieces.”
“In our Treasure Cove studio, our 4-year-old kindergarten children are invited to explore the different concepts such as light, colour, shape, shadows and size. A range of resources is available to construct, draw, read and investigate their own creativity.”
“We also offer a variety of self-selected resources to foster the creativity of the children in our Haven Place studio. Using loose parts, we encourage the children to use their imagination and create their own purpose for each resource. This enables the children to construct their own knowledge as they play and it promotes creative thinking.”
“The children in our Blossom Hill studio, our 3-year-old Kindergarten program had the opportunity to explore their creativity through representation by drawing their own family. Using black markers, the children could document their own idea of their family, exploring their sense of belonging and community through creative arts.”
Bush Kindy program arrives at Petit Early Learning Journey Burdell 1 & 2
Report from Katie Gudge, Centre Director, (Burdell 1), Brooke Bush, Educational Leader (Burdell 1 & 2) and Belinda Beasley, Kindergarten Early Childhood Teacher (Burdell 1)
Petit ELJ Burdell 1 & 2 have commenced a Bush Kindy readiness program in preparation for a Bush Kindy excursion. Our kindergarten children have been preparing since the beginning of Term 1 and the excursion will give each child the opportunity to explore a large open space area within walking distance from our services, approximately a seven-minute walk.
Bush Kindy will run in the background of our learning program once a week for a few hours in the morning. Some of our Bush Kindy inspired experiences will include:
- Exploring the local bush area and learning about local flora and fauna.
- Engaging in shelter building and nature crafts.
- Connecting with the land and paying respects to the traditional custodians of the land that we gather on.
- Opportunities to learn, play and develop in a natural outdoor environment.
- Developing an authentic connection with the local area, animals, the seasons and plant cycles.
- Exploring risk-taking, increasing gross motor skills, self-regulation and self-confidence beyond their comfort zone.
We have been engaged in many Bush Kindy readiness walks around our Petit ELJ centre, where the children have undertaken risk assessment discussions, including road safety, holding a partner’s hand, walking in two lines and what we should do if we find ourselves in an unsafe situation such as seeing a snake or a dog.
We believe that outdoor play is one of the most important forms of play that characterise childhood. It allows children to explore, create, investigate, discover, and learn about the natural world. Our Petit ELJ philosophy embraces the learning environment as a place of potential and possibility. The Bush Kindy program encourages children’s curiosity and exploration of nature in an outdoor learning space within our Burdell community.
Throughout the remainder of their kindergarten year, the children will engage in the Bush Kindy program where children’s basic needs for exploration, risk-taking, and freedom are enhanced, supporting our belief that every child is capable, resourceful, and a constructor of their own knowledge.
Playing freely outdoors is the spontaneous play that comes effortlessly from children’s instinctive curiosity, wonder and interest. When children interact with the natural world, they appreciate the natural order of things and grow respect for nature and the environment.
Our educational team at Petit ELJ Burdell are also exploring how we can promote the benefits of Bush Kindy within our other studios.
We are keen to encourage families to be actively involved in our program that fosters the ideas and interests of children eager to explore nature.
Extracurricular Activities: Children’s learning program and experiences
Extracurricular activities or experiences are an important aspect of our children’s learning programs. Petit Early Learning Journey builds on children’s interests by making available additional child-centred experiences for children to enjoy…
Latest parent review
“My son attended Petit in Kew for the last four years. Absolutely love it! Beautiful environment, professional and caring educators, amazing education programs and activities, and delicious food. Would highly recommend the centre to anyone. “
– Masha Robb
Our culture: How we use the Circle of Security
The Circle of Security is a guideline and training program designed for caregivers of children. It is a pedagogical tool that Educators at Petit Early Learning Journey place importance on as it provides a deep understanding of supporting children’s emotions…
Experiences from around our services
Children explore reading and STEM at Petit Early Learning Journey Elderslie
STEM education in early childhood encourages children to ask questions and explore their interests. Our children from Petit ELJ Elderslie’s Burrows Lane and Haven Place studios have explored where mirrors come from as part of a 10-week STEM incursion. Facilitators from Beyond the Beanstalk first introduced the children to the story “Where the Mirrors Grow”. Then, they explored different types of mirrors before making their own durable infinity mirror! The STEM experience has engaged their concentration and fine motor skills and promoted science and engineering.
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