Alison’s update

Alison Hill, COO

Chief Operating Officer

Welcome to our May family newsletter for 2023.  Providing quality care and learning for children is essential for their growth and development. One way to achieve this is by increasing the connections we have to professional development and sector partners.

By doing so, early childhood educators can gain access to the latest research, best practices, and innovative teaching techniques. This then leads to improved outcomes for children, including better education, social-emotional development, and overall well-being.

One of the programs we have been working on with our teams is The Phoenix Cups. The Phoenix Cups framework helps us to understand why people are driven to do the things they do and how we can get these met. The first few sessions are all about unpacking and learning our human life needs and how they influence relationships, behaviours and our wellbeing.

Connecting with sector partners such as The Phoenix Cups assists us in building a strong support network and understanding each other’s needs. By working with different organisations, we can share expertise and resources to create more effective programs and services that positively influence our children.

Please speak to your Centre Director if you would like to find out more about our teams professional development programs and connections with sector partners. We are always here to help.

Calling all Queensland families: Tell us what you think

Did you hear that the Queensland Government is thinking about making kindy free for all families? That means every child could get a free year of kindy before they start prep.

Have your say about how free kindy could help your family:

Notice to families: Changes are coming to Child Care Subsidy

From 10 July 2023, the way your Child Care Subsidy (CCS) entitlement is worked out is changing. We recommend watching the department’s video on changes to the CCS:

Use the CCS Calculator at to find out what your future rates may be. If you already get CCS, you don’t need to do anything to get the new rates.

If you think you may become eligible from July, make a claim through myGov or the Centrelink App.  Learn more on the Services Australia website

Reminder to families to confirm your income by 30 June 2023

Families must confirm their earnings from 2021–22 and 2020–21 by 30 June to avoid losing CCS or incurring debt. The end of the financial year marks two important deadlines for families:

• First deadline for confirming 2021–22 income.
• Second deadline for confirming 2020–21 income.

If a family misses the first deadline, their CCS will stop. If a family misses the second deadline, they will lose their CCS eligibility and may have to repay any CCS they received for that financial year.

At the end of each financial year, Services Australia compares a family’s income estimate with their actual income to check they got the right amount of CCS. This process is called balancing. Families must confirm their income by 30 June for balancing to occur.

Exceptional team member for May

Douglas Arnold from Petit Early Learning Journey Caloundra

Congratulations to Centre Director Douglas Arnold who is this month’s Exceptional Team Member! Two time recipient, Doug has been with Petit Early Learning Journey Caloundra for almost 4 years now, and during that time he has given 110% effort into everything he does.

Doug has led his team in forming the foundation of a learning community, growing a strength based approach. He continues to connect to the local community while enabling team members to use their individual strengths to guide and support others within the team.

How did you get started and what led you to becoming the Petit ELJ Caloundra Centre Director?

I joined Petit ELJ Caloundra a few weeks after arriving in Australia from Shanghai, China, where I worked at an international school in August 2019. During my initial interview, I saw the centre’s potential and the possibilities that joining the Caloundra team would present for my further professional growth and development.

I began as an early childhood teacher (ECT) and later took on additional responsibilities that led to my application for the Assistant Director’s role. I was only in this role briefly before an opportunity to apply for the Centre Director role opened up.

I jumped on this opportunity with a vision of how I would move the centre forward, which included reshaping the team’s culture and building meaningful and positive connections with our community of families.

What professional and personal development opportunities have you been given with Petit ELJ and how have they helped you grow?

During my time as an ECT, I approached our operations manager about my passion for the Forest School approach (stemming from my teaching experiences back in the UK) and how I wanted to begin to implement a Bush Kindy program at the centre.

As a result, I required time from the service to complete practical assessments, which Petit ELJ approved and also covered the cost of the training that enabled me to become a qualified Forest School leader.

Coming into the role of the Centre Director, I advocated my continued passion for running the Bush Kindy program moving forward. I still take our Treasure Cove children to our Bush Kindy Base Camp twice weekly.

What do you enjoy most about your leadership role?

One of the greatest enjoyments is supporting educators to see their potential and guiding them in their personal and professional development.

I believe in empowering educators to be the best version of themselves. This journey can be longer for some than others. At Petit ELJ Caloundra, everyone has a voice, and everyone has the opportunity to be involved and champion an area they are passionate about.

What are some surprising things about working in the early childhood sector that people may not know?

There are many memorable moments, including most recently when the centre went through assessment and rating and for the very first time was rated “Meeting” in all areas.

These moments are a shared experience in which we as a team can proudly look back and say we did that together! And underlying these moments are our families and the children in our care.

The interactions that occur each day at drop off or when sharing an anecdote about an experience from their child’s day shape how we continue to grow as a team

Featured educational program

Routines and Rituals in early childhood at Petit Early Learning Journey Wooloowin

Report from the leadership team

Routines are very important, particularly for young children as they grow an understanding of people and events around them. At Petit ELJ Wooloowin we create a familiar and predictable routine by responding to the needs of children. Within this everyday routine, we embed rituals to support more meaningful social connection and learning for children (and their educators!).

Rituals are things in our everyday life such as:

  • The songs we sing each time we wash our hands, or set the table, or say goodbye.
  • A particular comfort item we seek out when we are relaxing.
  • Coming together with family or friends to engage in an experience such as a meal or story.

When we embed rituals as a part of our routine, we naturally slow down, and educators become more present and attuned to children’s thoughts and feelings. This allows children to grow a deeper understanding of social cues, achieve success in self-help skills, and simply experience more comfort and joy in their day.

You will find information about your child’s routine and rituals at Petit ELJ Wooloowin displayed in their studio – please ask your child’s educators too.

We also love referring to a book on Rituals in early childhood by Memory Lyon & Toni Christie – this resource guides much of our teaching practices.

Community connections

Rooftop Movie Night a success for Petit Early Learning Journey Clifton Hill

Report from Centre Director Alana Olivieri

Petit ELJ Clifton Hill hosted its first-ever outdoor Rooftop Movie Night in April. It was an incredible evening for our current families and the general public. We sought to create an opportunity for families to connect and build relationships within our local community.

The children in our Treasure Cove studio assisted with creating and making the decorations for the evening. The children made a popcorn box for donations and a camera with many old-style movie reels. We displayed these in the outdoor area where the event was held.

We also dropped off and posted flyers around the suburb of Clifton Hill, starting conversations and opportunities around our service with local businesses. We also visited and invited the local primary schools to build our relationships with them and support children’s transitions to school.

At Petit ELJ Clifton Hill, we are committed to strengthening and improving our community connections. Our Rooftop Movie Night opened up opportunities to grow relationships with existing and new families and support them in forming relationships and connections with each other.

We received excellent feedback from all the families who attended. We plan to implement many more events from this feedback to ensure our centres’ community connections continue to grow. When community connections are established and embedded into a centre, children can engage in reciprocal relationships and develop a sense of belonging and comfort in their environments.

The success of hosting events to connect with our community lies in how we promote and demonstrate their reasons and ideas. When our families can relate and make meaning behind the events we hold, it supports our children’s understanding of community connections.

How to make slime at home

Slime-making is a trendy DIY activity taking the world by storm. Since the mid-1970s, this sensory-play experience has obsessed children and adults alike…

Continue reading

Latest parent review

Petit Early Learning Journey Barton

“Our son loves coming to Petit each day. As parents, this makes our job a little easier knowing our son is both safe and happy at daycare. The staff are lovely to deal with and our son listens to and respects them.”

– Chloe Argy

Read more reviews

Our culture: A day in the life of an Assistant Director

Have you ever wondered what the Assistant Director does at an Early Childhood Education and Care service? You might be surprised to discover that it is a lot different to an administrative assistant role. At Petit Early Learning Journey, the Assistant…

Continue reading

Experiences from around our services

Petit Early Learning Journey Elderslie recognises International Firefighter’s Day

May 4th was International Firefighter’s Day and our centre at Petit ELJ Elderslie organised an amazing visit from their local fire brigade. They taught the children about fire safety and had an opportunity to sit in the truck. Thank you to all our firefighters for protecting us.

Socialise with us!

👍 Like our Facebook page to follow our early learning journey.