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Welcome to our August newsletter!

The Family Day Care Australia Picnic in the Park was held in May and we enjoyed a great day with CEO Andrew Paterson, who joined us to promote National Family Day Care Week here at the Kwinana Adventure Park.  Family Day Care educators from our service and from other Family Day Care services across the region also joined in the fun. Woolworths were kind enough to donate some lovely fresh fruit for morning tea which went down a treat. It was a beautiful sunny day and we all had a lovely time playing and making bubbles with the children. The current Jigsaw magazine has an article about the day with staff, educators and children featured in the photo. If you would like to read the article, please ask your educator if they have a copy.

We are currently recruiting new Family Day Care and In Home Child Care educators, so if you know someone who has completed their Certificate III Children's Services and would like to join our amazing team of educators operating their own business from home, please send them our way. 

Our Educator Support Officers are conducting mock assessment and rating visits to educators and these are going well.  Educators who have had a visit have given good feedback on how useful they have found them. These visits are aimed at helping educators to be prepared and to identify areas that may need improvement. They also help the service identify areas of improvement. Thank you to those parents who participated in our little survey about how important it is to your family that your child attends an "Exceeding" rated service.  The results from this survey will be published soon and help us make future decisions about the services we offer to both families and educators, ensuring exceeding quality of education and care is maintained. If you have any questions please call and ask. We are all working together to provide the highest quality services to families and giving the children in care excellent learning outcomes.

We participated in Kwinana NAIDOC Week activiites in July and were very proud and excited when Fran, our Aboriginal Resource Officer, won the Kwinana Aboriginal of the Year at the NAIDOC Week opening ceremony in Kwinana.  What a wonderful achievement and testament to the great work Fran is doing in our community.

You will find lots of information in this newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading it.






 

Andrea Harold

Bright Futures Children's Services Manager
 

Keeping your Harmony Access PIN Private

Bright Futures Children's Services is committed to ensuring confidential information is collected and stored securely. In an age where identity and financial theft is real, taking steps to ensure your confidential information is kept safe is extremely important to us.

Just like your credit card, the PIN number that you use to sign your child in and out of care should be kept confidential and not shared with anyone else. This includes giving it to an educator. Because this PIN is also used to confirm with Centrelink the care that has been provided to your child and the amount of Child Care Subsidy that you are entitled to for that care, we need to make sure there is no opportunity for discrepancies.

If you find that your PIN is not working, please send us an email or give us a call and we can reset it for you. Your educator also has their own PIN that they can use in the meantime until you can reset yours, however these can only be used occasionally and not for every session of care. Just a reminder that you only have 72 hours to activate your PIN. If you haven't been able to reset it within the 72 hours just let the service know and we can generate another one for you.
The Importance of Play

In a world where the education curriculum has changed, not only for the early childhood sector, but also for the primary school and secondary school sectors, the push for higher learning outcomes has meant children no longer have as much time or as many opportunities to go and play. Especially outside!  This is something we advocate for; giving children opportunities to learn and grow outside of the formal education-based setting, including playing outside in all kinds of weather and in many different environments.

Maggie Dent has shared a wonderful blog about this exact topic and the impact play-based learning, or lack of, has on the development of children long term.  You can read her article here, but some of the impacts Maggie sights are; delayed motor development, poor co-ordination/balance, lack of concentration, language problems, self-regulation and emotional immaturity.

So when your educator develops their program, they need to consider the time of year, the opportunities for unstructured play that will build on the child's fine and gross motor skills and allow them space for self-directed play.  Movement for children is extremely important, not only for their physical health, but for their long term mental health and well-being too and outside provides these opportunities and is a great learning environment.

NAIDOC Week and the Celebration of Fran

When Fran attended the opening ceremony for NAIDOC Week in Kwinana as a playgroup excursion this month, little did she realise that she was about to be announced as the Kwinana Aboriginal of the Year. Sponsored by the Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre, City of Kwinana and Moorditj Koort, Fran was recognised for the fantastic work she does with the children and families in the Kwinana community, predominantly through our Moorditj Kulungars playgroup.

Congratulations Fran! We are all so very proud of you and the work you do with the families who come for a yarn and to learn about early childhood development from you.


National Standard Ratings


Why is it so important?
 
As an "Exceeding" rated service, we pride ourselves on the quality education and care that we provide to children and their families. We believe that in order for us to be the best service we can be and ensure excellent outcomes for children, such as establishing self-esteem, resilience, promoting healthy growth and a capacity to learn are achieved, going above and beyond in everything we do is super important.

There are many benefits to placing your child into a service rated as high as ours. These include improved educator to child ratios, ensuring children have greater individual care and attention, educators have increased skills and qualifications, there is better support for children's learning and development through approved learning frameworks and there is consistent, transparent information on educators, providers and services in the national registers.  Research also shows that quality education and care leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life for children. Our role is to help lay the foundations for a brighter future for your child.

More information about the Australian Education and Care Quality Authority and National Quality Framework that we are rated against can be found here.  Starting Blocks also has some great videos for parents that explains the National Quality Framework, quality ratings and how services are assessed and rated. You can view them here.

In June we sent an email to all parents asking you to complete a short survey on the importance of placing your child with an "Exceeding" rated service. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete this survey for us. The data collected will be used to make decisions on how to make our service better. If you did not get a chance to complete the survey, but would like to let us know why it is important to you, please email us at fdc@kwinana.wa.gov.au. We would love to read your feedback. Your educator was also asked to complete a similar survey on how important it is to them to be a member of an "Exceeding" rated service. We encourage you to have a chat about what it means to them.
Plastic Free July

As Plastic Free July comes to an end, we can still do our part in reducing plastic use in our daily lives.

Want some ideas on what you can do to reduce your plastic use? Watch this video created by the Plastic Free Foundation and help make our environment a beautiful one.
It's winter! The germs are here
 
There have been a lot of reports through the media recently about children who have unfortunately caught the flu and the importance of having children, and adults, immunised against the main strains of the virus. This time of year brings with it a greater importance on maintaining hygiene practices and this factsheet from the Health Department of WA shows some data on how the virus compares to last year's flu season. It also answers some great commonly asked questions.

If your educator suspects your child is displaying flu-like symptoms, or any sign of illness, they will let you know as soon as possible and you will need to collect your child and take them to the doctor. Likewise, if you know your child is unwell, please don't send them into care.  Educators have a responsibility to the other children in their care and whilst hygiene practices are taken very seriously in all of our family day care environments, some viruses are airborne and cannot be contained.

The WA Government funds a vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and it is also free for the following groups:
  • people 65 years and older
  • pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
  • Aboriginal people 6 months and older
  • people with underlying medical conditions which place them at risk of serious influenza infection and complications.
For more resources on hand washing, including books, posters and stickers, click here.
Do you know about our In Home Care service?  Some of you may have heard about it but not fully understood what it's all about. There are various child care options that families can choose from and In Home Care is one of those.  It is a service where educators provide education and care to children in the family home rather than in the educator's home like Family Day Care. But to access this form of care families need to meet certain criteria, such as one or both parents are shiftworkers, either a child, parent or both have a disability and are unable to access mainstream child care options such as Family Day Care or long day care. In order to find out if a family meets the criteria, parents need to contact the In Home Care Agency first. This agency is responsible for assessing families and then providing them with contact details for the few In Home Care services within WA to locate an educator to provide the care. That's where we come in! If you are or know of a family who may meet the eligibility criteria, please ask them to contact the In Home Care Agency on 1300 164 202 or email inhomecaresupoortagencywa@wanslea.asn.au.
 


Meet Lorette! As our In Home Care Service Coordinator, Lorette is the person families make contact with to locate an educator.  Educators need to go through an application process and be working towards a Certificate III Children's Services as a minimum.  In Home Care educators are required to have a current Working with Children Check, current National Police Clearance, first aid certificate and insurance. They have In Home Care Guidelines and service policies that they must operate to. Lorette works hard with the In Home Care educators to ensure planning processes, observations, documentation and reporting is completed so that every child they work with is given the opportunity to grow and flourish. We work in partnership with families to build these strong, trusting relationships and maintain routines and structure for the children our educators care for. Building trusting relationships with families is very important to Lorette, because at the end of the day families are allowing another person into their homes, they become part of the family. It's important then that families feel they can trust the service to provide quality education and care to their child.

An In Home Care Educator's role is very rewarding and provides the opportunity for flexible hours of work. Do you know someone enrolled or has completed their Certificate III Children's Services who would love to become an In Home Child Care educator? If you do, please ask them to call Lorette on 9236 4120.

A word from our Educational Leader: Lynne Brooke

It has been a busy few months establishing the role of the Educational Leader within our service and what the role means for Family Day Care. Meet Lynne!  Lynne's role as Educational Leader is to identify opportunities for educators to build on their learning and ensures the service is meeting the National Quality Standards and Early Years Learning Framework through sector research and planning. Providing one-on-one mentoring sessions for educators, Lynne is able to help educators tailor programming and planning to the children they have in care. Educators who have already had these mentoring sessions have found them valuable and supportive.

If you meet Lynne or any of our Educator Support Officers at your educator's home, please feel free to have a chat with them about what we do.
 
 
 
Copyright © 2019 Bright Futures Children's Services, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
fdc@kwinana.wa.gov.au

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