Welcome to our

December newsletter!

The year has flown by very quickly and a number of things have happened in our service since our last newsletter. From celebrating 30 years of operation to regulation changes, our new website and an online software application were launched as well as many playgroup adventures. The service was also very, very proud to receive the 2018 Excellence in Family Day Care award for WA and SA and become a national finalist. This has been great recognition of the hard work our staff and educators put into their profession to ensure your child receives quality education and care.

We hope you enjoy this new edition of our newsletter.  It looks different and is full of information just for you.  We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support this year and wish you all a very happy Christmas and safe New Year.

Bright Futures Children's Services Manager


30 Years of Creating a Brighter Future for Children

This year has been very special for us.  The service started in 1988, which means this year is our 30th birthday. Staff, educators, the City of Kwinana Mayor, Ms Carol Adams and other dignitaries celebrated in November with a fabulous night of entertainment and awards sailing on the Swan River.

Earlier in the year parents were asked to nominate their educator for the Parent's Educator category. Cherie Christie was the proud recipient of this award. We thank all parents that took the time to recognise the outstanding role their educator plays in their child's learning. On the night we also celebrated the outstanding professionals in our service with a number of other awards. Winner of the Educator's Educator award was Emer Currivan. Emer was nominated by her peers for the wonderful way she role models her service and philosophy to other educators.
A number of educators received an award for their region. Nominated by their Educator Support Officer, the following educators received an award: Melissa Hill (Kwinana), Caroline Bolt and Rebecca Coleman (Rockingham), Noelene Heywood (Port Kennedy), Jade Watt (Safety Bay), Alana Caldwell and Paulene Jooste (Baldivis) and Amanda Atherton (Mandurah). The Rising Star award went to Fiona Power in recognition of the outstanding contribution she has provided in the first 12 months of her membership with our service. Two educators from our In Home Child Care service also received an award; Mavis Wasley and Christine Veal. Congratulations to everyone who received an award and whilst not everyone was a recipient, we recognise the contribution every educator makes in providing quality education and care to the children in our service.

New regulations to take effect soon

With the possibility of the Education and Care Regulatory Authority introducing new regulations surrounding services recruiting educators with pools, the service has made changes to our policies and procedures to ensure the risk to children and educators is reduced.  This comes after an investigation into the drowning of a child whilst attending a family day care service earlier in the year. Bright Futures Children's Services takes the safety and well being of all the children in our care extremely seriously and we will do everything in our power to ensure the environments that our educators provide meets all laws and regulations. Read more about Kidsafe's "Safe Barriers Saves Lives" campaign here.

As of October 2019, services will be required to meet a 1:25 educator ratio.  This means that we will need to have one Educator Support Officer for every 25 educators registered with the service. The service is still working with the Education and Care Regulatory Authority to understand how this regulation will affect the service and will transition towards this new regulation next year.

Changes to processing of attendance records

With new regulations taking affect in January 2019 for services regarding how attendances are reported to the Department of Education and Training, Bright Futures is moving from processing paper-based attendance records to having educators submit attendance records for the children in their care via an online portal called Harmony Web. This platform will require parents to have a PIN so that they can sign their child into and out of care.  If your educator has not already advised you of this, they will soon or please ask them about it.  We will need forms completed to ensure your contact details are correct in our system so that we can email you, or any other person authorised to collect your child, an individual PIN number.  Please make sure that when you get your PIN that you treat it as you would your PIN for a credit or debit card. Do not share this PIN with anyone else, including your educator. Keeping your PIN safe from others ensures fraudulent behaviour doesn't happen. If you lose or forget your PIN we can issue you a new one.

Playgroup Adventures

As the weather starts to fine up we are seeing more educators and little faces at playgroup. In conjunction with our normal playgroup sessions, we have begun regular playgroup sessions at the Baldivis Children's Forest where the children have been able to explore and play in nature.  The service is considering moving to a Forest Schools approach that encourages an outdoor learning environment. To read more on the Forest Schools topic, click here.

Upcoming Events

Bright Futures Children's Services' playgroup will have some Christmas magic sprinkled when Father Christmas comes to visit us. From Monday 10th December through to Friday 14th December at our coordination unit in Orelia, children will enjoy some Christmas craft activities including water and messy play. We are looking forward to celebrating the year that has been and seeing the children off into the festive season.

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