Harrisdale Early Learning Centre
Child Australia Harrisdale officially opened on the 17th January 2019. Since they opened their doors it has been a very busy but also an exciting journey that the Harrisdale team have been on
The focus areas for the Harrisdale team have been:
Establishing and developing our curriculum
Building relationships with children, families and the community
Setting up compliant routines and procedures
Establishing and Developing our Curriculum
One of the first priorities was develop a teaching philosophy for Harrisdale as a team. At team meetings they discussed various ‘Approaches to Learning’ and uncovered what pedagogy they connected with. This was a great team bonding process as they discovered what each other’s values and beliefs are as educators and how this influences their teaching practice. The outcome was the team deciding that the ‘Approaches to Learning’ would be used as the foundation of Harrisdale’s curriculum; Reggio Emilia, Loose Parts, Magda Gerber, R.I.E, Circle of Security, Rights of a Child and Play-Based. An extension from this was the team creating the ‘Our Story’ board. The purpose of ‘Our Story’ is to share the journeys of learning that the team is on with the children and how this connects to the Early Years Learning Framework.
Building Relationships with children, families and the community
This has been at the centre of everything that the team do within the centre. Since opening, they have had a range of different local services come to the centre as part of the curriculum. They have connected with the Armadale Fire Service, Armadale Library, Dentist and Woolworths so far and the children have really enjoyed learning more about the different services within their community.
Another priority for the Harrisdale team was to have families actively participate and contribute to what happens within the service. They have set up a Parent’s Nook for families to access a range of books that focus on child development, board games and cook books – this has been well received by the families!
Setting up Compliant Routines and Procedures
Setting up a brand-new service has been filled with a number of learning outcomes for the team as they become more familiar with the individual team members. They have implemented emergency evacuation practices including bush fire, lockdown and fire emergency drills within the service.
The Harrisdale team have recently held a first aid training session on premises. All permanent staff hold a current first aid and CPR certificate.
The Child Australia Lockridge Campus includes an Exceeding rated Early Learning Centre and Outside School Hours Care Service. They provide Quality Education & Care for approximately 90 children attending daily aged between 8 weeks to 12 years.
This year Lockridge has been extremely busy, reaching our highest utilisation ever in December, and welcoming five new Educators to the team, and saying “goodbye” to one long-term educator. The team have had extremely minimal turnover of families from our Early Learning Centre in the new year as most of the Kindy children transitioned over to the OSHC. This has given the service the youngest cohort of children in a long time with the average age of child attending now seven year’s old in the OSHC space. They are continuing to support the local community with weekly excursions to the community garden and a walking bus to Lockridge Primary School.
Staffing and professional development and growth at Lockridge Campus
The team at Lockridge are continually developing, with 14 out of 17 Educators holding their Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
This year they employed a fully Qualified Chef as the food coordinator. Paula has been a fabulous addition to the team and has been instrumental in them implementing a new Menu through the Feed Australia Program. The Lockridge team are aware of how important good nutrition is for the children to give them the best possible start, especially those who are most vulnerable.
This year the team had a sad celebration when their long term Educator May Godinho retired, May had been with them for seven years and is now off travelling around with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.
Highlights of the opportunities presented to staff this year include:
All Educators were offered to attend the ECLD2019 Conference in Perth
All staff have First Aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training – 100% coverage
All staff attended onsite Circle of Security training
Educational Leader Training for an additional Educator to be able to support practices on the floor with the other Educators.
I have been working with Child Australia for four years, in this four years I have become more confident and positive in what I do, with ongoing learning opportunities like PD’S and conferences and I appreciate the skills I have developed.
Feed Australia Program
Another way the Lockridge team have been able to innovate to support good outcomes for children’s health and wellbeing is using the Feed Australia program. The program is designed to help analyse and develop menus to meet the nutritional requirements of the childcare setting. Applying this knowledge has led to an improvement in children’s nutrition. The team are very proud that all meals meet the 50% RDI for children in childcare. The Feed Australia program has not only helped improve the quality of food but has allowed the sharing of recipes and ideas to the families for quick nutritious meals. Making improvements to the nutritional value of children’s food directly benefits the development of positive health behaviours in children to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Formalised transition to school process
This transition program was a tremendous success last year with benefits to the children, kindergarten teacher and the service in general.
The Lockridge Primary School had a complete administration change for 2019 so the transition program has been changed to now include formalised processes and procedures and additional stakeholders.
The Lockridge Campus ECT/Educational Leader along with the Lockridge Primary School Teacher were invited to a Ngala Calista run event focussing on transition to school in their catchment. Feedback from this forum was extremely positive and there is now hope that one can be run in the catchment area in the City of Swan to replicate the enthusiasm for the transition program.
Plans are underway to begin the process for 2020 transition to school over the next few months with a joint visit aimed to include Outdoor Classroom Day again this year, and shared lunches in the middle of fourth term.
Lockridge had to request an increase in our Child Care Subsidy to be able to continue accepting the most vulnerable children in our community. Our Current Additional Child Care Subsidy Gap is sitting at 40%. We have had a fabulous impact on our community with our Reconciliation Action Plan, we have increased from minimal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children in attendance to now where they make up 29% of children in attendance of ELC.
Kids are loving it, despite the normal tears at drop off, they’ve been having a ball and Darcy has settled 100x better than we thought he would. Should’ve made the change years ago!
As part of our orientation period, William and I spent quite a few days together playing with the others in the nursery. Slowly I started to spend some time out of the room to allow William to get to know Uma and Kaylia. I, as I’m sure many parents are, was hesitant to leave William for his first ‘full’ day in care. I think I rang the centre twice that day and was very quick to pick him up in the afternoon. Not once did any of the staff at the centre make me feel embarrassed about my concern, in fact I felt as if the team were supporting me as much as William in the transition.
HIPPY Hedland (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) is a voluntary home-based enrichment program funded through the Australian Government Department of Social Services. HIPPY is a two-year, early learning and parenting program for families with young children aged 4 and 5.
HIPPY empowers families in their role as their child’s first educator and focuses on the development of school readiness with an emphasis on pre-numeracy and pre-literacy experiences, concentration and listening with the intent of improving better educational outcomes for children. The program is facilitated by the coordinator and tutors, through home visits and group meetings therefore providing strong relationships with families, children and community.
In 2019 HIPPY Hedland reached the enrolment target of 25 new enrolments. 80% of the new families are of a CALD background, this has provided all families and Tutors with cultural experiences and new enrichment opportunities at group Meetings.
HIPPY Hedland continues to connect and work collaboratively with other services within the community, through these partnerships families are supported and provided with a wide range of learning opportunities such as; Royal Lifesaving Heart Beat Club, SDERA Road Safety education, Ngala parenting workshops, Circle of Security sessions, Macramé workshops and access to sessions hosted by WA Country Health on a range of topics from Healthy food choices to access to Speech pathologists.
HIPPY has given me the opportunity to remain my child first teacher. A lot of parents I talk to cannot tell me what their child is learning at school. HIPPY had helped keep my child’s communication open and enhance exactly what he is learning at school through HIPPY activities. It is a fantastic program, so many families would benefit.
As a parent I worry when it comes to educating my younger son because English is my second language. I don’t know where to start or how to start. HIPPY is a great program given for free to Mums like me. A step by step procedure, how to build the foundation on teaching my kids. It is a great help building my relationship with my son and builds my confidence and get to meet people.
Being a HIPPY Tutor is a rewarding job, I am able to meet new families and gives me an opportunity to expand my network in town and share my skills and applied knowledge to every pack delivery. Pack delivery enhances my chance to reflect onto my daily routines by talking and sharing experiences we have with families and children, with HIPPY life is great.
HIPPY Geraldton (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)
Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters ( HIPPY) is a two year home based early learning and parenting program.
The HIPPY approach is based on evidence that children’s earliest and most powerful learning comes from their family. This evidence shows that encouraging literacy and numeracy in early childhood sets children up for success in learning throughout their lives. In the Kindergarten and Pre Primary year, HIPPY children work through a weekly/ fortnightly pack of play based educational activities with their parent/carer and family. Parents are supported to bring learning off the activity pack page and into the world, encouraging a love of learning, improved relationships within families, maximising school potential, building self- esteem and confidence.
I’ve really enjoyed doing HIPPY with Rose. It has fulfilled my goal to spend more quality time with her. I’ve learnt so much about the skills that help young children to be successful learners at school and in life. The 3 C’s, and behaviour specific praise are simple and powerful strategies and as an educator, I am excited to add them to my toolkit and share them with other parents.
This year HIPPY Geraldton’s cohort of 60 families reflected the rich and diverse cultural community.
The team worked hard to develop cultural awareness through online training, locally guided workshops and plenty of yarns over tea and soup. Through regular group meetings with guest speakers, community networking, home visits, active listening, roleplay, enrichment workshops and certified tutor training sessions, the team’s lives and the lives of their participants have been so enriched.
Sharing my culture with the team and HIPPY families has been great. I don’t mind at all when people have questions as it’s an opportunity to inform everyone. I’d rather people be informed, rather than assume or not know. It’s been a good opportunity for the team and families to hopefully get more of an insight about my Muslim culture.
I have loved going to the cultural awareness workshops. It’s been really great learning so much and it’s definitely taught me how important it is to have an open mind and embrace everyone no matter someone’s culture or background. Everyone has a story and is different which is amazing.
I have truly enjoyed the HIPPY program this year and so have my two boys. Being new to Geraldton, the program has encouraged us to explore and enjoy our community and learn from it in a way we wouldn’t normally have thought to. As a mother I am so impressed and blown away by what the HIPPY program has to offer. We’ve really enjoyed our tutor visits and I fell we benefit greatly from her insights and suggestions. And I really enjoy our group meetings, hearing from other moms, their ideas and experiences.
This year we have captured the voices of HIPPY Geraldton children. A proud, fun filled photo gallery, beautiful work samples, many written anecdotes via text, phone call, display and even song, an indigenous song taught to age 5 in Green Pack 2. This feedback gives an opportunity for children to voice their experience of the program and will be used to improve and develop HIPPY for future families.
I just love doing all the stuff with you. My favourite book is ‘Big and Small’ and my most favourite pack is Green 1 in Age 4 (he had been through them recently and new exactly which pack to pull out), the sorting activity was my favourite.
I love making things and learning things! But mostly making stuff.
My favourite thing about doing HIPPY is how much fun it is and also doing things with my mum myself. I love the experiment activities like ‘float and sink’ and ‘the freezing one’. My favourite story books were the ‘Animal Counting’, ‘Adam’s Salad’ and ‘Charlie starts school’.
The team have loved sharing the HIPPY program with families in Geraldton this year and look forward to welcoming a new cohort of 30 families in 2020 to share the joy of learning together.
We are really enjoying HIPPY as there are so many fun activities that Jaxon and I can complete at home. As soon as our pack is delivered, Jaxon is sitting up at the table ready to get started.
Brilliant program, what a great learning experience. With one on one time with my daughter it has been wonderful not only for just being her mum but also being her first teacher. Was a great bonding experience and would recommend to all.
Being a HIPPY tutor has been an amazing opportunity for me. I not only get to be my child’s first teacher but also help other parents on their HIPPY journey. The training helps me have an understanding of what my child is learning at school and why things are being done. It’s a privilege to be able to share this with my HIPPY families. It never feels like work, just a chance to help other parents and I can honestly say I love doing this work.
West Pilbara Mobile Children’s Services
WPMCS deliver a play-based learning program built around the EYLF to children and families living in South Hedland and remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara that have limited access to child care services. They are funded by the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Implementing an enriching and educational program to more than 100 children, the team have been able to provide all attending children a culturally appropriate environment with activities that encourage exploration, learning and problem solving. Offering planned numeracy and literacy experiences to suit each child’s individual abilities and interests has ensured a greater readiness when transitioning into their formal years of education. With targeted parent attendance, development and support they have increased the adult attendance by over 50%.
Monday – Strelley 60km from Port Hedland
Tuesday – Yandeyarra 160km from Port Hedland
Wednesday – Warralong 180km from Port Hedland
Thursday – South Hedland Town Square
One of the team’s greatest achievements over the past 12 months has been the service promotion and increased community engagement. The team recognised a need for greater collaboration with local services and agencies – WPMCS could offer the connection that so many of the remote community children and families needed. The response has been overwhelming and the team are proud to report collaboration with over 12 health services and agencies such as Allied Health, Port Hedland Dental, Pilbara Population Health, Police, Aboriginal Family Law. These alliances have provided the opportunity for targeted play sessions, regular health and wellbeing consultations, support for parents/caregivers and engagement in community events. These external services and agencies have continued to refer families to engage in our program schedule and community events. Our latest collaboration saw Royal Life Saving – Heart Beat Club and Keep Watch Program successfully deliver essential life saving skills to some of our Yandeyarra families.
Great to see the kids getting together and learning new things. Good for the kids, they don’t get much
The CA WPMCS team are a service that is welcomed by the community and school here at Strelley. Trudy and her team always plan fun and engaging activities for our children from the range of newborn to 5 years old. The children are always excited to see the WPMCS vehicle pull into the community. Trudy and her team are kind, caring and show a true desire to work with and build relationships with our children, their carers and the school staff. We are seeing increased number of carers joining the Monday morning sessions which is a testament to this. We love having CA WPMCS here at Strelley and can see the valuable results their contribution makes to the children here.
The staff are really friendly and provide awesome activities. My son (2 years 9 months) needs more interactions with children his own age and that’s why I brought him. I can see real progress with his patience and sharing and today he even sat down and traced over the “DAD” I wrote, he’s never done this before. I’m new to town and don’t know anyone so it’s nice to have somewhere to go and meet other mums and get information on another services
Larapinta Early Learning Centre
Larapinta Early Learning Centre is a professional learning community. Ongoing professional development and learning is encouraged and supported. All educators have the opportunity to take an active role in leading reflection and discussion on practice and individual and group goals and planned activities for the children.
Over the past year Larapinta ELC has filled the staffing structure with suitably qualified educators who lead the development of the curriculum. They have focused on building their “own tribe” and educators are encouraged and supported to use their skills, strengths and interests and share them with other educators. The team values relationships with families, children, with each other and their community.
Relationships are built through interaction, interest-based learning and also getting to know the family. By communicating daily with families, educators engage in constructive interactions and have close, secure relationships with the children in their care. Children are encouraged to make choices, take risks and demonstrate increased independence as they get older. Children have attachments and trust the educators who care for them and this is visible in each Play Studio. Educators understand and encourage children to communicate their thoughts and ideas both verbally and non-verbally (Hundred languages of the child – Malaguzzi) and educators practice actively listening and documenting these verbal and non-verbal languages.
Educator’s model and support children to understand the feelings and rights of others and create a culture of inclusion. The team continue to work collaboratively with Larapinta Primary School, Child and Family Centre and Preschool and continue their professional partnerships with external organisations to support all children to grow and develop to their full potential and become lifelong learners. The team have celebrated multiple events in both the community and nation and continue to build on these each year as our family and educators’ diversity and cultures are ever changing.
Larrapinta ELC’s commitment and dedication to high quality education and care practices were highlighted when they were awarded the Exceeding Rating from the Regulatory Authority in October 2018. Being one of the first few services to be assessed under the Revised National Quality Standards in the Northern Territory, this is a true testament to the determination of the team at Larapinta at such an early stage in its development as a service.
The team recognise the importance in working in partnership with families and this enhances better outcomes for their children and their future positive cognitive and social development.
Farrar Early Learning Centre
Farrar ELC is a 56-place centre located in the tropical vibrant city of Palmerston. This year we celebrated 7 years of service to the community. We are proud of our good reputation, delivering high quality education and care to the families and children in Palmerston and this year has been no exception!
Northern Territory Education and Care Awards 2018
Alanna Kole, shortlisted for Emerging Educator Award.
Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award – Research Project Loose Parts.
Winning the Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award at the Northern Territory Education & Care Awards provided the team with worthy recognition for all their hard work and creativity. Incorporating the Loose Parts theory into children’s play has seen a massive improvement to the environments and children’s ability to resource their own learning. The loose parts theory is embedded into practice and is continuously assessed for improvements. Families have been instrumental in supporting the process through donations of recyclables and household items.
Rated Exceeding the NQS
At the beginning of the year our service was assessed under the new ACECQA quality standards and we received a rating of Exceeding the NQS. We welcomed the opportunity to showcase the quality of our service and the final report highlighted our strengths and gave us further direction for improvement. A particular highlight from the report was a comment from the assessor about QA5 Relationships with children.
Educators were observed speaking to children respectfully, listening to their ideas and feelings and physically getting down to their level to uphold children’s rights and dignity. Educators were patient, gentle and calm when supporting and children’s behaviour.
Building a Professional Learning Community
The educator team at Farrar ELC continues to go from strength to strength to build knowledge and skills and “Grow Our Own” in the NT. Over the past year more than half the team engaged in studies to achieve formal qualifications, this includes a school-based trainee from Mary McKillop Catholic College.
Studying towards Certificate III = 2 Staff members
Studying towards Diploma = 7 Staff members
Studying towards Bachelor = 3 Staff members
Along with formal qualifications the team has actively sought to develop their own professional practice attending the Little People Big Dreams Conference in Darwin and the Early Childhood Learning and Development Conference in Perth, both hosted by Child Australia.
Building a reflective culture has been a focus for the service over the past year and all educators regardless of their qualifications and experience have engaged with questions and conversations to explore new ways of thinking about their professional practice. As a result educators are becoming more intentional and responsive as they actively engage in children’s learning. They have continued to implement and embed into practice the Primary Caregiving approach, Respectful Infant Care philosophy and Loose Parts Play.
The diversity of the educator team has increased this year with many different cultures represented; this has broadened understanding of and appreciation for different perspectives.
Strengthening partnerships with families and community
The service continues to uphold its commitment to support families in their parenting role by providing parent information sessions and workshops. Their work alongside allied health professionals and inclusion professionals continues to provide support and resources for children with additional needs. Over the past year the team have worked diligently with the Department to secure funding to support two children in the service.
Acknowledging our work
Early Childhood Educators Day was a great opportunity for families and community to show their appreciation for the work the team do with children. The team received some wonderful donations and gifts from local businesses and families to help them recognise and celebrate their achievements.
Increased family and community engagement
Over the past year the team have seen increased engagement from families and community through centre events, working bees and parent/educator interviews. Families were encouraged to share and show what they know about their work and culture with children and participated in an array of incursions and excursions from Bunnings, Woolworths Discovery Tour, Palmerston City Library, the Defense Force, Police Force and Ambulance service.
Strengthening our social media output
To further strengthen partnerships and provide regular updates the team communicate with families using the Seesaw App. Families receive photos, videos, and communication about their child’s learning and development on a daily basis. This has become families preferred means of communication and participation with the service. Comments from parents of three-year-old children who were photographed engaging in Doctor role-play.
This is wonderful to see!
This is Pippa’s favourite thing to play
Chloe would love this, she loves to look after people when they are unwell
I love seeing this sort of imaginative play! Thanks for your hard work with these set-ups Mel and Hannah! So beneficial for the kids!
An exciting year lies ahead for Farrar ELC as they look to continue their efforts to provide quality education and care for families and children in the Palmerston community.
I wanted to say thank you to all the staff at Farrar for the wonderful care you have given Rowan over the past year.
He has learned so much through all the activities. It was great to see him experience a range of new things, stuff I never would have thought of doing at home. Seesaw was great, I loved getting an insight into his day and knowing he was happy. I’m planning to continue similar activities with him at home, the girls told me he loves baking which is great to know as that can be our special thing together.
The staff showed genuine care for him and always made drops offs easy even on his bad days. I felt I could trust his carers which was really important and many times I even got advice on how to handle little issues we were having.
I really appreciate everything you’ve done.
Palmerston Early Learning Centre
The Young Mums Strong Mums program is now in its third year and improving every year, continuing to provide quality early learning and care for the children within the program. These children are building wonderful relationships with the educators and child and family centre (CFC) staff.
The 2018 eight Young Mums attended a graduation ceremony at Batchelor University, what an amazing achievement for these Mums. The team were so proud of them and happy to be a part of their journey.
The team continue to receive new enrolments into the service from parents who attend the different weekly playgroups, and have also had parents join in Families as First Teachers (FaFT) which has helped strengthen relationships within the Centre.
Culture and Centre Diversity Celebrations
This year the team held a joint reconciliation morning tea with the CFC. The morning welcomed elders and families to gather and listen to the children singing aboriginal songs. The CFC Indigenous Co-ordinator read the children story books such as the Cheeky dog stories and participated in arts and crafts.
NAIDOC was held with the CFC as collaborative community celebration. The team invited a troupe of Torres Strait Islander Dancers whilst Larrakia Nation set up screen printing activities. Dale Austin set up Ochre painting, played the didgeridoo and brought his turtle along for everyone to meet.
The team continued cultural celebrations with the Holi festival. Their Indian educator strives to make this an amazing experience for the children every year and this year was no different. They were all covered in a sea of colours!
The team have many planned activities for the children and families to celebrate as the year moves on.
Staffing Strengths and Numbers
The team have introduced some wonderful new staff to the team at Palmerston. They welcomed a school-based trainee from Mackillop Catholic College; employed a graduate from the young Mums Strong Mums 2018 cohort on a traineeship; and had educators relocate to Darwin from other states to join the team. The team at Palmerston is culturally diverse which is a great strength of the centre.
Strengthening our social media output
The team ensured regular updates for families and the wider community to showcase the amazing things happening throughout the centre. This year they implemented the communication platform Seesaw App for families. This has supported communication between educators and families to strengthen the partnership relationships when planning for children’s learning and development.
The team implemented the use of the Feed Australia program using the App. This has enabled the centre to ensure they are providing quality and nutritious meals to the children at all mealtimes.
Continuing their strive for quality
As a team and service, they are committed to continuous improvement. Their educator team embed self-reflection to improve practice implemented to ensure quality education and care for all children. This year one of their educators Kelly was short listed for the GTNT Vocational Student of the year award.
Nightcliff Early Learning Centre
This financial year marks 12 months of employment for the Director as well as a number of Educators who joined Nightcliff Community ELC when management changed in 2018. They have welcomed and farewelled a number of wonderful Educators in the past 12 months, with many Educators relocating interstate. They are always thankful for the contributions and memories our departing Educators leave with the children and community.
The Director commends the resilience and courage the team has shown as they went through a big period of change. They have reviewed almost every process in the service as a part of the quality improvement process to ensure practices are of quality, are current and suit the needs of the children and the Educators within the team. They have worked hard to continue a culture of positivity, resilience, support, transparency, diversity and respect. Within the review process it is important to consider and reflect whether everything that they do is respectful and child centred.
Building Capacity in our Team
With a change in management comes a change in direction. This year the Director has been working hard to develop capacity of Educators by developing working groups within the team. These working groups not only build on the interests of Educators outside of their day to day activities, they also manage the development of projects within programs that have great value on the learning and development of children. The team’s current projects include a sustainability working group and wellbeing working group. These groups independently attend professional development to build knowledge and have been working within the rooms to contribute to programs. The sustainability team have been developing a policy, reviewing and developing the sustainability plan and working with Educators to put new practices in place within the environments. The team have also been working collaboratively with Nightcliff Primary School’s ‘Eco-Warriors’ cohort of students with the introduction of a recycling bin which is managed by the school, as well as a peer to peer support group around the learning and development of our Sustainable Kitchen Garden Project. The Wellbeing Team have been learning about children’s wellbeing and how to support children holistically, with a focus on mental health and trauma.
A focus on Community
With a change in management in April 2018, a priority of the Director was to strengthen partnerships and working relationships with families, other Child Australia Services (particularly the OSHC program at Nightcliff), the Nightcliff Primary School (of who are partnered with), as well as the broader community of Nightcliff and Darwin.
As a result of the hard work put into this area by the team, they have incorporated more areas of the school within the program, supporting familiarity and confidence for children transitioning to the school in their Transition year. The team have also held shared events with the Nightcliff OSHC team and are continually looking for ways to bring the children together to celebrate the sharing and learning that can be experienced between the various ages.
The team has met with the wider community, including Paws Darwin, Juninga Aged Care and Food Bank NT to explore possibly partnerships. The team will continue these negotiations moving into the next 12 months. They have also had many conversations with families around how to connect to build a culture of support and extend those relationships outside of the service.
This year the team also connected with the local Bunnings store. They were able to secure a 12 month project working together with the service team and with the input of the children, to create a sustainable kitchen garden. The team became a member of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project and within the Eco-Warriors team have been working through the Small Green Steps professional development package. Small Green Steps is supporting the Eco-Warrior team to build knowledge and capacity around sustainable projects and leading this area within the team.
Embedding Indigenous Perspectives
Within the area of community partnerships the team have been working with another Child Australia service close in proximity to explore shared pathways, in both culture and community. Child Australia’s Indigenous Programs Manager, has been working closely with the team to learn about the culture of the Larrakia people and how they can embed Indigenous perspectives within the service and program in respectful and meaningful ways. This journey has involved a NAIDOC event where our Educators, families and Bagot OSHC Educators came together to build relationships and develop a two way partnership of learning. From there the team attended professional development to strengthen their knowledge and practice, as well as appointing a community and culture liaison person within the team to lead the planning and organising of events, particularly round ABTSI events and celebrations. Play Studio 1 Educator has loved the opportunity to work in an area of personal interest being an Aboriginal woman herself.
Moving toward the next 12 months the team will continue planning opportunities for learning for the Nightcliff ELC/OSHC community working closely with the team at Bagot OSHC.
Nutrition and Feed Australia
This year the team migrated the menus over to the Department of Health program ‘Feed Australia’. Feed Australia provides a platform for Early Years services to input their nutrition and menu data for analysis to ensure children are being provided with a balanced nutritious menu. The program also offers menu ideas, support with recipes and information relating nutrition. The Director and Food Coordinator also attended a Professional Development morning to support our migration to this program. The feedback from children has been great, in general children are enjoying the meals and overall the service have not had too many changes to our meals compared to previous menus.
She loves you guys. You are doing an amazing job.
Exceptional quality ELC… We are grateful and happy
My experience with Nightcliff ELC and in the Nursery room has been positive. I feel there was a real positive change in the room at the beginning of 2019 with Haylee leading the team and this positivity has been carried throughout the year. I feel confident with leaving my son there each day, knowing that the carers genuinely care about him and stimulate him in learning activities each day.
Our son is in the nursery room and we are very happy with the service the centre provides. Luca is always happy when we pick him up, the environment is beautiful, the carers are fantastic, the director very approachable and involved and the food for the children is healthy and nutritious. I could not praise this centre enough. There are also plenty of activities for parents to get involved in. Well done Nightcliff Community Early Learning Centre!
Love that my child feels loved and supported by the team! I particularly love the amount of outdoor play that they do and creative activities. He loves going!
My daughter Ella has been attending NCELC for the last year. Since our very first day at the Nursery Ella and I have been supported by all of the staff and team on both a personal and professional level. Ella has undergone some amazing (yet challenging) changes over the last twelve months. As a first time mother I have had many doubts and questions regarding Ella’s learning, development and emotional needs. By receiving informal and formal feedback from staff along with advice and solutions I feel that we have been able to meet her needs and all learn along the way.
Ella has gained confident in her communication and social abilities by engaging in meaningful activities with her peers and friends in the classroom and playground. Not only has Ella now established a stong group of friends but we have both found a supportive community at NCELC.
I am immensely pleased with Nightcliff ELC as a place of care and learning for our daughter. She is always happy to attend daycare, she is comfortable with all of the staff, with her friends and with her surroundings. I do not have any concerns that her safety is not paramount to the daycare team, or that any issues wouldn’t be raised with us promptly.
Our daughter is fortunate that some of the staff are ‘long termers’, whilst other positions have turned over more frequently. In practically all cases, our daughter has great connections with the educators and they all clearly have affection for her and the other children. Genuine empathy is a valuable thing.
The daycare management is fantastic; headed by Renee, they are responsive, patient with our questions and requests, and keen to receive feedback, which shows that they listen. Renee has engendered a culture of delegation to her staff, many of whom seem to have really risen to their respective tasks. It seems to me that this can only be a positive in terms of career development opportunities and job satisfaction. I have full faith that Renee carefully crafts her staff to build the kind of culture and work ethic that serves our daughter very well.
I have been pleased to support and encourage the Centre’s attempts to be innovative and progressive in the services they provide, for example the introduction of adopted pets to daycare. Whilst this particular example didn’t eventuate, it is good to see a centre that is always looking for new and positive experiences for the children.
Nightcliff Outside School Hours Care
Nightcliff OSHC has undergone exciting periods of change in the last 12 months which have shaped the growth and development of the service. In January 2019 they increased to 90 places, expanding the Nightcliff OSHC community which has grown to include over 120 families. This change has driven development in programming practices with the goal of providing meaningful experiences for the individual children within care.
The Nightcliff OSHC team have seen incredible changes in the play, leisure and learning environments as they have worked towards this goal, expanding past the indoor space to engage with more diverse external, natural, environments.
In March 2019 leadership changes within Nightcliff OSHC and Child Australia OSHC NT strengthened the culture of continuous improvement. Part of the continuous improvement focus has included developing free-flow play and transition practices which provide children with increased autonomy and ownership over their experiences at OSHC.
Going from strength to strength
The standout achievement this year has been occupancy growth and maintenance. Nightcliff OSHC has achieved an average after school care occupancy of 93% and 43% occupancy during vacation care in 2019. The service is projected to maintain their occupancy through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.
Where to next for Nightcliff OSHC
Moving forward, Nightcliff OSHC will focus on further developing relationships with the local community. They have begun planning joint projects with Nightcliff Early Learning Centre for the second half of 2019 which will contribute to creating a cohesive community environment for families and children from birth – 12 years. Nightcliff OSHC will also be working towards developing stronger long daycare to after school care transition practices through this partnership.
The team’s primary goal for the remainder of 2019 focuses on developing staffing stability within the service. They aim to achieve this goal through increasing the number permanent part-time Educators employed at the service, decreasing reliance on casual Educators.
Anula Outside School Hours Care
Child Australia’s Anula OSHC, a partnership with Anula Primary School, commenced operation on the 21 April 2019, and were welcomed by the families and school community whole heartedly. The service has the capacity to cater for 70 children in after school care and vacation care programs and are fortunate to be able to offer care to children from pre-school to year 6.
Anula OSHC is a small service, which allows educators greater time to learn more about the children, and allows building a solid rapport and bond with each of them. Educators are cognisant of which activities each child has a preference to, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Educators engage with each child via play and targeted conversations to build an understanding of them which in turn gives the child the knowledge that they are valued and cared about by the educators. Through play and allocation of tasks, educators are able to strengthen and develop the children bringing out the best in all of their abilities
Our goals for the end of the reporting period
Building a solid foundation within the Anula Primary School family
Focusing on trust and unity has been achieved
We will continue to foster, strengthen and build these relationships into the future
Building our OSHC utilisation
The children and their families are the number one priority at Anula OSHC. The team listen to them, structuring activities commensurate with the input and feedback provided. That fact along with specific targeted activities from educators, aligning with the My Time Our Place framework and EYLF, ensures that the team are able to provide exciting and engaging activities enhancing the development the children.
As a parent it is such a relief to know that your child is being cared for in a safe and engaging environment with stable staff. Maggie has always been a bit shy of attending OSHC and it was difficult on school holidays to get her to attend vacation programs as she was anxious & unsure.
At Anula OSHC though she is happy, engaged and always happy to join Tanya, Mick and crew. The vacation care program offered was interesting and enticing and suddenly I had a little girl who was asking to attend sessions. Often I would pick her up only to ask if we could stay a bit longer.
In the afternoons we are always greeted with a hello and the staff are very personable and always happy to chat. Thanks for the great job that you do in helping us to care for the children at Anula Primary School. It is greatly appreciated.
I liked going to vacation care. The animals and the sport that we played were good fun. I liked Mr Michael kicking the football with me.
There used to be a lot of fighting at the old afterschool care and there is none of that now. I like coming to after school care now and there are always cool activities to do.
I like coming to after school care to do doing drawing. Mr Michael is my buddy
I feel great when I’m here. My brother and friends are here and we get to have fun. Mr Michael and Mr Kane help us when do activities and I like how they play games with us
I feel great when I’m here. My brother and friends are here and we get to have fun. Mr Michael and Mr Kane help us when do activities and I like how they play games with us
I love being here it’s always fun. They have great activities to do every day of the week and they have great food. They let us climb trees which is really fun and they let us play handball. I love after school care. After school care = AWESOME/GREAT.
I love going to After school care because we get to climb trees, draw, play handball. After school care = FUN.
As the Principal of Anula Primary I am extremely satisfied with the service and care provided to our students and their families. Child Australia is a professional organisation that fits with the ethos of our school where the child is placed at the centre of all we do. They offer high quality care for our families and also run an exciting and fun filled vacation care program. Our school community is very happy with the service the centre delivers.
The girls would rather come to OSHC and be with you guys than come home to hang out with dad. You do a great job with them, thank you
Wanguri Outside School Hours Care
Wanguri OSHC is one of Child Australia’s newest services, and is a growing program that currently caters for more than 70 families attending Wanguri Primary School. The Program also caters for Pre School aged students. Wanguri OSHC’s primary purpose is to support the growth, development and quality of life for their young people, their families and communities.
They believe that supportive play-based environments create rich experiences that foster relationships, develop children’s social skills and scaffold how they step out into the wider world. The team seek to set up their children for success by developing confident, self-effective, compassionate and resilient future leaders. Educators show unconditional positive regards toward the children and take an active interest in their physical and emotional wellbeing. The team understand that behaviour is a form of communication and listen for the words not said to meet their needs.
The team understand that the service provides a connection between home and school. They recognise the opportunity to create meaningful experiences, develop extra-curricular interests or skills, and establish important connections. The team welcome and celebrate diversity in all forms, understanding that it enriches the service and community.
The team encourage and promote local and global conscientiousness, building respect for their environment, each other, and themselves. They seek to employ sustainable practices, reduce their environmental footprint and assist in making this world a better place.
Our goals for the financial year end 2019 were the following:
Continue to strengthen partnerships with their families and their involvement in the program
To continue working towards a culture of continuous improvement.
Wanguri OSHC are proud of their achievements this year. Some key highlights include: a strong Partnership with the School, families and community; feedback from families, visitors and the school community – noting the significant changes implemented over the past twelve months; and their strong and stable utilisation.
Ned and Alby only attend 1 day a week, but based on that, our experience with Child Australia OSCH have been quite positive. It seems to be better structured with a range of activities compared to the previous OSCH. Ned and Alby seem to be learning at OSCH instead of ‘filling in’ time. Staff are always pleasant, friendly and helpful. Although Ned and Alby have only attended a couple of days of the vacation care program, they always enjoy the activities. The programs always look interesting and educational.
I have been very happy with the new Wanguri OSHC. The staff did an excellent job in difficult circumstances getting everything set up at the start of the year. All the team members are friendly, professional and approachable. The flexibility with changing or adding days has been much appreciated- I have a casual job so don’t always get a lot of notice regarding work days.
The main difference this year at OSHC been an increased focus by staff on encouraging students to maintain positive relationships. Previously, antisocial behaviours were sometimes ignored by staff which led to some younger students feeling unsafe or mimicking inappropriate behaviour. It has been great to see staff intervening when necessary. I often see staff making an effort to spend time talking and playing with some of the students who are still working on their appropriate social interactions. It makes me feel glad to see staff building positive relationships with these kids and modelling positive behaviours instead of just telling them off 🙂
My kids are happy at OSHC and their only feedback is they would like more screen activities, specifically “educational Minecraft 😂
The past 12 months at the Bagot Community OSHC has seen many positive changes. The fully renovated kitchen has aided in the transition to a new and healthy menu, which is proving to be a success. The old play equipment in the backyard has been removed and the outdoor space cleared, which has opened up ideas and plans for a new outdoor area in the future.
Vacation care has seen many excursions including trips to the Territory Wildlife park and the movies, the children were also lucky enough to have had the chance to take part in a ‘couch surfing’ event hosted by Anglicare NT, this in an annual event to highlight the issue of youth homelessness. This was a joint initiative with Corrugated Iron, a youth arts team that works with Bagot OSHC on a regular basis. The event saw ‘Team Bagot’ decorate a couch which then had wheels attached and take part in team races. Corrugated Iron kindly supplied the couch and a talented street artist so they could decorate it with the children, who enjoyed the whole process. This was a brilliant experience for the children to have been a part of where they showed great team spirit, through a long hot day of racing, only missing out on the top spot by a fine margin.
A ‘walking bus’ has been added to the OSHC program for the children to return from school and transition into OSHC; this has been a great success with both families and children. The environments have undergone many makeovers, trying out new spaces and experiences which are inviting, allow and encourage the children to be creative.
Looking to the future there are several upgrades planned for the building – with bathroom renovations and an outdoor area upgrade. The team are also looking to further community engagement by collaborating with other services within Child Australia. Our links with Corrugated Iron will continue moving towards a project-based approach.
Bagot Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS)
Mums and Bubs
2019, what a great year for participants and staff of the Mums and Bubs at Bagot. There were a few new enrolments in the program with four new Bagot Babies born this year which has been very exciting. The Mums and Bubs program is always well attended during the week and families have been full of new and innovative ideas for the program. The staff have been busy too, undertaking professional development and Certificate III in ECEC. Growing skills and creating new opportunities for the children in Bagot is the team’s passion and they have the greatest time doing it. Supporting parents and children’s relationships and helping families’ nurture the connections with their children is the team’s favourite part of working at Bagot.
Families for School Attendance [FFSA]
The support the team offer to families on the Bagot community is driven by the individual needs of each family and each of the children within the family. The team’s work this year has been focused on supporting families to assess CCS within Centrelink, Support with Territory families and child protection. Ongoing support with children who have experienced trauma and solution-focused plans to support their participation in school. The Families for School Attendance program work is now supported by the Bagot Communities safety plan and network meetings. The heavy focus on a safe community for children and working collaboratively with the steering group has given the work a new direction and ability to be part of larger scale change in the community. Being a recognised and valued partner to the Bagot community is something the team are extremely proud of.
Success in school attendance is the driving force behind the Walking Bus, historically children with 100% attendance were a rarity amongst the Bagot children. This year we have seen most children sitting consistently between 80% and 100% weekly. Children with 100% attendance occurs frequently and on two occasions this year the school has reported 100% attendance of all the Bagot children enrolled on a single day. This is an incredible milestone for the Walking Bus and not done without hard work and consistent and predictable routines and support. The Walking Bus is a staple service for the Bagot Community.
Collective Impact (CI)
The Collective Impact work has had three major focuses this year: housing and community upgrades; program development for youth services in the Bagot community; and the partnership between Child Australia and the Bagot Community Aboriginal Corporation. While these have been the bigger focus areas the team have also worked with the community on the safety plan and other key events for the community like NAIDOC.
With the announcement of major funding for Aboriginal community housing upgrades this year the CI team has been diligently working with Yili housing to ensure that the houses and facilities for the community get the much needed renovations. Improving the lives of the families and children in the community has been a central piece of work of the collective impact plan from its outset. With a commitment from the Territory Government this year the team have been able to move this part of the plan for Bagot into Action. The funding has seen 17 houses renovated, main community offices renovated, installation of sufficient lighting around the community, safety bollards around community spaces, asphalt upgrades for roads, new water pipes across the whole community and drainage as well as appropriate fencing around each home. This body of work is still ongoing. The upgrades have allowed the community advisory committee to begin making significant changes around the community and to work towards the vision they have for Bagot.
The Collective Impact team also sought out and developed a partnership with Darwin community arts to provide the youth [aged 10-18] to have opportunities to develop music and drumming skills. This program is still developing itself but has already seen some fantastic outcomes for the drumming workshops. The children involved featured as a main act at the NAIDOC event for 2019 and brought the whole place down.
The NAIDOC event was a collective event ran by the whole team for the community. The full day of activities included flag raising ceremony, traditional dancing, damper making, spear throwing contests and music acts including the Bagot Drummers. Service providers had stalls and information set up all day for the families and the event was attended by the entire community and many visitors ventured in for the day. It was by far the highlight event for this year and the team are planning a bigger and louder event for 2020.