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Cire Kids Hub is a Hit

Lights, camera, action

Cire Children’s Services has gone virtual in a big way in response to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as remaining open to continue to deliver long day care, occasional care, kinder and outside school hours care, particularly for essential services workers and other parents needing support.

The new virtual persona of Children’s Services has topped the charts, unexpectedly showcasing some amazing extra-curricula talents among our educators and staff, as well as keeping engaged and connected, youngsters unable to physically attend our sites at Chirnside Park, Mount Evelyn and Yarra Junction, Badger Creek and Woori Yallock.

Drawing on their previously untapped talents, and taking the plunge for some, the educators have been extremely creative and resourceful in using Facebook posts and videos and creating our own YouTube playlist to deliver a raft of exciting initiatives.

Cire Kids Hub is a HitThe virtual initiatives include our recently launched Cire Kids Hub featuring videos of educators presenting a range of activities such as storytime, with a special session on the significance of Anzac Day and making playdough with rosemary; singing; Spanish and Japanese lessons; and craft projects for children and parents to do together including making worry dolls to help children identify and manage any concerns. Educators have even combined their culinary expertise for a cooking session focusing on healthy lunch box ideas and eating habits that would have sent high profile master chefs into a frenzy of envy. Since the launch of Cire Kids Hub, our Facebook engagement has increased by over 60% so we know video is the best way to engage through social media.

 

Executive Manager of Children’s Services, Diletta Lanciana, said she was extremely proud of how the Children’s Services team has risen to the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions to keep young children engaged and connected.

“They have provided invaluable support to children, their parents and their families at a time of great need,” she said.

“Our centres have remained open positioning our staff as frontline workers providing an essential service during the pandemic. They have been extremely professional and have followed closely all recommended practices to ensure the safety of children, families and educators.”

For those children unable to physically attend the centres, the fact the directors have been delivering online helps provides a reassuring level of normality.

Children’s Services Compliance Director Mel Saaghy-Walsh has herself become a fan.

“We know we have lots of clever and talented educators but when they step out of their comfort zones and become involved in something like this, that’s when you really see them shine even more,” Mel said.

“I enjoy watching everyone’s clips and can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Meanwhile, one mum said:

It is so exciting for our child to see her educator, Anna on Facebook. She really enjoyed the story of the apple and couldn’t wait for me to cut the apple in to show a star pattern.”

Other Children’s Services initiatives have included:

  • contacting families who aren’t attending to see how they can be best supported while they areCire Children's Services Apple Week 2020 at home
  • supporting families with resources and referrals
  • offering extra days of care for families who are essential workers or vulnerable
  • craft packs for families who may not have access to craft items at home
  • Just before the COLVID-19 restrictions, Finger’s Orchard at Launching Place donated apples to Children’s Services to distribute and whet the learning appetites of youngsters for a special program focusing on healthy eating and fresh fruit production. In learning where the apples came, the children were introduced to a broad range of other topics including an appreciation of other cultures with the orchard employing a team of pickers from Vanuatu.

Mother's Day gift - thanks to Good360Other benefits to families experiencing extra challenges due to COVID-19 have included items from Good360 which distributes new and surplus goods donated by its network of Australian manufacturers and businesses.

Children’s Services educators made up ‘Little Cups of Care’ with a range of items from Good360 for children to give to their mums/carers on Mother’s Day.  A large donation of Quilton toilet paper was also distributed to families across

Click here for further information on Cire Children’s Services and to book a tour.

Little Cups of Care overflow with Mother’s Day joy

‘Little Cups of Care’ gave local mums momentous pleasure on Mother’s Day, as well as great joy for the children delivering the surprise packs, thanks to an initiative by Cire Children’s Services.

With donations from the Good360 network, Cire staff made up almost 200 care packs so childcare services and Out of School Hours Care children could give their mums some unexpected ‘thank you’ treats for Mother’s Day.

‘Many of our mums are doing it tougher this year because of COVID-19. We made up the packs because we wanted to do something special for them and show our care and support,’ said Diletta Lanciana, Executive Manager, Cire Children’s Services.

‘Also, with the majority of children remote learning, many of the traditional Mother’s Day stalls were not held at schools, or the children were unable to attend.’

Many families in the Yarra Ranges have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and some of the goods in the care packs were a small way of helping to reduce financial pressures.

Little Cups of Care overflow with Mother’s Day joyThe packs included an assortment of make-up from NYX, Argan and L’Oreal; often the last items on a shopping list. The ‘Little Cups of Care’ was overflowing with blush, eyeliner, anti-ageing eye cream, lipsticks and glosses, Colgate toothpaste, Banana Boat sunscreen, a Jamie Oliver cup, and beautiful ribbon.

Good 360 is a not-for-profit initiative that helps match make surplus new goods with Australians facing challenging life circumstances. The goods are donated to Good360 by socially responsible companies and distributed by registered NFPs like Cire.

Cire has received a diverse range of items valued at several hundred thousands of dollars that benefit those who access services and programs through our core operations: Cire Children’s Services, Cire Community School, and Cire Training and Hubs.

Little Cups of Care overflow with Mother’s Day joy

Amanda Quilty (Director of our OSHC programs) putting the packs together

A bit of history about Mother’s day

Mother’s Day is an occasion which is celebrated in various parts of the world to express respect, honour, and love towards mothers. The day is an event to honour the contribution of mothers, acknowledge the efforts of maternal bonds and the role of mothers in our society

Its origins can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as ‘Mothering Sunday’.

American Anna Jarvis is also credited for a designated day to celebrate Mother’s Day. In 1908, she held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. … In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honour mothers.

Brooke shares spirit of NAIDOC and beyond

Wurundjeri educator, Brooke Wandin, recently injected special meaning into 2019 NAIDOC Week at Cire Children’s Services with an engaging session that captured the hearts of her young audience and staff.

Brooke is from the Woiwurrung speaking Wurundjeri-Wilam clan. Her family has been living in the area we now know as the Yarra Ranges for countless generations. Brooke introduced herself and greeted us in Woiwurrung and then shared some family photographs.

The children were particularly enthused when Brooke taught us a welcome rhyme and a wonderful Wurundjeri song which we are using to start our daily mat time. We have continued to share them with their inclusion at the end of this article.

Brooke read a beautiful story, “Wilam – A Birrarung Story”, which is illustrated by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy and written by respected Elder Aunty Joy Murphy and Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly.

The book captured the story of Birrarung (also known as the Yarra River), its history, the flora and fauna that live alongside it, from its source to the function it performs as a part of modern-day life. The following excerpt highlights the spirit of the book:

As ngua rises, Bunjil soars over mountain ash, flying higher and higher as the wind warms. Below, Birrarung begins its long winding path down to palem warreen. Wilam – home. 

As part of her engaging session, Brooke also taught the children a fun “traffic light” game, where each colour was written in Woiwurrung. Red meant stop, yellow meant slow and green meant go. To finish off her visit, Brooke showed the children some fantastic Woiwurrung language cards of Australian animals, such as bunjil the eagle, waa the crow, ngarrert the frog, gurrng-gurrng the kookaburra, and marram the kangaroo.

Links to the Early Years Learning Framework
Brooke’s visit was particularly relevant in the context of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), as well as respecting our rich Indigenous heritage:

EYLF Outcome 2– Community:
Children discover and explore some connections amongst people and explore the diversity of culture, heritage, background and tradition and that diversity presents opportunities for choices and new understandings

Children become aware of connections, similarities and differences between people and listen to the ideas of others and respect different ways of being and doing. Children notice and react in positive ways to similarities and differences among people

EYLF Principles: Respect for Diversity
Educators recognise that diversity contributes to the richness of our society and provides a valid evidence base about ways of knowing. For Australia, it also includes promoting a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being.

EYLF Practices: Cultural competence
Educators who are culturally competent respect multiple cultural ways of knowing, seeing and living, celebrate the benefits of diversity and have an ability to understand and honour differences. This is evident in everyday practice when educators demonstrate an ongoing commitment to developing their own cultural competence in a two-way process with families and communities. Educators also seek to promote children’s cultural competence.

The following are Brooke’s welcome and Wurundjeri song:

Brooke’s welcome:
Hello land (touch floor)
Hello sky (hands up)
Hello me (hug self)
Hello you and I (stretch arms out to greet friends).

Wurundjeri song:
We live on Wurundjeri land,
We live on Wurundjeri land,
Thank you Wurundjeri people
For taking care of our land!

We play on Wurundjeri land,
We play on Wurundjeri land,
Thank you Wurundjeri people
For taking care of our land!

Cire Children’s Services is one of the four core operations of Cire Services Inc.

We proudly operate a range of quality children’s services at multiple sites across the Yarra Ranges in order to meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve.

We program include long day care incorporating a funded kindergarten program, occasional care, outside school hours care, vacation care and playgroups.

We provide opportunities, skills and support for both children and families.  We believe in the individuality of each child and promote a holistic approach to education and care which encompasses the overall health and wellbeing of every child who attends our services.

Muddy puddle fun to help children worldwide

Yarra Junction Children’s Centre recently participated in the “Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk”, a virtual event for children, families and organisations to help children worldwide caught up in the horrors of war and natural disasters.

The annual Save the Children Fund initiative gives our children the opportunity to experience the joy of giving to others while also learning about children around the world and their challenges.

Muddy puddle fun to help children wordwideCire’s whole centre, from the nursery room to the kindergarten program, participated in the fund raiser through an engaging program at our bush block organised by our wonderful educators. From water play, to muddy puddles to exploring our world with curiosity, wonder and interest, Peppa’s Muddy Puddle Walk was a great way for our children to be active and to connect and experience with their natural environment.

The children were really engaged and had a great time playing and discovering new things in their surrounds such as insects, plants, leaves and branches.

The Save the Children Fund runs programs in Australia and around the world dedicated to helping children access education and reach their full potential. Whether in a remote part of the world, in a refugee camp or after a natural disaster, the organisation ensures children can continue to learn in a safe and positive environment.

In recognising how education in the early years impacts on how a child learns and develops, the fund’s key priorities focus on strong literacy and numeracy skills.

The fund facilitates training of teachers and offers support and professional development to ensure children receive the best education possible:

“We believe every child deserves a healthy start to life, an education and the chance at a better future. But millions of children around the world are missing out through no fault of their own.”

Apart from the fun of being involved, supporting the Muddy Puddles Walk helps provide education and opportunities for better outcomes to children who may be experiencing turmoil in their lives from crisis such as war and natural disasters.

As Save the Children states, “Education can be a powerful catalyst for change. It brings hope and a sense of normalcy, even in the most unusual circumstances”.  At Cire, this is something we really believe in and this supports our vision “to enhance the lives, capabilities and opportunities in our community”.

For further information about this fantastic cause, visit Muddy Puddle Walk

If you would like to know more about Cire Children’s Services click here or call 1300 835 235

Cire’s Gumboots Playgroup now available in Healesville

Thanks to a grant through FRRR’s (Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal) Grants for Resilience and Wellness Program (GR&W), families with pre-schoolers in the greater Healesville area are connecting with and supporting each other through the Badger Creek Playgroup.

The supported playgroup aims to engage and promote inclusiveness and connectedness among local families. The much-needed initiative, funded by FRRR over a two-year period, is part of Cire’s very successful Gumboots playgroup program across several sites in the Yarra Ranges.

Badger Creek facilitator Sarah Anastasio said that some participants, particularly those who live in more rural areas, have benefitted noticeably since the playgroup was launched at the Badger Creek Primary School earlier this year.

‘Some parents said previously their children did not socialise much due to where they lived.  At Badger Creek Playgroup, they have become more confident in their interactions with other children and adults,’ Sarah said.

Badger Creek is a great addition to Cire’s popular Gumboots Program and overall mission to meet the needs of children and their families within our reach.

Cire’s playgroups include:

  • Gumboots at the Upper Yarra Family Centre at Yarra Junction and at Little Apples Playgroup at Gladysdale Primary School, as well as Badger Creek
  • an unstructured playgroup at the Cire’s Yarra Junction Community Hub
  • a Parent-Child Mother Goose Program to commence in July. Funded by the Helen Macpherson-Smith Trust, the program will be delivered at Millwarra Primary School campuses at Millgrove and East Warburton and at the Yarra Junction Community Hub. Parent-Child Mother Goose is a particularly engaging program which strengthens attachment and interaction between parents, carers, and youngsters through the pleasure and power of thymes, songs and stories.

For further information about our playgroups, please contact Cire on 1300 835 235.

Having access to playgroup is vital to building and strengthening communities.

For children, it provides them with the opportunity to learn, experience a, investigate and interact with their environment. It offers them experiences to think, plan and create, do and find out. In a playgroup context, quality early relationships are fostered with trusted adults, providing the framework for early years’ development and learning.

Supported playgroups in particular offer parents and carers valuable support and resources and a source of information when facing parenting challenges and related issues and isolation.

Playgroup empowers and encourages parents to recognise the role they play in their child’s development. It allows them to take time out of a busy, to slow down and enjoy playing with their child, to watch and delight in the amazing steps their child takes while making sense of the world around them.

Cire Children’s Services is one of the core operations of Cire Services, one of the largest not-for-profit organisations serving the Yarra Ranges and beyond.

Cire Services core operations are:

  • Cire Children’s Services delivering long day care including integrated kindergarten programs; occasional care; outside school hours care as well as other services including playgroups.
  • Cire Community School, a positive alternative to mainstream education for secondary school students.
  • Cire Training, our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) offering accredited/pre accredited short courses.
  • Cire Community Hubs offer a diverse range of programs and services.

Prams to go

Diletta Lanciana, Geoff Vickers and Roseda CampbellCire Services would like to thank the Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Bank branches for their generous sponsorship towards the purchase of three quad multi-seat strollers. Cire Long Day Care in Yarra Junction is located at 39-41 Little Yarra Rd, Yarra Junction. The centre is located at the back of the property (shared with the Cire Community School and Outside School Care program) and borders significant bush plantation. The location of the main evacuation point (Yarra Junction oval) is located 900 metres away. It was identified that quad multi-seat strollers would assist in the event of an evacuation as well as increase the opportunities for educators to take children out on excursions to the fantastic outdoor spaces of Yarra Junction (with parental permission of course!)

4 Wheel prams donated by Bendigo BankEach quad multi-seat stroller buggy features removable canopies, a rain and wind cover with Velcro snug fit to make sure that the children within the stroller stay warm and dry. A large storage area underneath the stroller seats is present for all essentials required for an outing. The buggy folds compactly for ease of storage and is certified to the mandatory safety standards for Australia and New Zealand AS/NZS 2088:2000 Prams and strollers- Safety requirements. The stroller features a five-point safety harness on each seat, 360 pivot wheels with a locking option, handbrake safety mechanism, a rear foot brake, a reflective strip on the stroller canopy while each stroller has a padded bumper bar for front passengers. The stroller is suitable for children aged 6 months to 4 years of age with a maximum weight for each child being 15kg.

Next time you are at Cire Children’s Centre in Yarra Junction, come and check out these fantastic red strollers!

Thanks again to the Bendigo Bank who continue to support us to endure we can deliver quality childcare services to the community.

If you would like to more about Cire Children’s Services call 1300 035 835.

Upper Yarra Community Enterprise

 

 

A refurb grand enough for the Mayor

Cire Children’s Services kicked off the new year with a refurbishment of the kinder room at our Mt Evelyn campus. The refurbished area features individual learning spaces that encourage interactive play and early development of social skills. This valuable space is now a multi-age classroom where children have the room to explore with their friends and create their own adventures.

Kinder grand Opening by Mayor Len CoxOur 4-year-old kindergarten room was officially opened by Cr Len Cox on Wednesday 28th February 2018. We marked the event with a plaque which was unveiled by Cr Cox followed by a special morning tea.

“They’ve done a marvellous job.” Cr Len Cox Mayor of Yarra Ranges

It was an exciting day for everyone involved especially the children and staff of our Pre-school room. The children decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies for the morning tea which provided a great learning experience focusing on literacy, numeracy and science while they read the recipe, measured the ingredients and watched the cookies rise. The children couldn’t wait to sample some of their cookies to ensure they were up to their standards for our guests. Cooking is a simple task that can be transformed into a great learning opportunity for all to enjoy.

The room was beautifully set up with the children’s interests and needs at the forefront. There were displays of the children’s learning journey and lots of activities set up to showcase the learning that happens in Cire kindergarten. The kindergarten children and the team have worked hard to make their room a wonderful educational environment fostering individuality and creativity.

Thank you to everyone that helped with this event, our cook who made scones and prepared morning tea and special thanks to our kindergarten team and the children for all their hard work and for the yummy chocolate cookies. We would also like to thank the Cire maintenance team who managed the refurbishments and to everyone who attended to celebrate with us. Finally, thank you to Cr Len Cox for taking time out of his busy schedule to officiate our Kindergarten Room Opening.

For further information regarding Cire Children’s Services call 1300 835 235.

A popular tune sparks imagination

Over the last few weeks, we have had a growing interest in catching the bus and buses in general. When my friends began singing “The Wheels On the Bus” on a daily basis with no prompting, having lengthy discussions of themselves and siblings catching the bus, I knew we were on a path of genuine interest and limitless learning potential!

During a sing-along one afternoon I sat down on a chair and begun the motion of the song, immediately everyone in the group quickly mimicked my actions by grabbing their own chairs and lining them up along mine. Before I knew it we had a bus made simply from chairs and imagination!
Inspired by the enthusiasm and creativity of the 3 year old children I located a large table which we safely upturned and placed the chairs in, the sheer attraction and response to the somewhat basic bus were overwhelming!

A popular tune sparks imaginationThe children were delighted with this simple bus, but discussions quickly followed on how to extend the functionality and appearance of the bus with many ideas being shared. We decided the best way to start would be to find a way to attach a roof. We did not have any suitable materials to build a roof so we wandered over to the kinder room to see if we could find something that might work. I spied some long cardboard tubes and asked if we could borrow them, so the children and myself carried them back and erected the tubes over the legs of the upturned table thus creating a structure for lay the roof! We placed material over the tubes and fastened them with pegs. The children were so proud of their construction efforts, knowing they had collaborated and problem solved using their innately clever brains.

“It needs a roof” – William

“How can we make doors?” – Lilly

“I’m going to drive the bus” – Josh

“Can I help do lights?” – Sophie

“I’m going to the shops” – Parker

“I need to take baby” – Heidi

Over the next few days, there were many play episodes involving our bus,including trips with babies and going to the shops with handbags. Not long after the discussion of bus improvements came up and the children suggested doors and walls on the bus so a call out to parents asking for recycled materials such as cardboard and plastics was in order. We received a big donation of cardboard from a parent and we began the process of painting and attaching. The children decided that they wanted a yellow bu

A popular tune sparks imagination

s like the ones they saw on television so we used roller brushes to paint the many sheets of cardboard. Once they had dried we attached them to the upturned legs of the bus using lots of sticky tape thanks to the help from the children. We cut out windows and doors and over the next couple of days, we attached a windscreen, headlights, steering wheel and windscreen wipers! It didn’t stop there, every bus needs a bus stop so we created one using fake grass, traffic lights and a stop sign.

We have decided to continue our work and play on the bus as an ongoing project and on Friday we upgraded the roof and added scenery around the bus to create a lovely view for our little travellers.

This project has provided us with numerous learning opportunities such as social development from negotiating and understanding roles, gross motor and spacial development from navigating the space, literacy from the songs sang involving the bus, counting passengers, creative expression and sense of self and community from valuing the children’s input and ideas. I can’t wait to see where this learning journey takes us!

If you would like to know more about our children’s services or seek information on early childhood education and care training courses call 1300 835 235.

The day in the life of an Autistic child in Long Day Care

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition which affects how people make sense of the world and how they communicate and interact with others. People with ASD may experience behavioural and sensory issues, along with difficulties in social interactions, communication and repeated or restricted interests or behaviours.

Here at Cire Services, we support children, teenagers and families who may have ASD or are supporting a family member with ASD. We have students with autism at our school, Cire Community School, and in our pre-accredited courses at Cire Training; we provide relief to carers of children with autism through Cire In Home Care; and we have children who attend our long day care and after school care programs at Cire Children’s Services who have been diagnosed as on the Autism Spectrum.

Whilst understanding of ASD has come a long way, many people still have misconceptions regarding Autism. With understanding and greater awareness, we can break down social barriers and support those living with or affected by ASD. The following was written by Lysa Smart, the director of Cire Children’s Centre, Yarra Junction campus, from the viewpoint of a day in the life of an autistic child and how their view of the world can differ.

I have ASD and this is my day…

My day begins with routines and familiar guardians and family before I head off to long day care.

Upon arrival at long day care I quickly scan the room to check for my friends, familiar educators and experiences that I am familiar with.

I am very sensitive to changes in my environment and when I notice these changes it can make me feel like I’m not in control. When I don’t have control I become very upset and can become aggressive towards everyone in my environment.

Sometimes I don’t like loud noises so when the room gets busy this can be upsetting. I may make my own noises because I like to experiment with how my voice sounds.

My friend Cheryl in the kitchen knows that I like my food served in a special way and it must be the same way every day!

When I become engaged in experiences in my room my senses become heightened and if I feel uncomfortable with the texture I may not want to join in, especially if it feels funny or makes me messy.

I also like to hide in my environment because it’s how I cope if I have no one to help me and make me feel safe.

Sometimes you can redirect me to things I am interested in and this will help bring me back to the green zone, but I need your help to achieve this.

I normally have a very long day so please remember that I don’t do these things to make you angry, I do them because I don’t know how to stop, this is my way of asking for help.

All of these things may apply to me or some may apply to other friends with Autism, we are all different.

And the following is another viewpoint of a day in the life of an autistic child:

Lots of children with Autism have a special interest; I have had an interest in birds for a long time.

My bird lives in my Pocket

Wow what does he eat?
He doesn’t eat anything

Why doesn’t he eat anything?
Because he’s not real

Can I meet your bird?
No he’s tiny.

Ok maybe another time I can meet your bird.

(Ten minutes later)

Here is my bird

What is your bird’s name? I have forgotten.
He hasn’t got a name he is just bird.

(Sitting on the table is a small porcelain bird sitting next to the child)

Look my bird is missing his head.

What happened?
I didn’t like him anymore. He wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do.

Ok, does he need to go to the hospital?
Yes can we put him in a box?

What size box do you think we need?
Only a small one as he doesn’t have a head anymore.

I feel comforted by having my bird with me.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects children in many different ways and as educators we provide support based on those individual needs.

If you would like to join this rewarding industry Cire Training offers Certificate and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care – now taking enrolments for semester 1 2017.

For further information on Cire Community School an alternative to secondary school call 1300 835 235.

For further information on Cire Children’s Services call 5967 2776 Yarra Junction or 9736 1918 Mt Evelyn.

My country, our country – we all belong

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) which is held on the 4th August every year, was celebrated at Cire Children’s Centre in Yarra Junction.

Children’s Day is a day to celebrate the strengths and culture of our indigenous children. It is a day to help these children stand tall and feel proud and connected to their heritage. It is also a day to help all children learn about the importance of community, culture and family.

The theme of this year’s Children’s Day was “My Country, Our Country- We All Belong.” With this in mind, the children, their parents and staff at the Centre were asked 3 questions

  1. What is belonging?
  2. What does belonging mean to you?
  3. What does it feel like to belong?

Some of the responses were:

“We live somewhere” Eleanor, K4
“Eating. I’m happy” Brachan, K3
“Being in a family friendly environment” Adam, indigenous parent
“With my mummy” Alannah, toddler
“Feeling a part of where I am” Michelle, parent
“The kids know me and talk to me” Leah, work placement student
“Staying with family” Aden, K4
“Feels good” Jenny, toddler
“LOVED” Ash, indigenous parent
“Have fun” Amelia, toddler
“Being accepted for who you are, not what you look like” Bec, parent
“Being part of the jigsaw” Demi, staff
“Identity and origins” Tony, staff

Children's Day creations

The Yarra Junction 4 year old kinder group (K4) had a visit from the Mount Evelyn K4 group and together they explored the Bush Kinder area. This is an area of bushland adjacent to the three and four year old kindergarten rooms and, through their time spent exploring, allows the children to engage in outdoor spaces with plants, trees, rocks, mud and water to invite open ended interactions, spontaneity, risk taking and a connection with nature and the land. The uninterrupted time spent engaging with natural materials helps the children explore and make use of the land they learn and play on.

Other activities that were held on Children’s Day included engaging with indigenous puzzles including those from indigenous Australian artists and photos of our native land and also sharing dream time stories together in bush kinder on the yarning mat. The children really enjoyed how the birds got their colours and when the snake bites the sun.

The children were inspired and enthused when they painted outdoors in the bush kinder using earth colours and tones. Educators discussed with the children how they thought people used paints long before there were paint brushes. The children were then encouraged to source their own materials for painting. Many choose bark, leaves and sticks to use in the paint.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was a fantastic experience for not only the children who attend Cire Children’s Centres, but also for their parents and educators.

“We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land in which we learn and play, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.”

Related blog article – Kindergarten a child’s garden

For further information about our early childhood education and care services click here.