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.