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.
The 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 are 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.
Other 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.