Mt Evelyn Children’s Services achieve an Exceeding Rating
Mount Evelyn Cire Children’s Centre Long Day Care program (LDC) and Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) have recently participated in the National Quality Rating and Assessment process and are delighted to announce that they have received an Exceeding Rating in all 7 quality areas.
The Rating and Assessment audits are conducted by authorised officers from the Department of Education and Training. The visit was over two days and the Mount Evelyn centre was rated against the following seven quality areas:
1. Educational program and practice
2. Children’s health and safety
3. Physical environment
4. Staffing arrangements
5. Relationships with children
6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
7. Leadership and service management
During the visit the officer observed practices and interactions and went through the Children’s Centre’s documentation. Discussions were also held with management, educational leader and room leaders. The assessor commented on the strong relationships and interactions between the staff and the children, as well the sustainability practices and community connections that the centre has established. The report also commented on how clearly the programming and planning was consistently driven by each child’s current knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests.
The exceeding rating is a true reflection of the hard work and passion that the Cire educators and management bring to their roles and the service. By achieving this rating the centre is now eligible for an Excellence Rating which we will strive for in the near future.
2016 Highlights to share
Fun at the Bush Block
The children have loved visiting to the bush block in Yarra Junction! They excitedly explored the space, running and yelling with delight. They discovered lots of fallen trees to walk along and practice their balancing skills, as well as trees to climb. They found yabby holes and decided that they were snake holes! There was lots of lovely imaginative play involving animals, birds and kings and queens. The children were fascinated by the tree sap coming out of some of the gums and agreed that it was called tree blood. There was lots of interest in the insect house, and most of all, lots of lovely new friends to play with from the Yarra Junction Kinder.
Children’s Day: My Country, Our Country, We All Belong
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (Children’s Day) was celebrated in August. It is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. The day was an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that community, culture and family play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
Mount Evelyn Children’s Centre kinder group investigated some aspects of Aboriginal culture such as the flag and the meaning of its colours, painting and playing clapping sticks, listening to Aboriginal Music, an Aboriginal puppet play, dot painting and listening to Aboriginal stories such as “Welcome to Country” by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy. The children also visited the bush block in Yarra Junction and did some bark and rock painting there.
The Mount Evelyn kinder program visited the Bush Kinder at Cire Children’s Centre, Yarra Junction campus. The Bush Kinder program is based on the beliefs of children having uninterrupted time to play in natural environments with open-ended materials and allows them to engage in a range of activities that foster their development and learning, encouraging them to become flexible thinkers, develop self-confidence and independence. Children develop strong connections with nature and sustainable practices, developing a deeper awareness of the impact on the environment can have on them and future generations.
The children attend excursions based on environmental education and sustainability such as tree planting for the endangered Helmeted Honey Eater at Yellingbo Owl Land Bushland Reserve, Rayners Orchard and Resource Rescue Incursions. The Out of School Hours (OSH) children also put on concerts and had visits with the elderly residents at the local old peoples home. Both the children and the residents enjoyed these visits and the children loved listening to their stories and performing songs for them.
Both Long Day Care (LDC) and OSH have plots in the Community Garden where vegetables are grown to be used in programs and composting.
The Mount Evelyn Children’s Centre service was chosen for the ribbons of Green Project through the council and both programs (LDC and OSH) will plant indigenous trees onsite to help offset carbon emissions. The service provides educators, children, families and the community with information about sustainability through projects, newsletters, the Cire Services blog and displays and handouts. The Cire Children’s Centre teams complete sustainability audits and, through reflection on these, work on improving the service’s sustainability practices such as installing water saving taps in the children’s bathrooms, a rain water tank to water our plot at the community garden, tipping leftover water from the children’s water bottles onto the garden, composting, energy saving, recycling, reusing, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, purchasing recycled products and education around sustainability.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed the fortnightly visits to the Lilydale Library this year. Libraries can play a strong role in early learning for all children, with the key role being in the development of early literacy skills. Early literacy provides the knowledge and skills required to become a successful reader and writer. This includes cognitive development of the brain and its responsiveness to the environment, language development, listening and oral skills and relationship building. The children also enjoy borrowing books that they take back to the service and read over the fortnight. Also this year the Cire Kinder group have been drawing self-portraits to be displayed up on the wall at the Lilydale library where they go for the library visits.
Visit from the Vet
The children were lucky to have Debbie from Mt Evelyn Vet Clinic visit the centre this year. Debbie ran an exciting program for the children called PetPEP (Pets and People Education Program) which is an initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association throughout Australia. PetPEP teaches children and the community about responsible pet ownership, safety around animals, healthy living (pets and people), welfare of animals and animals in the community. The program helps integrate responsible pet care messages into the classroom, to teach our next generation about the responsibilities associated with owning animals and how to behave safely around them.
Debbie brought her gorgeous little dog Hugo in with her, who is two years old. Debbie taught the children about the difference between friendly, scared and aggressive animals, and how to (or not to) approach them safely. After this, Debbie taught the children the safest way to approach a friendly dog and ask their owner if they could have a pat. They all got to give Hugo a pat and he showed us some tricks that he knows. After this the children loved the opportunity to dress up and role play as Vets and Vet Nurses.
Indian Yoga Experience
The children recently got to practice an Indian Yoga experience. Through stories, songs, props, songs and dress ups, Sian from Artistic Revolutions introduced the children to fun yoga poses, breathing, self-expression, mindfulness and relaxation.
The session ran for around an hour and a half, and the children got to talk about Indian animals and people, dress up in Indian costumes, dance with scarfs, and learnt lots of animal yoga poses. The children learnt a song called “sun salutations” and some yoga movements to “salute to the sun”. To wind up, Sian introduced the children to a “breathing ball” and some meditation, and they all got a Bindi sticker on their foreheads.
As you can see lots of fun activities occurred at our Mt Evelyn Children’s Services in 2017 and receiving the Exceeding Rating was a great way to finish year. A big thank you to all involved and we wish all our families a Happy Christmas and safe New Year.
With both our Mt Evelyn and Yarra Junction centres achieving an Exceeding Rating you can be assured that the services we deliver for Outside School Hours Care and Long Day Care is of the highest standard. If you would like to know more about Cire Children’s Services please call 9736 1918 (Mt Evelyn) or 5967 2776 (Yarra Junction).