Loose parts are materials that can be moved, designed and redesigned, tinkered
with, taken apart, reassembled, and/ or put together in a completely different way.
At Waterford West Education and Care Centre, we recognise the value of loose
parts and promote different types of materials to ignite more opportunities for
creative engagement of children. We want children to invent, re-invent, construct,
deconstruct, be messy, but most importantly, be creative in their play while they
interact, explore, and discover.
The great thing about loose parts is that they have no specific rules to follow,
children do not feel pressured to achieve something, or scared that they are “not
going to get it right”, rather they can explore the different materials alone or
combined with other materials to create something new, something original,
something they thought about and created all by themselves.
Loose parts can be natural or manmade. You will find many of the following in our
classrooms at our centre, and/or even lying around your own home, including:
Start collecting stuff today, and add it to your child’s play spaces and see how they
incorporate it. You may be surprised with just how creative and resourceful children
can be if given the opportunity to explore.
Starting school can be quite daunting, overwhelming and not the happy time that we expect for some children. However for some it can be an exciting, positive and joyous time. As an early Childhood Education Centre we look at preparing our children well for the transition to big school, by making it familiar to them and getting to know the routines and the environment. Visits to the school are scheduled at different times and children get to spend time in the classroom environment as well as participate in school activities.
As we engage in activities at the centre that supports independence, which they will be needing once they get to “big school”, we consistently talk to the children about what may happen when they are there. Lunch box days help children to know what to eat at little break and big break. Inviting the local school’s teachers into our classroom allows them to build relationships with the children and gives children a familiar face when they arrive on their first day.
However, as much we do in the Centre, it is important that parents begin to prepare their child for school as well. It is important for your child to see you as being calm and in control. Like you have got this! When your child sees you in control and prepared then they will feel less stressed or anxious about starting school.
Here are some simple steps to help you prepare for the transition to school;
Day for Daniel is about educating children and adults about keeping kids safe
through child safety and protection initiatives. It aims to help empower our children
to Recognise, React and Report if they feel something is not right.
Daniel Morcombe was a 13 year old boy, living with his parents and brothers on the
Sunshine Coast in Queensland. While on his way to buy Christmas presents for his
family at a local shopping centre, he went missing.
He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, waiting for a bus on Sunday, 7th December
2003, after years of searching and an incredible undercover police investigation
Daniel was finally found in 2011 and his deceased body laid to rest.
Daniel’s parents, Bruce and Denise started the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to give
back to the community who had supported them from the day that Daniel went
missing. Today, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation is one of the most well-known
not for profit child safety organisations in Australia. Daniel’s story changed child
safety in Australia and the determination and dedication of his parents has inspired
the entire nation.
The red t-shirt Daniel was wearing the day he went missing has become a symbol
of child safety awareness. Every year, thousands of people dress up in red for an
annual National Day of Action for Child Safety, held on the last Friday in October:
Day for Daniel.
As we approach the heart of winter, and it seems like keeping warm is becoming increasingly harder, especially as the cold night air sets in, we thought we would share with you three ways to beat the winter blues. . .
1) Exercise - Walking is a great way to circulate heat in your body, once the body starts moving and the blood starts flowing you will soon stop thinking about how cold you are. Not only is it a way to keep warm, but it will also help to clear your mind.
2) Prevent Illness – Minimise colds and flus, by getting the flu shot at the beginning of the month in addition to taking some good multivitamins will help to keep the coughs and sniffles away. Model good hygienic practices in front of children and encourage them to do the same to minimise the winter germs spreading.
3) Eat Well - Break away from your traditional winter food like stews and soup, why not try a new type of cuisine. For instance, visiting your nearest Indian restaurant and trying their hottest dish on the menu. Not only will you break out a nice sweat, but you will also get rid of that flu brewing inside of you that won’t seem to leave you.
Exercise, Prevent Illness and Eat Well, are just a few of many ways that will help to beat the winter chills. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take advantage of the season, gather around camp fires, toast marshmallow, and catch up with family and friends.
Staying healthy in childcare in an important factor for both Educators and Children. Infections are common in children and often lead to illness. Whilst at home children are protected from infectious diseases because they are not in contact with many people. Generally, the adults they meet or are around are immune to many childhood illness due to either having them themselves or they have been vaccinated. Because of this immunity, adults cannot transmit those infections to children.
Once a child begins spending time in child care centres or other facilities and being
exposed to a large number of children, an opportunity is presented for infectious
diseases to be spread. It is not possible to prevent the spread of all infections and
illnesses, however, a lot of illnesses from infectious diseases can be prevented or be
The Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and
care services provides educators and other staff working in education and care services with simple and effective methods for minimising the spread of disease. It contains more ‘how to’ advice on procedures and discussing exclusion periods with parents. It also represents an increased focus on a risk-management approach to infection prevention and control principles in daily care activities.
Breaking the chain in infection outlines some simple methods that can be implemented at home to help control the spread of infection.
You can download the information sheet from the link below:
The concept of STEM is based around four principles (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and uses hands on activities to challenge the child’s current level of thinking and past learning, by building on what they know, using positive encouragement and meaningful experiences.
There has been a significant correlation with programs recently, that embrace the concepts of STEM and cognitive development in children, which is why, we at Waterford West Education and Care Centre, have embraced the STEM curriculum into our programming this year, and would like to share with our families and friends the benefits of this way of learning for children at our service.
There are Three Major benefits to the concepts of STEM, including;
The First Major Benefit “Practical Knowledge They Can Use Now” includes:
Affects All Areas of Daily Life
The four disciplines that make up STEM have a place in everyday tasks. Having knowledge of how things work together to help our daily lives progress is important in educating a children. The program relies on presenting young children with materials and activities based on things they see daily.
Children who are exposed to this education early will do better in school
Young children are naturally curious and will ask more questions about the world around them as they develop more complex cognitive abilities. This characteristic has been shown to encourage a love of learning and to make learning more rewarding for children. STEM appeals to children’s innate curiosity, as teaching these topics is based on asking questions and encouraging discussion.
It’s a fun way to teach children essential life skills and facts
Teaching the four main concepts in a single program and in a way that appeals to children of all ages is easy due to the many engaging activities and interesting materials that can be used to help children acquire these skills, teaching the whole child, using their child’s current levels of thinking and past learning to extend new understandings. Educators give children a lot of positive encouragement and help build the child’s self-esteem. Many of the lessons and activities require that children work together, which helps develop their social skills.
The program can be tailored to accommodate all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels.
Children as young as three can engage in STEM activities using appropriate materials. The materials that we use are carefully selected to appeal to the children in each classroom while ensuring their safety.
As children develop and progress through their education, the importance of each subject becomes more pronounced. Older children are gradually given more complex materials and pieces to manipulate, and taught more complicated concepts.
The Second Major Benefit “Lifelong Benefits of Program” includes:
Acquiring professional skills
One of the benefits of the learning program is that young children learn skills and facts that are required across different areas of life. Science continues to have a role in helping us lead healthier lives, including how to eat better and stay safer. Knowledge of technology is now a basic requirement for any job. The same is true for engineering and essential mathematical reasoning ability. Having the ability to think critically and creatively about these topics can set them apart in their future careers.
The Third and Final Major Benefit “Parents Are Partners” includes:
Parents are partners in their child’s education
An important step in developing a great program is to keep parents informed about their children’s progress and how to reinforce learning at home. Our educators work hard to provide daily reflections to parents as well as make posts on facebook about what the children are learning to allow follow opportunities at home. At Waterford West Education and Care centre we embrace parents as partners in children’s learning and development.
For more information about our program please contact our centre director today!!!
Waterford West Education and Care Centre provides a government approved Kindergarten Program based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline. The Program is delivered by a Fully Qualified and Registered Teacher, who ensures that the program meets the National and State Quality Standards and Regulations. The Kindergarten Program is designed to develop children’s physical, social, intellectual, language and emotional abilities.
Children enrolled in our program are eligible for funding from the government, this funding is an incentive to parents to enrol their children in a recognised program, in order to support their child’s learning and development and ensure that their child is ready for transitioning into the school environment.
QKFS (Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme) Plus is available to eligible families with a child enrolled in an approved kindergarten program. This subsidy is provided directly to the service to reduce your out of pocket expenses. To be eligible for QKFS Plus, parents will
At Waterford West Education and Care Centre, we are fortunate enough to be in a “socio economic area” and therefore our parents automatically receive SEIFA funding in addition to the QKFS Plus. This also means that even if you do not qualify for the Kindergarten funding support due to ineligibility you automatically qualify for the socio economic area support for attending our program. With the help of QKFS Plus and SEIFA funding, some of our families only pay around $10 for two days a week in our Kindergarten program.
At Waterford West Education and Care Centre we pride ourselves on providing the best quality of care in the area for the most affordable prices. Please contact our centre director to learn more about out of pocket fees and expenses, and enrol in our Kindergarten Program today!!!
In 2019 Edens Landing Childrens Centre and Waterford West Education and Care Centre are launching, our new and exciting “Nature Explorer” program which will be run as a routine excursion for both Early Childhood Centres on a weekly bases.
With the launch of the program on Monday 4th February, 2019, the program will run throughout the 4 school terms. The program will run on different days of the week over the term so that all of our children will get to experience this program.
The program adheres to the policies of Edens Landing Childrens Centre and Waterford West Education and Care Centre, with the addition of specific policies, and policy amendments, relevant to running the kindergarten program in a bush setting.
Nature Explorer’s Program was developed in response to research that shows outdoor activities in a natural environment are extremely beneficial to children’s health, wellbeing and development. Many preschools around Australia have already implemented Bush Kinder into their kindergarten program with great success.
Miss Rosina, our Area Manager has had extensive knowledge and experience setting up a bush kindy program. She co-developed a program 5 years ago for 3 centres on the gold coast. These Centres have successfully run the program weekly with the benefits to the children seen daily in their growth and development. She has also attended trainings on Bush kindy.
Originating in Scandinavia in the 1950’s, the forest preschool approach has been used as a framework for Bush Kinder in Australia, where children are encouraged to play in, and learn from, our natural environment.
Key features of the Nature Explore approach include:
Current research on children who regularly play in outdoor natural settings has concluded that they have:
From forest preschool to Bush Kinder: An inspirational approach to preschool provision in Australia (http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AJEC-Vol39-No4-2014.pdf)
If you would like more information regarding this program please give us a call on
Edens Landing Childrens Centre: 07 3200 7222
Wateford West Education and Care Centre: 07 3805 2092