In the vibrant tapestry of cultural celebrations, Lunar New Year stands out as a time-honoured tradition observed by millions around the world.
On Saturday 10th February, 2024 we ushered in the Year of the Dragon and to celebrate, our Grow Early Education centres have been busy introducing young minds to the rich customs and festivities that accompany this auspicious occasion.
This blog explores the importance and the joy of celebrating Lunar New Year; highlighting the educational and cultural benefits for children to explore; and growing cultural awareness.
Our Grow Early Education centres play a crucial role in fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity. Lunar New Year provides a wonderful opportunity to expose children to different cultural practices, allowing them to appreciate and respect the unique traditions of their peers.
By incorporating Lunar New Year celebrations into our curriculum, we promote a sense of unity and understanding among children from various cultural backgrounds.
At Grow Early Education Kelso, the Preschool Classroom were involved in celebrating Chinese New Year and building their knowledge of the Chinese culture specifically. To support the Year of the Dragon, they created their own dragon artworks using a pasting technique.
Learning Through Play
One of the most effective ways to educate young children is through hands-on experiences and play. Lunar New Year celebrations in childcare centres often include engaging activities such as crafting traditional decorations, making festive foods, and participating in lively dragon and lion dances. These activities not only captivate the children's interest but also enhance their fine motor skills, creativity, and cultural awareness.
At Grow Early Education Darling Heights, the Junior Kindy children explored Chinese New Year with sensory tables.
Cultivating Cultural Awareness
Understanding and respecting different cultures is a crucial aspect of early childhood education. Lunar New Year celebrations provide childcare centres with a unique opportunity to teach children about the significance of the holiday, its customs, and the symbolism behind traditional rituals. Whether it's exploring the Chinese zodiac, learning about special foods, or understanding the importance of family gatherings, children gain valuable insights into the world around them.
In preparation for many of our Families and Educators celebrating Chinese New Year, the Toddler Classroom at Grow Early Education Kelso created their own Chinese New Year artwork. They used red, yellow and blue paint to cover their paper plate and then sprinkled on some glitter for added sparkle. The Educators then placed the paper plates on display in the formation of an amazing dragon!
Lunar New Year celebrations in our Grow Early Education centres extend beyond the classroom, involving parents and families in the festivities. Collaborative events, such as family potlucks, cultural presentations, and storytelling sessions, create a sense of community and strengthen the bond between families and educators.
This collaborative approach not only enriches the learning experience for children but also fosters a supportive and inclusive environment for all.
Grow Early Education Templestowe involved the families in their celebration, by setting up a display in the reception to spark conversation and interest from families about this wonderful occasion.
Lunar New Year is a time for reflection, gratitude, and the setting of positive intentions for the year ahead. Our long day care centres take this opportunity to instil values such as respect, kindness, and empathy in young minds.
Through age-appropriate discussions, stories, and activities, children learn the importance of virtues that extend beyond cultural boundaries, fostering a sense of global citizenship.
At Grow Early Education Nowra Central, the children engaged in a range of experiences to focus on EYLF Learning Outcome 2 – Children are connected with and contribute to their world. These included making paper fans, painting dragons and then proudly displaying their artwork for everyone to enjoy.
Celebrating Lunar New Year in Grow Early Education centres goes beyond the festive decorations and traditional activities—it's a powerful way to instil cultural appreciation, promote diversity, and create wonderful memories for the children in our care.
By embracing and incorporating these celebrations into the educational journey, our long day care centres contribute to the holistic development of young minds, nurturing a generation that values and respects the richness of cultural diversity.
Entering the world of early childhood education can be both an exciting and daunting experience for young children and their families. Most importantly though, it marks the beginning of a new chapter filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and socialising with peers.
As early education providers, we play a crucial role in ensuring that this transition is as smooth as possible, providing a supportive environment for both children and their parents.
All our long day care centres offer families additional support during their initial weeks of enrolment. Even our brand-new centres like Grow Early Education Heathmont, will implement processes like gradual entry programs which allow children to acclimate to the new environment at their own pace. This approach helps build a sense of trust between the child and the caregivers, promoting a smoother transition.
In this blog, we will explore the ways in which our Grow Early Education centres assist new children and families settle into care; transition to new classrooms; and graduate to a formal school environment.
Supporting New Families
First and foremost, it is important to create a welcoming atmosphere for both children and parents so that they feel comfortable right from the get go. We encourage parents to bring their children with them when they take an initial tour of one of our centres to see if the centre is the right fit for their family.
At Grow Early Education Gunnedah, they schedule tours at times when the whole centre can be on display to families. This ensures the families can meet the entire team and view all their wonderful facilities.
‘We love to introduce the children and parents to their potential new Educators on a tour of our centre. This assists new families with making the important decision of which childcare centre best suits them and is an important part of the orientation process at Grow’ says Grow Early Education Gunnedah Centre Director, Brianna McCumstie.
‘One of the things parents love most about our centre is our large outdoor areas. Not only do we have lots of room for children to explore outside, but our facilities are also state-of-the-art. We have creek beds, sandpits, adventure forts, bike tracks, vegetable gardens, jumbo games and more. We like to do our centre tours when the children are actively playing in these spaces as it helps potential new families better visualise their own children utilising these facilities’, continued Brianna.
As part of our enrolment process at Grow Early Education, we book ‘Meet & Greets’ for our new families. These ‘Meet & Greets’ are also known as ‘Stay & Plays’ and this initial connection meeting is a great way to help build trust and establishes a positive foundation for the child’s experience.
Families are invited to attend 1-3 ‘Meet & Greets’ at our centres prior to their first official day of care, however they can have as many as they need to start building that important bond between Educator and child. It is important for children to feel safe and somewhat familiar in their new environment on day one of care.
Our aim at Grow Early Education is for our long day care centres to be a home away from home for the children in our care, because children thrive in environments that feel safe and familiar. Our purpose-built childcare centres are carefully designed to be child-friendly, inspiring and filled with age-appropriate educational resources. Creating an environment that mirrors the comforts of home helps children feel at ease and more willing to explore their new surroundings.
As part of our enrolment process, we also ask new parents to fill out an ‘All About Me’ form on behalf of their children. This provides important information like how to best comfort them, what they enjoy playing, their interests etc. so that our Educators can provide build a bond as quickly as possible and provide the highest quality of care.
To best support parents, effective communication between our childcare centres and parents is essential. Regular updates, whether through daily reports or informal conversations, keep parents informed about their child's experiences, milestones, and any concerns. This transparent communication helps parents feel involved in their child's daily life at the centre, easing any anxieties they may have.
At Grow Early Education we provide families with a parent communication mobile app called Kindyhub. The app allows you to share in your child’s learning journey, including providing daily photos, stories and achievements and is a valuable tool for us to support parents.
Transitioning to a New Classroom
This is the key time of year when children begin transitioning to their new classrooms. Children who have completed the Kindergarten or Preschool Program will be starting primary school in January or February and so many children will move up to their new classroom as space becomes available.
At Grow Early Education Gunnedah, they have children ‘visit’ their new classroom multiple times over a two-week period so that can become familiar with their new classroom, Educators and routine.
Knowing what to expect provides a sense of security for children, helping them settle into the new environment more comfortably. This predictability fosters a sense of stability, which is crucial for early childhood development.
‘We have found that classroom visits in small groups are a great way to support a smooth transition into new classrooms. They can become familiar with the environment and Educators and know what to expect when it comes time to officially changing rooms,’ said Brianna, Centre Director for Grow Early Education Gunnedah.
‘We find that most children are excited to be in their new classroom when they know what to expect. A classroom change is a positive experience as it provides new inspiration, stimulation, interactions and new resources to play with,’ continues Brianna.
Preparing for Formal School
Knowing what to expect in the school environment helps children to make a smooth transition, and preparing children for this needs to begin long before their first day of school.
Our school readiness programs (Kindergarten or Preschool depending on which state you live in), equips children with the skills needed to transition to a formal school environment. However, at Grow Early Education our aim is to also ensure they are well prepared for their onward learning journey into a formalised school setting.
As part of our programs, Teachers will coordinate several visits to local schools across the year to support the children’s transition to school process. At Grow Early Education Gunnedah, in addition to organising visits to their local primary school, Gunnedah South Public School, they are also looking to introduce ‘Lunch Box Days’!
‘We know the importance of incorporating activities to support the transition to school in everyday play-based learning opportunities, such as encouraging children’s participation in group games and experiences, and having regular ‘lunch box’ days so children can practice opening and eating their own lunch,’ said Brianna.
At all our Grow Early Education centres, a formal discussion towards the end of the year is scheduled to share information with parents and Teachers and support each child’s transition to school. This discussion provides an opportunity for parents and other partners to collaboratively create a summary of a child’s learning in the form of a transition statement.
Celebrating with a Graduation Ceremony at the end of the year is also an important part of supporting children to transition to school at Grow Early Education. A graduation event can help ease the transition to big school, by showing children that it is exciting that they are moving on and there are more thrilling things to come. Above all, it allows children to feel proud for all they have achieved while they have been at Preschool or Kindergarten.
Our childcare centres play a pivotal role in helping families settle into care by creating welcoming environments, establishing consistent routines, providing relationship building opportunities, maintaining open communication, and offering transition support. Through these thoughtful practices at Grow Early Education, we contribute to the positive development and well-being of the children in our care and inspire a foundation for future learning and growth.
Are you looking to start your child in care this year? We are still accepting enrolments for 2024, so book a tour at your closest Grow Early Education centre and start your transition journey today! Call 1300 934 769 to book.
As we bid farewell to 2023, it's time to take a moment and reflect on the journey we've collectively experienced over the past 12 months.
From opening eight new Grow Early Education centres, to triumphs in professional development for our team members, this year has been progressive with lots of lessons and growth.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Grow families for choosing us for your child’s care and allowing us to celebrate educational and development milestones with your family throughout the year.
Join us now for the highlights and milestones that made this year truly progressive for our Grow family.
As we continue to support families across Australia, we are proud to say we opened eight new long day care centres this year and expanded our footprint in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
We take enormous pride in delivering communities with a personalised approach to childcare through our local Early Childhood Teams, establishing community connections and empowering our centre management teams to raise the bar in early education.
Our new childcare centres and the local communities we are now part of include:
We are also pleased to reveal that Grow Early Education Park Ridge will be opening early 2024!
Passionate and caring, our Educators are the heart and soul of our childcare centres. They are dedicated to supporting every child on their individual learning journey, and ensuring their time in our care is a rewarding one.
In 2023, we employed 346 passionate early childhood professionals to nurture, educate and support the children in their care.
To ensure our Educators keep abreast with current developments and research in the area of early childhood education, Grow Early Education runs ongoing training and professional development programs across the year.
In 2023, we ran a robust training program which saw an incredible 351 courses delivered so our Educators have the most up-to-date knowledge and certifications.
For the convenience and peace of mind of parents, we operate all-inclusive fee childcare centres. This means we have thought of everything children will need to thrive at our centres and included it in our daily fee, including nappies, wipes, sunscreen, meals and more!
In 2023, we supplied the following as part of our service offering:
Another one of the amazing benefits we provide as part of our daily fee are extracurricular activities. In 2023, we organised 1,040 extra-curricular classes, with popular activities at our centres being multi-sport classes, music and movement, Japanese lessons, children’s yoga, cooking and gardening lessons.
Whilst we’re here to nurture the children in our care, our free barista coffee was there to care for our parents! Drumroll please… in 2023 we made over 38,254 barista coffees for our Grow parents to enjoy!
We view parents and families as invaluable collaborators in a child’s educational journey. Open, transparent, and collaborative communication is fundamental to creating a supportive and enriching experience for every child.
A strong partnership establishes a crucial bridge between home and early education, fosters holistic development and also contributes to a child's sense of belonging and security. In 2023 we were fortunate to partner with 1,356 amazing families and inspire 1,665 little ones to learn and grow!
Again, we would like to thank our Grow families for entrusting us with your child’s education and care. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to sharing this wonderful learning journey again with you all in 2024.
As the festive season gets into full swing, what better way to embrace the holiday spirit than by engaging in delightful Christmas crafts with your children?
Crafting is not just a fun way to spend quality time with your little ones; it's also a crucial component of a child's development and comes with a myriad of benefits.
At Grow Early Education, we recognise its role in nurturing various skills in children. So throughout the year, arts and crafts is a significant component of our educational programs at our long day care centres.
Why are arts and crafts beneficial for children? Engaging in craft activities fosters communication, attentiveness, imagination, and crucial developmental skills!
Here's a short outline of the skills children can grow through doing arts and crafts:
Fine Motor Skills:
Identification of Shapes, Colours, and Texture:
In this blog, we've curated our top five favourite and most popular Christmas craft ideas for you to enjoy at home with your children:
1. Paper Plate Baubles
This versatile craft allows you to use a variety of materials to decorate and hang paper plates, creating your own unique Christmas baubles. Whether it's stickers, paint, or coloured felt, choose materials that suit your child's age and development.
Here are some finished creations to give you and your little one some visual inspiration:
2. Popsicle Stick Ornaments
Transform ordinary popsicle sticks into festive ornaments, ranging from stars to Christmas trees and snowflakes. The possibilities for shapes and decorating ideas are infinite.
See below for different shape constructions and decorating ideas:
3. Hand Print Christmas Tree
Combining sensory play with craft, the handprint Christmas tree design is simple yet effective. After creating the tree on paper, canvas, or even a Christmas card, once it is dry it is then time to decorate your tree.
Here are some different designs you can make using your hand print:
4. Christmas Cookie Decorating
Perfect for baking enthusiasts, you can also involve your children in the baking part to extend their culinary skills. Use Christmas-themed cookie cutters or a cherished family recipe to start a lovely Christmas family tradition.
See below for some cookie decorating ideas and even how to create a Christmas cookie decorating board:
5. Pine Cone Ornaments
Incorporate natural materials into your arts and crafts by turning pine cones into mini-Christmas trees or creating unique figures like reindeers, angels, or owls. The natural texture of pine cones adds a unique element for children to discover and explore.
Here’s some amazing pine cone creations for you to see:
As Christmas Day fast approaches, our aim is to populate this month with festive experiences and activities for the children to enjoy in our childcare centres.
Follow us on Facebook for regular updates on our Christmas arts and craft activities, and get ready to be inspired by the wonderful Christmas creations from our Grow Early Education centres.
The holiday season, particularly Christmas, holds a special place in our hearts. It's a time for reflection, gratitude, and it’s also a chance to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate.
This sentiment is widely shared among Australians, as evidenced by the significant number of people planning to contribute to charitable causes this Christmas (47%). This makes the holiday season an optimal period for our childcare centres to perform philanthropic activities and community support work.
Since 2014, our Grow Early Education Centres have actively participated in the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal, or selected local charities to support. This annual tradition serves as a valuable connection to our local communities, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility.
In November of this year, we launched the Grow Early Education 'Annual Christmas Food and Toy Drive.' This initiative involved selecting charities, creating donation hampers, and gearing up for the generous contributions of books, toys, and non-perishable food items.
While supporting the Salvation Army and their Christmas Appeal remains a priority, some Grow Early Education centres have chosen to back other not-for-profits, such as Angel Paws, Ronald McDonald House, Give a Little Hope, Defenders for Hope, and Act for Kids to name a few.
With our childcare centres spread across Australia in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, each hosting their own Christmas Appeal, the collective efforts of the Grow Early Education childcare centres can make a significant and positive difference.
Moreover, our Annual Christmas Food and Toy Drive demonstrates our commitment to making a positive impact locally and instilling a sense of community contribution in children. It serves as a crucial opportunity to initiate and expand conversations about generosity and gratitude with the children in our childcare centres.
At Grow Early Education, we firmly believe that it's never too early to instil the value of giving back in little ones. Nurturing generosity and teaching children about the significance of charity from an early age empowers them to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others.
For parents wondering how to introduce charity to their children, simple actions like dropping money into charity boxes, involving them in selecting canned foods for a drive, or taking them to fundraising events can be impactful. Plus, these moments offer an opportunity to discuss the importance of giving and the joy it brings.
If you're interested in joining your local Grow Early Education centre's Christmas Appeal, there's still time to get involved. You will need to be quick though, as donations and hampers are set to be collected by December 12th from all centres!
The journey began with Simon Kerle, the visionary behind Yoga Bears Kids Yoga, pondering the benefits he reaped from his yoga practice. The question echoed in his mind: "Why not extend these advantages to children?"
Fast forward to 2023 and Grow Early Education to date has eight (8) of its long day care centres across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with children’s yoga provided as an extra-curricular activity - offered through Yoga Bears of course!
Simon speaks about the collaboration between Yoga Bears and Grow Early Education, “We believe that you’re never too young to benefit from and fall in love with yoga. This is why we formed a strong partnership with Grow Early Education and their long day care centres across Australia. We place our accredited children’s yoga teachers into their childcare centres to host yoga classes for 1 to 5-year-old children,” said Simon.
Children's yoga is gaining popularity as a holistic approach to fostering physical fitness and nurturing emotional and mental well-being in children. Simon thinks that providing children’s yoga as an extra-curricular activity in our centres is a great reason for parents to choose a Grow Early Education centre for their child to attend.
“If parents see the benefit of yoga for children and realise that they (Grow Early Education) are offering something unique in their childcare centres and that it will really help their kids, I think it would be an easy choice for them,” he said.
Children's yoga is more than a physical activity—it's a holistic approach to nurturing the mind, body, and soul of a child.
The Yoga Bear classes for children are of course, very different to an adult yoga class. They incorporate games, storytelling, singing, and other engaging activities tailored to captivate young minds with shorter attention spans.
Simon describes their Yoga Bear classes as “A mix of song, dance, yoga postures, stories and games, all designed to keep children engaged and aware. Relaxation time with breathing & meditation techniques brings about mindful behaviour at the end.”
Despite the difference between an adult’s and a child’s yoga session, the benefits are evident—higher engagement, a regulated nervous system, improved concentration to name a few…
The Benefits of Children's Yoga
Physical Health: Children's yoga poses are designed to enhance flexibility, balance, and strength. Through these gentle exercises, children develop better coordination and body awareness, laying a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Emotional Regulation: Yoga encourages children to connect with their emotions and understand them better. Through breathing exercises and mindfulness, they learn how to manage stress, anxiety, and anger, promoting emotional resilience.
Improved Concentration: Yoga teaches children to focus on their breath and body, enhancing concentration and mindfulness. These skills can translate into improved behaviour.
Boosted Confidence: Mastering yoga poses boosts children's confidence and self-esteem. As they achieve physical milestones, they develop a sense of pride in their abilities, fostering a positive self-image.
Social Skills: Children's yoga classes often involve group activities, encouraging social interaction and cooperation. This collaborative environment helps children learn important social skills like communication, empathy, and teamwork.
Certified yoga instructors visit Grow Early Education centres weekly to deliver the yoga program as an extra-curricular activity. Best of all, this is included as part of our daily fee so there is no extra cost.
We are proud to provide children’s yoga as an extra-curricular activity at the following childcare centres:
By integrating yoga into the weekly routine, Grow Early Education equips children with invaluable tools to navigate life's challenges with grace and resilience, guiding them toward a healthier, happier, and more balanced future. Namaste!
If you are interested in finding out more about our children’s yoga program and other extra-curriculars we offer as part of our service, please phone us on 1300 934 769.
From the 13th to the 19th of November this year, National Recycling Week took centre stage at our Grow Early Education centres.
As is customary every year, our long day care centres actively participated in this event and utilised it as an important tool for educating the children in our care about reducing waste.
Initiated by Planet Ark in 1996, National Recycling Week stands as one of Planet Ark's flagship campaigns. Its annual mission is to educate and empower individuals to make environmentally responsible choices, especially when faced with the decision of what goes into the bin.
National Recycling Week strives to encourage Australians to contribute to making our country a greener and more sustainable one. Each year, this week serves as a reminder to all Australians that "waste isn't waste until it's wasted."
Our Educators at Grow Early Education focus on helping children develop genuine connections and contributions to caring for our natural world, through their Sustainability Programs. The recycling stations, worm farms and composting bins at our Grow Early Education Centres, also assist children to learn through practical application.
By educating children in our care about recycling, up cycling, use of sustainable materials, and water and energy conservation, this all assists with developing a deep appreciation for our natural world.
“Sustainability empowers children to construct knowledge, explore values and develop an appreciation of the environment and its relationship to their worlds.”
In this blog post, we are thrilled to share some of the fun educational activities our centres engaged in during National Recycling Week 2023!
Grow Early Education Dalby
In addition to their amazing recycling station set up in the foyer of Grow Early Education Dalby, the children in the Toddlers Classroom used recycled materials to create some amazing artwork! Combining paint with used boxes, the children used a combination of items as paint brushes to create their group masterpiece… including wooden pegs!
Grow Early Education Hervey Bay
At Grow Early Education Hervey Bay, their Sustainability Station is filled to the brim with recycled and used items donated by families for the children to play and learn with. Egg cartons, glass jars, cardboard boxes, plastic containers and bottle lids in every colour of the rainbow! Grow Early Education Hervey Bay has a strong focus on sustainability in their programming as they support the children to understand the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
Grow Early Education Kelso
At Grow Early Education Kelso, the Toddler Classroom expanded on their interest of trains by using train wheels and paint to express themselves creatively. A plastic tray from their Recycling Station was used to hold the paint they were using, which is a clever way to reduce and reuse. Grow Early Education Kelso are always looking at ways to be sustainability conscious and share this value with the children in their care… including holding a Weekend Treasure Hunt as part of their Sustainability Program!
The aim of the Weekend Treasure Hunt was to encourage more donations of used and recycled items from their families. On the Friday, families were asked to take a Woolworths paper bag from the centre home with them and over the weekend, place all the treasure hunt list items in it, before returning it full on the Monday!
Grow Early Education Tarneit
During National Recycling Week, the Kindergarten Classroom at Grow Early Education Tarneit explored recycling through a new learning area set up within their classroom. As a learning extension to this, they took all the collected recycled items with them to the local container deposit station.
Through all these fun and creative activities, the children explored the concept of reduce, reuse, recycle!
Do you have a recycling system in your home? Or perhaps you would like to find out how you could be doing more? For more recycling tips and tricks, visit www.recyclingnearyou.com.au/nationalrecyclingweek/
In the ever-evolving landscape of education, early childhood Educators are tasked with shaping the minds of the future generation.
This responsibility goes far beyond imparting knowledge; it involves fostering critical thinking, empathy, and adaptability. One powerful tool that aids in this process is critical reflection.
At Grow Early Education, we believe that it is vital for all staff to continuously and critically reflect on our practices and our curriculum to benefit the children’s interests and needs. The voice of the child and the voice of the parent are main components that influence our critical reflections and promotes ongoing learning.
In this blog, we will explore the significance of critical reflection in early education and understand why at Grow Early Education, we believe it is indispensable in nurturing young minds for a brighter future.
Promoting Deep Learning
Critical reflection encourages deep learning by prompting Educators to delve into the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of their teaching methods. By questioning their approaches, Educators can identify what works best for the children and adapt their strategies accordingly.
This reflective practice goes beyond the surface, allowing Educators to understand the underlying principles of early education and tailor their methods to meet the diverse needs of the children in their care.
Critical reflection enhances self-awareness among Educators. It encourages them to examine their beliefs, biases, and values, which can significantly impact their teaching styles. By recognising their own predispositions, Educators can create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment. Self-aware teachers are better equipped to identify areas of improvement and continuously work on refining their teaching techniques.
Fostering Problem-Solving Skills
Incorporating critical reflection in early education nurtures problem-solving skills among both Educators and children. When Educators critically reflect on their teaching practices, they can identify challenges faced by their children.
By encouraging children to reflect critically on their own learning experiences, Educators empower them to become active problem solvers. This skill is invaluable for real-life situations.
Encouraging Lifelong Learning
Early education is the foundation upon which a child's lifelong learning journey is built. At Grow Early Education, we understand that children learn in different ways, and therefore we support each individual child’s learning needs, ensuring that every child feels and experiences success and accomplishment. Through this process, we aim to inspire all children and instil a love for learning that they will take with them through life.
Critical reflection instils a sense of curiosity and a love for learning. Educators who engage in reflective practices are more likely to seek out new teaching methodologies, educational theories, and research findings.
This continuous pursuit of knowledge creates a dynamic learning environment that stimulates young minds and prepares them for a future where adaptability and continuous learning are key.
Promoting Empathy and Understanding
Critical reflection encourages empathy and understanding among Educators. By reflecting on their teaching methods and the outcomes, Educators develop a deeper understanding of the children's perspectives, needs, and challenges.
This understanding allows them to tailor their teaching approaches, ensuring that every child receives the support they require. In turn, children learn empathy by reflecting on different viewpoints and experiences, fostering a compassionate and inclusive learning community.
In the realm of early education, critical reflection serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards a more effective, empathetic, and inclusive teaching practice.
By promoting deep learning, enhancing self-awareness, fostering problem-solving skills, encouraging lifelong learning, and nurturing empathy, critical reflection paves the way for a generation of young minds that are not just academically proficient but also compassionate, adaptable, and open-minded.
Grow Early Education will continue to champion critical reflection in early education, investing in a future where every child has the opportunity to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the world.
Children’s Week is an annual event in Australia, which celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood. It is also a time for children to demonstrate their talents, skills and abilities!
As early childhood education providers, Grow Early Education is privileged to partner every day with families to celebrate and support children. It is also our responsibility to provide a safe, loving, and stimulating environment where children can thrive emotionally, socially, and intellectually.
The Children’s Week National Theme for 2023 is based on UNCRC Article 31:
All Children have the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
We love this year’s theme, because at Grow Early Education we embrace the Early Years Learning Framework’s definition of play based learning and intentionality! Children learn through play, and through spontaneous and planned learning experiences and interactions. With this in mind, we have designed large inspiring play spaces that allow children to learn through exploratory play.
Our inspiring learning environments are set up with a variety of indoor and outdoor learning spaces. Children are encouraged to move freely between the two environments to explore their individual interests. We provide active and quiet spaces, and areas for messy, wet, and creative play.
Extra-Curricular Activities to Enhance Learning
At Grow Early Education, we also maximise the learning opportunities available to children by providing a variety of extra-curricular activities (all included in our daily fee). This extends on children’s interests and enhances their learning experience.
These specialised learning programs include; Yoga, cooking classes, language programs, community gardening, sports programs and science and technology experiences delivered through our state-of-the-art interactive whiteboards and individual computer stations.
Our Approach to Rest & Sleep Times
One of the many ways we support the children in our care is to promote regular routine and ensure they are well rested. Rest time is an essential part of the day’s program and we comply with National Legislations and ACECQA (The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority) recommendations.
At Grow Early Education, we adopt a flexible approach to sleep and rest at our centres, which is individualised to each child’s needs. We partner with the families to learn and follow their at home schedules, in addition to watching each child for verbal and non-verbal cues to assess their individual needs.
Each classroom creates a relaxing and peaceful environment by playing soft music, turning off the lights, and allowing children to have their own personal cuddle toy or comforter from home whilst resting. Each classroom has been designed to ensure adequate ventilation, and that the temperature, lighting and ambience of the sleep room or area encourages sleep and rest. Depending on the age and developmental stage of the child, we offer cots or beds during sleep and rest times. We also provide bed linen as part of our daily fee, which is a huge convenience for our families!
Older children who do not wish to sleep, are provided with opportunities for play so they are engaged in restful and quiet activities. This ranges from relaxing in bed, to yoga and reading books in our quiet reading nooks.
We are pleased to say that Grow Early Education is compliant with the new sleep and rest legislative requirements from ACECQA that commenced from 1 October, 2023. This includes having conducted a risk assessment of our centres in relation to sleep and rest for the purpose of preparing sleep and rest policies and procedures (regulation 84C).
Child Safety is Our Priority
Grow Early Education is committed to providing safe, clean and welcoming environments for all families. Our centres are accessed only through a single entry with key pad technology and our sign in and out kiosks provide families with a secure and convenient drop off and pick up system.
Our Educators at Grow Early Education all hold a current working with children check and relevant Early Childhood qualifications including first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training. Regular audits of our safety systems, staffing and play environments are conducted to ensure the highest protection of your children.
We are deeply committed to embracing the cultures and heritages of our families, Educators and local communities and celebrate the rich diversity that this brings to our early learning curriculum.
Each of our Grow centres strive to create an Educational Program that truly reflects the lives of children, families, staff and the wider community. Educators will have an open, caring attitude to diversity and inclusion within the centre. Cultural sameness and diversity is celebrated!
Our Educational Programs include the provision of a range of multicultural activities, books, toys and games for all children at our centres. This creates an opportunity for Educators to raise awareness and positively affirm differences on an ongoing basis with these multicultural resources.
At Grow Early Education, we celebrate diverse festivities to educate ourselves and the children on different cultural celebrations. Some examples include Diwali, Chinese New Year and NAIDOC week. Educators will program activities around these special days as one approach to raising cultural awareness, which creates opportunities for child-initiated exploration, extending conversations and creating teaching moments.
It is important to note, that our Educational Programs also reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This is done through posters, books, play equipment, music, language, displays, celebrating NAIDOC Week, proudly displaying an acknowledgement of county in our centres and making connections with local Elders (to name a few).
If our approach to early education and care sounds like the right fit for you and your family, give our friendly team a call on 1300 934 769 and book a tour of your closest centre. We are currently taking enquiries for 2024 enrolments!
If you would like to get involved in Children’s Week, there are a diverse range of events and activities organised at National, State and Local levels. These focus the attention of the wider community on children, their needs and achievements. You can find out how to get involved by visiting the Children’s Week Council of Australia’s website at www.childrens-week.org.au
Say hello to carrots, capsicum and cauliflower! From October 15th to 21st 2023, it’s time to pay tribute to vegetables and the important role they can play in our health and wellbeing.
Nutrition Week is all about encouraging Australians to learn about making healthy food and lifestyle choices to improve their overall health.
As an early education and childcare provider, we play a big part in shaping many children's eating and drinking habits. At Grow Early Education, we take this responsibility seriously as developing healthy habits in childhood also leads to healthier decisions, actions and habits throughout life!
A child’s physical and mental development depends largely on the nutrition they receive during their formative years. Proper nutrition is essential for children’s health, development, and wellbeing. It helps them grow, learn, and build strong immune systems. A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is the key to optimal health for children.
Our centre menus, prepared by professionally qualified Chefs are age and development appropriate and include a wide variety of nutritious food of different tastes and textures consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
At Grow Early Education, we recognise the important role we have in promoting healthy eating and good food choices to the children in our care. We proactively do this by using the following strategies:
Wondering how you can get involved?
Check out Nutrition Australia’s ‘Try for 5’ website at www.tryfor5.org.au.
‘Try for 5’ is an annual awareness campaign by Nutrition Australia during National Nutrition Week in October that celebrates vegetables and the important role they can play in our health and wellbeing.
If you find it hard to get your little one to eat their vegetables, our hot tip is to head to the ‘Recipes’ section of this website. You are guaranteed to find one that suits your family’s tastebuds!
If you would like to know more about our approach to health and nutrition at our Grow centres, visit the Health & Wellbeing page of our website or call our team on 1300 934 769.
‘Good nutrition is necessary for the active growth and development that takes place in early childhood. Good eating habits and a well-balanced diet support children’s health and wellbeing, and minimise the risk of illness. Eating habits developed in the early years are likely to have a lifelong influence.’
(Get up and Grow: Healthy Eating and Physical activity for Early childhood p 20. 2013 Dept. of Health. Aust. Government)