KURILPA NEWS: MARCH 2016
LINDA HOLLARD – DIRECTOR
Welcome to the first edition of the KURILPA NEWS for 2016 and indeed my first at Kurilpa! The past 3 months have been spent getting to know you all at the very least by sight and association, and I am now progressing to automatically being able to look up families and children’s names on our data base without having to cheat, asking Sophie and Catherine that is. The most important part of this process is forming relationships with the staff team, families and the children and I have found this to be both delightful and fun. I have also been connecting more with Brisbane (having now moved off the Sunshine Coast after 20 years) and continue to discover more and more each passing week. I had not heard of Kurilpa despite its long and impressive history and I must admit the staff’s credentials and the centre’s accolades daunted me somewhat and hoped that I could live up to this and continue the legacy. The staff, management committee and the wonderful families Kurilpa soon put my mind at rest with support, care and a wonderful welcoming manner.
As you will see when you read through the synopses from the staff teams about what has been happening in the rooms and Lizzie’s from the Kitchen, Lizzie once again sailed through her Food Safety Audit (no surprise she is amazing!) it has been a busy time of re-settling returning families and children, settling new families and children and all the while continuing the delivery of high quality learning.
Yasmin Gunn’s President Report (presented at the recent AGM) thoroughly encapsulates the year that was 2015 and the value that was added in all areas of operation and human service during the year and into 2016. The members of management committees of community based services such as ours are a dedicated group of people who every year set aside time and offer their expertise and skills to continue the implementation of the strategic plan, in addition to identifying areas for future development. I am grateful for their commitment and look forward to the remainder of the year and what can be achieved.
I cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful educators who make up this unique team here at Kurilpa and are testament to where the centre sits within the community of West End and surrounding area as well as the early childhood education and care sector. I have worked with a number of early childhood teams and I say with hand on heart, have not had the privilege of working with a team so highly qualified and dedicated to the children and families and to each other. For this I consider myself very fortunate. We will be working towards building upon the existing layers of quality in relation to the Early Years Learning Framework, QLD. Kindergarten Learning Guidelines and the National Quality Standards and submitting an application for Excellence Rating under the NQF.
We will continue to work on our environments both indoor and outdoor. At present there is a particular focus on the outdoor area for Nursery and Toddler age children. Cass has been working diligently to make small but impactful changes to the area as and when she can, and I thank her so much for all her efforts and her passion. I can guarantee that by the end of this year the outdoor area will look nothing like it does at present, as I will work with Cass to continue what she has started to bring about a significant change for the children. Part of the recent fundraising efforts by the wonderful families and staff with the cake stall and Gavin Bannerman’s assistance by organizing Pushies and giving up a Sunday, will be used for this project. In addition, the verandah area outside Toddler/Junior Kindy has been changed structurally to include a garden for the children to use and learn from. Thank you to Angela de Weger and Dexter for donating some plants and deck cleaner to bring the wood back to life.
Tilo Happ kindly donated deck oil and cleaned down the deck and resealed it and it looks great! I thank you so much for this. Sophie, Nikki, Hannah and myself have had discussions around the use of this space and we all agreed that a dedicated atelier (art studio) would be a wonderful addition and so we would be grateful for donations of wooden bowls, glass jars with lids, baskets of various shapes and sizes, seeds, leaves, interesting pieces of wood or anything that you and your children have collected that you think would be useful for creativity in this space.
The atelier, or art studio, will contain a wide range of media and materials for creative projects. The materials are always available for children to use and respect as they become inspired. This space provides a place for children to develop skills and learn new techniques. It also provides a way for teachers to observe how each individual child learns. This time is a focal point for documentation of project work. Using a camera the staff capture important information that is later examined with the intention of having a deeper understanding of each child’s learning style and to base future explorations. The studio can be equipped with light table, easels, various paints, a variety of drawing utensils, items for collage and constructive work such as wire and recycled materials, and also natural materials such as clay, tree seeds and pods, and feathers. The aim is provide materials, time expressive freedom and technical assistance in abundance for painting, collage and modelling with clay. They will explore construction with paper and useful junk, with wood, with a multiplicity of building sets that connect, respond in different ways. The light table develops the understanding properties of light, shadow, reflections, transparency and colour. We hope that the adults will get just as much enjoyment from this space and invite you to connect in not only it’s development but in the enjoyment that can be gained from connecting with our inner child and creativity.
“What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” George Bernard Shaw
A BIT ABOUT THE RECENT ILLNESSES
During these opening 3 months we have had a lot children and staff away from the service with a variety of illnesses. I want to let you now that I do understand that taking time off work to care for your child who is unwell, can be very stressful. Under our licensing guidelines I am obligated to ensure that children who are unwell are away from the service for the child who is unwell so they can rest and be with a parent or guardian for comfort and in order to minimize the risk of the other children and the staff becoming unwell.
Our policy covers the following points regarding illnesses and the responsibilities of the parent/guardian-:
Responsibility of parents
Parents must keep children at home for 24 hours after fever, 36 hours after vomiting, diarrhoea, and must comply with government regulations.
48 hours when there is an outbreak of gastro or when there has been more than 7 reported cases of a disease.
Children with conjunctivitis must stay at home until they have started treatment and there are no signs of weeping in the eye or irritation.
All infectious illnesses must be recorded by nominated supervisor /certified supervisor. A record of the illness must be documented on appropriate illness, incident, accident and trauma form. This must be signed by the parents upon collection and stored to maintain confidentiality. This must include the date of notification, the child’s name, specific illness and action taken by staff to inform parents/guardians of other children in the service of the illness.
Parents/guardians must give written consent for the person-in-charge/care provider to take any steps necessary to safeguard their child. This consent is included in the Kurilpa enrolment form.
Parents/guardians have an obligation to provide staff/care providers with current contact details.
If you need clarification on any of the items listed above, please do not hesitate to discuss them further with myself and/or another staff member.
LATE FEE PROCEDURE
Just a friendly reminder that we need all parents/guardians to collect their children from the centre by 5.40pm so that the staff have time to lock the building up and complete their shift at 5.45pm. A late fee notice will be given for parents/guardians who collect outside of this time. We appreciate your assistance with this and are mindful that staff sometimes feel uncomfortable issuing the late fee however there is a cut off time for our licence and we need to draw the line somewhere. Please phone us if you are running late so that we can let your child know. Thank you so very much.
To do on your next visit to the beach, or at home…
I came across this Dribble Castle on one of my Sunday morning strolls up the beach to the Spit at Mooloolaba and it made me smile. I had a mental picture of a chubby little hand curled into a fist and carefully and most deliberately letting the wet sand slip from its grasp creating this structure in the most natural of settings, in the early morning light. It took me back to a place that I had visited, climbed over and stood back and gazed at in sheer amazement at its size and beauty the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. Suddenly at that moment Mooloolaba and Barcelona were linked in my mind’s eye and the feelings they evoked in me.
A variant on the sandcastle is the drip castle, made by mixing the sand with water and dripping it from a fist held above. Some refer to the technique as “dribbling”. When the slurry of sand and water lands on existing sand structures, the effect is Gaudi-esque
This wonderful tactile experience can be done in the sandpit out in the garden or brought inside or onto a veranda with a trough filled with sand and some water available.
It can then lead into a research session around the discovery of this amazing and exceptionally talented Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi who adorned-mostly Barcelona with his wonderful buildings and design structures including the Sagrada Familia pictured above.
Research can take place via internet, old art and architecture digests found in op shops and second-hand book shops. Why? Because this engages the children in the exploration outside of their immediate community and country and connects to this amazing world of the wondrous, aesthetically pleasing and diverse landscape.