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The key to maximising your child’s experiences within an early learning centre is effective communication. When families and educators are on the same page with the child’s progress, the child flourishes. Consequently, it helps to ease the transition between home and care, building a sense of confidence and belonging in young children.

What kind of information should I share with the centre?

The educators at the centre are your child’s primary caretakers and influencers when you aren’t around. Therefore, to best understand and cater to the needs of your child, it’s important for them to be aware of:

  • Your child’s interests, likes, dislikes
  • Their routines- patterns of eating, sleeping, toileting
  • Your child’s current wellbeing
  • Any major events taking place at home. Eg. Loss of a family member, new baby on the way, relatives visiting and so on

By providing this type of information with the centre, it helps the educator’s and in-centre staff to meet your child’s individual needs. As a result, you can help make most of your child’s time in care.

What information should the staff share with me?

Communication between you and the centre must never be one-way. Just as it is important for you to share information about behaviours at home, it is vital for educators to share what happens in-centre.

The staff should share with you:

  • Your child’s eating, sleeping and toileting habits in-centre
  • Their daily experiences – incursions, excursions, art, sporting or music activities
  • Your child’s mood and behaviour – if they have been extra grumpy or sad
  • Their relationships with other children and educators
  • Any health issues, accidents or injuries relating to your child

Fortunately, at Penguin Childcare centres we use a wonderful communication app called KindyHub, where you can stay up-to-date with your child’s progress in real time.

For more information on effective communication between parents and child care centres, check out this awesome factsheet prepared by our friends at StartingBlocks.gov.au.

The post Communication – Why it’s Important appeared first on Penguin Childcare.

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When the government’s new Child Care subsidy was introduced, the Westwood family thought that they would be better off. The reality however was that the out of pocket fees for their two children to attend early learning five days a week increased.

This is because the amount of subsidised hours offered by the government under the new funding structure decreased by 20 hours a fortnight.

Thankfully, the Westwood family’s early learning centre introduced Flexible Hours. By reducing their attendance hours to 9 hours a day from 12 hours, the family were able to save $141.31 a fortnight, or $7348.25 a year!

The Westwood family were not alone – already hundreds of families have made the switch to Flexible Hours so that they don’t use up their subsidised hours faster than necessary.

With Flexible Hours, families are given the opportunity to make the most of the Child Care Subsidy. They can choose from three options – 9-hour, 10- hour and full day options, enabling them to claim subsidy benefits against the hours that they use.

Better still, the Flexible Hours option doesn’t set a limit on start and finish times. There are generous grace periods with no fees or penalties. So, if there is a day you intended to put your child in for ten hours, but it ended up being 11 hours due to unexpected work commitments, you won’t be penalised for this. The additional hour will simply be added to your total claimable hours!

Want to find out how flexible hours will work for your unique needs? Be sure to check out our Subsidy Calculator to see how it can benefit you!

The post Flexible Hours – The Need to Know appeared first on Penguin Childcare.

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These pancakes make for a delicious and nutritious breakfast treat. 

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 egg

1 tsp margarine

1 ¼ cups milk

1 cup self-raising flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and grated

½ tsp olive oil

3 ripe bananas, sliced

½ tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

Method
  1. In a large bowl, beat egg, margarine and milk.
  2. In separate bowl, mix flour and sugar and gradually stir into wet mixture until smooth.
  3. Fold in grated apple.
  4. Heat oil in non-stick pan over medium heat.
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of mixture, flip when bubbles appear in centre of the hotcake and cook until golden brown.
  6. Serve with banana or other fruits.
  7. Top with honey or maple syrup.
Time

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Good nutrition is essential for the health and wellbeing of young children. We are proud to partner with NAQ Nutrition, the Qld Division of Nutrition Australia, by producing recipes that are healthy, delicious and aligned with the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

The post Apple Pancakes with Banana appeared first on Penguin Childcare.

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Fruit, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats – these prawn and avocado lettuce cups are the perfect starter to a meal.

Ingredients

Serves 8

1 large avocado, diced

1 mango, diced

200g cooked, peeled prawns

½ long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

½ large lime, zest and juice

1 tsp olive oil

½ tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

8 leaves from iceberg, cos or gem lettuce

Method
  1. In a bowl combine diced avocado and mango.
  2. Chop prawns into small pieces and place into bowl with avocado and mango.
  3. Add chilli, juice and zest from the lime, olive oil and parsley and stir to coat.
  4. Place lettuce cups on a tray, divide prawn mixture between cups and serve immediately.
Time

Prep time: 15

Cook time: 0

Notes:
  • Shredded chicken breast could be used as an economical replacement for prawns, or if you have friends or family with a seafood allergy.

The post Prawn and Avocado Lettuce Cups appeared first on Penguin Childcare.

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