Hello Everyone,

 I hope you have all had a great start to 2016. It is difficult to believe that it is already March. As is usual, this edition of Childcare Conversations draws from the wide variety of information that comes my way and the exciting environments, practices and resources I have come across through working with early education and care services across Australia.


March 2016

The Green Elephant

Educators rarely have the opportunity to visit other services so I felt you would enjoy seeing photographs and reading about a service that is more than a little different. It opened earlier this year, and is in Rosebery in Sydney where the demand for childcare is high but few suitable sites are available. The Green Elephant is the result of a creative and problem-solving team of architect, landscaper, childcare consultant, and various others (of course). Most importantly, the owners were prepared to jump every hurdle that came their way and provide the very best. The result is outstanding.
See for yourself …    www.thegreenelephant.com.au


ACECQA has identified that services, particularly those with physical evironments which do not contain many natural elements, fall short of teaching children about sustainability and involving them in practical ways.  

Resources, such as posters, can help at times like these. You could chose from the nature inspired posters about creatures in the garden and the ocean, nature’s patterns, and counting on nature to develop children’s understanding of the inter-relationship between humankind and the natural world, and how best to care for the latter.

View our Poster sets HERE

Caring for Pets

Our emphasis on nature in early education and care services tends to overlook our domestic creatures. We need children to be aware of their pets’ dependence on them for water, food, exercise and affection. We also need to teach children how to care for their pets and emphasise that pets are sentient beings, and are all too often neglected.

Policies & Procedures

Keeping Policies and Procedures up-to-date can be a time-consuming and difficult task. However, I always suggest that one way to do this is to make them living documents by referring to them regularly whenever we are speaking to staff and parents, and even children, on the topics they contain. It is time to update your immunisation policy if you have not done so. If you visit my website, you can download an updated immunisation policy – no cost. 
Click HERE to view Immunisation Policy.


Those services who have asked me about bookkeeping and financial support can be advised that Keeping Figures Simple may be what they are looking for. They are based on the Sunshine Coast but work with clients around Australia.
Call Kim on 0407 852 977 or email her at kimkfs@optusnet.com.au


Copyright & Intellectual Property

 This article is an absolute must read. Early education and care services will soon be subject to the same scrutiny as schools about the way they use the patented materials and intellectual property of others. This is to be expected because the use of other people’s property impacts negatively upon their earnings, and nothing motivates people to take action more than that. The fact that educators/ employees justify using others’ intellectual property by saying that their service’s budget is short, or it benefits children, simply does not convince anyone any more.  Click here to read article

Health & Safety Issue

It is wonderful to see most educators now ensure water is readily available to children when the children are playing outside.

However cups, water jugs and mouth pieces of children’s drink bottles are sometimes left uncovered – open to dust and insects – both indoor and outdoor. In addition, younger children sometimes pick up another child’s drink bottle.

The health and safety issues here are easy to address. Interestingly, by the time children feel thirsty (and can identify the need for water), the time is well and truly passed when they should have been given some water. Offer water frequently, and in a way that makes it difficult for children to refuse.

Out Dated Posters

Take a walk through your service and note whether the posters are current in each and every position they are displayed.

The DRSABCD acronym poster is one that stands out during my service visits.

Download & Print out the recent Poster FREE from St Johns Ambulance HERE

"Wash Your Hands" Posters

The NQS requires us to have signs about hand washing over every hand washing basin – adult and child.

However, the sign needs to depict the steps rather than simply remind us that we should wash our hands, and when.

Also check that the posters over children’s hand basins are at eye level.



Another service using NQS DART has been assessed as Exceeding the National Quality Standard.

The NQS DART does provide the required evidence that services have assessed every aspect of their services’ practices against the NQS, and makes writing the QIP a breeze.

You can obtain this computer program HERE

Calendar of Events

Love the calendar of Events on this website:

Check it out:  OurCommunity.com.au

World Story Telling Day

World Storytelling Day is 20th March this year. ‘The aim of World Storytelling Day is to celebrate the art of oral storytelling, with as many people as possible around the world telling and listening to stories in their own languages on the same day.

People taking part can link up with others around the globe who are also contributing – making it a truly international festival that creates new friends and promotes positive understanding of cultures around the world!...But we all know that every day is a great day for a story’.
Taken from "Days of the Year" website

Healthy Party Foods

Services are using the simple and wonderful recipes on the ET Circus Healthy and Fun Kids Party Food Facebook page.

It’s worth a look, and could be a resource to meet the NQS requirement of providing nutritional advice to families.


If you require support for any aspect of your service’s operations, or you have any ideas or photographs that you would like to share with other readers of Childcare Conversations, you can contact me on 0419 661 921 or info@childcarebydesign.com.au.

You can also visit www.childcarebydesign.com.au to see the many ways I can support your service and its educators in their quality care journey.

Dr Brenda Abbey

Principal Consultant
Childcare by Design
M: 0419 661 921
E: info@childcarebydesign.com.au
W: www.childcarebydesign.com.au

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Brenda is widely recognised for her expertise in the NQS, EYLF and MTOP. She is in demand across Australia as a consultant, mentor, author, conference presenter and workshop facilitator. Contact Brenda to discuss your service’s specific needs via mobile 0419 661 921 or email her at info@childcarebydesign.com.au