Hello Everyone,

Who could believe that are now mid-way through November. The year has been incredibly interesting in early education and care which is why we all enjoy our work – right?   As usual Childcare Conversations covers a range of topics and contains links to resources and ideas that I have found interesting and believe you will too. .   


November 2014

Successful Transition Resource

ACECQA has released a resource for successfully transitioning children from home to early education and care, and on to school.

Each service will be sent a copy in due course but, given that this is the time of the year when most services are already transitioning our older children to school, it might be timely, and prudent, to take a sneak preview at: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/pdf_with_bookmarking_-_continuity_of_learning-_30_october_2014_1.pdf

Operational Policy Manual for Regulatory Authorities

More than likely you would have seen the Guide to Assessment and Rating for Regulatory Authorities that officers from the Early Education and Care Regulatory Unit use to guide their assessment of services http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/Assessment%20and%20Rating/2014/Guide%20A_R%20Reg%20Authorities.pdf  

However, you may not know that officers also use an Operational Policy Manual for Regulatory Authorities http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/OPM/2014/OPM-Complete%20January%202014.pdf  to help them apply the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations, and to support a consistent approach to regulation across all states and territories. This Manual does not provide legal advice and should be read in conjunction with the National Law and Regulations. However, the National Law and Regulations will always take precedence over the manual.  

ACECQA recommends that you use the Manual online – rather than print it off – as  it is regularly updated and republished whenever legislative changes occur (e.g. the June 2014 amendments to the National Regulations).

National Recycling Week

November 10 – 16 was National Recycling Week so I have included some of the wonderful ideas I came across during this time including books and other resources.

You can add the books in the display below (image 1) to my suggestions in the last edition of Childcare Conversations for books to support us with our intentional teaching, particularly in areas such as the environment and sustainablity.

This three way Recycling Station (image 2) from Educational Experience is child friendly and engaging and if you would like to know more about this, contact Mary McCafferty MMccafferty@edex.com.au

I found this DVD on recyclying on the internet. (image 3) Apart from being a fun experience to share with the children, it has some wonderful ideas to help us meet the NQS requirements for sustainability and recycling as well as repurposing. Click on and watch https://mymakedo.com/creative-play

               (^ image 1)

               (^ image 2)

               (^ image 3)

Sandpit covers

One consistent area of non-compliance is the ubiquitous sandpit. Every service needs an easy answer to the problem of protecting their sandpit from the elements (as well as cats and dogs). An easy to put on, take off and store cover makes life a lot easier for us educators. Sandpit Covers Australia specialises in making custom made waterproof and non-waterproof sandpit covers for homes, day care centres, kindergartens, playgroups and schools throughout Australia (and overseas).  They just may have your answer. http://cosycubbies.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=60

They can also be contacted on 0417 399 928 or 03 9846 1661 or e-mail sales@cosycubbies.com.

Water posters

 The Australian Government Department of Health has released a resource pack aimed at encouraging children to reach for a healthy drink, water or milk first up. The pack was developed with the help of children from Lombardina and Djarindjin in the Kimberley and Bourke in NSW. It contains posters, songs and factsheets. It also purposefully reflects our indigenous Australians. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/sugar-drinks-toc~sugar-drinks-5-posters

Get Up and Grow also has posters promoting water and other healthy drinks.


Outdoor Space Makeover – Report 

In the last Childcare Conversations, I invited services to share photographs of their outdoor play spaces. These photographs come from Stripy Zebras Junior Education Centre in Karratha, Western Australia. They are quite different to the norm in other areas, but the extreme temperatures in Karratha dictate that outdoor spaces be covered and cooled by large fans.

We will also add a selection of photos to our online "Inspirations" Gallery. 
Click HERE to view this months "Inspiration Gallery".



Share your Soothing Spaces Ideas

The NQS 2.1.2 requires services to provide physical spaces where children can engage in quiet activities. I took this photograph at Stripy Zebras of what the educators refer to as the ‘Taj Mahal’. The children loved it.

Would you like to share photos and ideas about the quiet areas you provide in your service? Services who share a photograph(s) of a soothing space could win a Skill to Chill Relaxation CD normally selling at $24.95. This very popular CD uses beautiful music accompanied by words to guide children through the steps of progressive relaxation. Perfect for rest time for all age groups, particularly the 3-5 years. I’ll publish the winning photograph(s).

 Just email me photos to be in the running. 

We will also add a selection of photos to our online "Inspirations" Gallery. 
Click HERE to view this months "Inspiration Gallery".

Guiding Children’s Behaviour

 I receive many calls and emails from educators needing hekp with guiding children’s behaviour so I have included a link to my article on the topic.  


Tropical Pizza Fingers


  •  2 french sticks, halved lengthways
  • 400ml tomato pasta sauce
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green capsicums, seeded and diced
  • 300g chopped lean ham
  • 2 x 440g can pineapple pieces, drained
  • 200g mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 200g cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 180°C. Stand the french stick cut side up on a paper-lined baking tray. Spread tomato pasta sauce on bread halves. Top with ingredients, sprinkling the cheese last. Bake in oven for 15 mins or until heated through. Cut each pizza into 4 fingers. Makes 16. Variation Substitute a foccacia slab, split horizontally, for the french stick. English muffins may be used as the base. http://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/recipes/tropical-pizza-fingers.aspx


If you have any ideas or photographs for the next edition of Childcare Conversations, I would love to hear from you. In addition, please feel free to contact me about my consultancy services and resources, or just to have a general chat about child care.

Visit www.childcarebydesign.com.au to see the many ways I can support you in your 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