Harmony Newsletter
2nd June 2002


Dear Parents 

 

The year is speeding along and we need to attend to some urgent issues, especially regarding next year.  Since the opening of our building extension, many new families have joined Harmony. All carers welcome you and will work hard to earn the confidence and trust you have placed with us.

 

Staffing

Recently we have been interviewing for new staff and, in order to get the best possible people, have decided on some job sharing (due to uni studies and other personal arrangements). We warmly welcome Lyilyana and Scott, whose profiles are in the entry. The groups are as follows:

 

Joeys (6-18 month olds)           Ginette                         Melissa

Possums (18-30 month olds)    Alisha                           Teresa                          Rachelle

Koalas (30-42 month olds        Brooke                         Jeni                              Erin

Bilbies (preschoolers)               Lyilyana/Judith  Yvonne                        Samala/Scott

 

We are so pleased with our staff who are furthering their professional development with studies after hours. Erin will finish her certificate by January, Brooke, Alisha, and Melissa should finish their tertiary studies by April, Rachelle her certificate in May, and Teresa and Sandy their certificates in June. Judith is currently in a school on prac for her Bachelor of Education, and Samala will finish her Diploma in Teacher Assistant at the end of this year.

 

Donations

We are very grateful for the following recent donations. Probably the donations with highest “wow! factor” are the outdoors basketball hoop and the bright red post box made from a gas cylinder by Teresa’s partner – thank you so very much, Graeme. Harrison S’ mother gave us some carpet squares (attractive and useful for our doorways) and also some children’s  books; Tegan’s mum donated a small table and chairs; and a Harmony neighbor brought us some drawing paper. Our own Teresa donated some flowering plants which the Possums helped plant in their new garden beds; and father of Pria and Jai gave some cardboard cylinders and Zed’s mother some boxes all for arts & crafts. We really value the big pile of fluffy nappies from Connie’s and Layla’s mother for cleaning up messes, of which we have more than a few from time to time!! Everyone really appreciates your kindnesses.

 

We also highly value the helpers who make the Holiday Program excursions a reality – thank you to fathers of Imogen M and of Kali and Jamie; mothers of Callum A, of Jack and Everett, of Connie, and of Charm; and Gabriel (visitor from Guatemala) for their great help. Our additional thanks to Luke’s and Matthew’s dad and to partner of our own Rachelle for driving the mini-buses to and from two excursions.


Child Care Workers Appreciation Day, Friday 24 October

Most people would know that looking after and educating three or more children at a time is a demanding task. All carers in Harmony willingly meet their commitment to the hugeresponsibility of helping you raise and educate your wonderful children to become content and valued citizens. Robin herself plans to recognise all permanent staff on 24 October and also requests that all Harmony parents write some words of appreciation into a special book that will be placed in the front entry. You may write your name (optional), you may name a particular staff member, or you may write a general comment – it is your choice.

 

Re-enrolments for 2004

An Enrolment form is attached to this newsletter for your urgent attention. This is an opportunity also to change days of the week and the number of days and to add siblings. The completed forms will be treated in order of receipt and, in any case, must be returned to Harmony by the due date on the form. In most cases families will get the days they request.

 

Any vacancies remaining after the due date will be allocated to others on our waiting list (already quite long). Enrolments will be confirmed in writing once the $30 annual administration fee has been paid (due 10 November).

 

Shutdown period

Our last day this year is Friday, 19 December (closing at 4.15 pm) and our first day back in the new year is Monday, 6 January.

 

End-of-year concert & Santa

We always have a great concert with your children on the second-last Friday, which this year is 12 December, commencing at 2.00 pm, so do start arranging time off work soon. We should be able to get the Kindercams web cameras set up so that your relatives and friends interstate and overseas can log onto the internet and watch your children on stage and with Santa here in Perth. We’ll give you more details in a future newsletter.

 

In the meantime, we’d love to hear from someone (a grandfather perhaps?) who would look good in a red suit for about an hour!

 

Parent & Staff Night

These are valuable get togethers that help us get to know each other and some of the finer points of your children. We usually have two guest speakers, and one of them for our night in November will be Narelle Wilson who is one of our Harmony mothers. If you have a particular topic you would like to know more about, please see one of the office staff before 29 October. We will then advise all Harmony families of the date and time for November.

 

Developmental Records

By now all children who were full time up to end-June and all children who have attended three days over the past two months should have a Developmental Record of their child/ren’s progress. The next Developmental Records to be made up by Harmony Early Childhood Educators are for children attending two and one days, and these should  be ready by mid-November.

 

These Records are valuable for parents, in order to get a snapshot of their child’s abilities at a particular point in their life. All Harmony carers record their observations, indoors and outdoors, of every child’s behavior and skills and these are then written up in good form by each group’s Early Childhood Educator.

 

Fundraising

The chocolates are always our biggest fundraiser of the year, but they are also a lot of extra work for Janet. Thank you, Janet, for your fine efforts to raise about $1,000 to add to our existing funds to purchase expensive impact-absorbing and attractive matting for under and next to the swings in the playground (by the parent parking lot). We’ve been adding to this kitty for some time now and will try to get the area completed during the upcoming shutdown period.

 

Would the few last remaining families who still have outstanding chocolate money, please see Janet asap. Then we can give away the giant Mr M, who’s waiting on the floor in the entry!!.

 

Recipe/menu ideas

We have received a snack idea that is worth trying – cheese spread with spreadable fruit jam (no added sugar). The lasagne suggested previously has been tried successfully, but we always welcome more ideas, especially for afternoon snack.

 

FoodSafe

Following a final inspection next week and staff questionnaires the Australian Institute of Environmental Health will award the Harmony with a FoodSafe Certificate. This recognises high standards of kitchen cleanliness and food handling practices, that are audited every 12 months.

 

Sign in/out

It is very important that every child is signed in/out every day, for child care regulations and for safety in case of evacuation of the building. Recently we had a spot check visit from Child Care Licensing Unit officers who discovered that 10 parents had not signed in.

 

Hours of operation

Staff arrive in Harmony just before 7.30 am (our opening time) in order to unlock windows and doors, set up for the day’s work etc. If parents arrive before 7.30 am, they need to stay with their child/ren, because staff are not available for supervision until 7.30. Thank you to parents for understanding this important safety issue.

 

Lost property

In spite of parents buying iron-on labels through Harmony (we subsidise the labels to reduce the cost to parents) many items of clothing are still piling up in the Lost Property crate in the front entry. Please iron the name labels onto every removable piece of clothing (especially shoes, socks, jumpers, and t-shirts). Also look through the crate in the front entry – all lost property remaining after 3 November will be donated to the Save the Children shop in Scarborough.

 

Fees

Some fees are slipping behind, so we remind families that the end of the year is looming and, with Christmas as well, we suggest that parents begin now to catch up on overdue fees. Thank you to all those who are always up to date – it makes our life in the office so much easier, and it avoids overdue charges too.

 

Sun protection policy

It is most important to protect your children’s wellbeing while outdoors, so we really insist on their wearing a hat. Remember the Cancer Foundation slogan “No hat – no play”. We do have some spare Harmony hats but it is much better for each child to have their own special hat (appropriate for the job) marked with his/her name and kept in Harmony.

 

Book Clubs

We have up to three Book Clubs who display discount price books and other small items near the posters stand near the front entry. These are usually bargains and are very useful for Christmas and other special occasion celebrations (adult and children). Jeni will be happy to help you.

 

First Aid Course

A basic “Caring for Kids” first aid course costing $45 is being offered at the West Stirling Neighborhood House, corner of Hancock Street & Scarborough Beach Road. Dates are 6 November and 25 November, so please phone Jacinta or Jenny on 9446 2757 soon.

 

Requests

If anyone has secondhand A4 paper for Harmony (i.e. with printing already on one side), it would be greatly appreciated. Please give to someone in the office.

 

Robin Garbutt…………………………..                     Sandy Boon..…………………………

 

 

Quotes

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.

 

Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you always know they are there.

 

One liners

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Don’t take life too seriously. No-one gets out alive.

Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.

 

Truths

The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

People do not get sick in cold weather; it’s from being indoors a lot more often..

When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart.

Babies are born without kneecaps; they don’t appear until they’re 2-6 years old.

The average housefly lives for one month.

Only 7 percent of the population are left handed.

The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

 

Test

While sitting at a table, make clockwise circles with your right foot. While doing this, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand. What direction is your foot going now?