MEYM would like to extend a warm welcome to our new families joining us in 2023 and welcome back to those returning for another year.
Children have been settling into kindergarten and getting to know the teachers and making new friendships, some of which I am sure will continue all the way through school and beyond!
For our new families, your child’s first year of kinder marks a significant milestone and starting kinder can be exciting, fun and challenging and possibly a little tiring, all at the same time. Our wonderful teaching staff and orientation into kinder are there to assist your child to gently transition into the program and settle in.
Please do not hesitate to make a mutually convenient time to speak with your teacher if you have any queries. We encourage strong relationships and open communication between parents and teachers.
General Manager’s Update
Welcome to MEYM! We hope that your child/ren are enjoying their first few weeks of Kindergarten and are starting to make new friends and are developing relationships with key educators. For some children, the transition to Kindergarten will be an easy one with a skip in the door, a kiss on the cheek and wave goodbye. For other children and parents this transition takes a little bit more time and persistence. If you are concerned about any separation issues, please make time to talk to the teacher or educators at your service. We have many strategies to assist you and your child make separation easier.
Families are always welcome at our services at any time. For children attending the long days we understand that some children may be very tired initially as days can be busy. Please discuss this with the teacher and educators and you can always pick your child up early if this is the best option.
Our priority is your childs education, care and wellbeing. Our programs are designed to work with families to support all aspects of your childs development. Our teachers and educators design individual programs for children based on contemporary practice, knowledge of your child and your priorities for your child. There will be long term goals and short-term goals set for each child. Please speak with your teacher, if you haven’t already, about setting educational goals for your child.
We are delighted to have Meredith Bardwell join our team at MEYM. Meredith is the Pedagogical Leader and will work across our 6 services with all our staff to ensure that programs meet the National Quality Standards and that all staff are engaging in contemporary pedagogy and practice. This will ensure that we are providing the best evidence-based programs that improve outcomes for all children. We hope that you will meet Meredith whilst she is visiting our teams at each service.
We look forward to working with you throughout the year to ensure your child has a wonderful experience at Kindergarten. We are more than happy to receive any feedback. If you do have any concerns or positive comments, please talk with the Service Coordinator in the first instance as some things may be resolved relatively easily this way.
If you need to contact us, the General Managers email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne and Sarah
Enrolment Officer’s Update
Registering for Kindergarten for 2024: All families currently enrolled in one of our MEYM kindergartens have been sent an email on how to register for kindergarten for 2024.
If you have a child currently enrolled in one of our 3yo kindergarten programs you do NOT need to register with Council for a position in 2024, as long as your child will be attending the same kindergarten for 4yo.
If you wish your child to attend an alternative kindergarten for 4yo kinder in 2024, you will need to register once Council’s online portal opens on 3 April 2023. Families currently in our 3yo programs will be emailed by Council this week to confirm they wish to be rolled over into the 4yo program so please keep an eye out for this email in your in box or spam as you will need to confirm Yes to the roll-over.
If you cancel your current 3yo program at any time during this year you will need to re-apply for 4yo kinder with Council.
If you require further clarification or would like to discuss further please email me at email@example.com
As you know, Kinder is free of charge in 2023. MEYM will receive the funding directly from the Victorian Government so families are not out of pocket.
Children are eligible for ONE free kinder program at any one time. Having enrolled in an MEYM kindergarten program you acknowledge that MEYM will be claiming the funding for your child.
We do ask that any families who hold a concession card/visa to please ensure we have a current valid copy so that we can apply for the appropriate funding.
Important: Please keep the Enrolment Officer updated of the following change in family circumstances:
Change in address or phone number, update of concession card or visa status, update of your child’s Medical Action Plan, Court orders, Child Protection or Child and Family Services support.
If your child will be absent from the kinder program for a period longer than 2 weeks please inform us in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org with the length of time your child/family will be absent.
If you wish to cancel out of a kindergarten program again, please advise us in writing giving us 14 days notice of cancellation.
Our kindergartens will be closed on the following dates:
Labour Day: Monday 13 March
All Staff PD day: Thursday 6 April (this is a staff professional development day) and all of our kinders will be closed this day and for the subsequent 2 week term break with kinder recommencing on Monday 24 April
Anzac Day: Tuesday 25 April
Monarch’s Official Birthday: Monday 12 June
Friday before AFL Grand Final (TBA)
Melbourne Cup: Tuesday 7 November
Term 1 Start Date 27 Jan Finish Date 6 April
Term 2 Start Date 24 April Finish Date 23 June
Term 3 Start Date 10 July Finish Date 15 September
Term 4 Start Date 2 October Finish Date 20 December
You will be notified of the last date of kinder for the year nearer the time.
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For any enquiries regarding kindergarten programs, enrolment or orientation, please email Samantha, Enrolment Officer at email@example.com
Thank you, Enrolment Officer, MEYM
Reports from our MEYM Kindergartens
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre Diary Dates:
Tuesday 21 March is Harmony Day – wear something orange
Monday 27 and Wednesday 29 March is Pyjama Day – fundraiser for The Good Friday Appeal, gold coin donation appreciated
Tuesday 4 April is Last day of term for Yellow and Red groups and there will be an Easter Egg hunt
Wednesday 5 April is last day of term for Blue group and there will be an Easter Egg hunt
Thursday 6 April is an all Staff PD Day and kinder will be closed
The children have settled nicely into the new year, getting to know each other and the educators in their room. In the yellow group (3 year old) the children have been exploring identity and forming friendships. The children are developing social skills amongst each other such as sharing, waiting, taking turns. The yellow group have been enjoying the home corner, block building and the creative experiences such as playing with playdough and painting at the easel. The blue and red groups have been forming friendships through small group experiences on offer such as farm house, dinosaurs, train set and duplo. We have been expressing our creativity through easel painting, watercolour painting and recycled art pasting. We’ve been busy cooking up a storm amongst the red and blue groups, making fruit skewers, banana bread and potato chips. We had a pancake breakfast with the red group for Shrove Tuesday and tie dying for Holi festival in the blue group.
From the team at Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
Lake Park Kindergarten
Lake Park Kindergarten’s Diary Dates:
Tuesday 21 March is Harmony Day – Kingfisher group to wear something orange to celebrate Harmony Day
Thursday 23 March – Dragonfly group to wear something orange to celebrate Harmony Day
What an amazing start at Lake Park Kindergarten! We are so happy to have your children attending our Dragonfly and Kingfisher groups this year. The children are beginning to settle in (or settling back in for those returning to us from 2022) with both old friendships reuniting and new friendships slowly establishing within the groups.
Dragonfly group: During the first term, the children have been very busy working towards a group art and craft experience with making a Chinese Dragonfly Dragon. At the end of making our dragon, the children were very proud of their achievement and last Friday we displayed their work in the foyer during pick up time to share this with families. Please come in and see our Chinese dragon if you haven’t done so.
The Dragonfly children are also showing interest in singing songs including Taba Naba; Funga Alafia; Dino Stomp and Counting to four! The songs mentioned above are the ones we are singing at group time so please ask your child which song is their favourite song.
Furthermore, the Dragonfly children also celebrated pancake day and Carevale with dress up week as a part of the Italian program. We also did mask making after the children tried on various masks with the Italian teacher, Sibhoan.
Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to pass our congratulations to both Safiyah’s family on the arrival of their new baby boy and Saara’s family on the arrival of their new baby girl. Both Safiya and Saara were very excited to share this happy news with their peers and teachers and proud about being big sisters!
Kingfisher group: During term one the Kingfisher group have been focusing on familiarising the children with routines and transitions to support those settling for the first time at kinder. Collaborative packing up with children allowcated into Italian “Colori” (coloured) teams has proven very successful at teaching children about team work and fairness and we are building their capacity to take a shared responsibility for our learning environment and resources.
We have also been very engaged in Music Time with Jess and learning a variety of songs, dances and exploring the use of instruments, including “Funga Alafia”, “Music Time Today”, “Let’s Get You Moving” and the “Play and Stop” instrument game (as well as singing Hello to Funky Monkey!).
Learning about respecting the land, animals and each other has also been a group focus this term with our reciting of the acknowledgment of country daily and discussions about it’s meaning and importance, sharing our family photos and discussing the differences between our family constructs and of course, caring for Jess’ guinea pigs Milo and Otis with care and compassion.
The Kingfisher group has also been incorporating some aspects of Italian into their program with pancake day cooking experience, Carnevale dress up week and use of Italian language when counting, using coloured groups for pack up and body parts for transitions e.g. “mani a testa!” (hands on heads).
We would like to formally welcome two new additional staff members the team at Lake Park as we have been fortunate to receive additional assistant funding part time for both groups. Kay will be working with both the Dragonfly and Kingfisher groups and Hala will be working with the Kingfisher group. Their photos will be displayed in the front foyer area.
Looking forward to term 2 with our children and families.
Lake Park Kinder Team, Jess, Nicole, Vicky, Clare, Gary, Siobhan, Kay and Hala.
Moomba Park Kindergarten
Diary Dates will be sent to families on a separate communication from the kinder.
The groups at Moomba Park Kindergarten have spent the last few weeks settling into kindergarten and getting to know each other. They have been enjoying spending the sunny days out in the yard, using the sandpit, mud patch and water play area.
Kangaroo are looking forward to having a harmony day and a visit from a local librarian. They are really enjoying music and movement at group times.
Possum have been playing lots of getting to know you games. They are big fans of being out in the yard. They have been supporting the younger children in the Wombat (3 year old) program and there have been some strong friendships being formed already. They are exploring ice and the way the environment changes around them.
Wombat group are all about using the resources in the learning spaces in creative ways! They have loved using some recycled cardboard boxes – turning them into cars, police cars, hiding spots and even beds. They have been exploring sensory experiences such as slime, water and shredded paper.
Echidna are settling into the kinder routine. They are practicing having a daily group meeting. The group are really loving the outdoor space – and often you find them climbing on the fort or having a big run through the yard! They are exploring making different sounds using loose parts.
From the team at Moomba Park Kinder
Welcome to Newlands Preschool for 2023. We have had a very busy start to the year with both 3 and 4-year-old programs full of activity. It has been great to meet so many families and begin to build these integral relationships with both the families and the children. It has also been great to see so many friendships beginning to appear, establishing the children’s social development.
Within our 4-year-old program the children have shown an interest in the arts. We have extended on this by offering collaborative art opportunities with painting (with a variety of apparatus), drawing and stamping. We have also engaged in many colour mixing activities and experiments. This enables children to build on their creativity, fine motor skills and social and language skills all at once.
Sensory play has also been well engaged with in our program. The children showed a massive interest in the playdough, which was then extended with other forms of sensory play such as gelli baff, water and ice play (especially on those hot days), kinetic sand and sand play. Sensory play is an integral part of learning through exploration, curiosity, problem solving and creativity.
On the 28th February we had a visit from the teachers and students at St Paul’s Primary School. They showed us how to monitor the BeeBots to move in certain directions as well as robotic Lego that they had made. We got to have a turn using the iPads to move, light up and make sound on these robots.
Within our 3-year-old group we have been focusing on Belonging: ensuring that children feel that they are a part of their kinder environment.
We have been partaking in many cooking experiences, with the children developing an understanding of how food changes as it cooks. This has also led to discussions about where our food comes from. We will extend on this in the following weeks by learning about life cycles of chickens, and beginning to plant our new edible gardens.
Reminder: Please ensure you sign your child in and out each day while they are at our service.
From the team at Newlands Preschool
Oak Park Kindergarten
We have had a great start to the year with a lot of enthusiastic children! It has been lovely to see so many returning families, particularly in our 3yo program, with half the group we have known since they were babies or toddlers, which has made name remembering much easier! We have used some of our School Readiness Funding to have an additional Educator with our 3yo’s in term 1 and it has been a great help having that extra person to assist, distract, read stories and help with eating and toileting.
Our 4yo’s are enjoying attending Bush Kinder and recently we have been using Bush Kinder to demonstrate the change in seasons to autumn and noticing the amount of leaves that are now on the ground. We have been collecting autumn leaves and using them in our art work back at Kinder, and having lots of fun throwing them at each other. They have also enjoyed music and movement sessions, science experiments and dress ups.
We are continuing with the Resource Smart for Schools sustainability program, which has been partly funded by the Merri-bek Council, and this year we are looking at our energy usage and how we can improve it, after finishing up the waste module last year.
The last fortnight of term we will be hosting the Henny Penny Hatching Program where we will have an incubator of eggs delivered and we will watch them hatch over the week, then start to grow and develop into chickens. This will tie in with Easter and how the egg is a symbol of new life, as well as learning about the lifecycle of a chicken and relating this to other animals as well.
Behind the scenes we’ve had a lot going on with our extension plans to add a second classroom which will hopefully begin in June. The plans are looking fantastic and we are excited with all the additional space that we will gain from it. It is now going into the permit approval stage with a builder hopefully appointed in May.
From the team at Oak Park Kinder
Turner Street Kindergarten
Turner Street Kindergarten Diary Dates
Monday 13 March – Bunnings BBQ
Turner Street Kindergarten has had a beautiful start to the year. The children have settled in extremely well and engaging incredibly in the program. It wonderful to watch all the beautiful friendship begin to blossom between the children, even more so being a mixed group of 3’s and 4’s with younger children looking up to the older children and the older children taking on the older sibling role.
The children have particularly enjoyed lots of water play and our fairy garden has had a huge interest.
We are looking forward to holding our Bunning BBQ next Monday 13th March, hoping it is a huge success as it did last year.
Staff have already begun in some SRF development on Anxiety which they found to be extremely relevant and informative.
We look forward to the year ahead and watching the children grow.
From the team at Turner Street Kinder
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