We are already well in to September who can believe it!
A reminder that sun protection should be used from mid-August to end of April when the UV reaches 3 and above. Don’t just wait for hot and sunny days to use sun protection. Check the sun protection times each day so your family can be protected when they need to be. We have a duty of care to protect children from skin damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun and our Sun Smart policy has been developed to ensure that all children attending kindergarten are protected from this. It is implemented throughout the year, but with emphasis from the beginning of September to the end of April. Parents are asked to apply sunscreen onto their children before the kindergarten session. Click to view our Sunsmart policy
General Manager’s Update
As term 3 draws to a close we would like to once again thank all our wonderful staff who have continued to provide children with innovative stimulating programs all the while continuing to juggle and support colleagues who are unwell. We are extremely lucky to have a highly skilled pool of casual staff who have been happy to work with short notice and travel to all of our services.
Term 3 is a wonderful benchmark for teachers and educators to make some assessment about children’s learning and how children are achieving outcomes and goals. Children are generally settled into the kinder routines and do this with confidence. They can navigate the environment and mostly resource their own learning as they access program resources. They continue to develop independence skills and are using peers as a sounding board to explore new ideas and thoughts in order to make sense of their world. They are sharing experiences from home and educators use their conversations to scaffold children’s learning and follow their interests.
As we move to term 4 there will be a number of educational experiences that assist children to explore the idea of school and educators will support children to engage with the idea of school and make this a positive experience. Term 4 is a busy time for Teachers who spend hours preparing the Transitions Learning and Development Statements which are written for your nominated school but are based on the National Frameworks which our curriculums are based on. A draft of these statements will be sent home for parents to read and discuss with teachers before going off to your nominated school. We would encourage you to talk to your children about school but not to focus too heavily on this. Ask your child what they know about the idea of school, what they think they might do at school and how they might feel at school. Also please remember that your child has another 5 months of maturing to go before they start school and there can be a number of changes that happen during this period of time.
If you have any queries about the next term please speak with your teacher and educators.
We are extremely fortunate at MEYM to have a wonderful cohort of teachers, educators and administration staff who enthusiastically and professionally support the Board of Management and the General Managers to continue to meet the strategic direction of the organisation.
While we have had some turn over of staff this year, the provision of dedicated highly skilled teachers and educators remain our priority in order to provide services of excellence for your children. The sector is experiencing a number of workforce issues including teacher shortages, burnout due to increased workloads and are seeking pay parity with other teachers in primary and secondary schools.
With the introduction of 3 year old funded kindergarten in 2023 the Victorian sector will be looking to employ over 6,000 new teachers and educators. At MEYM we will be seeking to employ approximately 12 new staff members to staff the timetables programs for 2023. We have commenced an organisational workforce strategy and will continue this into 2023.
While we have seen some valuable staff leave MEYM this year and you may have noticed some changes to staffing at individual services we are confident that we are best placed to recruit the best people who fit the organisational values and are experts in the field. We would like to thankyou for your understanding and patience whilst we work towards fully staffing our services in 2022/2023.
Enrolment Officer’s Update
Free Kindergarten from 2023
The Best Start, Best Life reform will help all Victorian children dream even bigger through increased access to quality early childhood education and care. A critical part of the reform is Free Kinder, which will support access to two years of high quality kindergarten programs for all Victorian children by making this free. Free kinder will be available for both 3 and 4 year old MEYM kindergarten programs from 2023.
Free kinder means a saving of up to $2,500 per child, each year. Free kinder funding for kindergarten programs is on top of the funding already provided to kindergarten services each year by the Victorian Government. MEYM will receive the funding directly from the Victorian Government so families are not out of pocket (and dont have to claim the savings back).
For three year olds, Free Kinder means from 5 and up to 15 hours per week of a kindergarten program. For four year olds, Free Kinder means 15 hours per week (600 hours a year).
One Free Kinder Program per Child
Families can only enrol their child in one Free Kinder program at any one time.
This means that all children can access a funded kindergarten program and Free Kinder subsidy only at one service at any one time. Families cannot receive the benefit twice. When you enrol a child into an MEYM kindergarten program you will acknowledge that MEYM will be claiming the funding for your child.
Enrolment Process for 2023
For families that are returning to one of our kindergarten programs in 2023, the enrolment process will commence towards the end of October/early November where returning families will receive an email of offer from MEYM inviting you to submit your program preference. Following, you will receive an email confirming your allocated program with an enrolment form for completion. Please ensure your childs vaccinations are up to date as you will be asked to provide an Immunisation History Statement plus any medical action plans if required by your child. Our timetables are located on our website.
Orientation Process 2023
Details of Orientation and start dates for your kindergarten will be available later in the year on our website. Please read through the information carefully. An email will be sent to you during January so that you may book in for this.
Monday 31 October our kindergartens will be closed for an all staff PD Day.
Two week Term Break – kindergartens will close end of Friday 16 September for the two week term break, reopening on Monday 3 October.
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For any enquiries regarding programs or enrolment, please email Samantha Zuccarelli, Enrolment Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance Officer’s Update
Invoices for 2022 Term 4 program fees have been emailed to all families on 5th September 2022. The payment of fees are due on the 19th September 2022.
For all families with a Direct Debit Arrangement, please ensure there are sufficient funds in your nominated account. If there are any rejected payments due to insufficient funds, as per the Fees Policy, the families will be charged the transaction fees on their next invoice.
For families paying on invoice please pay by the due date.
For all fees enquiries or concerns, please email Pagona Drury at email@example.com
Reports from our MEYM Kindergartens
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
The children at Gowanbrae Children’s centre have had a very busy term 3 with lots of hands-on learning experiences that have extended on their interests and ideas. The red group has been particularly interested in mermaids and bugs whilst the blue/yellow group have been exploring space and have been busy making rockets and jet packs. The green group are loving the opportunity to go between both rooms and dressing up. We have been fortunate to have many incursions that include a visit from the museum to learn about Dinosaurs, the Library to extend on book week where all children brought in their favorite books and dressed up as their favourite characters. Additionally we had a visit from the Police as the children have been interested in what they do. We are currently also participating in The Resilience project in which the children have the opportunity to extend on their social emotional development by completing activities in their books that pertain to appreciation and feelings. We are grateful for the participation of families in their project as this will only build on their children’s resilience and school readiness. As always, the children have thoroughly enjoyed role playing in the home corner, zoo, camping area, supermarket, car wash and jail. Finally, some groups have been cooking/baking as the children have the opportunity to extend on their numeracy and literacy development and the Nature play program facilitates their physical development and exploration of risky play.
Lake Park Kindergarten
This term at Lake Park Kinder, all groups have been busy learning and exploring their natural environment through engaging in our nature program outings.
The children have been exploring various sites along our surrounding Coburg Lake Parklands and Merri Creek bike trail including a facilitated excursion by Julia from the Merri Creek Management “Water Watch” program.
Julia engaged the children in discussion about local native wildlife that call Merri Creek home and took the children down to the creek in small groups to catch water in a bucket on a strung and perform water contamination tube tests. The children also explored the natural environment with binoculars and magnifying glasses to see what creatures they could find!
Back at kinder we have been just as busy learning and playing in our indoor/outdoor programs.
Kingfisher group: Many of the children have been busy developing their skills such as problem solving, engineering, collaboration and discussion of ideas and trial and error by building elaborate large scale block structures in groups. This is fantastic to see how their designs and ideas have developed and become more sophisticated as their skills have progressed from term 1 to now.
Dragonfly: Children in the Dragonfly group have been showing a lot of interest in playing group games such as board games and large group active games such as “What’s the Time Mr Wolf?” Through engaging in these experiences, the children have been developing their social skills such as turn taking and sharing, negotiating roles and responsibilities, sportsmanship and resilience (accepting that sometimes you don’t win and that’s ok).
Echidna: The Echidna group has shown significant progress in their independence from educator engagement and moving into independent and collaborative play with peers. A shared interest across many children in the group has been dramatic play (home corner cooking, the boat, vets and hospital areas and dress ups) and imaginative play (small toy character play such as farm animals, dinosaurs). These experiences provide opportunities for children to explore their imagination and creativity, sense of identity and practice collaborative play skills such as incorporating ideals of their own and their peers, negotiating roles and sharing resources.
Italian program: Siobhan has been teaching the children about colori (colours) through the palone song, art experiences discussing colours and reading an Italian story about a dinosaur who eats all the colours of the rainbow. We have also been exploring the names of fruits and vegetables in Italian and will be making Minestrone in the last week of term!
A few upcoming events/reminders:
- We are organizing a picture plate fundraiser and have already started completing designs with children at kinder. Please return your paid order forms by Friday the 9th of September or speak to staff if you have not received an order form.
- We will be organizing a working bee on the first Saturday of next term, the 8th of October. More info to come about times, a job list and sign-up sheet, but if you are able to help please save the date.
- Halloween dress-up family disco Friday the 28th of October. Again, more into to come, save the date.
- All three groups will be having excursions to Ceres Environmental Park Brunswick the week beginning October 17th. More info to come.
Finally, we would like to wish everyone celebrating Father’s Day a lovely relaxing day on Sunday and enjoy your gifts made with love by your children at kinder (if you child was absent this week they will have the opportunity to make a gift next week).
Moomba Park Kindergarten
Moomba has had a great few weeks! We have had visits from the local librarian, and Wild Action – which was a total highlight. We have also celebrated fathers day with some of our special members of our families. Possum group is continuing to explore some community walks and Kangaroo went and visited Moomba Park Primary and enjoyed using their library space. Our 3 year old programs have been enjoying a lot music and movement sessions, as well as spending lots of time outside as the weather improves.
Newlands children have been engaged in emergency services play- attending to 000 calls, putting out fires, climbing ladders and dressing up in protective gear.
We had a visit from a grandmother who is an SES volunteer . She conducted a presentation and showed the children her uniform by putting on each item separately and explaining its purpose. So much learning from this visual presentation.
We have had a successful Father’s Day Morning Tea.
We also had a visit from Bunnings – we made tool boxes for dads/ special person. We are celebrating Superhero week in honour of muscular dystrophy. One of our children in the 4 year old group has a sibling with muscular dystrophy. We will be dressing up for a day and help raise funds in support of the family.
Oak Park Kindergarten
Term 3 at Oak Park Kindergarten has been very busy with a lot going on in all our groups. We had our kinder photo days with the Photographer taking our group and individual photos. We also had a visit from Wild Action, showing the 3yo’s and 4yo Purple a great variety of Australian Animals. 4yo Yellow will have the opportunity to see them in term 4. All groups had a dress up day for Book Week and it was wonderful to see the efforts our families went to, to create a costume from a book. Science week saw a few more science experiments than usual, with the children encouraged to explore as well as hypothesize the outcome. One of these activities for the 4yo’s we used in conjunction to make their Father’s Day present, so I’m sure some dads will get told all about how part of their present was made. At the request of a child we finished off science week with the Coke and Mentos experiment, which we were then able to relate back to healthy eating, as it had been an ongoing topic this term.
We used a lot of our School Readiness funding this term on our 4yo children participating in the Body Safety Australia program of Body Safety Superstars! There was a Parent information session held the week prior to discuss the program with the parents and we thank all the parents who attended for showing support of the Body Safety Program. The Occupational Therapist from Merri Health attended at the end of a 4yo session to speak to any parents who had questions on school readiness as well as providing us with a video to share with our families on what school readiness is and what can be done at home to assist this. Staff had their second session with Annette from Yarn Strong Sista on how we can embed Aboriginal awareness into the program and had fun learning Aboriginal words for the Hokey Pokey as well as making bush jewelry and bush bouquets. We also have a long term project planned to create a yarning circle surrounded by an Aboriginal garden in our very top playground, and was assisted by Annette as to what plants would be best to plant here to further our programs.
Our amazing Parent’s Group organised a second hand book sale during Book Week, a Picture Plates Fundraiser and are preparing for a working bee now that the weather is starting to look better. They also contributed a lot of fundraising money towards the purchase of an interactive board which we received an IT Grant for, but needed to fund the rest ourselves. Staff will be receiving training in using the board and plan to start using it in the program in term 4. At the moment the children are very excited about the large tv sitting in the kitchen!
We will finish the term with water safety talks for all groups from one of our Parents who works in the Aquatic Industry as well as our annual footy dress up day to embrace the footy finals culture that takes over Melbourne at this time of year.
Turner Street Kindergarten
Turner street kindergarten has had a busy and exciting start to Term 3.
The children have participated in an incursion from Merri Creek management committee. Learning about our local creek, the animals that live in and around the creek. They even got a visit from a frog!
We have started on our journey on our big outdoor mural project with Elijah our artist coming into the sessions and working with the children. Elijah had discussions with the children and they all got to show off their artistic skills, drawing their favourite animals with their favourite colour(s). These drawings form the basis of our mural as Elijah will use the colours and lines drawn by the children in the final mural
Turner street received some very exciting news, we have received at $500,000 much needed upgrade to our building. The state Minister for Early Education, Ingrid Stitt was on site at Turner Street for the announcement.
Book week, we were super excited to don our dress ups to celebrate book week. Children were encouraged to dress in their favourite book character and bring their books to share.
At Turner Street we are fortunate to have some amazing families, we had a handful of dedicated mums and dads spruce up the yard and put together some new furniture with a working bee. Children have been super excited exploring the new fairy garden.
We are looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day with our males figures of our life in the coming weeks with a Father’s Day morning.