We hope all the children are enjoying all the wonderful activities that are happening at kindergarten.
We would like to encourage all families to participate in any of the opportunities there are for family involvement at your child’s centre.
General Manager’s Update
Hello from the General Managers of Merri-bek Early Years Management. For those of you who are not aware, our name change was endorsed at the MEYM AGM on 31 May, 2023.
It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of Term 3 already! The children at our kindergartens are now feeling generally more confident and settled and are really benefitting from the many activities and experiences that are offered at each service. There have been lots of Nature Walks and excursions and celebrations of special occasions including visits from families and carers which are always eagerly anticipated!
The Turner Street Kindergarten renovation project will be completed by the end of the term. It will be wonderful to move back to the improved space in Term 4. The Lake Park Kindergarten yard has been rejuvenated and the new trickle stream and digging patch have proved very popular!
We will be introducing an electronic Sign In/ Sign Out system at each service in the coming months. We hope this will be an easier process for families and carers. Feedback about the system will be greatly appreciated!
Term 4 is always a busy time with teachers completing Transition Statements for all those 4-year-olds heading off to school. Sam will also be managing the 2024 MEYM enrolment allocations and will try to ensure that wherever possible families are able to access their preferred kindergarten program.
We hope you have a great term break and we are all looking forward to a productive and engaging Term 4.
Anne McGregor and Sarah Vallance
Pedagogical Leader’s Update
During the month of August I’ve had the pleasure of working with the children & educators at Lake Park Kindergarten.
During recent collaborations with the early childhood teachers & educators we have discussed the importance of the learning environment.
We asked ourselves questions such as “How did the environment create opportunities for optimum learning? “Did the materials and resources used reflect the social ecology of the children?
These reflective questions directed us towards thinking about the outside area & how we can best use some of the spaces for physical development.
Jumping, climbing, walking or zig-zagging along a line, catching & lifting all help the development of motor skills but also help ‘wake up’ the muscles in children’s bodies so they are more coordinated throughout the day.
Look out for the Lake Park kindergarten children coming home talking about *PMP -that means they have been engaged in the wonderful program Jess has designed in the outdoor environment. Vicky & Gary’s group are also enjoying the benefits of the materials set up for this program.
I look forward to working across all the kindergartens in September & perhaps we’ll see some football kicking skills developing………………. Watch this space.
Meredith, Pedagogical Leader
Enrolment Officer’s Update
The enrolment period for 2024 will commence shortly with new and returning families receiving an email from us to complete a form and provide program preferences. Following, all families will be allocated their program along with an enrolment form to complete. If you have any questions please contact Enrolment Officer at email@example.com
Please ensure that your child’s vaccination status is up to date along with any medical action plans.
Second years of 4: A second year of funded 4yo kinder will only be approved if it is determined that your child is significantly behind in two or more key areas of development as assessed by an early childhood teacher, in discussion with early childhood professionals.
No child will receive a second year of 3yo kindergarten.
If your child turns 6 years of age before or while attending kindergarten, families must obtain an exemption from school by applying to the Department of Education. A copy of this exemption must be provided to The Enrolment Officer, MEYM
Kindergarten Family Handbook
We have updated our Handbook – please have a read through at your leisure.
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 the Enrolment Officer in writing giving 14 days notice of cancellation.
For families wishing to have a tour of our kindergartens please book a visit through our Book-a-Tour on our website. Families have an opportunity to view our wonderful kindergartens and meet some of our educators who will be able to answer any questions and provide information on our programs.
Our kindergartens will be closed on the following dates:
AFL Grand Final Parade: Friday 29 September
All Staff Professional Development Day: Monday 6 November
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, Samantha Zuccarelli, Enrolment Officer, MEYM
Reports from our MEYM Kindergartens
Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
With the theme for NAIDOC week 2023 being ‘For Our Elders’ we hosted a ‘For Our Elders’ afternoon tea where many of the children invited Elders who were important to them to spend some time with them at Kindergarten. The children were involved in preparing fresh bread and damper for the occasion.
We have recently had a sports day in response to many of the children’s current interests in sports. The children who wanted to dressed in sports clothing and accessories and brought along their sports equipment. Revisiting photos of this day has prompted dialogue from the children about what they were wearing and their memories of the day.
From the team at Gowanbrae Children’s Centre
Lake Park Kindergarten
Dear Kingfisher families,
Wow, what a busy term we have had in term 3!
Throughout term 3 we have been in full swing of our nature program outings occurring every fortnight. While out on country, the children have been enjoying exploring the beautiful surroundings of Merri Creek and learning through their senses and incorporating their own ideas into shared play and using their imagination.
We have also experienced several incursions in the program this term. In July Julia Cirillo from the Merri Creek Management committee came to facilitate a water watch incursion where the children learnt about different animal species native to Merri Creek and explored water bugs in trays with spoons and magnifying glasses. Then in August we participated in a two-part incursion with the Wayapa Wuurrk program that incorporated learning about the natural elements with mind, body and spirit connections.
Lastly, a few reminders for upcoming events for the end of term 3 and start of term 4:
Our “Father’s/Special Person’s day” celebration will take place on Monday the 4th of September from 2:00-4:00pm.
Our final nature program outing will be on Tuesday the 12th of September from 12:00-3:00pm, for which we would greatly appreciate more family volunteers so please pop your name down on the sign up sheet if you are free to come along.
School holidays from Monday the 18th to Friday the 29th, no kinder during those weeks.
From term 4 we will continue our nature program outings either weekly or fortnightly (depending on weather and other events in the program). More info will come out with proposed dates in the beginning of term 4.
Rebecca Axford from the Wurundjeri language council will be facilitating an incursion titled the “Bunjil Program” with the children on Tuesday the 30th of October.
Regards, Kingfisher Team
Dear Lake Park Dragonfly families,
We are coming towards the end of term 3 and it has been an extremely busy term for us. The children have been enjoying a range of play experiences in both indoor and outdoor areas. Simultaneously, it’s lovely to see the friendship and social interaction continue to grow strongly among the Dragonfly group.
Currently, the children are exploring the Perceptual Motor Development program (PMP) through our environment, helping the children connect the brain and the body. The set up is very similar to an obstacle course which many of you have experienced at some point in your life. The Dragonfly group will continue to work on the PMP program.
The following links are here to further help you understand the importance of a PMP program:
Last week the Dragonfly children celebrated Book Week (24th August 2023) and thoroughly enjoyed the incursion, a visit from a local Librarian, Andrew, from Merri Bek Library. Andrew read various interesting stories during the session and we sang songs as well. The children had an opportunity to dress up that day – Gary, Hedi and I were very impressed. We had some gorgeous dress ups including Frozen; Ironman; Wiggles; Batman; Harry Potter; Star Wars; Snow White; Hulk; Where’s Wally; Sofia the First; Mario Brothers; Dinosaur; Spiderman and the Green Hungry Monster. During the afternoon, we continued to read stories on our own and some children brought a book from home to share with their peers.
At Lake Park Kindergarten, earlier this month, the Dragonfly group also had a visit from CERES, the Early years coordinator, Claire. Claire came to visit us and discussed the waste audit with both children and educators. The children really found this interesting and there have been lots of discussions in our session about waste. After the session, the children deeply thought about waste and how this will affect their daily life from playing in the local park to eating their lunch with their family and friends. Some of the children now understand that depending on the plastic being ‘soft or hard’ it will help them determine which waste goes into which colour bin. Is it the yellow or red bin? What about the green and new purple bin? Children are slowly starting to explore the topic waste through dramatic play and art and craft experience. With the support from CERES and ResourceSmart, both Kingfisher and Dragonfly groups are working towards good sustainability practices at Lake Park Kindergarten. I strongly encourage you to continue the discussion of waste with your child at home and to learn with your child about these practices when we think of waste.
Secondly, I would like to acknowledge Kay from Uniting who continues to be very valuable to our Dragonfly team, a wonderful support for both children and staff. We thank her for your contribution to date and look forward to working again in term 4. Meanwhile, Siobhan, our Italian teacher, is in the process of working with the Dragonfly children in building a very tall tower by using old recyclable cardboard boxes (another beautiful example of our Dragonfly group using recycling materials to help us incorporate art and craft experience after attending a waste audit!)
A big thank you to all the parents who attended the parent and teacher interview with me (Vicky). I hope you found it beneficial and helped you understand your child’s progress in their early learning and development journey. The interviews are OPTIONAL but if you missed out and want one, please seek me to discuss a time to speak.
Also there are still some items in our lost property tub. If you have lost anything that you know was brought to kindergarten at some point, can you please check the tub, located in the foyer.
Finally, a friendly reminder to the families about our Father’s Day/ Special person day event coming up this Friday, September 1st at Lake Park Kindergarten. It would be so wonderful to meet the fathers again and what a great way to do it through our event. We will start this celebration from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. If your child is off to primary school next year, we love you to attend as it would create a special memory for you both before they complete their time with us. Please remember to RSVP through our booking system to let us know your attendance. Mums are also welcome of course!
In the meantime, keep well and be warm until next time.
Regards, Vicky, Gary and Hedi.
Moomba Park Kindergarten
Moomba Park is loving exploring the winter weather! The staff have been extending their knowledge on sustainable practice and composting and had a visit from Claire from Ceres who spoke about the resource smart program and practical ways the Kindergarten can continue to work on supporting the environment.
Wombat had got to explore our yard with Claire and use magnifying glasses to try and find various mini beasts or bugs as part of a bio diversity audit. They loved using proper scientific tools and were excitedly finding worms and other small insects. They also went on a community walk to the park next door where they enjoyed running and looking at the big trees. The group is also loving exploring their fine motor abilities through their art. They are really enjoying using scissors and cutting up old magazines to create new college style art work. Group times have been focussed on music and movement. The children are loving using yoga to help relax and reset their bodies as needed.
Echidna Group: We are learning about Native Australian Reptiles– Lizards. The most diverse group of Australian reptiles are the lizards. There are 617 species commonly known as goannas, skinks, geckos, dragon lizards, and flap-footed lizards (also called snake lizards or legless lizards). We are focusing on goanna and gecko. We closely observed an image of goannas in the Australian desert and recorded our findings to explore the theme further. Children painted lizard cut-outs using watercolour and rolling ball painting for colour mixing and creating their unique desert art masterpieces. We celebrated National Aboriginal and Torres Islander Children’s Day by watching ‘Acknowledgement to Country’ by QEC to develop awareness of the value of language, culture, and land for Aboriginal children. The Children used clapping sticks while singing, “Twinkle twinkle, little star”. Aboriginal Patterns were employed to introduce another way of communication through a matching game experience, and children painted boomerangs.
Kangaroo has enjoyed a visit from the museum. They have been making lots of sensory experiences using the garden outside. They have been talking about what makes them special and what they are really good at.
Kangaroo group have been introduced to the treasure bag. The idea of the Treasure bag was to reinforce children’s sense of identity-share a
part of who they are and expressive language skills-describe, express and answer questions about their special items. It reinforced to the
children how to be respectful and show responsive engagement by listening to others ideas. We even learnt how to ask questions and
The Possum Kindergarten group has started fortnightly community walks. The purpose is for children to observe the environment, look at the flora and fauna in the neighbourhood and discover nature’s little treasures around us. We are using this opportunity to teach children about road safety and other hazards they might encounter while walking outside. Exploring the community through walks will help children gain independence and confidence in navigating their surroundings. These walks are extended with ongoing class discussions before and after a walk.
To further develop our knowledge about natural materials and build a connection to the land, children are exploring clay; We are learning that clay can be shaped, pinched, poked, rolled, scraped, and thrown. It can also be sliced, engraved, embellished, painted, soaked, and washed. Clay became unworkable when excessive water was added to it. Children dig their fingers in the clay liquid to practise writing and drawing skills.
From the team at Moomba Park Kindergarten
What an exciting term it has been at Newlands Preschool! Both groups have been going on regular outings to the adjacent parkland and local café. As well as playing on the play equipment we have been scouting the local wildlife, uses our sense to look, listen and smell different things within our environment. We even spotted 2 owls in the large gum trees, and after researching them, discovered they are Tawny Frogmouth Owls. This extended on our incursion we had earlier in the term when the Melbourne Museum visited us with their Australian animals and Mega Fauna. We also got to explore taxidermy of lizards, snakes, magpies, koalas, kookaburras, possums and echidnas, whilst learning about each of their habitats.
Professor Mel and her associates visited us for Science Week, where we used predictions and trial and error as we conducted a number of science experiments including the rainbow experiment, the rain cloud experiment, as well as making lava lamps, volcanoes and cooking experiences, seeing how elements change as they are cooked. Luckily the only thing that exploded was a little bit of shaving foam! The 3-year-olds experimented with bubble wrap painting, rain cloud experiment and making their own strawberry ice-cream in a zip lock bag.
When asked what their favourite thing for the week at kinder was some of the answers were:
“Science. The cloud one”- Shion.
“The rainbow science and the slide”- Hattie.
“Science Week and the rainbows and the slide and everything”- Sebastian.
“The lava lamps and the tyre swing”- Aaliyah.
“Outside and the caterpillar”- Rabgyal.
“M and M science experiment and going on the big slide” Amani.
“The slide. The green and yellow one.”- Christian.
“Do the photos and science- the lava lamps”- Luna.
1st September: 4-year-old Father’s Day/Special Person’s afternoon tea 1-2.30pm
6th September: National Superhero Day for Muscular Dystrophy for both groups. Come dressed up as your favourite superhero to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy.
12th September: 3-year-old sports day. Come dressed in your favourite sports colours and participate in our sports.
13th September: Last day of term 3 for 3-year-olds.
15th September: Last day of term 3 for 4-year-old. Come dressed in your favourite sports colours to celebrate sports day.
2nd October: Term 4 begins for 3-year-old.
4th October: Term 4 begins for 4-year-old.
18th October: Reptile incursion for both groups.
Please remember we are seeking traditional family recipes to use in our cooking classes.
4-year-old: Please remember to return your library bag and book each Friday.
We are still negotiating dates for the end of year process and will let you know ASAP.
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
Another very busy term has flown by at Oak Park and it has been lovely to see the children confidently exploring and leading their play. Our 4yo’s have been looking at Aboriginal symbols in paintings. Using their knowledge of the most common symbols, we have been able to pick out these symbols in paintings and try and work out the story behind the painting. They have also been using the symbols to leave messages for each other, ie. There is a crocodile near the waterhole.
We have also been looking at healthy eating, complemented by the Life Ed Victoria Healthy Harold program. The children were taught to look after themselves by eating healthy, exercise and rest, and we’ve followed up with fruit preparation and eating activities, yoga sessions and community walks.
We introduced our 3yo’s to Bush Kinder this term, and due to a broken pipe, we experienced several weeks of a small stream running through the trees. The children had a great time walking through the water and mud in their gumboots and exploring every little corner on the property. We are now making weekly visits due to constant requests from many children, though thankfully we do not have the mud clean up at the end of our visits now with the pipe being located and repaired.
Incursions this term included Reptile Encounters, Drama Toolbox, Responsible Pet Program and as mentioned earlier, Life Ed Victoria. We will also be hosting our first Father’s Day evening since 2019, with a pizza evening planned for all our children and their Dad or special person.
As part of our School Readiness Funding Allied Health visits, we will be hosting the Merri Health Occupational Therapist for two parent drop in sessions. Mary will be here on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th September to answer any questions you may have on school readiness or your child’s development. Please feel free to ask Mary any questions you may have as she is here to help. She will also have school readiness flyers with her for you to take.
We have our Kinder photos taking place next Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th September, a Picture Plates fundraiser which is finishing on Friday 8th September and we have been hosting a Bachelor of Early Childhood student teacher in our 4yo group for the past 5 weeks. This is Sam’s last week and she has been in full control of the Yellow group for the past fortnight.
Finally, small steps are being taken with our building project! We’ve met the builders and the demolisher, a notice of an application for a planning permit has been stuck on our front gate and delivered to our neighbour’s, and we are hoping that there are no objections so we can get our permit and start building!
From the team at Oak Park Kindergarten
Turner Street Kindergarten
Turner street has been very busy this term. We are currently in our temporary service at Pascoe Vale Community Center. All the children settled in well, considering the big change and both groups thoroughly enjoyed exploring the parkland space behind the Kindergarten.It is the first time Turner Street has had access to an open outdoor ‘bush space’ and we are definitely making the most of it. Children have used their imagination to find different ways to engage with the natural space, from learning to climb trees, engaging with the many different dogs that frequent the park – in a safe supervision environment, using the large space to kick balls, finding ‘chalk rocks’, moving and lifting rocks to make patterns.
In the final weeks of Term 3, we have some exciting events coming up. This week we will celebrate Book week, with the children and educators invited to dress up. We also have parents coming in to read books and will be making a class story. We will also be celebrating Fathers/special persons day, with fathers and special people invited to spend the morning with their children. There will be some special experiences for children to do with their chosen person including children serving breakfast to their special person.
During our last week of term, as well as packing to head back to our new sparkling service at Turner street we will be also having a sports day and inviting children to dress in their favourite sports colours.
Turner Street Kindergarten are also currently reviewing their service philosophy and changing our current logo, we have been busy involving children, families and educators in this process and are at the final stage of completing our new center philosophy. We are hoping by the start of the next year we will have our new logo design, watch this space.
From the team at Turner Street Kindergarten
MEYM would like to thank you for taking the time to read our Newsletter