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EarlyEdition WINTER 2017

The advocate for childhood Growing with Forest School How I taught 20 kinder kids to be food explorers Communication in early learning

ENROL TODAY! 07 3299 5784 Special discount for ACA Qld members RTO Number: 40933

EarlyEdition WINTER 2017

Cover Photo: Love is in the Air at Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre

ACA Queensland


Location: 11/6 Vanessa Boulevard, Springwood Mailing: PO Box 137, Springwood QLD 4127 Telephone: (07) 3808 2366 Fax: (07) 3808 2466 Toll Free: 1300 365 325 (outside Brisbane) Web: Email:

ACA Queensland President’s Report


ACA President’s Report


The Advocate for Childhood


Communication in early learning


Disclaimer: Articles published in this magazine are published as a service to readers and should not be substituted for specific advice in relation to any issue. While advertising in this magazine is encouraged, ACA Queensland accepts no responsibility for the contents of the advertisements. Advertisements are accepted in good faith and liability for advertising content, goods or services supplied is the responsibility of the advertiser.

Growing with Forest School


Your guide to the latest super changes


How I taught 20 kinder kids to be food explorers


Learning How to Listen – A Personal Reflection of Reggio Emilia


Educator in Profile: Lee Smith


Get to know your committee: Doug Burns


Self –acknowledgement: Vital to learning and teaching


Engage. Learn. Inspire. Sharing the Experience


Awards for Excellence


Did George the turtle survive?


Cleaning products are important, but they are only half the equation!


Associate Member Directory



Committee Members

ACA Queensland Office

Acting President - Majella Fitzsimmons

Gwynn Bridge AM Rosa McDonald

Office Manager - Jen Smyth

Vice President - Brent Stokes

Doug Burns

Debra North

Office Admin Assistant - Letitia Murphy

Treasurer - Linda Davies

Jae Fraser

Janet Schluter

Project Officer - Claudette Cabilan

Acting Secretary - Louise Thomas

Kerrie Lada



ACA Queensland President’s Report Where has the year gone? Just a couple of months from now, we’re all going to be planning kindy graduations and Christmas parties! Welcome to Early Edition Winter 2017. I’d like to start this edition with warm congratulations to Gwynn Bridge on being a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for her significant service to the community through leadership in early childhood care and education. Many of you know Gwynn as former ACA Qld President and CEO. Gwynn continues to be a valued advisor and committee member of ACA Qld and board member of our college, College for Australian Early Childhood Educators (CAECE). Gwynn’s passion to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, approved providers and educators has been the forefront of her 30+ years in the early childhood education and care sector. Gwynn was a co-founder of ACA Qld and President from 2006 until 2010. Gwynn continued as Chief Executive Officer from 2010 until 2016. Gwynn was also the founding President of ACA National from 2008, retiring in 2016 after nine years of dedicated service. Gwynn has been an active member of state and national long day care association committees in their various forms for over 20 years. How good was this year’s conference? Were you one of the lucky 1900+ delegates that attended and were able to see so many inspiring presenters?

Personally, I had goosebumps listening to so many inspiring sessions. Many got to sing and dance with Play School favourite Jay Laga’aia, looked at how we treated boys with Maggie Dent, and learnt about story writing and reading with Jackie French. No one can deny the highlight of the conference was the wonderful Winter Wonderland Gala Dinner. The costumes were amazing and our judges did have to scour the crowd to get the most unique and outstanding costumes. Big thanks to our fabulous conference committee who had spent the last year organising such amazing presenters who made us all feel engaged, educated and inspired. I would also like to thank all our generous sponsors and exhibitors who continue to support our conference. Huge thank you to Guild Insurance, Child Care Super, Modern Teaching Aids, QK Technologies, Department of Education and Training, HESTA, Kids Xap, Penelope Care and My Life My Super. The Jobs for Families Package has been released and ACA Qld is represented within ACA National to work closely with all sides of government to ensure all our members’ voices are heard through consultations. We have collected these thoughts and sent a letter to the Stake Holder Engagement Team. At the recent conference, we had constructive discussions with Mr Andrew Laming MP and representatives from the Australian Department of Education and Training (DET). Concerns were raised from many delegates and it was great to see that both Mr Laming and DET were open to hear these concerns and seemingly take them on board. Members’ Meetings across the state were very successful. Lots of topics were discussed and it was



great to meet many of you and hear your concerns. As a result of these meetings, we were able to engage Urban Economics to conduct a Demographic Impact Survey looking at vacancies, utilisation and demographics within early childhood education and care sector in Queensland. We look forward to utilising these results when lobbying for our sector. Brent, Jae and myself have been working closely with ACA National in the last few months. It is a privilege to say there have been some wins with the LDCPDP Funding being able to be used on training that will occur after but must be paid for by 30 June 2017. We thank the government for giving this extension and flexibility. ACA National is still working closely with ABLA on Industrial Relation matters including the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) and Modern Award Review. Industrial Relations issues are a very slow process and one that we have been working on since 2013. ACA National has also undertaken producing a short video for Early Childhood Educators Day to be promoted on Facebook – the filming of this was conducted alongside our ACA Qld Conference and we did manage to get a bit of a sneak peek of who will be in the video. Don’t forget it is never too early to start planning for Early Childhood Educators Day. I can’t wait to see what you do to celebrate on Wednesday 6 September 2017!

Majella Fitzsimmons Acting ACA Qld President

ACA President’s Report The implementation of the new Jobs for Families package is the next big challenge for the ECEC sector. The last few months have brought in some huge changes to the early childhood education and care sector. As you would be aware, the long-awaited child care reform, often referred to as the Jobs for Families Legislation, was passed through the Senate in March, without including ACA’s recommended amendments. Having lobbied relentlessly for our suggested changes, we were disappointed that the Federal Government and the crossbench ignored this landmark opportunity to better protect vulnerable and disadvantaged Australian children as well as ensuring an adequate safety net for many low-income families. ACA had recommended that the bare minimum level of access for children from families who fail the activity test should be set at 15 hours to ensure maximum benefit of the learning opportunities at an ECEC service. We also recommended increasing the income threshold before the activity test commences from $65,710 with a taper to $100,000. As an ECEC service provider, you are now faced with informing parents that from 1 July, 2018, if they are a household with one stay at home parent and earn above $65,710, they will not receive any subsidy at all to support access for their children in an early learning environment. With over 30,000 families who currently receive some level of subsidy support in this circumstance, this is a huge blow to the Australian community. Furthermore, the Federal Government’s budget announcement in May indicated that privately owned ECEC services will not have access to the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF), which is part of the new Child Care Safety Net that delivers the 12 hours of access to those disadvantaged families that fail the activity test. This is contrary to our initial understanding of the availability of this funding while engaging with government during the lead up to the legislation being passed.

ACA raised this issue with both the Minister of Education’s office and DET, and DET expressed interest in finding out to what extent private providers services currently receive the Community Support Program (CSP) funding and to what extend they would access the CCCF if it were made available. As a result, an online consultation took place, with ECEC services invited to provide feedback on the grant opportunities most relevant to them by the deadline of 13 June 2017.  ACA also provided feedback on behalf of its members Australia-wide. We will keep you informed of the outcome of this consultation, and our continued engagement with the government on this issue. As the new Child Care Subsidy under the Jobs for Families package is expected to commence in July 2018, our sector will need to prepare for the transition period. As a service provider, you will be challenged with a new set of processes and government software, and your families will need to understand how the new package will affect their rebates. ACA is acutely aware of the need for clear guidance during the transition period, which can in turn be passed on to parents or guardians. These changes will affect more than 17,000 service providers across Australia and over 1.2 million families with children attending early learning services. The recent release of DET’s online Family Child Care Subsidy Estimator is a start in helping families get an estimate of their likely Child Care Subsidy fortnightly entitlement under the new system. We encourage you to share this tool with your families: family-child-care-subsidy-estimator. We will remain engaged with the relevant government departments during the rollout of the new child care rebate system, to keep you and your families informed of how it will affect your services and what is required of your business under the new regime. On a positive note, we were pleased to hear that the government has decided

to extend the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access into 2018. This is a positive outcome, and something we had recommended in our Pre-Budget Submission to the Federal Government to ensure that all children in their year before school have access to a quality preschool program for the foreseeable future. However, we would have welcomed a guaranteed extension of this funding beyond one additional year, to provide services with more certainty about the programs they can deliver year on year with this critical funding. ACA had also recommended that the government should consider a new distribution model for this funding, to ensure that all eligible ECEC services received this funding across all states. We will continue to provide the government with feedback on the benefits of this funding at the service level, and the positive impact it has on the quality of ECEC to all children. Finally, to those of you who attended the ACA Qld Conference this June, we hope you enjoyed yourselves, made new friendships, gained some valuable insights, and came away with a positive attitude to giving our children the best start in life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the filming of our Early Childhood Educators Day video, which took place alongside the conference. The first of two videos will start airing in early July, in the lead up to Early Childhood Educators Day, which takes place this year on Wednesday 6 September. We look forward to the support of our members, their families and the broader ECEC sector in celebrating the efforts of our early childhood educators. Paul Mondo President, ACA



The Advocate for Childhood Sandi Phoenix > Director / Principal Facilitator, Phoenix Support for Educators

This is a story about children’s behaviour. About Jacob. About advocating for childhood as part of the early childhood curriculum. Let’s discuss ‘that child’ found in many education and care settings. However, let’s not label him ‘that child’, and respectfully use his real name, Jacob. Jacob is spirited, energetic and a non-conformist. When all the obedient children are sitting on the carpet, Jacob is playing with dress ups and refusing his educator’s attempts to control him. When he and other children are happily playing outside then asked to come inside, the other children resign to compliance. Not Jacob. He refuses to abandon his outdoor play time, to come inside and hear a story he has heard a thousand times. He knows that he’ll just struggle to sit still anyway, so the story will be constantly interrupted with his educator’s attempts to behaviour ‘manage’ him into what is perceived by the adults in his room as ‘listening behaviour’. He would much prefer to keep moving, climbing, running and jumping in the outdoor space, as children of his age need to do. So, he does. Freedom is a basic human need. Basic. Human. Need. Jacob’s freedom cup needs filling and in a learning environment that is frequently emptying that cup, he becomes exceptionally creative at compensating for that. He will get freedom. He will insist on it! You see, Jacob is not like most of the other children who will grudgingly obey. He is not seeking the extrinsic



reward in the form of praise from his educator. He is motivated intrinsically to play, move, learn and grow in the outdoors. He has a deep urge to interact with the natural world. When he is outdoors he is wholly in the moment, connected and in flow. He loves the smell of grass as he lies flat on the ground catching his breath, the sound of the wind as it rushes through his hair and the feeling of mud squishing between his fingers. He can wonder for an hour at the movement of an earth worm, the secret missions of ants, the scuttling of a bug. Jacob has been on this planet for four years. He learnt to walk just 35 months ago and has not stopped running, jumping and climbing everywhere with rigour and enthusiasm since. He cannot get enough of what this new, exciting natural world has to teach him. However, Jacob knows, that at 10 am each day his educators will transition all 22 children in his class inside where the children will be herded through a room routine that involves all children sitting, listening, lining up, waiting, hand washing, eating and sleeping at the same time. Once his educators manage to get him inside, the doors will be closed. He will be trapped. Jacob’s strong need for freedom means he despises this feeling. Jacob is outgrowing his midday sleep time. Regardless, he is forced to stay on his bed in a darkened room. Some days he grows tired of the restlessness and falls asleep, while other

times he is increasingly agitated and acts out. Each child in this class has an individual rhythm which is not visible because they are not given the time and agency to move through it. Most of these children are accepting of adult’s expectations to be compliant, to obey their every request. Not Jacob. Jacob is an advocate for this group. He will stand strong in his convictions. He is still learning how to get his needs met without impacting on the needs and rights of other people, so his behaviour is likely to be considered disruptive. Nevertheless, Jacob will demand change.

about the benefits of supervised risky play then how to articulate this information to families. Their research around this soon inspires them to stop risk managing by removing risk and start making informed risk benefit analyses. Jacob’s educators’ have now realised his need to run fast, move big, climb high, so they will access natural open green spaces in the local community once a week (to start). The children respond to this time in nature with joy and enthusiasm beyond any other part of the program. It’s soon realised that the children’s interest in nature needs to extend into the program every day, both indoors and outdoors. Jacob has, in effect, transformed the childhood experience of all the children in his learning environment. He’s an activist. He burst into the lives of his educators and shook things up. Practices that had continued simply because they were always done that way were reflected upon, rethought and evolved. New ideas were considered. Evidence and research was consulted. Change happened. Fast. In less than a year, Jacob has inspired change that will outlast his time in this space. Jacob is an advocate for childhood. He has a lesson for everyone he meets. He will resist, inspire and reconstruct the childhood experience for himself and his peers. He is a revolutionary.

Throughout the course of the year, Jacob’s educators will be forced to reflect on their practices, consult a behaviour specialist, attend professional development, network with colleagues, find a mentor, request support to include him. Eventually, Jacob’s teachers will learn new things. They’ll realise that providing a flexible program that respects each child’s individual rhythms is not only respectful but possible. They will decide to allow children to move inside or outside for most of the day. This will see some children still playing outside under the shade of a tree at midday, while others choose to move inside earlier. It will become apparent that transitioning Jacob and all the children to a meal at once while Jacob is deeply involved in play outside will result in behavioural challenges. For this reason, his educators have learnt to respect his deep level involvement, then nurture it and foster it. So eventually morning tea becomes an unhurried flexible routine where small groups of children at a time sit with an educator when they’re ready and enjoy their meal in a social setting that allows for sustained shared conversation and meaningful interactions.

Jacob’s educators will learn about sensory development and understand children’s need to move to develop and integrate their senses. They will discover new knowledge about the developing proprioceptive and vestibular senses and realise this development is much more important in the early years than a ‘school readiness’ program that focuses on developmentally inappropriate outcomes (for Jacob) of phonics, scissor skills, counting and letter recognition through rote teaching and indoor activities and forced group times. As a result of their new understanding about children’s development, the educators will increase physical challenges in the learning environment with rope ladders, higher climbing frames, and start allowing children to lift, push and pull heavy things, climb the trees and hang from the branches like they’ve always felt the urge to do. Jacob’s educators realise they will need to know



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Communication in early learning Jay Gomez > Education and Professional Development, Triumph Early Learning Centre Management & Professional Development

When the Greek philosopher Epictetus said, ‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak’, I highly doubt he had early childhood education in mind. However, I invite you to consider how appropriate his words are to our profession. Our jobs are to teach children, and a huge (and often under-used) component of teaching is the art of listening. On the point of listening, it should come as no surprise that excellence in communication skills makes the workplace function. This can be difficult in the early childhood education industry as there are a vast range of people that educators must communicate with. There are children, families, colleagues, department authorities, centre visitors, and community members that each requires a different skillset for effective communication. Each skill-set is extremely important for an educator to develop. For the sake of this article, we will focus on the skill-set needed for effective communication with families and with children. Communication with families When an educator engages in a discussion with a family, it is important to remember that communication is a two-way process. While many families are happy with simply hearing about their child’s day from their child’s educator, at times it is also necessary for the educator to heed Epictetus’ words and really listen to a family as well. This is a great way we can encourage family participation with the service. It is important to note the difference between effective communication skills and educating parents or dispensing ‘expert’ advice. A skilled educator would agree that families have as much to tell educators as educators have to tell families. In order to maintain communication that is effective with families, an educator should put some thought and time into nurturing a professional relationship with that family. This is

not to say that an educator needs to become Facebook friends or engage in other such counterproductive interactions. Rather, an appropriate professional relationship begins with the family feeling welcomed and comfortable at the service. This can be achieved by simply making a point to not only greet the child every day but also the child’s caretaker. Make a point of being accessible to families. The first step towards the development of a strong a line of communication with families starts with the educators; it is a choice. Strive to make the choice that is right for your practice and for the benefit of the children in your care. The choice begins with you. Communication with children As you should be aware, a child’s sense of self-worth is directly impacted by the ways in which an educator chooses to communicate with him or her. The influence that adults have on a child’s development is so much so that the United Nations has developed the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In early childhood education, it is crucial that educators familiarise themselves with this document. Just as communication with families is a two-way process, effective communication is arguably even more so. When listening to a child, make sure to listen with your feelings and your eyes. Children do not always have the tools to communicate using their words, so watch them. Pay attention to body language and facial expressions. Please remember, in listening to a child you are helping

that child form his or her sense of self-worth. Please make sure that you respect that power and choose not to engage in other activities while listening. When talking to a child, keep instructions short and specific. This increases the chance that the child will get your intended message. A child can become lost if inundated by information, so when talking to a child, be specific with what you want to say. Offer follow-up questions to the child after the dialogue to further show your interest. Another act that educators can use to help build a child’s sense of self-worth is to provide comments to the child frequently to let him or her know you are thinking about them. Couple this with non-verbal praise such as a pat, wink or a hug. Make a point of offering indirect praise to a colleague about a child (make sure that the child is in earshot). Should an educator need to correct a child, do so in private, away from their peers. In order to encourage higher-order thinking as the child grows, work towards having the child assess their own performance. For example, as a child what he or she thinks of their own creations or classwork. It is the responsibility of every educator to remember the ideals that underpin the Declaration of the Rights of the Child: RESPECT.



Growing with Forest School

Anya Perkins > Education Coordinator

It is time to get our hands dirty! It’s an extremely exciting time to work within the Early Years sector in Queensland. An increasing number of services are moving away from ‘plastic fantastic’ outdoor equipment in favour of natural materials, uneven surfaces and loose open-ended parts. Incorporating the natural environment and nature play into practice is becoming increasingly valued and embraced as educators and parents recognise that the learning and development opportunities for children in the great outdoors are endless. Adapted from the Scandinavian nature based approach to early childhood education, Forest Schools and Bush Kindergartens are becoming increasingly popular due to the wide range of benefits the programs deliver.



In Queensland, the approach has gone from strength to strength with over 350 educators completing Forest Learning training and implementing Forest School in their own services since early 2016. These Forest Schools are taking place in a diverse range of locations and settings. Some services opt for transforming areas of underutilised outdoor spaces within their premises by introducing mud piles, natural loose parts and native plants. Many centres are venturing more widely and running their Forest

School sessions outside of their service grounds, in local parks or other pockets of natural green space. The Forest School approach provides educators with a tried and tested strategy to implement nature based outdoor learning, whilst ensuring the highest quality of benefits, risk management and policy. It provides a framework for educators and services to follow to guarantee all health and safety, policy, curriculum, and standards are met. In return, educators are provided with the knowledge and confidence to develop and run these exciting programs.

This Forest School approach naturally supports the Early Years Learning Framework Learning Outcomes: Children’s sense of identity is nurtured through developing their independence and managing risks, whilst in a safe and supportive environment. Confidence, self-esteem and resilience is promoted through the culture of being encouraged to make choices and take ownership of their learning, in an environment where they feel comfortable making mistakes and learning from them. The ethos at Forest School nurtures children’s empathy and awareness of both their own and other’s feelings and ideas. Forest School connects children with their local natural world and nurtures their sense of belonging to their community. Whether sessions are run within childcare services or out in the local community, children learn to respect the natural environment. The ethos promotes not picking anything growing and making sure the site is left as it was found.

Children’s social and emotional wellbeing is nurtured through being given the opportunity to play uninterrupted, without an overbearing adult presence. Those children who can find socialising and sharing with others in structured or indoors environment challenging, shine and often become leaders of games in the forest.

The Forest School ethos follows 6 guiding principles set by the Forest School Association:

Children are given the tools to learn to manage their own safety and negotiate themselves around often physically challenging outdoor spaces, with obstacles including uneven ground and low branches.

2. Forest School takes place in a bushland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Outdoor learning experiences develop children’s intrinsic motivation and nurtures a love of learning, creativity and curiosity. At Forest School, children are constantly faced with problem solving challenges, the opportunity to experiment freely with open-ended resources and small achievable tasks, which boost their confidence and self-esteem. The skills, knowledge and assurance grown outside, is then transferred through into their indoor and home environments.


Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning. 4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. 5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves. 6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

“Through their exploration ity of their local commun ed the children have gain g of a greater understandin s of natural environmental impact ople; and disasters as well as pe derstood have discussed and un minimize how they can assist to further damage.” ew Debbie Priest, Clearvi Early Learning and Kindergarten.



The ethos promotes a relaxed and open environment where children feel confident in communicating and sharing ideas, without the fear of making mistakes. The exciting, diverse environment leads to the development of children’s vocabulary, as they seek to name new things that they find, engage in creative role-play and describe objects using all of their senses. Children are given regular opportunities to stop to listen and to identify sounds in the environment, effectively supporting the foundations of phonetical awareness. It is often reported that children ‘find their voice’ at Forest School.

introducing a range of open-ended natural loose parts into your service’s outdoor area. Explore potential underutilised spaces on-site, or local parks and green spaces “We have one little y nearby in the community. sh n te of d ul wo o fellow wh Inform and involve parents, e behind th colleagues and the wider away from others, hide a lot of support in community of your plans educator and needed t Forest School), (a and developments re He ts. en nm ro vi other en ow sh to – connect with the nd ha r kes ou he is very chatty. He ta champions who will s ise al rb ve terested in and support you in your us things that he is in ng result of Forest Learni mission! in small phrases. As a

w e has soared and we no Nature Play QLD and activities, his confidenc n tio munica m co s hi in ts en the Forest School em ov see major impr oon, rn te af e th In Learning Initiative ts. en nm skills in other enviro at ne do s work in collaboration ha he at wh out he tells his mum all ab to deliver both 1-day is ge an ch e Th s there. wa o wh d an ol ‘Introduction to Forest ho Sc Forest mily have been fa e th d an Learning’ professional t an fic ni really sig development workshops thusiastic about the very supportive and en and 5-day Level 3 Forest ” w. lo fel tle lit changes in the School Leader training. Day Care Lisa Seymour, Family For more information about Cairns. Nature Play QLD and their

The development of any Forest School can start small. Embedding a program is a progressive, thorough and reflective process. Begin by



Forest School professional development opportunities, visit or contact

Your guide to the latest super changes From the team at Child Care Super

Some important changes to super will take effect on 1 July 2017. Many of them were announced in the 2016 Federal Budget and legislated at the end of last year. The changes will affect employees who are super fund members as well as people with retirement income accounts. As an employer, you may be asked questions by your employees, so it’s important for you to be across the changes. Always remember though, that you can only provide employees with information - you can’t by law give them any personal financial advice. Some of the key changes are outlined below. Tax deduction available on after-tax contributions From 1 July 2017 employees under age 75 will be able to claim a tax deduction on any after-tax contributions they make to their super fund. Spouse contribution offsets available to more people Currently a Low Income Spouse Superannuation Tax Offset is only available to people on annual income of $10,800 or less, when their spouse makes contributions to a super fund on their behalf. From 1 July 2017, the offset will be available for contributions made to super accounts of spouses with an annual income of $40,000 or less. The offset amount will remain at a maximum of $540 per year. Lower annual caps on before-tax and after-tax contributions

The annual cap on before-tax (concessional) contributions to super will be reduced from $30,000 p.a. to $25,000 p.a., regardless of a member’s age. Before-tax contributions include employer (SG) and salary sacrifice contributions. Currently, but only until 30 June 2017, members can make before-tax contributions of up to $30,000 per annum if (at 30 June 2016) they were aged 48 or under and up to $35,000 per annum if they were aged 49 years or over. From 1 July 2017, the after-tax (nonconcessional) contributions limit will also be lowered, from $180,000 per annum to $100,000 per annum. Also, members who have a superannuation account balance of more than $1.6 million will no longer be allowed to make after-tax contributions. A limit on account balances for retirement income stream (pension) accounts From 1 July 2017, there will be a cap of $1.6 million (indexed each year) that a member can have in a taxfree retirement income stream. Members will need to transfer any excess amount into a superannuation accumulation account or withdraw it as a lump sum, otherwise they will pay a penalty tax. 15% tax on investment earnings in Transition to Retirement income streams

Members in Transition to Retirement (TTR) income streams will pay tax of up to 15% on investment earnings in their account. (The current Investment Earnings tax rate is 0%.) Be aware of the boundaries in your super conversations As an employer, you need to make sure that you only give employees the facts – rather than personal advice. If your employees want assistance with super contribution strategies, then they should contact their super fund and seek personal advice from a licensed financial adviser. Employees who are Child Care Super members have access to personal financial advice from licensed financial advisers at no additional cost to them. To obtain advice members can contact the fund on 1800 060 215. What to do now •

Read and refer your employees to Child Care Super’s detailed information about the 1 July 2017 changes, available at:

See Child Care Super’s article, How to talk super to build stronger relationships with your employees

If you need more information, contact Child Care Super’s Helpline on 1800 060 215 or ask for a Child Care Super Business Development Consultant to come and see you to explain the changes.

This document contains general advice only and doesn’t take into account what you currently have, want and need for your personal circumstances. It is important for you to consider these matters and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you make a decision about a superannuation product. You can get a copy of the Child Care Super PDS by calling 1800 060 215 or by visiting You may also wish to consult a licensed or appropriately authorised financial planner. Guild Trustee Services Pty Limited ABN 84 068 826 728 AFS Licence No. 233815 RSE Licence No. L0000611 as Trustee of the Guild Retirement Fund ABN 22 599 554 834 (which includes Child Care Super) MySuper Authorisation No. 22599554834526



How I taught 20 kinder kids to be food explorers (without bribing them) and how you can too Deb Blakley > Accredited Practising Dietitian, Kids Dig Food

Something amazing happened in the Kindergarten room three weeks ago. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but amazing just the same. The kind of amazing that gives you a warm feeling in your belly and a spring in your step. I walked into the room which was alive with excited chatter. Little people danced around my legs asking, “What are we making today?” “Hmmmm, tell me what can you smell?” I asked them. After a bit of settling, twenty faces looked up at me all sitting crossed legged on the mat. The same twenty bright-eyed faces that I’d had the pleasure to see once a week for the past eight. They were bouncing on their bottoms, barely able to sit still and anticipating what was to come next. Each little soul bursting to be the one to share what they had learned about food. Eager to demonstrate exactly what a “snake



taste” looks like and what they need to do to keep safe in the kitchen. I was reminded twenty-fold that when we have the expectation that all children are capable learners, they show us that they can do such amazing things. So, what was this amazing thing? Over the space of eight weeks I taught 20 kindergarten children to love learning about food. AMAZING! Each week I took them on an adventure to find delight in where food comes from, how it feels and how it smells. AMAZING! I taught these children how to sneak up on new and unfamiliar food will curiosity

rather than fear or trepidation. AMAZING! I saw first-hand the power that building a connection with each child over time has on their learning. It gave me the opportunity to build rapport with them, build on their strengths and refine and practice skills. Why was I so amazed? The answer is because I am not a teacher like you. I have no teaching Diploma or Degree. I am, in fact, an Accredited Practising Dietitian. A health professional. Albeit one that’s a bit quirky and likes taking food joy to the people… or in my case more specifically, to the kids!

You have that opportunity every day Early childhood educators, you have gifts that help you teach the children in your care about so many things every day. I see you as life-coaches for kids. You guide them through the textbook of life, page by page. What change did we see in kids’ early food literacy over 8 weeks? Food literacy skills develop over many years throughout childhood and into adulthood and include the ability to plan and manage, select, prepare and eat a wide variety of foods. By exposing children to a wide variety of foods in early childhood, foods become familiar and more likely to be accepted over time. I call this “banking positive food experiences”. It’s also a perfect time to encourage early food preparation skills and meal time independence. In the busy lives of families, these skills are forgotten as meals and snacks become ready-to-eat and parents keep doing all the food preparation to save time. It becomes easier to serve food we know kids will eat to avoid the whining and waste. However, in doing this, kids are being denied the opportunity to learn these basic skills at a time when they are most enthusiastic to do so – during the toddler, kindergarten and early primary years. The kids who participated in the Food Adventure workshops all now have a useful set of basic food skills. They have learned that they are capable and valuable helpers in my kitchen and in their kitchens at home. They can spread their own butter and vegemite on bread or toast. They can peel and wash vegetables and fruit. They can grate (under supervision) and they can chop many things using a kid-safe knife. They are curious and enthusiastic about food and know how to sneak up on new foods at their own pace. They are less likely to respond with a fearful “I don’t like that!” and more likely to offer a matter-of-fact “I’m still learning to like it”. The stuff that holds you back from teaching food literacy well I believe that early childhood educators are 110% capable of teaching early food skills, but over the years I’ve noticed a few things that hold educators back. Some of these also unwittingly stifle kids’ learning about food.

1. Missing opportunities to role model Any time a child eats with an adult they have a connection with, they learn countless valuable things about food and eating. That includes when they eat with you whilst in care. Don’t miss an opportunity to be a role model at meal times. 2. The “Just taste it” or “Just one bite” rule I have seen some educators (and parents) quash a child’s enthusiasm in an instant with this kind of misplaced encouragement. For children who are already quite confident with a variety of foods it may be helpful, but in my experience, is likely to be extremely unhelpful for most kids. Children do best when they are the masters of their exploration. You can support this by helping them to explore all the ways they can learn about food. Taste is just one of those. 3. Negative thinking - “I can’t make a difference” Do you get overwhelmed with the number of picky eaters in your care and lunchboxes filled with packaged snacks? It’s easy to feel like there’s no point or that the issue of child nutrition is too big to tackle. Each time you ignite a spark of interest in exploring food or help a child master a skill that allows them to be more independent with eating, you DO make a difference.

4. “I’m not a good enough cook” / “I don’t eat healthy enough” Food learning doesn’t have to be fancy. Simply exploring a whole food or finding out how it grows can provide a rich platform for learning. Kids benefit from knowing that we can learn to like new foods at any age. 5. Unrealistic expectations - “Unless there’s a taste, it was a wasted effort” Expanding on Number 2, focussing on taste can really hold kids back. Kids have 4 other senses they can use to learn about food, and may need to practice these a LOT before being ready to taste. If a child prefers to use their sense of smell to learn about food, let them build on this strength first. Tasting food does not guarantee liking a food. In fact, the opposite may be true if a child is forced to taste before they’re ready. I am reminded of the profound influence I have over children’s early food experiences each time I take a group of children on a food adventure. My goal is to inspire a love of food that will last a life time. And I believe that you can do this too. Eat happy!



Learning How to Listen – A Personal Reflection of Reggio Emilia Galina Zenin > Bonkers Beat

Here I am…. on a plane with a group of passionate, dedicated educators, flying to a small town in northern Italy – Reggio Emilia. We have already travelled 11,658 km from Melbourne to Dubai and are waiting to connect to another flight from Dubai to Bologna.

Every year hundreds of new childcare centres are opening and trying to attract families and stand out in this competitive market.

By Saturday, we’ll join the rest of the group, 150 educators from Australia and more than 450 from around the world, to discover more about the fascinating approach in early childhood education.

What is Reggio Emilia and why do so many centres now promote their services as Reggio Emilia inspired?

Why Reggio Emilia? Endless research shows that the early years are the most crucial for child’s development. By providing the best education to children, not only do we enhance each child’s life, but make an impact on the social and economic future in our society.



Reggio Emilia is not about brand new, impressive facilities. It is an approach that is truly inspiring, with deep understanding of profound values and beliefs. Quite often we can recognise Reggio Emilia inspired centres by identifying some common elements: wooden furniture, natural materials, light boxes, mirrors, a poster with the 100 languages poem, displayed projects and so on. It’s no surprise that parents

absolutely love seeing brand new facilities, which are well presented, full of light, have expensive natural outdoor spaces, beautiful displays with speech bubbles and images of children’s drawings. So here I am, discovering for myself the truth and the magic behind this relatively young, novel approach in early childhood education. How the Story of Reggio Began At the end of the World War II people in Italy believed that children needed different schools and a new way of learning. Parents wanted schools where children could acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration to rebuild and safeguard a democratic society.

Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994), who became the inspiration behind the educational experiences in Reggio Emilia, heard about a group of women who were building a school from the rubble. They asked Loris, who at that time was a primary school teacher, to educate their children. He told them that he “had no experience”1 but promised to do his best. Malaguzzi’s involvement with these women became the beginning of an extraordinary journey, which we now know as ‘The Reggio Emilia Approach’. Reggio Emilia Journey Unfolds From the first session of our Study Tour on Sunday, 2 April 2017, until the last presentation on Friday, 7 April, I was discovering for myself the true essence and values of the Reggio Emilia approach: 100 languages, documentation of children’s learning, strong image of a child, image of an educator, image of a family, engagement with the local community… I was discovering the culture of Reggio centres, the role of educators, family and environment as the third teacher, which all are inspiring and clearly defined. Collaboration between all educators, the pedagogistas, atelieristas, families and children is strong and celebrated. Loris Malaguzzi was a visionary and a learner himself. As he had promised, soon after the war was over, he went to Rome to study psychology, where he took inspiration from many theorists such as Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey, Bruner, Maria Montessori… but he did not stop there. Malaguzzi believed in the importance of “leaving room for learning” 2 by observing children, documenting and reflecting on the journey of children as well as educators.

reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.” 3 Malaguzzi also understood that: “The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.” 4 The values and culture of the Reggio Emilia approach haven’t been established overnight. It has taken years of dedication, collaboration, commitment and deep research to identify and modify the organisation of Preschools and InfantToddler Centres of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia. The organisation, where adults are taking responsibility for creating stimulating, supportive and inspiring environments for children’s education and rights. Last Day of the Journey – the Gift of Listening Here we all are, gathering in the most beautiful place of the city, Municipal Theatre R. Valli and making our final notes from an inspirational presentation by the legendary Vea Vecchi. We feel emotional and overwhelmed by the whole experience and excited to embrace new knowledge to enhance our practices.

This quote is another statement of the fundamental and powerful values of Reggio Emilia - the image of a child with many rights and responsibilities. Reflecting on my own personal journey to Reggio Emilia made me think: what are my rights and what are my responsibilities as an educator? I believe that my rights are to learn and teach children and adults, to speak and write about my experiences, to share my passion and express my opinions, to collaborate and inspire others. And what about my responsibilities? My responsibilities are to learn and teach, to speak and write, to share, collaborate, inspire and spread the message of Reggio Emilia - the community and educational approach beyond its geographic borders, which includes each one of us around the world. References:

Now, in my mind, it comes down to one simple, yet challenging word – LISTENING.

1. Atner, Wolfgang (1994) Obituary Friday 1st April, Independent- Retrieved October 2009 from: people/obituary-loris-malaguzzi-1367204.html

Listening to children, listening to each other, listening to our families and communities, listening to my own voice and my own heart.

2. Scott, Wendy (2007). Listening and learning.  Experiencing Reggio Emilia -. Implications for Preschool Provision. Open University Press

Listening is a gift. We, as adults, need to practice, nurture and master this gift over time. What else am I taking away from Reggio? Which values resonate with mine and how can I make more positive changes in this world?

Loris Malaguzzi believed that children learn and express their ideas in different ways and through 100 languages. He also believed that learning and teaching are inseparable.

One of the most important for me – children’s rights. What are they and what does that mean for children? Do they think the same way as adults?

“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active,

During one of the presentations, Claudia Giudici said: “Children are not future citizens, they are citizens from their birth.”

There are so many new and inspiring ideas, but my main challenge is – where do I start?

He continued to research and enter dialogues with others in a variety of different fields of learning.

One of his particularly profound quotes states:

capable. A child who is connected to the family, community and environment and expresses thoughts, ideas, feelings and dreams through 100 languages.

3. Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1993) The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation. 4. Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (1993) The hundred languages of children: the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Children’s rights now are more important than ever before, so we should remember that every time we speak about education, we speak about children’s rights. Reggio Emilia helped me to see a strong image of a child more clearly. A child who is intelligent, curious and


“I believe that children ar and capa e strong ble learn who in a safe and ers trus environm ent wher ting et have own ership ov hey er their learning will deve lop sk required for life af ills ter child car e.”

Educator in Profile: Lee Smith

Meet Lee Smith. Lee is the Centre Director and Early Childhood Teacher at Brand & Slater Architects Childcare. What inspired you to forge a career in early childhood education and care? Since childhood I have known I wanted to be a teacher. I would role play story times and create tests for my friends, mark them and give them stickers! I could also easily form bonds with babies and children younger than myself and I would be trusted by parents to babysit and care for their children at gatherings. In high school, I could not see myself in any other career so I set my goal to become a Primary Teacher. After university, a permanent teaching position was difficult to obtain, this is when I began working in Kindergarten and fell in love with it! Why are you passionate about early childhood? I think you require more than just ‘passion’ to work in early childhood.



You also need to be committed to creating environments for learning through play to stimulate the children’s interest, sense of wonder, enjoyment and satisfaction. I also believe educators need to be responsive to the children and families to create meaningful relationships, this requires us to take the time to listen to their needs. How would you describe your early childhood philosophy? I believe that children are strong and capable learners who in a safe and trusting environment where they have ownership over their learning will develop skills required for life after child care. I also strongly believe in creating partnerships with families and the community, they are an integral part of their child’s learning and development.

What do you find rewarding about working in the early childhood sector? Knowing that I have worked in collaboration with fellow educators, families and the community to provide the children in our care with a caring and responsive learning environment where they are challenged, succeed and have fun! There is no better feeling than seeing a child confidently come through the gate to the centre with a big smile on their face because they are happy to spend their day with us. What is your biggest challenge as an educator? What strategies do you put in place to manage these challenges? Currently my biggest challenge is ensuring that we are meeting the interests and needs of all the children in our care. At Brand & Slater

Architects Childcare, we are a mixed age room with 14 children a day from 0-5 years, this is quite a diverse range of ages. A number of strategies have been implemented to ensure all of the children’s needs are met and included within our program. As a team, we reflect regularly on our routine, daily practices and the experiences we are providing for the children. We ask ourselves for example; how does this routine affect the younger children? What resources can we use to include all ages in this experience? Working as a team with families and maintaining open communication is also very important. How have the challenges you faced helped you to grow as an early childhood educator? Before I worked at Brand & Slater Architects Childcare I was a Kindergarten Teacher in Longreach for five years. I learnt a lot professionally from my role working in a large multifunctional centre. I was the Educational Leader of the service and spent time relieving in the other rooms. From this experience, I have been able to use my knowledge and skills to improve our practices to ensure we are meeting the needs of all the children, for example; guiding educators to improve their practice and skills, to implement strategies where we critically reflect together on a regular basis and ensuring we are creating caring and responsive learning environments for all ages. What is the most important skill you hope to develop in the children you care for? Fostering the children’s social and emotional development is the most important for me. The children require a caring and responsive environment where the experiences we provide aid in building and maintaining relationships with others, meeting challenges with confidence, collaborating with others in decision making and understanding and respecting their own and others feelings and emotions. What role do families play within the program you deliver? How do you engage them? Our service is a company childcare; therefore, we are located in the same building as the parents. We have an open-door policy and parents are invited to visit at any time. Currently we have one parent taking the children once a week for French lessons and another is leading a collaborative project in architecture where we are making our own model city complete with suburbs and rural areas. We also communicate daily verbally and through email. Parents and extended families also have input into the program through Kindybook, weekend forms, show and tell and our room mascot Happy (a little toy elephant with a journal who visits with families and educators on weekends and holidays).



What advice would you give to someone who wishes to start a career in early childhood education and care? Working with children has rewards; seeing their smiling faces when they succeed at something, lightbulb moments or when you get a huge hug and they tell you they love you! These benefits however come with hard work, commitment and dedication to the early childhood profession. Begin your career aiming to make a difference in the lives of children in our community. If you want your outstanding educator featured in our magazine, contact us on 07 3808 2366 or send an email to

Get to know your committee

Doug Burns Meet Doug Burns, ACA Qld committee member since 2015. I first became an approved provider for a childcare centre in 2005. Some professional friends and I started a centre in Bundaberg with no previous experience in the industry. It was a steep learning curve, understanding the regulations and acts, the various government bodies that control the activity of long day care and industrial matters. We were a complete unknown in the childcare industry in Bundaberg and bookings came slowly at first. Quickly, we learned the components of delivering high quality childcare and realised that hiring the right educators and staff was the most significant factor.

It really is an honour to serve in this capacity. I encourage other approved providers to give thought to likewise making a contribution at the committee level. The early childhood education and care industry is an important industry in Queensland for two reasons. It is an important cog in the business infrastructure allowing women to fully participate in the work force. But just as important, is the stimulating environment that our centres provide to thousands of children across the state. I am proud to be part of this important industry.

Over the next decade, we added a baby centre and a new double centre. Our centres are well respected in this town. We enjoy high occupancy from a mostly professional clientele. We have learned the benefits of encouraging our educators and staff to take advantage of every Professional Development opportunity and to advance to the next qualification level. During my journey in childcare, I have maintained my accounting qualifications and industry recognition as a CPA and recently FCPA. Our centre board has always seen childcare as professional pursuit and endeavoured wherever possible to apply professional expertise at the highest level of our organisation. In 2015, an email from ACA Qld was circulated to approved providers requesting expressions of interest to join the management committee. I have always been thankful for the support received from ACA Qld over the years. Whenever an issue was too hard I was invariably helped by the organisation. I was also hugely impressed with how much the committee achieved each year, particularly the annual conference. I was interested in providing this support to other centres and to be part of such a successful and well managed committee. I joined at the end of 2015, so I’m still one of the newest on the committee. We meet each month and I’m still overwhelmed with the commitment of the committee to this industry and just how much they achieve each month.


Self –acknowledgement: Vital to learning and teaching Jo Devin > Co-founder Positive Living Skills

Over the last six to nine months I’ve presented to many early learning centre teams in Queensland, and as part of our discussions around helping children to build the essential social and emotional skills they need to make it to adulthood and navigate their way in this world, the topic turns to us as the adults, educators, teachers, parents and carers in their lives. As part of the Professional Development component of these presentations, I ask team members to complete an activity where they identify at least five things they are grateful for in their lives right now, and at least 5 things they consider as personal strengths, skills or qualities they are proud of or see as valuable within themselves. While generally the top of the page fills quite quickly with things we feel grateful for in our lives like friends, partners, family support, co-workers, health, warmth, nature, our senses and a roof over our heads (and many others); when the focus moves to what we value, admire or see as a strength within ourselves I see people shifting in their seats uncomfortably, nervously looking around for inspiration.



After a few minutes, there is usually at least one person in the room who either has nothing written on their page or who has struggled to come up with even one skill or strength. Following some facilitated group discussion, that person’s co-workers very quickly and passionately share many things that they value, like, admire or respect about that person, and sometimes this is an emotional moment, as we watch someone reluctantly accept and then more positively embrace this feedback and acknowledgement from their peers.

It seems that many of us find it very challenging to consider that we are skilled enough at anything, or we see self-acknowledgement as ‘big-noting’ or boasting. Self-acknowledgement, and self-acceptance, is anything but that. They are essential skills for mental wellbeing. Although our brains are wired to notice the contrast in our environment so we can quickly assess where the danger is or what’s missing rather than present at any given moment, we simply MUST learn how to acknowledge our own strengths as well as the strengths of others if we are to positively influence young minds in their journey of Being Belonging and Becoming. With more young people 15-24 dying from suicide than car accidents, the children of today and tomorrow MUST build the ability to self-acknowledge and self-accept their strengths, their opportunities, and they must build and maintain a growth mindset, striving and failing and learning and growing, if they have a chance to navigate their way to a fulfilled life. Unfortunately, children may not get the opportunity to be acknowledged by others in the environments they find themselves in - in their family, at school, in their work or peer environment, and if they don’t build the skills to acknowledge their own worth, then they could be in danger of becoming part of these horrifying statistics. So, if you were to consider writing down ten of your own strengths right now, what would you write? What are your skills and qualities? If this is challenging for you, start with simple skills or tasks that you feel pretty confident doing. Can you poach an egg? Cook a mean spaghetti? Ride a motorbike or a horse, or can you knit or grow a plant, do a cartwheel or play tennis? Do you enjoy yoga or running? Get a few of these down then work up to some more personal strengths. Maybe you do the best you can to be a good friend to others, you make a point to smile when you walk in to work in the morning, you’re a supportive partner, you manage to juggle work and parenting pretty well, you are compassionate most of the time.


The key here is that nobody is perfect. Perfectionism is a myth, or it really only exists in nature, and we all have unique strengths and talents and we are all worthy. Many of us have been carrying around impossible standards we measure ourselves against in many areas of our lives for so long that we are constantly feeling like we fall short, and this can help us to be more judgemental of others as well.


When we begin to acknowledge our strengths, abilities and our positive traits, our strengths grow, and we grow as people. Then we give others permission to accept the worth in them and give themselves some self-support.


That’s leadership. And when you think about it, we are all role models to others, and that’s what leadership is.


Positive Living Skills is a social impact organisation focused on developing and distributing programs to build our emotional intelligence, starting from Early Childhood.


For more information on their Programs visit, email, call 1300 761 893 or call Jo on 0402 099 551.


More information on the new child care system is available at



Engage. Learn. Inspire. Sharing the Experience We say this every year but believe it or not, we just had our biggest and best conference ever! Thank you to over 1900 sponsors, exhibitors and delegates who made it possible. This year, our annual conference was held from 2 – 4 June at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Our delegates were treated to inspirational presentations by Maggie Dent, Jay Laga’aia, Jacki French, Andrew Alford, Sandi Phoenix and many more! Our conference is known as the happy conference for a reason. We made sure that everyone had the chance to network. For the first time at our Welcome Event, attendees took to the dance floor - what a start to a great weekend!



Our Winter Wonderland Gala Dinner was a memorable night. Every year, the costumes blow us away. This year was no exception; we had snowflakes, Santa and his elves, Elsa and Anna, to name a few. Thank you to all our delegates and generous sponsors and exhibitors. Your continued support is the reason why our conference continues to deliver year after year. We hope to see you again next year!


Awards for Excellence

Richard Fimeri > Training Operations Manager, CAECE

ACA Qld’s industry partner HESTA Super Fund offers Awards for Excellence to students of College for Australian Early Childhood Educators (CAECE). The intent of the Awards for Excellence is to promote commitment to professional development and community spirit. HESTA, CAECE and ACA Qld aim to support the advancement of talented early childhood educators who are seeking to pursue a leadership role in long day care. We would like to congratulate Roisin O’Malley, Gabriela Luersen de Camargo and Jennifer Stevens for winning the 2017 HESTA Awards for Excellence! These three young women exemplified Passion, Dedication and Professionalism - the three Pillars of Excellence. The awards were presented at the ACA Qld 2017 National Conference Gala Dinner on Saturday 3 June 2017. The 2018 nominations will open later in the year. Go to awards-for-excellence/ for more information.



Did George the turtle survive? From The Team at Guild Insurance

Sarah is the owner at Knox Child Care and Kindergarten in Victoria. In the middle of the night, she received the devastating phone call that no-one ever wants to receive. Sarah was given the heartbreaking news that her child care centre was on fire. She soon learnt that the fire had ripped through a majority of the centre, completely destroying the centre’s office, kitchen, two children’s rooms and the corridor. And George, the children’s much loved turtle, was missing.

didn’t have to let go any permanent staff – the children could return to familiar faces. She was able to continue to pay her bills as well and the centre was able to maintain care for a majority of the children it looked after prior to the fire.

What was Sarah facing?

George the turtle was found safe and well. George’s tank had exploded during the blaze and he too is now enjoying his new home.

After watching the business she had put her heart and soul into go up in flames Sarah had so many questions. How would she look after the children? Would they have to go to a competitor, and then not return to her care? What about the staff? They have families of their own. And her future? She needed to pay incoming bills, rent and wages just for the business. What about her own personal bills? Her own livelihood? In the blink of an eye, she had no income, and no way of knowing when or how her business could generate any new leads.

How did Business Interruption Cover get the centre back up and running? Guild’s assessors were on-site within the day and Sarah was assigned a Claims Manager to manage her case from start to finish. Experienced covering the early learning industry for more than 45 years, Guild worked with Sarah to manage the loss of stock, suppliers and a majority of the administrative tasks, including the planning and advertising of the re-opening day. Because Sarah had Business Interruption cover and received prompt progress payments from Guild, she

What saved Sarah’s business? Adequate Business Interruption cover meant the centre was only closed for a total of six weeks. The centre could partially operate from a different entrance, until all repairs were completed. “I felt really supported, Guild made it very easy – I didn’t even have to fill in any paperwork.” Sarah Tullberg. Unexpected and devastating events can happen. A study by the Insurance Council of Australia suggests a staggering 70% of businesses without full cover do not survive a major loss such as fire, flood or significant storm damage*. To make sure you’ve got the right Business Interruption cover – call Guild Insurance on 1800 810 213 or visit *Insurance Council of Australia, 2011 Annual Review, Insurance Council of Australia, Sydney. [Disclaimer] Insurance issued by Guild Insurance Limited ABN 55 004 538 863, AFS Licence No. 233791. Guild Insurance supports your Association through the payment of referral fees. This article contains information of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute the provision of legal advice.


Cleaning products are important, but they are only half the equation! Chelsea O’Neill > Director, Suppleyes

As winter draws upon us, so does cold and flu season. Keeping your centre hygienically clean becomes even more important to prevent the spreading of bacteria. Many services resort to disinfecting every surface in an attempt to stay “clean”; however, the products alone will not keep bacteria at bay. Implementing healthy cleaning procedures and practices is just as, if not more, important. This article outlines some healthy cleaning procedures and practices that, with quality cleaning products will ensure that you have a healthy environment for the staff and children in your centre. Cleaning Products: Firstly ensure that the products you are using are quality products. Not all cleaning products are made equal, so check the labels - do they contain hazardous ingredients or will they leave Volatile Organic Compounds (VOS’s) in the air? You could be cleaning the surface but leaving the air polluted leading to an allergy irritation. The product label under new GHS (Globally Harmonised System) laws that took effect in January this year must now disclose if they contain hazardous ingredients, if so, you should see pictograms indicating the hazard. Consider if these hazards are appropriate for your service.



Cleaning Procedures: Once you’re confident in the appropriateness of the products for your environment, it’s important to review the procedures. If your staff are unaware of how to use the products or in which situation to use them – it’s difficult for the products to be effective. Below are some procedural considerations •

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) Ensure that your centre has up-to-date SDS. If they haven’t been updated this year, there is a chance they are not compliant with the new GHS laws. Have them in an accessible location where all the staff are aware of their location – In an emergency, they’ll be of no use locked in your filing cabinet!

Wall Charts Wall charts are a great visual tool that can advise staff when and where to use products, first aid, and safety information. This saves time having to read SDS’s each time.

Colour Coded Cleaning Using a colour coded cleaning system can greatly reduce the

risk of cross contamination. The HACCP cleaning code is widely used in Food Safety, Hospitality, Health, Aged Care and Childcare Centres. It suggests that Blue is used for general cleaning, Green is used for Kitchens, Red is reserved for bathroom and Yellow for infection control. Adopting this colour coded cleaning system helps existing staff (or new staff from other services or industries) identify where cleaning equipment should be used to prevent cross contamination. •

Product dispensing Always use the manufactures recommendation to dilute products into a spray or squeeze bottle that has complaint and recognisable labels. Over using the product will leave a film of product on the surface creating a place for bacteria to migrate and grow. Under using the cleaning product will lead to ineffective cleaning. Manufacturers often use dilution formulas that are confusing to staff. Choose a product that

uses an easy pump system or you may want to invest in a chemical dispensing unit. If you choose a dispensing unit, be aware that local authorises have strict regulations when systems are attached to water supply, so it’s worth doing your research. •

products may not be left on site, if a child or staff member has a reaction to a surface it’s handy to know what has been used.

a warm soapy water solution, multipurpose or pH neutral floor cleaner without disinfecting properties. Reserve disinfectant for areas such as bathrooms and toilets, door handles, push plates, telephone receivers, etc. Be mindful that using disinfectant on floors can cause damage to floor surfaces. Check with the manufacture or use a pH neutral cleaner to be sure.

Cleaning Practices: Now you’re confident in the products, and staff are aware of when, where and how to use them, it’s important to consider the cleaning practices.

Cleaning Schedules Devise a cleaning plan that outlines regular daily cleaning but also factors and budgets for heavier duty cleaning such as floor maintenance or grout cleaning. Have a schedule for replacing cleaning cloths, mop heads and buckets etc. Leaving them until they are “worn out” may be too long for a hygienic, effective clean.

External Cleaners If you’re using external contractors, ask for their cleaning procedure and maintenance schedules and check it regularly. If they’re using equipment or products that are inappropriate, it will have an effect on your centre. It may also be worthwhile obtaining a copy of the SDS’s of the products they use. While the

Cross contamination Ensure the equipment being used, is cleaning in its designated area. If you’re moping the bathroom floor and then using the same mop for general cleaning or in your kitchen, it would be causing cross contamination. Likewise, If the equipment that has seen better days – it’s difficult for the products to be effective. Correct products for correct areas It’s important to remember that not every surface needs to be disinfected every clean. There are many studies that suggest overusing disinfectants is harmful. Regularly washed areas such as tables and floors can be adequately washed with

Don’t forget to dust It’s easy to remember to clean the visually dirty areas of your centre, but don’t forget to dust. Dust is a health hazard, especially for people with asthma. When dusting, make sure you’re not simply moving the dust from the bench to the floor. For effective dusting, a damp microfiber cloth folded into quarters offers the best clean. This can then be washed and reused. For skirting boards, use the dusting attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Try the Suppleyes Cleaning Starter Kit today! It includes:

• • • •

Glass Cleaner Multipurpose Bleach Dishwashing Liquid

Suppleyes cleaning range has been designed and created especially for early education centres 3 Meets GHS Labelling laws 3 No Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)* 3 Free of Hazardous Ingredients* 3 5 litre drums for safe handling under WH&S 3 Colour coded products for easy recognition 3 Easy product dilution and dispensing information 3 Product chart with First Aid information 3 Colour coded chart endorsed by HACPP 3 GHS Compliant 750ml bottle labels

• Laundry Detergent

• 10 x Trigger bottles with

RRP $251.20 $199.95+ 20% discount


• • • •

6 x Pumps for easy dispensing A3 Cleaning & First Aid Chart A3 Colour Coded Cleaning Chart Downloadable SDS

* Excludes Bleach, No-Rinse Sanitiser, Sandpit Sanitiser & Auto Dishwasher products | 07 55 391 668 |

Associate Member Directory Banks ANZ Business Bank

Lyn Lange


07 3947 5326


Lincoln Bridge


07 5562 2711

Childcare Concepts

Hilary Knights

Fortitude Valley

07 3257 2027

Graeme Pettit

Graeme Pettit


0421 289 818

Absolute Support Training & Resources

Darlene Wadham


0488 666 455

Childcare By Design

Brenda Abbey


0419 661 921

Elite Childcare Management P/L

Debbie Thompson

Cannon Hill

0435 743 212

Giggletree Pty Ltd

Samantha Ahearn

North Lakes

07 3482 2490

Guardian Early Learning Group

Helen Baker

Kelvin Grove

07 3832 7933

Kids and Adults Learning

Annette Cunado


1300 783 880


Kidsoft Team

Gold Coast

1800 827 234Â

QLECS (Qld Lutheren Early Childhood Services)

Maryann Sword


07 3511 4079

Ready Now Resources

Louise Thomas


0410 456 607

Triumph Early Learning Centre Management

Jill Gomez


07 3254 6093

Stephanie Smith


0402 252 762

Mark Elliott


02 9235 2807

Kids Dig Food

Deb Blakley

North Lakes

0413 433 144

Yummies for Little Tummies

Darlene Clark


07 3161 8063

Peter Jarrett

West End

07 3230 8501

Giovanni Porta


07 3265 3888

Ausplay Surfacing and Shade

Barry Healey


07 3879 4444


Sally Alderton

Chirn Park

07 5503 0692


Consultancy / Management

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Property Services Cyber Drafting & Design

Jodie Mark


07 3393 9159

Jardine Architects

Greg Jardine


07 3229 9322

QK Technologies Pty Ltd - QikKids

Sean Murphy


1300 367 770

RBC Business Solutions Pty Ltd

Jason Burgess


0412 258 085

Kayleen Tolley

Cannon Hill

0414 559 997

Nicola Taylor


07 3211 9700

Child Care Super

Julie West

West End

0498 001 193

MyLife MySuper

William Ly


1300 695 433

QIEC Super

Natalie Whittal


07 3238 1267

Modern Teaching Aids

Marco DeGeus

Frenchs Forest

02 9938 0411


Chelsea O’Neill


07 5539 1668

Astute Early Years Specialists

Mel Comerfood

Chapel Hill

1300 928 228

College for Australian Early Childhood Educators (CAECE)

Richard Fimeri


07 3299 5784

Gold Coast Institute of TAFE

Maxine Griffiths

Gold Coast

07 5581 8280

Inspire Education

Kirsten George


1800 506 509

Practical Outcomes

Tracey Dear

Kelvin Grove

0410 858 579

GD Trivett & Associates Pty Ltd

Darren Trivett

Fortitude Valley

07 3216 1011

Herron Todd White

Simon Fox


07 3002 0900

DET Team


1300 566 046

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