Page 1

Edition 07/12 July 2012

Poutama Newsletter footsteps becomes the first organisation enabled to train its own staff in child protection Contents:

Page 2 - What’s happening in the footsteps whanau? Page 3 - Ask our experts Page 4/5 - Ara Poutama Kete Page 6 - 10 things kids need the most Page 7 - Top tips to help children who are afraid of the dark Page 8 - Sport BOP Active Movement

There was not a dry eye in the house when Child Matters paid Marina Jury, our Finance Director a surprise visit to honour her work in making footsteps the first organisation in the country to be able to train its own staff in Child Protection. To find out more go to page 2.

footsteps open drop in centre for Papakura Community June saw the official opening of footsteps first ever drop in centre in Papakura, named Te Pōtiki. To celebrate, we held a Kids Day Out themed around Matariki, Maori New Year as the centre opened on the first day of the festival. Although the rain was meant to fall, someone was looking down on us and it stayed away ensuring we had a great turnout! Everyone had a great time getting involved in the different workshops including face painting, gardening kit giveaways, hand mural painting to display on our wall and mini photo key rings. Kevin and Marina J kindly nourished everyone’s puku with a sausage sizzle too! We are running weekly playgroups at the centre, kicked off the first one with a flax paintbrush workshop. Two more will follow themed around Matariki and we also plan to run monthly caregiver workshops. It will also be a place for parents, caregivers and of course the tamariki to come, play and enjoy as there is nothing for the Papakura community currently like this.

© footsteps education ltd.

top left, Clockwise from ko and footsteps kaia hand tamaiti enjoy a op, painting worksh eir canvases with th be hung handprints will otsteps on the walls, fo f their tamariki show of painted faces

0800 366 878

What’s happening in the footsteps whanau? From the family... Kia ora and Winter Greetings, We hope you are keeping wra pped up warm with all the cold weather that has drawn in! been a busy time for the wha As usual, it’s nau, with the start of our chil dca re service, our very first dro Papakura, and becoming cer p in centre in tified as the first organisation in the country enabled to trai child protection. We have also n its own staff in been working hard to create lots of new learning resource you entertained in the hom ideas to keep e which you can find in the Ara Pou tama section on page 5-6. ideas for the next edition, com If you have any ments about our service or would like to ask a question experts, get in touch at sta to our early learning Ngā mihi nui, Kind regards, The footsteps whanau

footsteps visit Tauranga Hosp ital’s New Children’s Ward footsteps teachers/kaiako from our Central North Island reg ion Waimaunga, put their best foot forward this month whe n the y visited the children at Tauranga Hospita l’s new multimillion-dollar Chi ldre n’s Ward. Their mission was to cheer up the children that were unw ell by offering them fun learning activities to put a smile on their face s. These included making collage feet, beaded art and lots of bedside storyte lling as well as an afternoon tea with person alised cupcakes. You can tell from Olivia Parks (photo opposite), it was ‘mi ssion accomplished’

footsteps dip their toe into ch


footsteps introduces childcare

We really care about the future of your child/tamaiti

That’s why we’ve introduced childcare to compliment our in-home education service.

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we believe that children/tama riki deserve the same quality car e that we have devoted to the footste ps ‘learn’ programme since 2001. Tha t’s why we have been working away to get our childcare service ready. We are almost there and are currently registering anyone who wan ts to become a nanny or in-hom e caregiver with our service. If you are interested in doing so, please speak to Marion or Christine on our Custom er Service desk. We already have caregiv ers registered so if you are look ing for care, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will endeavour to help you. We will have more to share with you on this in the coming month s so watch this space!

© footsteps education ltd.

ce livia Parks fa a smile on O ts pu ot fo r M

1st organisation to train its staff in child protection Continued from front page... In June, we were delighted to have been awarded the first certificate qualifying an early childhood education org anisation to train their own staff in child protection by Child Matters. Currently, we are the only organisation in New Zealand to have achieved this level of training and certification. We have bee n part of a pilot programme for 2 yea rs, firstly training all staff at a half day workshop. All teachers/kaiako then com pleted the 5-day comprehensive progra mme. Kevin, footsteps Founder/Director said “At the heart of the footsteps philoso phy is an attitude of care. This is not merely about saying ‘we care’ but actually doing something about it. Tha t’s why, in conjunction with Child Mat ters, we have put a robust plan into place to train every staff member in child abuse prevention.”





Ask Our Experts What do I do if I think my child has special needs? As a mum to be I had dreams about what my children could and may be, well before they were born. As parents we all dream about the possibilities for our children long before they ever realise them. However what happens if your child does not develop like the other children of his/her age. What should you do if you have a worry about your child’s learning or development?

How do I know?

Sometimes parents may have a nagging doubt that there is something not quite right. Trust your gut feeling and talk to someone you can be honest with about your fears. Parents are usually the first to notice differences between their child and others of a similar age. A trusted friend, neighbour, family member, or early childhood teacher are good people to talk to about your worries. The person you talk to may agree that your child is having difficulty. Perhaps make some written notes about what you have noticed; this helps to get an accurate picture of what is actually happening. The difficulties that parents notice could be; not having the same language as similar age children, difficulty with understanding and concentrating, sensitivity to temperature and touch, extreme anger or passivity, difficulty with coordination and balance, or finding it hard to get along with others. Always remember though that children develop at different ages and it may be quite normal for a child to not be talking when their peers of the same age have an extensive vocabulary. This is also relevant for other areas of development and that is why talking with friends, relatives and professionals is important.

What do I do if I think my child needs help?

If you have concerns about your preschool age child’s learning and development you can talk to your doctor, Plunket nurse, iwi health provider, or an early childhood service like footsteps. With your approval these agencies may make a referral to the Ministry of Education, Group Special Education (GSE). GSE staff will then visit with you and your child at home and at your child’s early childhood service, to get a clear picture of what is happening and discuss your concerns.

Why is a referral needed?

All children regardless of their abilities need the same things; love, warmth, limits and boundaries to guide their behaviour therefore is getting a diagnosis of a special need really necessary? Some parents have commented that they feel having a diagnosis has placed their child in a box. They feel that other people judge their child upon their special needs rather than see the individual person behind the label. Because their child is labelled autistic other people tend to think that their child has exactly the same characteristics and

needs as of all children with autism. The other school of thought is that diagnosis is very helpful. Some parents wonder where their child’s unexpected behaviour comes from and start to think that they are inadequate parents. For these parents a diagnosis gives them the reason for what they observe. An identification of needs is helpful because it allows your child to be able to access extra help to reach their true potential.

What is the role of Group Special Education (GSE)?

GSE have a team of teachers, speech- language therapists, psychologists, specialists with deaf and visually impaired children, and teacher aids. During the first visits your family and child’s needs can be assessed and then the appropriate support staff put in place. Parents are the experts with their children so GSE staff rely upon what you have noticed about your child to get an accurate picture. GSE can support families and early childhood services to understand how your child best learns. They can help to make a learning plan for your child and help with extra teacher training or suggest that your child would learn better if a teacher aid was available. GSE staff can also offer you ideas as to where you may get further support through parent groups.

Other places to get help and support

Parent to parent is a support group run by parents for parents at The Ministry of Education have a website with information about the service offered by Group Special Education -

EducationPolicies/SpecialEducation/ ServicesAndSupport/EarlyIntervention.aspx You can find lists of support groups on the Family and Community Services national directory at

All children have different needs. Parenting a child with special needs is very much like parenting any other child. All children need their parents to give them love, attention and to recognise their strengths and abilities. Sometimes children with special needs just require that little extra bit of help to reach their potential. Children with special needs often do reach the same milestones as their peers; it can just take a little longer. Sue Hunter (footsteps Teacher/kaiako, Palmerston North)


Ara Poutama Learning Kete recycled ion to start using the natural environment and At footsteps, we have made a conscious decis accessible and of By using the things around you that are easily materials to create our learning resources. So check out the onment and is lighter on the purse strings. little cost, it has less of an impact on the envir and your tamariki know you will have great fun making them following resource ideas and get creative. We ces. Please website at will love them too. For more ideas, visit our . tes and supervise your child/ren at all times remember to take care when doing these activi

Natural Dyes Here’s a great resource to encourage learning and discovery by making natural dyes.

What you will need: • • •

of e a great source Natural dyes ar scovery learning and di

• • • • • •

Vinegar and beetroot juice Yellow onions Can of blueberries in natural juice Fresh spinach Tea bags Water, pot and stove White paper White wool Eggs


footsteps Calendar Competition If you are looking for some

r fun ideas to entertain you an nd spe not y wh s, little one photo h wit up ing com on rno afte ideas to go into our annual ld footsteps calendar. You cou g rnin lea our of one try ybe ma a in d sen resources and then as to photo. Please send any ide . .nz tep ots @fo marion

to Red/purple - Add 2 tsp vinegar juice root 1 cup of beet Yellow - boil skins of 5-6 yellow onions and allow to cool Blue - juice from 1 can of blueberries Green - boil fresh spinach leaves in until water turns green, then stra cool and the water Brown - boil tea bags in some water and cool

Finally, explore what happens to ed white wool or egg when it is dipp . dyes ral natu rent in the diffe


The knowledge to try things out, explore and be curious are important ways of learning • The knowledge that playing with ideas and materials, with no objectives in mind can be an enjoyable, create and valid approach to learning.

You can extend by:

Allow the child to experiment with colours, mixing primary colours to create secondary colours. • Show the child how you can make colours brighter or softer, but adding darker or lighter colours. • explore the outdoors and look at the colours in the child’s environment … trees, flowers, grass etc. Encourage the child to name the colours and talk about what they see.

Ara Poutama Kia ora ano whānau! Māori is almost Māori Language Week – Te Wiki o Te Reo to the 29th of gh throu July here. It begins on Monday 23 encouraged are aroa Aote of all when July. This is a week goals to real to give Māori language a go and set some for the can you ever when use the language wherever and rest of the year. Reo’ or ‘Cherishing The theme for this year is ‘Arohatia te early to learn too or late too the language’. It’s never some ideas to are Here it!! Love it, Live it, Māori – Learn help you.

© footsteps education ltd.

the kids a book, Learn it – find a class, buy a CD, get go! look online, give it a r say ‘Kia ora’ and Live it – learn a song, greet each othe au, help someone, ‘hei konā’ (goodbye), involve the whān tion for some uncia pron ct corre teach the kids! Learn the you place names near a laugh, enjoy Love it – Ask questions, be proud, have shy! be yourself, play games, don’t lw for more ideas Visit http Te Wiki o Te Reo for n and to see what is on in your regio Māori 2012. fun! Kia kaha whānau - give it a go and have



it mun




Drum making awesome way to Get banging with the kids with this an old tin can. from drum ble make a cheap, sustaina r living room! you in ert conc a have d Maybe you coul



• • • • • •

all different sizes Collection of tin cans, containers and shapes. Balloons Rubber bands Tape PVA glue rate (optional) Paint, stickers colour paper to deco llent drum sticks Wooden pegs – these make exce


have chosen is 1. Ensure the top of the can you is dependent on this smooth with no sharp edgesused the type of can opener and then stretch the 2. Cut the top of the balloon off, can balloon over the open end of the the top of the can over d tche 3. Once the balloon is stre will keep the this can the onto on then tape the ballo and secure can of top balloon stretched tightly over the for drumming the top of the can, on 4. Stretch 3-4 rubber bands over top of the tape er around the can. 5. Glue some plain or coloured pap ers, pens, and/ stick t, pain with 6. Decorate the paper - your child can also or crayons to personalise the drum wish to place their name on the drum if they

• •

of music, art, Familiarity with a variety of types feeling, mood of on essi dance and drama and expr ure cult and , situation, occasion the use of Strategies for actively exploring with ent tools, materials and equipm drum while listening Encourage the child to use their to their favourite music the child to Talk about rhythm and beat, allow r drum beat… thei with ng feeli express how they are ted happy, sad, exci different soundsEncourage the child to explore the skills ning liste d this will help extend goo is it loud, ingmak are they ic Talk about the mus soft, fast, and slow

You can extend by:

talk about what Explore the history of drums and bands, tribal g chin drums are used for e.g. mar erings for gath to ple peo of cultures, the calling ts. even /or and ents announcem for further info on • Take a visit to the local library and different types for used drums, what they are sounds and with g tisin prac is • While the child uraging their own enco be rally natu will they s, tune language skills.

Colour Me Happy This resource is an early math activity and makes the best use of all those bottle tops you normally throw away. Who would have thought they could be used to teach your little one about sorting, counting and matching!

What you will need: • •

A selection of different lids, of different sizes, shapes and colours A set of tools e.g. tongs, scoops and spoons

Instructions: Encourage your child to do the following activities with the different lids and utensils: • Sorting - sort the lids by size, colour or numbers • Matching - match all the similar colours • Seriation - line the sizes up from big to small, or small to big • Counting - count the lids out as you scoop them up or grab them with the tongs • Picking - with the tongs, scoops, and spoons

Learning •

An understanding that they are capable and able to acquire new interests and abilities

Strategies for actively exploring with the use of tools, materials and equipment • Confidence to explore and make sense of the world such as setting and solving problems and looking for patterns • Familiarity with numbers and their uses by doing activities that have meaning and purpose

You can extend by: Why not get the playdough out and use the lids as cutters or decorations to stick on once a shape is made. Or you call out the colour and get them to grab the correct one or they grab one and you tell them which colour it is.


10 Things Kids Need Most th, of life – like food, warm All kids need the basics l t they also need to fee shelter and clothing. Bu ing our children all the loved and secure. By giv help them to be safe, things they need, we can r care. strong and thrive in ou

One: Meeting their everyday needs

Babies and children need to know there is someone who loves them and that their needs will be met as soon as possible. This means: • Feeding them when they’re hungry • Keeping them warm, dry and safe from danger • Helping them if they are in pain, scare d or upset • Providing family routines • Making sure there is always someone you trust to look after them.

Two: Feel safe a

nd secure When children feel safe and se cure, they lear trust other peop n to le.

Six: Talk in

g A gentle voice help s your ch secure. It ild to fee helps the l relaxed m to get and know tha to know y t you are ou, and to there to lo ok after th em. Seven: Listen ing

As they get olde r and more able to use words, children begin to ask lots of qu estions. By liste carefully and do ning ing your best to answer their questions, you will show them that learning is fun.

Eight: Learn new things


You don’t need fancy toys or equipment to give your child new experiences. You can use everyday things around you, go for walks or explore the beach or park.

Nine: Take care of their feelings Three: Love and hugs

Hugs and cuddles help children to feel safe and comforts them. Holding your children, picking them up, sitting them on your lap, kissing and cuddling, are all good ways to show that you care.


em se of prai you. If you praise thrd, y t n e l a P h se

g re tryin t to plea ing or a ren wan d th il e h c m o r You . ell at s it again ey do w t to do n a when th w m ake the it will m

Five: Smiles

Smiling is one of the simplest ways of helping children feel happy and safe. Smiles work even better when you are looking into your child’s eyes.


Babies and small children can be frightened by anything new and different, when there is no real danger. What they need is for you to comfort them and give them a simple explanation.

Ten: Rewards and special treats

The best reward for being good is getting your time and attention. Taking time to play and have fun together doesn’t have to cost money. Why not try some of the ideas in our learning resources kete


l treat s

ppy and healthy is a Raising children to be ha t is a big job. Being a paren great job. And it’s also n’t do so , ob about on-the-j something we all learn ls You can read more detai lp. he be afraid to ask for at ts hin ul lpf ’ and more he of ‘10 Things Kids Need

© footsteps education ltd.


Top tips to help children who are afraid of the dark “I can’t sleep there’s a monster under my bed Mum”. Sleep is such a precious commodity when your children are young that I was most annoyed with the monsters that insisted on disrupting my four year old son’s bedtime routine. How could my child become so upset about something that does not even exist?

Why does this happen

Fears of the dark and monsters are common in preschool age children. As a parent you shouldn’t worry unless your child’s fears are stopping them from leading a normal life such as, often preventing them going to sleep. From around the age of three years children are learning the difference between what is real and what is pretend. Children can be influenced by books or TV to believe that what they are seeing and hearing is real. Fears can also be influenced by an event which causes your child stress such as moving home, a new sibling, an illness or death, or parents separating.

How to respond

Parents should show sympathy and understanding when helping their child cope with fears. It is best to work with your child to overcome fears otherwise they may linger to disrupt sleep and cause anxiety. As you talk to your child about their fears show them that you are calm and in control of your emotions. This provides a model for your child to follow. Listen to your child’s fears and show understanding but that you do not necessarily share their fear. Reassure your child that the monsters are not real and they are safe. Avoid focusing on your child’s fears in front of other people otherwise your child could become more anxious. As you talk together try to establish why the fears have happened now so you can minimise the stress. It is important that parents give their children ways to cope with their own fears rather than try to solve the problem themselves. This is the way that your child will learn that he can conquer his own fears so he feels in control and therefore feels less stress. When children get into a parents bed to cope with fears this becomes a problem not only for everyone getting sleep but for children feeling their parents are the only ones who can sort out their fears.

The Monster fighting kit

Make up a monster fighting kit with your child. Ask them what they need in their kit that will help to fight the monsters. It is important that your child is actively involved in making this kit so they are more likely to feel part of the solution to the monster problem. You may like to include a torch in the kit because monsters like the dark. A favourite teddy bear or blanket for security. Maybe make up some monster spray that your child can squirt under the bed to banish the

monsters. Involve your child in making a special box for the monster kit and finding a place for it to live where they can reach it when required. If your child feels frightened they can then reach for whatever they need from the kit to help them cope. This way your child feels in control of what happens and learns that they can overcome their fears.

The monster rules

Perhaps make up some rules together about monsters; this does not diminish your reassurance that monsters are not real. Make up a bedroom door sign together “no monsters”. Perhaps suggest that monsters do not like the smell of minty toothpaste so if your child brushes their teeth really well at bedtime the smell will keep the creatures away. Monsters don’t like the light so put a night light in the hallway or bedroom.

Physical exercise

Regular physical exercise helps to reduce stress in children as it does in adults. If you child’s fears are in response to a stressful life event as well as trying to minimise the impact of the event, try to increase activity levels for your child. This could be a daily walk to the park or your child being able to get outside when they need to. In cold or wet weather provide suitable clothing and outside times can be short. Perhaps make up suitable inside games like skittles or “Simon says”. Your child needs your acknowledgement that their fears are real even though the monsters may not be. Fears can be brought on by a stressful event or exposure to TV or books. Parents should give their children the skills to be able to control their own fears rather than parents doing it for their children. In life we want children to gain mastery over dressing themselves, learning to dance, reading, and counting. Therefore we should give our children the skills to be able to control their emotions. Sue Hunter (footsteps Teacher/kaiako, Palmerston North)


Active Movement Fun on the Floor!

You may have seen articles in the National Press on the hazards of putting babies in baby walkers. A survey carried out by found nine out of ten baby walkers failed at least one of their safety tests!This might make you think twice about using these “baby aids” and there are lots of other good reasons why we shouldn’t use them for our littlies! Children are born to move – movement in the early years helps children develop intellectually, emotionally and socially while building the foundations for learning and communicating. Time spent in jolly jumpers, baby walkers or other gadgets takes away from valuable time on the floor. Time on the floor allows babies the freedom to roll; rolling helps develop balance and muscle tone. Rolling enables baby to get from his back to his front and into a position on all fours where movement can start. Next children learn to crawl; this is important as moving opposite legs and arms is vital for brain development; these “cross patterning” movements integrate the left and right sides of the brain ‘hot wiring’ the connections between all areas of the brain which allows learning to take place. Crawling develops strong muscles in baby’s arms, fingers, shoulder, neck and legs. Crawling on the floor gives children an understanding of “how big am I?” “do I fit in this space?”

Some parents believe using these baby aids will help their children learn how to walk – they aren’t necessary – babies need to spend time rolling, crawling and stretching. Fun floor/tummy time activities for you and your baby: • • • • • • • • • • •

Lie on your back with baby facing you on your tummy; babies love to look at faces! Your face is the most attractive stimulus for baby to follow with her eyes. Dance to favourite music while holding and supporting her on her tummy Read a book to him while he is on his tummy Blow bubbles so baby can watch while on the floor Lying on the floor looking at a goldfish Crawl over and around the furniture – over different surfaces – carpet, grass, wooden floors Place toys out of reach to encourage rolling or crawling forward Chase her as she crawls around, play and chase Crawl through boxes/make tunnels out of chairs Pretend to be four legged animals or play crawl tag

For more fun ideas or further information on the importance of movement for children’s development; please contact Kirsty Carling, Early Childhood Advisor at Sport Bay of Plenty on 07 348 4125 (extention 609)

Crawling also leads to independence, discovery and development of visual skills.

Refer a friend and receive $50 It’s our way of saying thank you when you refer a friend to footsteps. We are offering you a $50 shopping voucher when you refer a child/tamariki to our quality learning service Spread the word to family or friends about footsteps and if they enrol a child/tamariki, we will reward you with your voucher after three months - it’s as simple as that!

Win a kid’s bike footsteps is all about giving children from birth to five new learning experiences at home. That’s why we are giving you the chance to win a brand new bike and helmet for your little one. Just enter your details at our Facebook page and you could be in with a chance to win one of 2 new kids bikes and helmets. Good luck and we will announce the winners in our next edition of Poutama.

0800 366 878

footsteps poutama July newsletter  

Check out our newsletter jam-packed full of ideas for children from birth to 5

footsteps poutama July newsletter  

Check out our newsletter jam-packed full of ideas for children from birth to 5