Greenwood Blog

Little Learners Lend a Helping Hand for Bushfire Relief

Posted by in Child care, Community

Little Learners Lend a Helping Hand for Bushfire Relief

From lemonade stands and fundraiser barbecues through to stitching joey pouches for young orphaned animals, even the littlest Australian’s are doing their bit to support those devastated by the bushfires. Children and educators attending Greenwood early education centres are activating several initiatives to support the communities from bushfire-ravaged areas. And to bolster their efforts, G8 Education who owns and operates our centres, has announced it will match all donations dollar for dollar. The announcement is part of G8’s Bushfire Relief Package aimed to support families, team members and volunteers protecting the communities within which they operate. This follows the evacuation and temporary closures of 25 of G8’s early childhood education centres due to the current fire crisis. As a result of the bushfires: 121 G8 Education centres have been on watch and act alert. 22 centres were closed temporarily. Three centres were evacuated. Greenwood Katoomba was among those centres evacuated due to threat of nearby bushfires. Team members and children from all three centres had been practicing their fire evacuation procedures in the weeks prior and the evacuations went smoothly with all children safe and well. “Our immediate focus has been on the safety and care of the children, families and team members from our centres located in the impacted areas,” says G8 Education Managing Director Gary Carroll. “Over the past few months we have been working closely with relevant authorities and acted quickly to ensure their safety. “Our families and our people are at the heart of all that we do and the Disaster Relief Package is designed to lessen the burden for those who have been directly impacted by these devastating fires.” G8’s Bushfire Relief Package includes: Matching dollar for dollar all donations raised by its national network of centres with proceeds donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. Free access to early childhood education and care for children of the tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters and Australian Defence Reserve members fighting fires and in need of assistance. Counselling support for team members and their families directly impacted by the fire crisis. Direct financial support for G8 Education families and team members severely impacted by the bushfires. “Our hearts go out to those impacted by the unprecedented bushfire crisis which has had all of us asking how we can help – even the youngest members of our communities,” Mr Carroll says. “The children want to give and help out in any way they can. In fact they have led many of the fundraising activities at our centres, coming up with ideas and ways in which they can help families, wildlife and volunteer firefighters from those areas devastated by the bushfires.” “As well as raising much-needed funds, some centres have been acting as collection points for necessary items such as food and clothing, with children even donating their favourite toys to those who have lost it all. It really is...

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The best child care tips, from parents that know

Posted by in Child care, Parents

The best child care tips, from parents that know

It’s no secret that starting child care can be a significant transition for families, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect. It takes a village to share those simple tips that can go a long way in making life that little bit easier. Just in case you don’t have your own village, we’ve consulted a group of Greenwood parents and gathered their favourite tips that helped with their own children. Tess – “Take advantage of a ‘stay and play’ session to get both you and your child used to child care. It also allows them to form bonds with their educators, and gets you used to the environment too, which will prevent their first day being too rough on everyone! It’s also a good idea to let the centre know about your child’s likes, dislikes and interests ahead of their first day. The centre will take note and might do things like play their favourite song when they’re being dropped off. Or they might even incorporate their interests into their educational programs.” Justine – “I get in touch with my child care centre to book in casual child care days when life gets busy. It gives me extra time to get everything done, whether it be dull life administration tasks, or extra days at work when a deadline is coming up. Less stress for me and my little one gets to have fun with her friends.” Lauren – “I label everything, even individual socks! I’ve also bought some cheap clothes that are only worn by my child on days that he goes to Greenwood. I’m not too attached to them, so if they get lost or messy along the way, I’m not sad about it.” Natalie – “Make friends with other parents at pick-up and drop-off. You can have their children over to play with yours, and they all entertain each other and wear each other out. Then other parents return the play date favour and you get some down time in the evenings. Win-win.” Hannah – “As soon as I know my work schedule for the year, I will be getting in touch with my local child care centre to enrol my children. The sooner it’s done, the sooner it gets ticked off my list, and it’s one less thing to think about. Plus knowing what they’re doing in the new year makes it a lot easier for my children as I can really ease them into the idea – pointing out the centre every time we drive past, things like that.” Sam – “As soon as I find something my child likes – a lunch box, a specific drink bottle – I stock up on a few, just for when they need to be washed, or if they get lost along the day. The best selection of this stuff is always available in January at back-to-school sales, so try to nab them while you can.” Julie – “The child care subsidy can be really confusing to understand, especially when it comes to figuring out how to make the most of it. Phone Greenwood’s family specialists and talk to an expert. They’re used to the questions and can help so much, especially when walking you through flexible hours.” Mark – “Ask questions for any specific needs your...

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The benefits of choosing a child care centre close to work

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The benefits of choosing a child care centre close to work

By Sabrina Rogers-Anderson  Am I the only one who blindly hopped online and typed in “child care centre” and the name of my suburb when searching for a centre for my child? It never occurred to me that choosing a centre near my work could have so many benefits.   I’m not alone in my thinking. Greenwood Mulgrave is one centre that’s located in the heart of the industrial and corporate world of Melbourne, and becoming increasingly popular with parents who are seeing the benefits of choosing a child care centre near their workplace.  Here are some of the upsides…   You’ll be right there if your child needs you There’s nothing worse than getting a call from your child care centre to tell you that your child is running a fever and then having to spend an hour stuck in traffic or on public transport before you can scoop them up in your arms. If your centre is close to your work, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can be there in a matter of minutes when your child needs you.   You get to spend quality time with your child on the commute During the morning and evening rush, it can be practically impossible to find a free minute to engage with your child in meaningful ways. But when you travel together, you gain precious quality time that you’d miss out on if your child care centre was near home. Whether you sing songs in the car or read books on the train, those extra moments you get to spend with your child are precious.   You can drop in to see your child anytime For many mums, the start of child care signals the end of breastfeeding. But that doesn’t have to be the case – when your child care centre is close to your work, you can pop in anytime to feed your child! You can also drop by for a play during the day or to have lunch with your little one. While some centres discourage parents from visiting their children, Greenwood centres have an open-door policy and welcome families to come in as often as they like.  You can participate in centre activities When you have to drop off your child early in the morning to get to work on time, you often miss out on centre activities and celebrations for special events such as Mother’s Day. But when your child care centre is minutes away from your work, you have more flexibility to participate in those special moments that mean so much to your child.     But what about… ?  Parents sometimes worry about the potential disadvantages of choosing an early learning and child care centre in a busy business area. At Greenwood, we’ve thought of everything to make your life easier…  We offer an all-inclusive child care experience   You won’t have to carry enormous bags of supplies on public transport because we provide everything your child needs. Nappies, wipes, sunscreen and even nutritious meals, prepared daily by in-centre chefs, are all included in the daily fee at Greenwood centres.   We make drop-offs and pick-ups easy Pick-ups and drop-offs don’t have to be a headache, especially at centres such as Greenwood Mulgrave. With a gym and a coffee shop nearby, along with on-site parking, it’s the perfect spot to stop and grab a coffee or fit in a work out after drop-off. Other Greenwood centres also provide a range of options to make life easier, such...

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Greenwood Recipe: Rainbow Pizzas

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Greenwood Recipe: Rainbow Pizzas

Children may not like their vegetables, but they love their pizzas, and it’s amazing what they can eat if they created it themselves!   You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetable. Get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour.  Some ideas for each colour:  Purple – Spanish onion, eggplant  Green – Broccoli, green capsicum, zucchini Red – Tomatoes, red capsicum  Yellow–  Corn, yellow capsicum, yellow squash   Makes 2 (each pizza can serve 12)  Tip: If you don’t have time to make your own dough, simply buy a ready-made one from the supermarket, or your pizza base of choice.    Dough ingredients:  ¾ cup lukewarm water  1 tsp dried yeast  1 ½ tsp honey  2 tsp olive oil  2 cups plain flour  ½ tsp salt      Topping ingredients:  2 tsp olive oil, extra  3/4 cup tomato puree or pizza sauce  2 cup (200g) grated tasty cheese  1 small red onion, diced  1 head broccoli, roughly chopped  125g can corn kernals, drained  200g punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half     Method:  1/ In a small bowl, whisk together water, yeast and honey, sit 5 minutes or until it begins to foam. Stir in oil.  2/ Place the yeast mixture into a stand–up mixer, with dough hook. Gradually add flour and salt, knead for 3-5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Or get the children kneading!)  3/ Form the dough into 2 balls, place into greased bowls, cover lightly with plastic and let sit for 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.  4/ Preheat the oven to 250C. Grease and line trays/pizza trays. Roll dough to approx. 20cm. Brush with extra oil. Top with cheese.   5/ Arrange with alternating colours of vegetables, let the children get creative with the pizzas.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and top golden.    6/ Cut into slices and serve. ...

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The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo’s chef

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The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo’s chef

Meet Chef Wendy, from Central Park Duo. As the chef at this brand new child care centre in the heart of Sydney, Wendy has quite the challenge: create delicious, nutritious and fresh meals for children under the age of five. Daily. And appeal to all kinds of taste buds, even the picky ones!  Thankfully, Wendy has an extensive background to do with all things related to food. Having been the food editor for Woman’s Day, OK and Take 5 magazines, and written numerous cookbooks, Wendy is passionate about teaching children about food in a fun way. She is now ready to bring her wide array of recipes to the lucky children at Central Park Duo.   Check out Wendy’s top tips for cooking with children below, along with her favourite child-approved recipes to try out at home!     Kids in the kitchen   “It’s always fun getting children involved! Just be prepared for a bit of a mess, but that is all part of the fun,” Wendy says. “Create easier recipes and jobs with the younger ones, like placing muffin cases into pans, and scooping mixture into them. As they grow, get them involved with some more complex jobs, like kneading pizza dough and preparing vegetables.    Why cook with children?   Children are more likely to eat what they have made, as it creates a sense of ownership. They get excited to see the final creations once cooked.  It’s a great way to spend time together as a family. What’s better than chatting and cooking together, learning more about different ingredients, flavours and cultures?   It’s a wonderful way to introduce them to healthy eating.   Cooking is a life skill that will give them confidence. It’s also a great teacher for counting, fractions, using their fine motor skills and problem–solving.     Wendy’s top recipes   Rainbow vegetable pizzas  Wendy says: “I love this recipe! Children generally don’t love their vegetables, but they love their pizzas, and it’s amazing what they can eat if they created it themselves. You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetable. Get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour.”  Click here for the recipe.    Sushi Wendy says: “This is a favourite for the children to get involved with. I usually premake the rice and have a selection of different ingredients in bowls. This allows them to choose their own ingredients, or opens them up to try new ingredients.  It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks! As the children get older, introduce them to wasabi and pickled ginger.”  Click here for the recipe.     Apple and oat pikelets  Wendy says: “Working as a child care chef, I have to accommodate many different allergies. This is a fantastic base recipe that uses no egg or milk and is naturally sweetened with the apple or banana. Get the children to help by measuring and mixing. Being a base recipe, try adding half a cup of some frozen berries, or use the berry chia jam recipe I’ve included.”   Click here for the recipe.    Strawberry and mango icy blocks  Wendy says: “This is a great recipe to keep the family cool in the summer months, and it’s naturally sweetened.  Get the children involved by helping you chop the fruit and pouring into the moulds.  Guaranteed, they will be sitting by the freezer waiting for them.”  Click here for the recipe.    If you’d like to hear more about the meals that children at Greenwood are lucky enough to enjoy, we’d love for you to come and see Greenwood Central Park Duo.   Set...

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Greenwood Recipe: Sushi

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Greenwood Recipe: Sushi

According to Chef Wendy at Greenwood Central Park Duo, this is a favourite for the children to get involved with. If recreating at home, premake the rice and allow children to choose their own fillings. It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks!     Makes 4 rolls  Ingredients:    1 cup short-grain rice  1 tablespoon caster sugar  5 tablespoons rice vinegar  4 nori sheets     Try these toppings:  Strips of red capsicum and cucumber  Grated carrot  Canned tuna, mixed with a little mayonnaise  Blanched green beans  Cooked teriyaki chicken strips  Japanese soy sauce, to serve     Method:   1/  Rinse rice under cold water and drain well. Place rice and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Decrease heat to low and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand with lid on for a further 10 minutes.  2/ Place rice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt, and pour over rice. Stir to combine. Cover a flat tray with aluminum foil and spread rice on it to cool. The rice should be completely cool before using.  3/ Choose from a variety of fillings. We used tuna, cucumber and avocado. Combine remaining vinegar and 300ml cold water in a bowl.  4/Place 1 nori sheet, shiny-side down, on a bamboo mat (or non-stick baking paper). Make sure longest edge of nori is at top of mat. Dip hands in water mixture (to prevent rice from sticking) and spread a quarter of rice over bottom two-thirds of nori, leaving a small border around edge.  5/Spread a thin line of wasabi along the middle of the rice and arrange a little of the fish and vegetables alongside the wasabi. Gently lift the end of the mat closest to you, and roll it over the ingredients to enclose.  6/ Continue rolling the mat forward to make a complete roll. With one hand on top, gently roll mat back and forth a few times to make a nice round shape. Use a sharp knife to slice the rolls at 2cm intervals. Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce and extra wasabi. ...

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Greenwood Recipe: Strawberry and Mango Ice Blocks

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Greenwood Recipe: Strawberry and Mango Ice Blocks

The perfect recipe to keep the family cool in the summer months. Get the children involved, by encouraging them to help you chop the fruit and pour into the moulds of your choice.  Makes 4 depending on size of moulds.  Ingredients:  1 large mango, peeled and chopped  Juice of 1 lime  ½ cup water OR Greek yoghurt OR coconut milk   ½ cup strawberries, chopped  Method:   1/ Place the mango, lime juice and water into a blender and puree until smooth.  2/ Throw the chopped strawberries in (without blending) just before pouring the mixture into the moulds. Freeze overnight or until...

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Greenwood Recipe: Apple Oaty Pikelets

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Greenwood Recipe: Apple Oaty Pikelets

If your children have allergies, or if you’re simply hoping to get more fruit into their diet, this is a great base recipe that has no eggs or dairy, and is naturally sweetened. Get the children to help by measuring and mixing.   Ingredients:   ¾ cups oats  ¾ cup self raising flour  ½ cup apple puree, or 1 ripe mashed banana  ½-3/4 cup dairy free milk (soy, oat, or rice milk)    Method:  1/ Place oats and flour into a medium bowl. Combine the apple and ½ cup milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add wet mixture to flour and blend until smooth. Add extra milk if you prefer a thinner batter.  2/ Drop spoonfuls into greased heated pan, cook for 1-2 min each side.       OPTIONAL – Why not add a berry chia jam?  Makes 2 cups – can keep for up to 1 week    Ingredients:  2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries or blueberries  2 tablespoons chia seeds  1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice  1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (if needed)     Method:  1/ Place fruit into medium saucepan, add a splash of water if needed.  Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until fruit is softened, mash with a fork.    2/ Add chia seeds and juice, stir in honey or maple syrup if needed.  3/ Place into a heatproof bowl and allow jam to cool and thicken. ...

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Notting Hill Makes News Headlines

Posted by in Community, Homepage, Uncategorized

Notting Hill Makes News Headlines

Greenwood Notting Hill has captured the attention of national news media with its adoption of risky play, a woodworking activity that involves real saws, real nails and even real hammers.  Having been featured across Weekend Sunrise and the Herald Sun, this initiative aims to teach children resilience, perseverance and problem-solving in an increasingly risk-averse world.  Check out the feature on Weekend Sunrise below: Learning through play  With children loving the woodworking activity, risk-taking in a highly supervised and safe environment has become a fun way of setting children up for a resilient future.  What happens when things don’t work out? They learn to persevere until they are satisfied with their creation.   Read more about risky play here.   More about Notting Hill Beyond risky play, there’s a lot on offer at Greenwood Notting Hill, including:   – State-of-the-art facilities includes two large outdoor play areas, rainbow bike tracks, cubby houses, water play areas and veggie garden.  – Modern early learning resources including interactive whiteboards, Touch Learning Tables, as well as Blue-Bots and Bee-Bots which teach numeracy and coding fundamentals.  – Specialised programs including sport, Music Box and Science Lab to build a solid foundation in learning and skill development.  – A sustainability program that teaches children a sense of responsibility and connection to the world around them.  – And of course, a comprehensive play-based curriculum guided by the national Early Years Learning Framework for children from nursery age through to kindergarten; along with highly qualified educators, and a kindergarten program taught by a passionate team of early childhood teachers.      Have you had a chance to visit Greenwood Notting Hill yet? Book a personalised tour with our experienced educator team today.  Enquire...

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Embracing Risky Play at Greenwood Notting Hill

Posted by in Homepage, Parents, Uncategorized

Embracing Risky Play at Greenwood Notting Hill

Gone are the days of over-protecting children when it comes to risky play. Here at Greenwood Notting Hill, you’ll find them going hammer and tong with real saws, real nails and yes, real hammers. Learning through play Woodworking is a big skill-set that is gaining popularity amongst children within the under-five age group. The idea is being embraced as a fun way of learning new skills they’ll need later in life. Not so much a future in cabinetry or building, but through qualities like resilience and perseverance. What happens when they’ve accidentally hit a thumb instead of a nail? They learn to pick themselves up and have another go until they are satisfied with their creation. In an increasingly risk-averse world, Greenwood Notting Hill is taking a different approach, of course in a highly supervised and safe environment. Centre Manager Melissa Syer says risk taking is connected to problem solving, a skill the children will need throughout their lifetime. “Risk is about not being afraid to trying something new,” says Ms Syer, who has a 20-year pedigree in early childhood education. “It’s a learning process; if something doesn’t work you learn how to do it better next time. “This is as an aspect of learning that many children are missing out on. The woodworking classes help them to deal with setbacks and find solutions to problems. “We don’t want a generation of children so worried about what might happen that they are too frightened to try anything challenging or new.” What do the parents have to say? Ms Syer says the children love the woodworking activity and parents have gradually warmed to the idea. “Generally, it’s parents who are risk-averse,” says Ms Syer. “They worry about them playing barefoot, going outside in case they get a cold, so we also have to educate the families to view risk as a positive.” G8 Education Pedagogy and Practice Manager Dr Melinda Miller says risk-taking is essential to setting up children for a resilient future. “It’s about taking off the bubble wrap and allowing them to take measured risk and understand that not everything goes to plan,” says Dr Miller. “Sometimes taking a risk will result in an unexpected outcome, but children quickly learn about their own boundaries and that of the environments in which they play.” Exposure to the real-world Working with real materials on a construction project comes with even greater benefits. Children also learn about: the properties of different materials, and the process of design “The woodworking activity allows children to manipulate real objects and this translates to real life learning,” says Dr Miller. “It helps their learning around critical thinking and the design process, how to plan, build, test, evaluate and change design.” If you would like to learn more about how Notting Hill adopts risky play, give us a call on 1800 413 921 or pop into the centre at any time. One of our friendly educators would love to talk to you all about it....

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