4 things you didn’t know about child care at Greenwood
Oct17

4 things you didn’t know about child care at Greenwood

With 26 centres scattered across New South Wales and Victoria, Greenwood Early Education Centres are a popular option when it comes to child care – and with good reason. Everything from the design of the buildings to the large play spaces have been specifically designed with a child’s brain development in mind. They also incorporate some unique features to set them apart from the rest. Here are four things you may not have known about child care at Greenwood… 1 – The extra-curriculars Busy parents may not always have the time to expose their child to every extra-curricular activity they might like to do, which is why Greenwood is so dedicated to providing a range of activities to form a strong foundation in education. Sport, art, language and music are embedded in the daily program throughout the year, offering a huge variety of programs designed by professionals to keep your child engaged. Whether it’s trying out a musical instrument, learning French, testing a science experiment or painting a spectacular work of art, there’s something for everyone. This also includes a specialised yoga program, which encourages children in a busy environment to slow down, breathe and relax, making them feel good inside and out. 2 – The most delicious food Homemade veggie pizzas, nasi goreng, Moroccan beef, blueberry pikelets, butter chicken… the rotating menu for a Greenwood centre can look like the most delicious international food menu. Children get five meals throughout the course of the day – breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and a late snack – and all incorporate organic produce where possible. Some centres such as Greenwood Bronte in Sydney even have a veggie patch, where children can pick herbs and vegetables for the centre’s chef to include in their meals throughout the day. Chefs may even provide you with recipes for your child’s favourite meal so that you can re-create it at home. Less meal planning = always a good thing! 3 – The Xplor app Possibly the cleverest thing to be brought into the world of child care, the Xplor app allows you to be consistently up-to-date with your child. Educators will update the app throughout the day so that you can see real-time visibility on everything from nappy changes and sleep time to the meals eaten and the activities they’re doing. You can book casual days with a simple tap, view your fees easily and even dive deeper into education via the web-based portal. 4 – The community Everyone has heard the old sentiment that it takes a village to raise a child; but in 2019, it can be harder to find that...

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Guest Blogger: Lynette Carroll Bolton on Travelling with Kids
Sep30

Guest Blogger: Lynette Carroll Bolton on Travelling with Kids

Today we’re welcoming Lynette Carroll Bolton to the Greenwood blog. Lynette is sharing her tips on how to travel with little ones. Might come in handy for wherever this long weekend takes you!   Mention the word ‘holidays’ to a parent and almost immediately you see a wistful look cross their face as they picture themselves lying by a pool, reading a book, enjoying a cocktail and a nice long lunch followed closely by a well deserved siesta or afternoon at the day spa. However add the world ‘school’ in front, and the whole concept changes dramatically! Yes my fellow mums and dads – school holidays are upon us again. And whilst the plan to lie quietly by the pool reading a book will probably never eventuate, a lot of us still love jumping on a plane or getting into the car and spending some quality time as a family away from home. So whether you are heading to the airport or hitting the highway these holidays, here are some of my top tips for making sure your time away is as easy as possible!   Pack the night before This is one I always say I will do and have never achieved to date. Despite my good intentions every time our family goes away, I am very guilty of throwing bits and pieces in until the very last minute and jumping on the suitcase trying to get it shut as the cab beeps it’s horn or the kids yell from the car.  It is completely unnecessary stress (especially if the suitcase splits when you are already running twenty minutes late which is what happened to us yesterday!) Having your bags packed and ready to go the night before allows you to have a calm start to your travel morning.   You can never be over prepared You can never have too much food, too many games or too many toys when travelling with kids and you can certainly never have too many nappies, bottles or dummies! Kids attentions spans are extremely limited but by having lots of different activities for them to do you will help them (and you!) survive the travel time. A hot tip from our fight yesterday – don’t assume that the in flight entertainment will always work either (argh!!) Make sure you always bring some back up options.   Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination Our kids love travelling, but being two and four they either do it at a million miles an hour or at a snail’s pace. If they aren’t feeling like moving too quickly then rushing them only ends...

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International Day of Peace
Sep21

International Day of Peace

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” Maya Angelou Like a bird, your child has their own very special voice. With that, they have their own message, thoughts, beliefs and ideas. With this little hole in their face, your child is entitled to a voice on issues that matter to our world.  Today is the International Day of Peace, a United Nations initiative dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme this year focuses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which provides the perfect opportunity to talk to your child about issues that will affect their future, and promote further healthy discussion on issues that really matter. Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere We are all very fortunate to be in the circumstances we are in, and with that it is difficult for us and our children to understand what it means not to have food, water, safety, medicine and shelter in abundance. It is important for your child to have an open minded view of the world, and an understanding that not all people are born in the same circumstances. Without causing unneeded worry, when there is a news story about poverty, war, or drought talk to them about what is happening as a family and discuss with them how we can help. For more information on talking to children about tough issues, take a look at our Refugee Week blog.  Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages A core element of your child’s education here at Greenwood, healthy living and eating is essential to not only your child’s own growth and development, but as a world. Healthy living is proven to lead to a number of large scale world improvements, including increasing life expectancy, reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, and minimising susceptibility to avoidable health issues. By talking to children about their own health, they begin to take ownership and an interest in issues related to this. You never know if your child could be the next Charlie Teo or Fiona Wood! For more on encouraging healthy living, check this link out. Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all As you could probably guess, this goal is very important to the entire Greenwood family. There are so many children, even in Australia, that do not have access to equitable quality education. Worldwide, 103 million youth lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 per cent of them are women. Fostering...

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How to make the transition to Kindergarten that little bit easier!
Sep06

How to make the transition to Kindergarten that little bit easier!

Coping with change at any age is challenging, let alone for a 5 or 6-year-old child! One of the first things that comes with starting school, is a change in your child’s daily routine. They will be meeting new people, their once familiar surroundings will be different, and they will be needing to adhere to new rules and expectations their teachers and fellow pupils will have of them. A great way to streamline your child’s transition and prepare them for the next stage in their educational journey is to establish a healthy morning routine. So, what makes a morning routine successful? Working together, planning ahead and allowing time.   It’s important you and your child work together to establish what activities need to be included in your routine. These could include: Making a healthy breakfast Packing your school bag Getting dressed Brushing my teeth and hair Putting on sunscreen Knowing how you are getting to school Playing a game, watching the television or pulling out the iPad may pop up as a suggestion for inclusion in your child’s morning routine, however doing these things tends to overstimulate a child. It would be more beneficial to read a book, discuss what is happening in the day ahead and check in to see how your child is feeling. Allow your child to be a part of the process, and tailor your routine to best suit how your own family operates. Perhaps preparing little snacks and lunch the night before can help settle in your child’s mind what is happening for the day ahead. Mother’s truly know best and when they say, it is better to be early than to be late, we take their word for it! Ensure you allow enough time for your morning routine. Leaving for school calmly and without hurry will alleviate some of the anxiety you and your child will no doubt be experiencing and set you both up for a productive...

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City2Surf Preparations!
Jul12

City2Surf Preparations!

Carol, what inspired you to involve Team Greenwood in the City2Surf? City2Surf is a wonderful opportunity for our continued support of the ACRF. Cancer has touched all our lives in some way and to raise funds for life saving research is nothing short of incredible. Ultimately, it allows our Greenwood children to see their educators getting active, and participate in a give back initiative which develops empathy and an understanding that positive actions have positive consequences.   We know long distance running is a great passion of yours. How do you maintain such an active lifestyle with such much on your plate? It’s not easy to find that balance, but it’s certainly possible. For me, physical activity is a non-negotiable. The same way you would get up for work, or attend a meeting, physical movement is just naturally, part of my morning routine. Only by taking care of myself, am I able to care and be a role model for my children. Although it’s easy to let other things get in the way, it’s integral to my daily routine and helps with my mood, energy and reducing stress. I suggest, to start slowly, find a form of exercise you actually enjoy, do something that gets you moving everyday and be kind to yourself. You’re long term health should be a priority, and it’s necessary to allow time to be your best possible self.     With a healthy lifestyle, comes a balanced approach to food. What does a meal look like on your plate? My approach is food is whole foods focused. This means lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meat, fish, eggs, seeds and nuts. It’s also super easy for people on the run. You can throw a wholesome, nutritious salad together in minutes – a bed a fresh baby spinach with a sprinkle of seeds and nuts, avocado, any vegetables on hand, a source of protein, and you have a nutrient packed meal to go. Hydration is key. I always have a bottle of water in hand and it’s not unusual to find me munching on fresh cucumbers at my desk. Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Meal preparation hugely impacts my productivity of a week. I spend most Sunday afternoons prepping food for the week ahead. I prep all my vegetables, steam sweet potato and pumpkin, poach chicken breasts, boil free range eggs and ensure the fridge is stocked with bags of spinach, fresh vegetables and fruit. Here is a nutritious recipe that’s simple to whip up for those mornings where you may be pushed for time. Packed with protein and vegetables, they’re sure to tick all your nutritional requirements....

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Celebrating NAIDOC Week
Jul05

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

NAIDOC Week celebrations are in full swing across Greenwood this week. NAIDOC week is an opportunity to educate and share the incredibly rich history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We strive to give our children the educational tools necessary to form an understanding of the world around them. With this in mind, activities have been designed to encourage our children to develop: social awareness a sense of community participation the ability to respond to diversity with respect and an open mind. Celebrating Indigenous culture is part of Greenwood’s G Curriculum throughout the year, however special emphasis is placed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture during NAIDOC Week. Our children will explore Indigenous culture through authentic art making, notably dot painting and hand painting. They will create boomerangs and learn how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People hunt and gather food. Some children will even make their own campfires and pretend to cook. Our Preschoolers will learn how cave paintings are used for storytelling and will then have the opportunity to create a story themselves, using Aboriginal symbols. In light of this year’s theme, Songlines – “the living narration of our nation”, our Greenwood children will be listening to traditional Indigenous music and dreamtime stories. Have a listen to “Tiddalick the Frog” at home with the kids! With a focus of shaping the next generation of leaders, a highlight of our NAIDOC celebrations will be strengthening our continued partnership with Gunawirra House, an Aboriginal Children’s organisation working to improve the lives of Aboriginal infants, children and their families. Greenwood Five Dock is leading a winter clothing drive, collecting a variety of warm clothing pieces to send to the families who are supported by Gunawirra House. There are clothing collection areas in each of our centres, and we are asking our Greenwood families to donate a new pair of pyjamas (matching the age and gender of your own child), 2 pairs of socks and any other warm winter donations. Header Graphic: 2016 NAIDOC Artwork by Wollongong artist Lani Balzan, depicts a dreamtime journey across...

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