How To Practice Self-Care This Mother’s Day
May08

How To Practice Self-Care This Mother’s Day

With life so different this Mother’s Day, it’s difficult to carve out time for self-care; after all, it’s not like you can escape for a weekend away or even a treatment at your favourite local beauty salon. However, it’s more important than ever to look after yourself when you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Remember to take a tip from the classic airline safety message – put on your own oxygen mask first and then tend to others. Stealing an hour to pamper and care for yourself is not selfish. It’s survival. And self-care is all about finding meaning in life and doing things that support our growth as individuals, resulting in increased self-compassion… win-win! Do whatever works for you The key is to focus on what already brings you joy and makes your heart smile. Request some me-time this Mother’s Day, and focus entirely on what you feel like doing – without having to cater to the whims of any children or other family members! If you’re not sure where to get started, why not try… Moving. Any form of movement releases endorphins which are great for the body. Whether it’s outside by the beach or even indoors around the living room, physical activity is bound to boost your mood. Creating. Whether it’s baking, painting or picking up the guitar you haven’t tried to play in years, there’s a sense of healthy self-accomplishment that goes along with creating. Connecting. Get in touch with an old friend you haven’t messaged in a while. A simple, “Hey, I’ve been thinking of you, hope you’re well” can go a long way in healthy re-connection. Appreciating. Practice gratitude – there is endless scientific evidence to show just how far a little gratitude can go with increasing happiness. Just breathe  Stress, anxiety, feelings of panic, failure and being overwhelmed are not uncommon right now, given that there are so many uncertainties about what the future might hold for health, relationships, personal finances and job security. There are no easy cure-alls but with a healthy mind you will be in a much better space to deal with these pressures. Take a moment today to explore some of the free meditation and mindfulness help that is available online here and here. Self-spa days  We can’t get a facial right now… but you can do one at home! Zoe Foster is a mum so many of us love to love. Her enviable lifestyle with two children and a super funny husband hasn’t stopped her from being totally relatable, which makes her skin care tutorials so inspiring. You can find her at-home facial tutorial here. There’s nothing like a new hairstyle to lift the spirits. If budget and safety concerns mean you’re sticking with home treatments, you might like this series of helpful home haircare tutorials here....

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We’re all in this together: How Greenwood is sharing kindness in our community
Apr09

We’re all in this together: How Greenwood is sharing kindness in our community

Every day, the children in our centres give us more reasons to smile. We’ve guided them through the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, teaching them the importance of handwashing, good hygiene and keeping a safe social distance. And now they are showing us all the goodness in their little souls with heart-warming displays of thoughtfulness and kindness. Here are a few stories from our centres that have warmed our hearts. If the world has been getting you down, we hope they warm your heart too… Greenwood Gladesville At our Greenwood Gladesville Centre in Sydney the kindergarten children have created a video to say thank you to all the police officers and nurses who have such an important role to play in managing the crisis. Greenwood Central Park Duo Our brand-new Central Park Duo centre in the inner-Sydney suburb of Camperdown has had children busy creating a giant canvas to display at a local school to say thank you to the teachers for looking after big brothers and sisters. Greenwood Artarmon Greenwood Artarmon has been busy creating a beautiful reminder that there is still colour and joy in the world with a brilliant rainbow on the front door and teddy bears placed in the window for the bear hunt. The centre chef has created a recipe book for parents and a community help pantry is constantly being replenished by staff and families. What every intrepid bear hunter needs, is a set of binoculars and young Claire at Greenwood Lane Cove fashioned hers out of a couple of Yakult bottles. She’ll be spotting plenty of bears with those. The centre has encouraged all its families to put a favourite bear in the window for children to spot as they go on their daily neighbourhood walks with parents. And we haven’t forgotten that Easter is almost upon us with the kitchen ramping up to send Easter cookies home with families this week. Greenwood Rowville Greenwood Rowville in Victoria has been extra busy trying to make life a little easier for families, particularly front-line workers, who may be finding it difficult to shop for essential pantry items. The community pantry is stocked with hard to find items like pasta, rice, egg replacer, gluten free and allergy products that parents can access without having to come into the foyer. We’ve also been thinking about how to keep children amused at home when so many of the things we take for granted are now in short supply. Rowville centre staff have been making chalk and packing them into the community pantry so that children can do their rainbow driveway drawings and take part in the...

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The Child Care Subsidy: Our best tips and tricks
Mar11

The Child Care Subsidy: Our best tips and tricks

The Government Child Care Subsidy can make early learning more affordable for many Australians. However, it’s not always easy to understand, especially if you’re at the beginning of your child care journey!   Keeping this in mind, we have prepared a simple calculation to help you work out your out-of-pocket payment:  Still unsure? If you’re enrolling at a Greenwood Early Education Centre, our Family Support team are happy to help. Just call 1800 413 921 to speak to a varied team of ex-educators, parents, grandparents and child care experts, who have experience in chatting to families about how to maximize their subsidies.    In the meantime, keep reading for our top tips on how to break down the benefits for you and your family.    The factors                    The Child Care Subsidy works on three factors:    How much ‘work-related’ activity you and your partner undertake each fortnight. This includes paid work, volunteering, study and other activities as determined by education.gov.au.   Your total combined family income.   The service type – this can be long day care, or outside-hours care such as vacation care.    The best way to apply for CCS is through your MyGov Account that is linked to Centrelink.    Our top tips            Use our handy Subsidy Calculator to get an estimate of how much you could expect to receive – simply click here.    Apply for CCS as soon as you find a centre that you and your child are happy with. This way, it’ll be set up and ready to go for your child’s first day of care. You also need to confirm your Complying Written Agreement (CWA). If it’s not confirmed, you may be paying full fees until it’s all complete.    Make sure you download the Centrelink app, which can be very helpful, especially if you change your work situation and need to update your hours.    Ask the Greenwood Family Support team to double check all details when you’ve submitted your enrolment form. They’ll be able to pick up on anything that’s been missed, ensuring your subsidy is ready to go.    Take advantage of Flexible Hours, as a nine or ten-hour day may be best for your family. Read more about Greenwood’s Flexible Hour offering here.  Case study example: The John family…       Still working out your subsidy benefits? Our Family Support Team is ready to help – simply get in touch on 1800 413 921. Or click HERE to...

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The benefits of choosing a child care centre close to work
Dec23

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...

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Greenwood Recipe: Rainbow Pizzas
Dec23

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 vegetables. 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
Dec23

The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo

Being a chef at a child care centre comes with 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, our Greenwood chefs are very experienced when it comes to knowing exactly what children love to do – and one of those things is cooking with adults! Our Greenwood centres regularly involve the children in creating their own meals.    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.    The team at Greenwood Duo have shared their top recipes for getting children involved in the kitchen – bon appetit!  Greenwood Duo’s top recipes   Rainbow vegetable pizzas  Children generally don’t love their vegetables, but they love their pizzas! You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetables, or get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour. Click here for the recipe.    Sushi This is a favourite for the children to get involved with. Premake the rice and have a selection of different ingredients in bowls, allowing them to choose their own ingredients.  It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks! As the children get older, you can introduce them to wasabi and pickled ginger.  Click here for the recipe.     Apple and oat pikelets  This is a fantastic base recipe that uses no egg or milk and is naturally sweetened with the apple or banana – perfect for those with allergies. 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  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 to open in early 2020, tours are now available. Speak to our family...

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