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Fun Christmas craft ideas for kids

Christmas time is here! And what better way to get into the festive spirit than with some fun (and easy) Christmas craft activities? From Christmas tree decorations, to nature wreaths and handmade Christmas cards, we’ve put together a few kid-friendly crafts that can be easily made at day care and taken home to be enjoyed with the family. (WARNING: Things might get a little bit messy. We suggest you do these on the days when your day care cleaning company is due!) Sparkly Christmas Decorations You will need: Thick card (a laundry detergent powder box works well – ask the parents to bring in any old boxes they have from home) A pencil Scissors PVA glue and a brush Colourful tissue paper, foil, or lolly wrappers Sequins or small metallic gold and silver star stickers Hole punch Gold or silver ribbon Draw or trace a Christmas shape onto a thick piece of card – this could be a star shape, a Christmas tree, a bell, or even a round Christmas pudding shape! Use the scissors to cut out the sha

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Tips on how to stop your child from always getting sick at day care

When your child first starts day care or preschool, you might feel like they are spending more time at home sick than they are spending in care. A recent research study has shown that this is, in fact, quite true. Children who start day care in a large centre are sick more often when compared to ones in a small centre or who don’t attend day care at all. But don’t be concerned, there is good news to come. These same children who spend more time being sick early on, spend less time being sick once they reach primary school. It is then that the ones who haven’t been exposed to all of the germs from a large group of kids begin to fall ill more often. In conclusion, all children will get sick often as their immune system matures. It’s just that some will get it over with in the earlier years while others notice it more when they are a little bit older. If your child has just started day care and you’d like to stop them from being continuously sick, especially in winter, here are some tips

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The benefits of day care

Working parents have a choice to make when it comes to the care of their children; they can use family or friends, a nanny or babysitter, or send their child to day care. It can be a tough decision, and one they won’t make lightly. For some, the idea of sending their precious child into large and noisy day care centres is a scary one. However, parents should be rest assured that day care can be very beneficial to young children. Here are some of the pros of sending your child to day care: Structure is good for kids Babies and children crave routine and structure in their day. If you’ve read a book on babies, you will certainly have come across this information before. Give your child some structure to their day and they will be more settled and likely to be better sleepers. When you enrol your child at day care they will fall into the routine that has been set by the carers. There can be a routine set with your nanny as well, but it is more easily broken where as a centre needs to stay

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Caring for the environment while keeping clean

There are many pre schools and daycare centres that are now making the move away from chemical cleaning. It’s a smart move, as less chemicals can have a positive impact not only on your budget, but also on the health of the children and the environment. With the higher incidences of childhood eczema and asthma having a possible link to exposure to chemicals, it makes sense to reduce chemicals in our daily lives as much as we can. There is also the environment to consider, as the cleaning products and their packaging cause damage to our world. For the daycare centres who don’t have cleaning companies on their roster are looking into ways of cutting out chemicals by themselves. There are methods they can follow to help them do this, and you can even start to make small steps to reducing chemical use in your own home too. Here are some tips to help you move towards being more green in your cleaning routine: Green cleaning products Conventional cleaning products are full of chemicals. The

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How to clean up after children

We all love kids but there is no denying that they are messy little creatures. Cleaning up after them is a bit of a never-ending ride, best summed up by comedian Phyllis Diller when she said: Cleaning the house while your kids are still growing is like shovelling the walk before it stops snowing. We have some great cleaning for kids tips below, and whether you have a cleaning service or not, these are super helpful for keeping on top of things around your own home or within the child care centre you work for: Get the kids to help you It may sound like the impossible dream, but there are actually ways you can get the kids to help you clean up. You just need to either make it fun, or have some kind of challenge. Set a timer for clean ups Have a special timer sitting in the corner of the classroom (or at home) that buzzes at regular intervals throughout the day. Make this the ‘clean up timer’ and teach the kids that when that timer goes off, they have a few minutes to do a crazy fast tidy

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What to look for when choosing a child care centre

Sending a child to daycare for the first time is a big step for most parents. The idea of leaving them for a full day in the care of someone else can be a scary thought at first. However, within a week or two both you and baby will be settled in nicely and you’ll wonder why you ever worried so much. Making sure you know what to look for in a good child care centre will help ease your worries in the lead up to the big transition: Visit the centre When you are first looking at new centres, you will need to set up appointment times with the director. This is so that when you turn up a staff member will be available to take you around for a tour and answer all of your questions. This is great, as you will no doubt have many things you’d like to ask and you don’t want to be rushed around a centre if you are seriously considering sending your child there. However, once your child has started it is highly recommended that you do the occasional unannounced pop in. You can tell a lot about how

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Sick kid etiquette: send them to daycare or keep them home?

It’s the morning rush and you are about to dash out the door – ready to do drop off at daycare before heading into work. But then you notice something … your child feels warm. What do you do? Some parents believe that sending your sick kid isn’t so terrible – after all, isn’t it good for kids to be exposed to different germs so they can build their immune system? And if the child care has a commercial cleaning service that keeps the place hygienic, then what harm does it really do? Other parents are adamant that it is just plain rude to send a sick kid into a room full of other children, and you should keep them at home even if that means having to take the day off work yourself. They don’t think it’s fair for their child to be coming home with a new cough, cold or tummy bug every other week. So what is the right etiquette? Is there a middle ground? Of course with some illnesses there shouldn’t even be a question. If your child has a highly contagious disease like chicken pox, measles,

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Real play – what it is and why it’s important

We live in an age of technology. There are gadgets and electronics that can do everything from making chores easier to entertaining our kids. It is not unusual for children as young as 12 months to know how to pick up and use an iPad. While this can be good – there are a lot of educational apps and ways of learning with an iPad – it is important we don’t forget the value of real play for children. What is real play? Real play is free range, unstructured playtime for children. It often involves getting outside and letting the imagination run free. It can also involve getting dirty and messy, something some parents may baulk at. All of those germs! Clothes ruined by mud! Fair points, but the benefits of real play outweigh the extra washing and as for germs, it has been proven that dirt can actually strengthen immune systems. So in short, real play is basically how people used to play – before technology and scheduled activities took over. In a recent survey by OMO, it was discovered that

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7 fun indoor activities for a rainy day

Outdoor play is fun for kids as well as being good for them. But sometimes it just isn’t possible to get outside as much as you’d like. We are thinking of those long winter months when the rain sets in and the temperatures drop. During these times it can be a bit of a test to keep finding new and exciting activities for a room full of preschool aged kids. We’ve compiled a list of seven activities you can try at your daycare or kindergarten the next time you are stuck indoors: ONE: Tents and Playhouses This is a great activity for creativity and using the imagination. Get the kids to help build a tent or a playhouse inside. This can be done simply by placing blankets or rugs over the tables in the rooms, or you can go a step further by using old cardboard boxes to create something new. Hand out glue, paint, glitter, decorative paper or even old magazines and catalogues for pictures and get the kids to work on decorating the playhouse any way they like. This activity can get a bit messy

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One third of Aussie families will be worse off under proposed childcare changes

Childcare is such an important part of the lives of many Australian families. Having access to quality childcare can mean parents are able to return to work or their business, and it also means their child is getting the best care and early education possible before they embark on their school years. Good quality childcare comes at a big cost. Centres need to pay for qualified educators, great play and learning resources and of course kindergarten cleaning in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other expensive cities. The costs passed on to parents can get quite high, and without a Government subsidy, these families might not be able to even consider using childcare. Sadly, this might become the case for many families in the near future. New research has been released that shows one in three families in Australia will actually be worse off after the Federal Government’s planned changes to child care packages go through. The research, conducted by Australian National University (ANU) and co

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