January & February 2017

Well the first few months of the year has certainly gone fast; so fast I forgot to do the newsletter at the end of February.  I’m sorry for it being a few weeks late.

We have had lots of new families start over the last few months.  A big welcome to you all, it was lovely to see lots of these faces at the annual family picnic evening last Thursday night.  Thank you to all the families that came along, I know the children always find it super exciting when they come back to preschool ‘after hours’.  Plus it is always nice to catch up with families at these events as I don’t normally have a spare minute to sit down and have a catch up.

As always the children and teachers have hit the year running and have been super busy at the centre.

This year Shay is the teacher that will be taking Dolphin Club (our year 3+ extension programme); along with the support and help of all the preschool teachers.  This year we have started a self review around dolphin club.  Over the years dolphin club has changed routine and what it offers in this time.  So we would like to have a look at what parents are looking for in dolphin club, what the children are enjoying and also what works for us at the centre.  We also will be sending out a small survey around this. Shay is going to be heading to Redcliff’s School for a day soon.  This is for her to see how a new entrant class works and also we feel it is important to see what our teachers are preparing our children for.  This year at our AGM my plan is to get a new entrant teacher to be our guest speaker.  Their talk will be around school readiness. Lots of exciting things are happening in the area.  So watch this space!

Our nursery has doubled in numbers over the last few months.  So we are now at the stage where we looking for another teacher.  This of course is very exciting!  With the room now being busier and lots of parents picking up and dropping off at the same time, it still is very important we still have effective communication with all our nursery parents.  Last week we started communication diaries/notebooks for all the children in our nursery room.  The aim is the teachers will fill out a little blurb of what your child has been up to; what learning experiences have been provided, sleep and feeding routines and any other information that may need to be passed on to you.  We have had some great feedback already around these notebooks. So remember to let us know your ideas or thoughts as feedback at Moa Kids is always welcome.

As part of our strategic plan this year, we will be doing a planned self review regarding our centre’s philosophy.  We have a current philosophy that is of a high standard. However, it was written a few years ago. We feel it is important to review these on a regular basis, especially with our new teaching team.  I would like this to be a collaborative approach.  The teachers and I would like a philosophy that is embedded into our daily program, a philosophy that is supported by our families and parent community.  Again watch this space, as I will be sending out information and ways that you, the parents, can help with this.

Over the last few months, we have had a lot of children been picked up by new or different people that may not be on their pick up list.  This of course is absolutely fine, however, it is very important that you email or call to say this is happening. Also, can you please ensure that if we have not met the person before, that they bring some ID as we will need to see it when they come in.  This is to match the name we have been given.  I know some people do get frustrated with this, especially if the child is yelling out the person’s name, but it is important we do this, as it is one of our centre policies and it is for the safety of our children.  We thank you for your understanding around this.

At Moa Kids one of our points of difference is our flexibility.  We let children change days/hours at the drop of a hat.  We of course will continue to do this when we can, please remember every time/day change you make there is a form for you to sign, especially the 3 year old children who get the ECE hours.  It is very important that these are signed on the day it happens or before.

I have had a few parents comment lately on the number of accidents reports that get written up, when they not very serious.  This again is a Ministry of Education requirement. We also feel it better to write up a form and let parents know, so when your child informs you, you know what has happened.  It also varies from different families. What seems a small incident/accident to you might be big to another family so keeping up effective communication around this is very important.  I know you probably all feel very famous, with all of the signature’s we ask of you sometimes, but just remember there normally is a good reason why it is needed.

Just to let families know we have had a couple of changes to our Governance Committee.  Jason White our Chair has stepped down and Carly Waddleton has stepped in as Acting Chair.  Jordana Clarke has stepped down as treasurer and Steve Wilcox has taken on this role.  Jason and Jordana still remain on our committee as members.  I just want to thank them both for all their hard work and help that they have offered Moa Kids while being in these roles. Also a big thank you to Steve and Carly for putting their hands up for these roles.  We are always on the lookout for new Committee members, the only requirement is that you are able to come along to the meetings once a month.  You don’t need any special skills.  If you are thinking you might like to join but are not too sure on what it entails, please feel free to just come along to a couple of meetings, before taking the plunge J.  I am of course happy to answer any questions around this.

Please remember my door is always open, so if you need anything or have any concerns/suggestions for us. I would love to hear from you. Parents communication, ideas and feedback is always welcome at Moa Kids. 

Have a great week, Hayley

Welcome to our new families

A big welcome to Anais, Indie, Charlie, Frankie and Mia in the nursery and Lillie. Saffie, Holly, Archie, Lincoln, Elsa, Kiwa, and Mana in the preschool. All of these new friends have started over the past two months. It’s great to have you all join the Moa Kids family.

Farewell

Eddie, Tilly, Ella, Cooper, Monte and Xa. Have all turn 5 and headed off to school. We wish them all the best on their next learning adventures.

Staff News

With the Nursery filling up, we have started the process of looking for another teacher.  We will keep you informed when this happens.  

We would all like to say a big congratulations to Shay who married her partner Steve last month. There are a few snaps of their beautiful day on our notice board.

Over the next few weeks we have a few teachers on annual leave.  We hope they all have a well deserved break.

Shay and Letisha have just been on professional development with Interlead Education on Self Review.  They have both come back with some great ideas. It will be great to see these implemented into the centre.

Emily has just completed her first placement as part of her Bachelor of Education.  This went really well and we are happy to let you know that she passed with flying colours! A huge congratulations to Emily.

Reminders

  • Moa Kids is a “nut” free zone.  Lately we have been noticing a lot of nut products coming in cashews, almonds, peanut butter sandwiches etc.  Please can you remember that we are a nut free zone when you are making your child’s lunch?
  • Moa Kids is a Healthy Heart Centre.  This year we are going for the GOLD award.  Tracy has re-done our healthy heart notice board at the centre.  Please make sure you have a look, there are some great recipes, tips and advice around children’s eating.
  • If you have any spare plastic bags.  We would love to take them off your hands.  We can never have too many.
  • Can all families please be aware of the change of season.  Should the day be warm, please apply suncream to your child, if it’s cold, please ensure there are layers in their bag.  Also, it’s great practice to have both a named sunhat and winter hat in your child’s bag at this time of year.  Please ensure all clothing is named.
  • Friday 17th March is of course St Patrick’s Day.  Last year we celebrated this day.  The children and teachers had so much fun, so we thought we would do it again this year.  Please make sure your child is dressed in green for Friday the 17th March.

Governance Committee

Our next Governance Committee meeting is on Monday 20th March.  The amount of time that we ask of you is quite a manageable commitment.  The meetings start at 7.30 on the 3rd Monday of the month and last approximately 1½ hours.  We would love to have some new members join us.

As I’m sure you are aware, one of the areas that the Governance Committee works hard is through fundraising and grant sourcing, this is 100% to enhance the resources for the learning of our children. 

Nursery News

Whooooooooooo hasn’t it got super busy in the nursery?  We have had lots of new friends start.  A big welcome to you all.  Everyone is settling in really well and enjoying the life of a nursery child.  All our children have been welcoming to our new friends with open arms, with lots of cuddles and gentle hands for our new friends.  This is so lovely to see.

With the warmer weather around the children have being enjoying water play that has been set up.  They also love it when the outside tap is turned on and the children get to explore this with their buckets.  So remember keep putting in several changes of clothes, as this interest continues to be a huge hit in the nursery.

Bubbles are always a hit in the nursery.  Over the last few weeks the children have been pointing to the cupboard where the bubbles are kept and wanting them out.  Last Tuesday Hazel and Isaac blew the bubbles and their younger friends squealed and giggled as they tried to touch and pop them.

You may have noticed the swing up lately.  The children are expressing to us just how much they are enjoying it.  Isaac pulled it out of the shed on a morning he was helping Hayley set up.

 He then dragged the swing over pointing to the tree. Arthur also likes to crawl over and tap at the child’s leg who is in the swing. As to say “hey it is my turn”.  You will often see lot of smiles and hear the giggles coming from the children in the swings.  Isaac also like to push his younger friends in the swing as well. He getting very good and realising his strength. So if he pushes hard, they will come back just as fast.

We have noticed the children’s routines slowly starting to change. Just remember to communicate if there is any change to their routines so we are making sure we are implementing them at Moa Kids.  We also have a whiteboard sitting on the bench in the mornings. Please feel free to let the teacher know if there is a change for that particular day and we will write it up on the board, so all teachers can see.

We have had lots of positive feedback on the notebooks. Please remember if you take their notebook home, just to put them back into their bag, so we can fill it out for you

You may have noticed in the room the holiday and weekend away snaps. If you have been on holiday or for a weekend away please feel free to email your photos through to Hayley or Zoe, so we can add them to our display.

Preschool News

It has been a busy few months in the preschool. We have  had lots of new friends start; a big welcome to you all.

Lots of our friends have to turned 5 and headed off to   school; we wish them all the best with their next learning adventure.

Our children have been busy building and creating huts.  They have all turned into pretty good designers and builders of these huts. They have been moving furniture adding in materials and using anything they can find – very innovative.

We have many 2 year old children start recently and also Phoebe joining us from the nursery.  It has been so nice to see so many of our older children taking them under their wings and assisting them to settle in and to help them develop their sense belonging at Moa Kids.

At the start of the year there was a large interest of dramatic play around coffee shops. This started when Felix and Louis mentioned to Shay they needed a coffee.  A coffee shop was created along with the menu.  One item on the menu that made us smile was the “Hot Chocolate Gelato”.

Our project to start the year is “All about me”.  We are all   very excited about this project as it will help to further strengthen and maintain our strong links between Moa Kids and home life. 

It will also help teachers and children to have a greater understanding of each other, our interests, what makes us who we are and also help us to further develop our identity of ourselves, our families and others.  It will all give the children a sense of who they are and their place in the world.

We have been busy working towards the Gold award for “healthy heart”.  We had our “Red heart day” where all the children came dressed in red.  We have talked a lot about growing foods and even had red fruit and vegetables on our platters for morning tea.  Emily Bryce even thought it was a great idea to do a Pilates class with the children, so Letisha got them all together and Emily was instructor.  We must say she knew lots of moves and the children had lots of fun trying to do them.

We have been talking a lot at group time about being a good friend and what makes us a good friend.  We have been reading “Have you filled a bucket today” through sweet, simple prose and vivid illustrations.  This heart warming book encourages positive behaviour as children see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love on a daily basis.

The preschool just love this book and are grasping the concepts so well.  We are often heard now saying “that filled my bucket”.

The teachers have also introduced the compliment circle; where the children go around in a circle sharing compliments with one another.

Dolphin Club News

It’s great to have Dolphin club up and running again.  Lots of our 3 and 4 year olds have been joining us. We have moved the time to 9.30am and find it has been working well. 

Every morning we greet each other in French, the children are getting very good at this.  Each child is learning their own Mihi, this has been a great process.  Shay has broken it up into small parts and the children are doing a great job on remembering it.

We also take a few minutes at the start to get all our wiggles out.  We have been exercising to the music and even doing a few yoga poses. The children are then ready to sit down and see what Shay has in store for them.

We have been working on our centre project “All about me”.  The children have made their self portraits and are working on their friendship tree. Please make sure you go in the dolphin club room and see all their wonderful work.

You also would have got our email regarding the children’s reading books. The children just love this part of the dolphin club.  They are all very excited when they get to pick a new book and have taken great pride in their reading folders.

What’s on?

Monday 20th March @ 7.30pm – Governance Committee at Moa Kids

We would love to see some new faces.

Children’s corner

Huge congratulations to our very own Sharleen and Rob on the birth of their gorgeous little lady Silvia Helen who was born on Tuesday 10th January at 3:22pm, weighing 3.1kg.  Silvia has visited Moa Kids a couple of times to meet the staff and children.

Have you been away for a break? We love to hear about places that you and your children have been, especially exotic places or somewhere interesting.  If you have any photos and would like them displayed in our newsletter please let Zoe know.  Also, if there are any new siblings to our children we would love to share the happy news amongst our community.

Note from Zoe

I’m shocked that it is March already, where has that time gone?  The upside is that Autumn is my favourite season so I’m pretty happy about this!

It’s been so lovely to catch up with you all over the last couple of months and find out from your children what you all did at Christmas (although, that seems like a long time ago!)  I had lots of lovely family time with Darren and our 3 girls camping in Kaikoura for a few days and then heading away for a week with friends to the Malborough Sounds, it was just what we needed.

So 2017 has started with a blast and my girls are now back at school so I’m back to working my normal hours at Moa Kids.

As Hayley mentioned before, Shay and Steve got married at the beginning of February and I was honoured to be asked to be their photographer (I have my fingers in lots of pies!).  It truly was a wonderful day and I was so happy to see Shay’s dream wedding play out in real life.

The latest Lucky Book Club catalogue from Scholastic is out.  Make sure you get a copy from next to the sign in sheet and grab yourself a bargain.  Remember every time you buy something, Moa Kids benefits.

Lunchbox Ideas

Muesli Balls

(Serves 24)

All you need are three ingredients and 20 minutes to put together these easy and delicious muesli balls, which make a great snack for the whole family

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

2 1/2 cup muesli

1/4 cup rice malt syrup

Instructions

  1. Place the pitted dates into a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let the dates soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water from the dates and add 2 cups of the muesli and the rice malt syrup to the bowl.
  3. Place the remaining half cup of muesli into a separate small bowl.  Use a teaspoon to scoop up the date mixture and roll into balls. Place the balls into the bowl of extra muesli and roll to coat.

Put the muesli balls into an airtight container and place into the fridge for 1 hour to firm.