July & August 2017

Whooo we are officially now in Spring! I know lots of our families have been heading away on ski weekends and holidays, we hope you have had a wonderful time and making the most of the weather!

We have had a busy couple of months with lots of new children and families joining us at Moa Kids.  We would like to say a big Moa Kids welcome to you all.  Everyone is settling in so well and making the most of their time with us.

I want to take this time to thank all our families for sharing why they love and choose Moa Kids for their children. So many of our new families have come in from hearing lots of positive things from our existing families; it makes all the hard work well worth it, when hearing feedback like this.  So thank you very much for all the support.

Last month we sent out a feedback form relating to our philosophy.  Thank you to all the families that filled this out and shared their ideas.  There have been a few things that we have changed due to the feedback from parents and also from our teachers.  We would like to keep this statement in our philosophy: “We value and respect our natural surroundings and as a result of this we care for an environment we educate our children and community to sustain our world”.  However, we feel we could be doing this a lot better. Tracy has taken on the challenge to see if we can become a lot more efficient with recycling and also composting as we have recently purchased a compost bin for the centre.  We would like to see if we can reduce the amount of glad wrap and rubbish that is also coming into our centre.  So we are challenging you, as parents, to see if you can help us here.

We also got a great suggestion from a family, instead of sending children’s wet and soiled clothes home in a plastic bag, that we use eco-friendly reusable bags.  We took this suggestion on board and have started doing this in the preschool room and it is working really well.  If your child brings home wet clothes, please can you wash and return the bag on their next visit.  Should you have any spare eco-friendly bags, we would love to take them off your hands.

With our numbers continuing to grow it has now come to the stage that all families need to let us know if they are going to be bringing in or leaving their children outside their booked hours.  Many times over the last few months, children have been arriving up to 45 mins before their times or staying 2 hours later without checking with staff members, or just writing in later times on the role, again without checking with anyone.  We know Moa Kids flexibility works so well for many families and we do want to continue to be as flexible as we can. We just need to be informed so I can make sure we are staffed for it and keeping to the required Ministry of Education ratios.

With the role numbers also increasing the issue of families taking 5 – 6 weeks off and not paying for this space over this time has arisen.  Typically, we have allowed this to happen as we have not been full and always have had the spaces when you get back.  However, moving forward we will have to now go by our policy which is that you pay for your child’s space/booked times while they are away.  We have decided to extend the 2 weeks half price holiday fee to 3 weeks half price holiday fee per year per child.  We can of course still pull your child out over their holiday time, but because we are so full now, we cannot grantee that the spaces you had will be here when you get back.  We thank you for your understanding around this.

Lots of our children have changed days, hours and times lately. Anytime that we do a change in the system, we have to get you to sign for this.  This is just a funding requirement from MOE.

Is your child is turning three soon?  If so, it is important that we get all the right documentation in place for your child’s 20 ECE hours or in Moa Kids case 30 ECE hours BEFORE your child turns 3.  Please make sure you see me or Zoe to do this.

We seem to continue to have an issue with collecting a large pile of lost property at Moa Kids.  Can parents please make sure that they check the lost property on a regular basis and also try and name all clothing that comes into the centre.  The lost property is on a rack that will be put outside on dry days.

It is that time of the year where we are starting to do our calenders. This is a great fundraiser for Moa Kids and also even better they make fab xmas presents. Last year we got them away a little too late so this year we are going to be super organised and started them this week.  We will then display them in the foyer and have orders sorted by October. This will then result in getting them back early November so families can get them away in the post overseas if they need.

You may have noticed an exciting book on our noticeboard called “Mission to Motherhood”.  Amira is one of our parents at Moa Kids and has just written her first book.  It is a powerful story of Infertility, Surrogacy and the Journey to Becoming a Parent.  Moa Kids has purchased a copy for our parent library, but if you would like to purchase one they are just $40 and a fabulous read.  To purchase one, go to www.calicopublishig.co.nz. They will also be in book stores by the September 15th.  Again big congratulations to Amira.

I hope you all enjoy the first few months of spring.

Hayley

Welcome to our new families

A big Moa Kids welcome to Isabella-Rose, Isla, Esme, Claire, Delilah, Saoirse, Joseph, Silvia, Marley, Lienka, Mila and Harvey.  They have all started over the past two months.  It’s great to have you all join the Moa Kids family.

Farewell

We have said goodbye and Happy School Days to Grace and Emily.  We wish you lots of luck with your new school adventures.

Staff News

Sharleen is back!! 

Sharleen returned on Monday 31st July, we are all excited to have her back.  She is doing three days a week until the end of the year.  Her hours are Monday 8-4:30 Tuesday 8:45-5:15 and Wednesday 7:45-4:15.

Hayley is heading away on a leadership course on September 20th – 22nd.

Emily is on her last placement so Margie has been stepping into her role from Monday – Friday 9-3 in the nursery while she has been away.  Hayley and Ali will continue to support in here.

We often get asked about if we know anyone that baby sits or is looking for nanny work.  Sarah, who is one of our fantastic casuals, is in her second year of teacher college and is looking for any type of nanny/babysitting work for after school hours.  If you are interested please let Hayley know and she will get Sarah’s details to you.

Reminders

  • At Moa kids we have a “nut” free zone. Lately we have been noticing a lot of nut products coming in cashews, almonds, peanut butter sandwiches etc etc. Please can you remember that we are a nut free zone when you are making your child’s lunch.
  • Please can all families try naming all their children’s clothes that come into Moa Kids.  This will help reduce the lost property we have here at the centre.
  • On Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th September, Zoe from Forget Me Not Photography will be at Moa Kids taking photos of all our children.  Zoe comes in for the day and spends time with all the children, resulting in very natural looking photos.  This is a great fundraiser for Moa Kids and also a great chance to get some wonderful actions shots of your children.  I hear they make fantastic Christmas gifts as well J
  • With the change in seasons, we are starting to get to that point of needing both warm winter clothes and also sunhats.  Can you please make sure that your child is prepared for both types of weather, hopefully the sun is out to play more now!

Governance Committee

Our next two Governance Committee meetings are on Monday 16th October and Monday 20th November.  The meetings will start at 7.30pm.  We would love to have you along to find out what it is all about.  There is no pressure to join.

Nursery News

Well, you may have all noticed the nursery becoming busy and busy.  All our new friends have settled in so well.

With the numbers the way they are now we will continue have a third teacher in the nursery room.

With the weather not being the best lately, we have pulled down the covers on the side of the deck, so the children still can get outside even if the weather is not playing the part.  The children just love this.  All our nursery children get so excited when they see a teacher grab the shed keys and head outside to set up.  They all head straight over to the gate where their bags and jackets are hang up waiting to get ready to go outside.  It is great to be able to have this space even if the weather not great and the children really seem to be enjoying exploring their outdoor area.

Lots of children took part in the holiday program. It was great to see them coming in with the different dress up and also bringing along their teddy bears. Remember that the holiday program is across the centre, so the nursery children can take part.

Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles!!  Bubbles are always popular in the nursery.  Lately, we have had a lot of the children asking for these and getting very excited when they are pulled out.  They even try and blow them themselves, I must say they do a very good job of it!

Our older nursery children have really started to be interested in the dress ups and dramatic play.  You will often find them transporting the babies from activity to activity or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. 

We have also seen lot’s of language development from our children over the last few months. Learning the Karakia and Kina Kina songs.  The children certainly love the wiggles as well.  Anytime their music comes on, there will be a group of children joining into all the actions. “Here come a bear” and “Rock a bye your bear” seem to be the favourites.

Preschool News

We have had a very busy few months with lots of new children starting in the preschool room.  A very big welcome to you all.

In July we held our holiday programme.  This again was super successful and helped get a lot of children to come in who sometimes struggle if they have siblings at home.

It was great to see so many of our friends and families getting into all the different themes.   There were some fantastic outfits coming in on the dress up days (photos can be found at the end of the newsletter).

We were very lucky at getting some new outdoor equipment for our preschool area.  This was from our last few fundraising events, so a huge thank you to all the families that helped out and supported us with these.  The children have spent so much time exploring the different swings and I must say are getting very good at mastering them.

We also ordered some very cool dinosaur fossils resources for our science corner.  Tracy filled them up in balloons with water and put them in the freezer and then set them up in the tub for the children to chip away at them like real fossils.  The children just loved this experience and have asked many times to do it again.

Our frogs have had lost of visitors to their tank with buckets full of worms for their tea J  The children are spending lots of time digging for worms and bugs.  They then all head inside to feed to all our frogs. I must sasy that a few of the frogs are looking very large and super happy.

There have been many children interested in building and fixing things at Moa Kids.  So with our fundraising money we brought 4 tools kits for the children. They have spent so much time using these.  They love putting on their little tool belts and off they go. I must say their workmanship is of the highest quality.

As mentioned earlier, Moa Kids now own a compost bin.  The children have really enjoyed getting involved in the whole process.  They head outside with all the food scraps from Kai times, open it up and throw all of the scraps in.  They have also been adding some worms that they have found.

The play interest and project from Dolphin club has also been seen in the preschool room.  Lots of our friends like to be dressed up with all the different dress up items we have and can often be found putting on their own plays throughout the day.

The art area has become very busy and popular amongst the children lately.  At Moa Kids we do allow our children to ask for different resources and art supplies, they love this and spend many hours creating and working on different master pieces.  Please remember that you are welcome to take these home, they can be found in the foyer.

Dolphin Club News

Whoooo what a busy few months we have had in dolphin club.  Our “all about me project’’ has now come to an end.  This was a very successful project and the children made some wonderful resources throughout this time.  Please feel free to take them home now that we are finished (they can be found in the foyer).

The next project that the children would like to being is “writing their own play”.  This has really taken off! The draft is now complete and Shay and the children are just working on the final copy.  The play is called “The one hundred layer witch”.  We have started to make our costumes to go with the play.  The next costume we will work on is our “Talking flower”.  If you have any beautiful interesting material at home that we could use for our flower costume, please feel free to bring it in, all donations would be gratefully received.

We have also started to plan some trips to extend our interest in plays and drama.  We will be looking for parent help when doing these, so we will let you know we have come up with a plan and if parents are free, we would love your help.

The language this term we have chosen is Afrikaans.  The children have picked this up really quickly.

We are finding that our relaxation yoga after our morning exercise is really helping the children learn all about self-regulation.

We have continued to work on our own Mihi’s. The children are getting very good and confident at these. We have started learning a new “Tutira Ma Nga Iwi”. The children have really got into this song.  Use this you tube link for the song and ask your child to show you how good they are getting. 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klLSVac79Zk

What’s on?

Murder Mystery

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we haven’t been able to confirm a venue for September.  We are now looking to hold the murder mystery early in 2018 so watch this space for details.

Photography Fundraiser

On Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7th September, Zoe from Forget Me Not Photography will be taking photos at Moa Kids. 

Children’s corner

A huge Congratulations to one of our new families, Sharon, Mark & Milo on the birth of their new addition, Torin born on Monday 31st July at 1.30am, weighing 8lb 1oz.  Mum looks absolutely amazing! We are looking forward to meeting him.

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

Hi everyone, it’s great to see the sun again after a long winter!  It’s also great to see everyone getting over their coughs and colds too. 

I’m really excited about all of our new friends who have started at Moa Kids.  It’s so lovely to see so many happy smiling faces each morning.  Remember, if you have any questions about anything office related I’m here to help you.  I’m at Moa Kids on Monday 8.30-12.30, Wednesday 9-12 and Friday 9-12, but I’m often floating around at pickup and drop off time when I’m with Cassie!

I’m also really excited that Redcliffs School has passed another hurdle into getting the school back into the village.  The Christchurch City Council Hearings Panel unanimously supported the request to the land swap of Main Road school site and Redcliffs Park so that the school can be built on Redcliffs Park.  The Christchurch City Council will make a final decision on Thursday 7th September.  Fingers crossed everyone!

Also, as a side note, I hold a store of second hand Redcliffs School uniforms at my house for the PTA.  If your child is starting at Redcliffs School, or you have older children there and you need some uniforms, give me a yell first off to see what I can help you out with.

Lunchbox Ideas

Corn, Spinach & Bacon Muffins

Ingredients

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped
150 g baby spinach leaves
2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup grated tasty cheese, plus
¼ cup extra
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup milk
125 g butter, melted
2 x 125 g cans corn kernels, rinsed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line a 6-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over moderate heat. Add bacon: cook stirring for 2 minutes or until browned.  Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add spinach to pan; cook stirring for 1-2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
  4. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  5. Using hands, squeeze excess liquid from spinach; chop coarsely.  Combine spinach and bacon in a medium bowl.
  6. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add spionach and bacon mixture.
  7. Make a well in the centre of mixture.
  8. Whisk eggs, milk and butter in a medium jug; pour into flour mixture.
  9. Using a large spoon, gently fold together until just combined.
  10. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and sprinkle with extra tasty cheese and corn kernels.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean.
  12. Stand muffins in tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

Serve.