a word from Judy……

Welcome to everyone for 2018. I am a member of the Koala room four days each week, and also work with families in our Supported Playgroup each Wednesday.  I get to see families and children who are, for the first time, participating in out of home education. This time can be a scary time for children and worrying for their families. Many parents feel anxious and ask “Will my child enjoy this?”. “What happens if they get upset?”. As a parent myself I can understand and empathise with them and try to reassure them that we aim to make their first experience of preschool an enjoyable time. It can take some children more time than others to feel comfortable in this surrounding, and small step can be made over the period of a few weeks. We find that regular attendance, familiar staff and ensuring that they understand expectations can provide great assistance in ensuring a fun time has been had with the added advantage of also learning as they play.

adults-at-playWe are very lucky as staff at Jumbunna to also have the opportunity to participate in training days, both internal and external, to extend our skills, which in turn benefits both children and families. I have recently attended a training session on Marte Meo, which has been developed in the Netherlands, around providing support to children to increase their personal confidence, problem-solving skills, language and social skills. The main aim in this program is to be ‘there’ for your child as they explore their environment. Something as simple as eye contact when they look at you, while smiling, can give great comfort to a child, let them know they are cherished and special.  We can all be guilty of leading play, this program suggests that we follow the child’s lead, repeat their vocalisations/words, and watch the child’s explorations. Giving a child the correct words during play will increase language and word skills, while giving them ideas when they come up against an obstacle will improve their problem-solving skills. When they achieve a positive outcome, let them know, be specific with your words, feeling confident in their own abilities will increase their self-esteem. Remember too, that the age of your child will be a guide to the words you use, you may only need to use “Great” or “Super” to describe their actions when they are very young.

With the main aim of staff being to support children and their families, we hope that everyone will be comfortable in talking to staff about concerns, ideas, and information regarding their child. Communication is the key to better understanding for everyone.

We hope you enjoy your year at Jumbunna.


Judy Carter