Lady Gowrie Tasmania encourages current clients and the broader community to pose questions relating to any of the services offered by the organisation. Similarly, any general information relating to early and middle childhood education and care matters including professional development and support, parenting issues, or general information are encouraged.
Questions can be posted on the link: firstname.lastname@example.org
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Q: Screen Time versus Green Time
- Q: The proposed changes to the school starting age means my son could go to Kinder at 3 ½? I am not sure if I should send him or not?
- Q: My child won’t eat the food provided at home but will eat what is served at the education and care service. Why does this happen?
- Q: My child spends much of his time at care just playing as opposed to doing work.
- Q: I will need care for my new baby when I return to work in a couple of months time. Can I get care at Lady Gowrie?
Q: Early childhood professionals are often asked about the use of technology and devices and screen time issues. A recent press article reported evidence based research findings and provided information and tips for families on this matter.
A: Screen Time versus Green Time
Finding the balance between children being on screens and doing other activities to help their development is one of the most emerging contentious challenges facing parents in today’s world.
There are clear benefits that screen time can bring when used in a positive way – provide educational knowledge and information, creativity to build social relationships in a global way, or just simply a tool to support relaxation.
But there is a level of risk associated with screen time. If screen time is to the detriment of children engaging on other activities then there is a risk for ill health and resilience. Children need stimulation from a much broader environment than screens can provide – the more time a child can spend ‘outside’ the more benefit their brain receives. Time with friends combined with time away from screen based media has a positive impact on children’s social and emotional intelligence.
Screen time is impacting on physical activity levels, with health professionals increasingly concerned about the growing problem of weight gain and obesity.
In a new book by Dr Justin Coulson, 9 Ways to a Resilient Child he stated the most critical period to keep children away from screens is up to age three, because the significant brain developments at this stage of life are literally the foundation of all later neurological development.
He recommends that parents actively monitor their children’s screen usage and suggested the following agreements should be made with the child and put into practice to support the monitoring process:
How long is suitable on games and other media
What time devices will be turned off at night
A strategy for getting them to switch off – a timer device works well or a text message for a5 or 10 minute warning
Keep devices out of bedrooms and public areas to an extent that is reasonable and possible
The child must acknowledge and respond to the warnings
What the consequences of refusal will be – not too punitive and be flexible
School work, other priorities such as outdoor time will be completed ahead of screen time for fun
Article Herald Sun Saturday 21 January 2017: Edited extract from 9 Ways to a Resilient Child, Dr Justin Coulson, ABC Books.
Ready or Not
For parents choosing when to send their child to school can be one of the most difficult decisions to make.
Research indicates that between the ages of 0 – 5 years children’s brain development is the highest it will ever be and that 3-5 year old children benefit from being in a relaxed, play-based environment which is reflective of the Early Years Learning Framework. Play-based learning is described in the EYLF as ‘a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they actively engage with people, objects and representations’ (EYLF, 2009, p. 46).
It is important that early learning programs either in a school or Education and Care Centre provide an environment where Children can learn through ‘play’. Play offers children so many beneficial hands-on learning opportunities. They learn to understand the world they live in as they communicate, discover, imagine and create. Research and evidence all point to the role of play in children’s development and learning across cultures (Shipley, 2008). Many believe that it is impossible to disentangle children’s play, learning and development.
Kathy Walker, Melbourne education consultant and early childhood expert at Early Life Foundations has written a book titled Ready Set Go. (www.earlylife.com.au) . She stresses that school readiness is not about being able to read or write, know colours or count.
“These skills will be taught at school so they are not a priority for starting school,” she says.
“To enter school ready to thrive, flourish and enjoy the challenges – rather than merely just coping – we are taking the issue of school readiness more seriously and carefully.
“Readiness is really mostly about emotional and social maturity – aspects of development that we cannot fast-track. We cannot make a child who lacks the necessary maturity become mature.”
While each Lady Gowrie Tasmania Education and Care program offers something different, they have all been established to achieve one thing – to give children the best start in life.
Ultimately it’s all about a partnership, and Lady Gowrie Tasmania works with families, early childhood professionals and the broader community to ensure children are happy, healthy and develop a love of learning.
When children attend an education and care service these meals are normally incorporated as part of the daily routine.
Children are encouraged to sit with their peers and enjoy this experience as part of a social occasion.
Eating with peers often encourages children to try new foods engaging in conversation about their day and what is being offered at the table.
Most services will encourage their educators to sit with children to role model appropriate table etiquette and help sustain the conversation about food and importance of healthy options.
Meal times can raise teaching moments about the type of food, colour and texture being offered. Children will often try new things if their friends are doing the same.
Current research about giving children choice around what and how much they eat gives the child ownership around mealtime, allowing the child to decide when they are full. If the child decides how much is eaten at mealtimes this can prevent over eating.
Involving children in the preparation of food to enjoy at meal times promotes children to feel more inclusive of the process therefore more ownership over the food and wanting to eat it.
Meal times should always be a positive experience rather than a battle of the food consumed.
It is important to recognise that play is learning. Providing a play based curriculum supports young children to learn and develop. Young children do not need a formal structured program – they need large blocks of uninterrupted time engaged in play where they can make sense of their world through hands on experiences and interactions with their peers and the educator. Sustained conversations building on the child’s interest and scaffolding the learning from this interest is crucial to learning and development. So play is an essential ingredient to support young children’s development. Celebrate the fact that your child is engaged in play.
There are limited vacancies in some Lady Gowrie services, so it is important to place your needs on the waitlist. It is recommended that you complete the waitlist application as soon as you can. This is available on the website. A regular Waitlist Newsletter is distributed to families on the waitlist to advise of the requirements to update and confirm ongoing need as well as provide general information about what is happening at Gowrie and strategies to support a smooth transition from home to care. Further information is available from the Waitlist Co-Ordinator at email@example.com
There is also an opportunity to participate in a centre tour. These are conducted regularly at individual services – contact the centre directly to book a tour. Contact details for each service is listed on the website. At Lady Gowrie we endeavour to meet the needs of families through our multiple service options. Our best wishes to you and your new baby – early childhood is such an important and special time in your lives.