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Why is my child acting out?

We are all busy parents, working hard to provide for our family, pay the rent, pay the bills, buy food etc etc. Our children, including mine are in daycare long hours each week, so that we can go out & work to provide for our families. But what do we do when our children start acting out? What do we do when the Educators are telling us that our child is misbehaving in care, having tantrums, hurting other children etc?

Believe me i feel your pain. I too am going through these situations with my children. I understand we have no choice to send our children to daycare in this day & age to provide for our families. We are all working long hours & we are all “Time poor”. The last thing we want to deal with at the end of a long day is the Childcare telling us our children are playing up!

So why are are children acting out? We’re providing all they need, right? they have a roof over their heads, they have food in their bellies, they have nice clothes & toys (oh so many toys!!!). So why oh why are they behaving like this???

It’s simple, they don’t feel like they have enough of our ATTENTION & TIME.

Sure they do, right?. Everything we do is for them, right? Why can’t they see it that way?

“Children spell love… TIME”, they need QUALITY TIME. So how do we give them this when we work such long hours????

Below is one article i have found to share & i will be adding more as i find them.

Please take the time to read them & think about the Quality time you are spending with your child.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/5-ways-to-spend-time-with-your-kids-when-you-have-no-time.html

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How we document – Albury Out of School Hours

Ideas for OOSH

We Hear You

Educator Will Nichols , Tilly Mitchener and other Children votingV2This month, Cathy Northam, Director of Albury Out of School Hours (OOSH) writes about her team’s innovative approach to documentation, reminding us there are many ways to approach this responsibility.

My colleagues and I had a light bulb moment when we sat down to review the documentation policy for our service. We felt the diverse and transient nature of out of school hours care required a different approach to the documentation framework used in long day care.

We asked ourselves: What does documentation in OOSH look like? Is what we record relevant and how can we improve it?

Once we stopped to think about the ‘how’ and ‘why’, we were able to identify a method of documentation that works for our children and their families.

At Albury OOSH we have a strong focus on respecting children’s rights, particularly a child’s right to have an opinion and be heard, and a…

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Who ever said that we “Have to do Portfolios” anyway?

Why has portfolios become the norm? Why is it that it seems we’re all doing them & we all believe that they are a Requirement under the NQS & EYLF? Who ever said that in the first place?

Personally i have always found them to be very time consuming, usually having to take them home to get them completed. Working for hours upon hours to have them ready to send home at the end of the year…. how is the quality?

Who am i doing them for anyway? They sit on the shelf in the room, we point out to families they can look at them anytime… how often do your parents actually stop & look at them? At the end of the year we hand them out as a gift to the families, “Thank you” they say, but do they read them? or do they flick through & look at the photos & art work?

As a Director & Educational leader, my educators continually complained to me about the amount of work & having to take them home to get them completed. 2hrs a week programming wasn’t enough time to complete them & shouldn’t programming time be used to “Program” not record???. They weren’t spending quality family time with their families. So i made the decision to get rid of portfolios… not before doing some research first though. I mean i too thought they were a requirement & had to be done!

The NQS does not tell us “How” to document. It says in Element 1.2.1 “Each child’s learning and development is assessed as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation” . This can be done in so many different ways & portfolios are just one way, not the “Only” way.

Someone decided long ago now that a portfolio would be a nice way to keep children’s work. These evolved & started becoming a “story” book of the child’s time in childcare. Then EYLF came in & we started this new concept of “Learning stories” (that wasn’t really new, as we were already doing that) & adding the outcomes to them. Someone shared all of these ideas & someone else said “Hey what a fantastic idea” & shared it, then someone else shared it & so on. Until one day it became the “norm” and we all started to believe we have to do them.

But they are not a requirement.!!!,  So i thought about other ways that we document children’s learning & how to share this with families…. so my Documentation cycle was born.

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ACECQA helps unlock the door on documentation

From ACECQA on Documentation

We Hear You

DBOOSH_106_edited3

Our National Education Leader, Rhonda Livingstone, looks at documenting learning, provides some pointers for educators and helps bust some of the surrounding myths.

The issue of planning, documenting and evaluating children’s learning and the best ways of recording this cycle has been the subject of much debate and discussion during the more than two decades that I have been involved in children’s education and care.

We know from research and experience that documented plans, records of children’s assessments and evaluations can be effective strategies to promote and extend children’s thinking, learning and development.

One of the strengths of the approved learning frameworks[1], the National Quality Standard and related regulatory standards, is that while acknowledging the important role of documentation, they are not prescriptive about how it is done.

There are no mandated recipes or templates for documentation and for very good reason. Recognising the uniqueness of each service, there is…

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Is Autism on the rise?

The thought has crossed my mind many a time in recent years. Why does it appear more children with additional needs, in particular autism, are coming through our child care centres?

Net working with other educators through social media recently, this very subject was brought up in a post. The poster suggested it could be the area her centre was in or circumstances of the families. Discussion brought about many other educators also saying they too had noticed the increase & we all were wondering why? It was suggested by one that we now have more understanding of ASD. Another wondered if it could be due to high amounts of chemicals & additives in foods. I wondered if it was due to an increase of parents’ age when having children, many people these days are waiting longer to settle down & starting families later in life.

I have been doing some research on this topic as the topic is of interest to me, due to noticing an increase in my own service of children with autism.

All of the children that are diagnosed and those who we suspect are all boys. Do boys suffer from autism more than girls? They are also from NESB families. Is there a higher incident of autism in children from developing countries?

My research has shown an increase of reported cases of ASD. In 1980 the rate was very rare, 4 in 10,000, compared to recent studies showing an increase to that of 1 in 50 children (Rende. R, 2013). This has been shown to be due to more awareness & knowing early warning signs, so that parents & carers are able to pick up developmental delays earlier. “Autism is a household word, you literally have to be living under a rock not to have heard of autism” (Bloudoff-Indericato. M, 2014).

Autism has been shown to be more common in boys, then girls- 1 in 52 boys & 1 in 252 girls. However studies have shown that mutations in DNA are more likely to be passed on from the mother, even if she is unaffected (Woerner. A, 2014).

Many developing countries actually report having a far lower incidents of ASD, 1 in 1000 in China (Maguine.C, 2013). So what is causing the difference between developed & developing countries? The answer is likely that there is better detection in developed countries. Families have more access to day-care, preschool etc. and therefore detection is happening earlier. There is more access to specialists that are familiar with the signs of Autism to be able to give the diagnosis.

In some developing countries such as South Korea for example the stigma of autism is so intense that many families with children who are displaying developmental delays will intentionally avoid diagnosis. Some common signs of ASD will be passed off as cultural norms such as discouraging eye contact in parts of East Asia or the male child is believed to speak later in Indian culture (Maguine.C, 2013).

So when parents bring their children to developed countries such as Australia, or they move here before having their children, it is more likely that their child will be diagnosed due to more knowledge & acceptance of ASD in Australia & other developed countries.

References

Rende. R, 2013 Red Hot Parenting Autism- why so common now?  http://www.parents.com/blogs/red-hot-parenting/2013/04/01/health/why-is-autism-so-common-now/

Bloudoff-Indericato.M, 2014. National Geographic “increase: in childhood Autism, no cause for alarm:Experts http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2014/03/140328-autism-spectrum-disorder-rates-cdc-health-science/

Maguine. C, 2013 Harvard College- Global Health Review Autism on the rise: A global prospective http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/hghr/online/autism-on-the-rise-a-global-perspective/

Woerner. A, 2014 FoxNews.com Study reveals why Autism is more common in males http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/27/study-reveals-why-autism-is-more-common-in-males/

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Reflection on Programming

Recently I have experienced through social media networking groups & face to face networking opportunities a lot of discussion on programming in a childcare setting. How many observations do you do per month?  How many art works do you include in the portfolio? Are portfolios even a requirement of the NQS? How do you record your program? Can you show a cycle of learning? Can you feel confident that you can explain to an assessor what our program is & how it works?

Personally in our centre I decided as the Director & Educational Leader to eliminate portfolios. I constantly heard from my staff that they had to take work home, that their children & husbands were complaining that they weren’t spending any family time when at home & this too was an issue in my home. Who were we making these portfolios for anyway? Do parents even read them? Why continue to waste our valuable family time on something that wasn’t very valued anyway?

We now email our daily diary to parents daily. Art work is either sent home on the day it was made, or displayed in the room along with a Learning Story explaining why we did it & what was learnt. Once the display comes down, the art work goes home. We track children’s learning by using an EYLF outcomes tracking tick sheet to link to the daily diary & follow up activities & we then do 6mthly developmental reports & families get a slideshow disk of photos at the end of the year. We follow the “Observe – Record – Analyse – Plan – Act/Do – Reflect – Observe” cycle of learning.

I’m constantly been asked “Have you been assessed yet using this?” “What Rating did you get for QA1” “We’d love to do this also, but we’re afraid we’ll fail accreditation”. The simple answer is NO, no we haven’t been through accreditation. But I feel confident I can explain our cycle of learning & it’s components to an assessor and show we are assessing children’s learning. We are communicating the program & children’s learning with families.

Our families love the daily communication. When we were doing the portfolios the families rarely stopped to look at them, although clearly labelled and pointed out to parents they could look at them at time during the year. Many would say thanks at the end of the year when they were sent home, but how may actually “read” them? How many just flipped through the pages and looked at the photos & art works? Who are we doing these for? The children & their families? Or the assessors? My feedback is that families love the daily communication, where they can see photos and a one page diary of the day to read. They can see on a daily basis what their child is learning. They love the photos they can see daily & the photo slideshow disk they get at the end of the year.

Is it fair to the child to keep their art work all year in a portfolio? Maybe they want to take it home that day & share with their family what they made today. Maye they will feel proud to have it displayed in the room to show their family and friends, then when it’s taken down they can take it home & still enjoy it with their families.

So will my programming cycle pass accreditation? Who knows? I would like to think it will. I can show/explain the cycle & how it meets the NQS & shows assessment of learning for each child. So lets’ think positive! LESS IS MORE! More time to spend interacting with children at work & more time to spend interacting with our families at home. Leave Work at Work!!!

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Hello world!

Well here i am…. It has been suggested that i start a blog page for my ideas on childcare & EYLF. I am the first to admit i am not the best writer, but i thought, hey why not give it a try?  People will either like & appreciate my ideas & thoughts or they won’t.

Last night i attended the ACCEQA QA1 session in  Parramatta, during the night i was asked to share the way we document in our service. I started an absolute Frenzy when i said “We don’t  do Portfolios”… i mean WHAT? you don’t do portfolios? how do you document children’s learning?

Many other Educators asked me to share with them through email our “templates”. Instead it was suggested to me to make a blog. So here it is….