Is your child ready for Prep in 2023?

These days it is hard to find a special gift for our children that only costs $20.20! There are many free gifts we can give them such as love, parental guidance, praise, time to listen, to play etc and these are so very important.

The other gift you can give a child is to prepare them for their Prep Year at school. Learning begins from the day our children are born and continues until they finally arrive at the school door with a positive spring in their step and ready to launch into “big school” where they become part of the school community. 

This is the moment, when the children who have had the privilege of attending a Kindergarten Program blossom and walk right in with confidence having a head start with the preparation they have received the year before. It’s never too late to join the children in the Kindergarten Program, Term 2 starts on 19th April. 

Why are children who attend this Program prepared and confident when they start Prep? And why does it cost only $20.20 for some families for their child to be part of the 2 day Program? All kindergarten children (the year before Prep) are entitled to 2×9 hour days a week in a Government Approved Kindergarten Program. No hours of eligibility are required. To be eligible for the bargain price –

1.Have a Health or Pension Card


2. Be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Heritage.

There are many reasons why they are prepared for school and the main one is that they are guided and encouraged by fully qualified Early Childhood Teachers making them feel safe, secure and supported.  Also the children learn all the skills they need to succeed at school while they are playing and having fun. Some children develop at a different pace to others but unless they are exposed to the necessary stimulation in all areas of development they will fall behind their peers and may have difficulty joining in at school. 

While in the Kindergarten Program children:

-become connected and gain a sense that they belong to a group and the community. They become socially responsible and show respect for others and their environment.

-develop a love for reading and writing.  They take part in stories, role play, communicating, listening & responding, writing & drawing. Children become involved learners showing curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence and imagination.

-learn concepts important for Maths and Science. They learn their colours and shapes and concepts such as up / down, first, next and last, top / bottom, before / after, bigger / smaller are just a few of the concepts that are the foundation of Mathematics.  Hot / cold, hard / soft, empty /full and other concepts are taught when having fun cooking or taking part in a science experiment or when playing with sand and water. Children become very curious about how the world works.

– develop social skills.  They learn to understand rules, use words to manage emotions, express their feelings and learn to ask for help.  They become resilient and effective verbal and non-verbal communicators. 

 -develop independence. They learn to look after themselves, their belongings, manage their lunch box ready for school and also manage their time.

-develop fine & gross motor skills by using scissors, threading, exercising, participating in the perceptual motor program and becoming more responsible for their own health & wellbeing.     

There is so much more I could write about but instead I would like to share a precious gift I was given when a child graduated from our centre. Written across his photo are the words:

Every Child is Gifted, they just unwrap their packages at different times.

Give Karen a ring at Little Explorers Child Care Centre and she will explain the program and how your child can be part of it. Come and pay us a visit, the staff and children will make you welcome. We are across the road from the Worongary State School. Ph 55 749 744

Finding the Right Care for Your Baby

Babies are our most precious possession. As a parent we need to know that they are
going to be nurtured and cared for when they start their Child Care Journey. What do new parents need to look for when they are choosing a baby’s centre for their own little one.

First of all, you need to visit the centres in your area and ask questions until you are
satisfied that you have all the information you need to make you feel happy and secure.
There are some very important things you need to know. Are the Educators you are entrusting your baby with each day, fully qualified and experienced in their care of babies? Many experienced staff are parents themselves and can give advice and guidance regarding a feeding regime and routines that develop your baby in an environment where they are eager to explore.

Every baby is unique and they need to be catered to with individual schedules and
activities in a consistent and reliable environment. Often special diets are required for children who may have food allergies or sensitivities. Food provided from catering
facilities are not always the answer in the baby’s room. Safety is paramount throughout any childcare centre, but never more important than in a baby’s or toddler’s room. Make sure you watch the educator change a baby’s nappy. Did they take their hand off the baby at any time? An experienced educator will never do this.

Remember shiny and new is not always best. Look to see if the environment incorporates multi-sensory activities, music, storytelling, dramatic play. Is it warm and welcoming? Do the babies have separate play areas where they are safe and secure? Are they cared for from 6.30am to 5.15pm in their own baby environment?

Ask the question: Between what times will your child be in the baby’s room or will they be combined with older children for part of the day? Will they be safe in this combined area? Ask if the centre has connections in the Community to help Parents with children who may have needs further down the track. Or maybe new parents are currently struggling with sleep routines or needing help with baby’s diet. Parents need to feel confident that they can reach out for help. Look around the whole centre as your baby will more than likely progress through to other classrooms over the years.

Little Explorers has been caring for babies from 6 weeks of age for many years. We have been careful to select the Educators who work in our baby’s room. They are chosen first of all because they are extremely knowledgeable in childcare and we always look for an Educator who will provide a warm, caring and family-like atmosphere.

As a Family owned and operated centre we provide a safe, clean environment with
separate play areas especially for the babies. We invite Mums, Dads and Grandparents to come and visit our centre. We cater for all ages from 6 weeks to school age and are situated opposite the Worongary State School.

QLD Kindergarten Program

We had many happy families today as their older children returned to school. It was also very exciting for last years Kindergarten children to commence Prep. All looked very neat and tidy in their uniforms and the families reported that most set off with a flying start.

Qld Kindergarten Program
Our Government Approved Kindergarten Program plays an important role in preparing the children for Prep. They learn many skills and concepts during the year and some are listed below:
-They learn the social skills necessary for them to interact appropriately in a playground with many unfamiliar faces.
-They learn how to listen and follow directions.
-They learn how to co-ordinate and control their body so they can sit for periods of time and participate with strength in physical activities.
-They learn basic concepts which are the foundation for reading, writing and numeracy.
-They learn how to master their fine motor skills so they can write and cut with scissors.
-They learn how to express their ideas and feelings in an appropriate manner.
-They learn resilience.

The Government wants every child who is aged between 3 ½ and 4 ½ to attend the Kindergarten Program for at least 2 days a week in preparation for Prep. Children of non-working families are also eligible for at least 36 hours of child care per fortnight so that they can participate in the program. The Government gives an additional subsidy towards the fees for families who have a health care or pension concession card making the cost more affordable. Children of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander heritage are also entitled to this extra subsidy.

If you would like further information please feel free to call us at Little Explorers on 55 749 744 so that we can take you on a tour of our centre and explain the program.

PMP – Perceptual Motor Program

PMP is a movement-based program. The aim: to improve the children’s fitness, balance, locomotion, eye/hand and eye/foot coordination, gross motor skills & self-confidence. The program also seeks to build an understanding of spatial concepts such as in, on, under, over, through, behind, in front of and between (all concepts used in maths when our children go to school).

The Physical Education teacher at our centre runs this program and has noticed a marked improvement in a number of the children’s skills as they participate keenly in this important activity. Children with adequate perceptual-motor skills are self-confident, have greater body awareness and improved coordination. The ability to coordinate both sides of the body at the same time in an organized way or bilateral coordination is a necessary skill at school for writing and cutting with scissors.

All communication skills- speaking, reading, writing and gesturing are motor based. There is a close relationship between a child’s perception (ability to process what he takes in through his senses) and his motor (movement) skills.

Teaching Children Friendship Skills

Early Child Care Educators and parents play an important role in teaching children friendship skills. This takes time, discussions and role playing situations to show children how to play and make friends. There are a range of skills that children need to learn so they can positively interact with their peers.

  • Self-control
  • Being able to wait for what they want
  • Talking and listening to others
  • Being able to approach and respond positively to others and being able to understand what others may be feeling are just a few skills they will learn before they go to school

Tip 1: You can watch where things are going wrong and gently give the child some gentle coaching. For example “What do you think you could say to join in?”

Tip 2: Have your child take a ball or toy of interest that will attract other children to play with him/her.

For more useful information, visit the Kids Matter page.