Friends of Banyan Afternoon Tea
A fantastic afternoon tea was had on Wednesday 28th June with members of the Wives and Mothers Club joining us to hear about the incredible past and exciting future of Banyan Park. Celia Bigg, Pat Anderson, Fenella Evans and Jan Reeves came to share their memories and the original vision and purpose of the Wives and Mothers Club, established in 1966. We all agreed that their meetings sounded a lot more fun than our current committee meetings (!), but that much has changed in the sector in nearly 50 years. The other purpose of the gathering was to communicate the changes we're going through at Banyan Park to meet the National Quality Standards. These changes will not only improve the quality of care and education we offer our preschoolers, but will also allow many families to access the Child Care Rebate and Child Care Benefit, providing significant fee relief. Those in attendance were very supportive, especially the Wives and Mothers Club. They are extremely proud of the centre and want it to continue, and flourish, into the future. It was an engaging and positive afternoon; we only wish that more parents had attended. If you are keen to attend events such as these, but are unable to, please let us know if there are times that would better suit your family.
5 Days a Week
Following a number of parent requests, commencing in Term 3, Banyan Park will be offering a 5 day program. This will mean that parents can enrol their children on any day they need to, for the full term. There will be no requirement to attend core days (which were Mon-Wed for 4/5 year olds and Thurs-Fri for 3 year olds), although we expect this split of days will still be the base for a while. We will use Term 3 to gain a feel for the spread of numbers (whilst obviously still delivering a high quality preschool program!). We recommend at least 3 days a week for the 4/5 year olds so that they are receiving the preschool they need to transition to school as easily as possible and there is a 2 day minimum for all enrollments.
For any enrolment changes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pupil Free Day and New Policies
The staff are having a ‘pupil free day’ on Monday 17th July, and Term resumes on Tuesday 18th. This is valuable time for Katherine to have with her team to reinvigorate after two weeks ‘off’, work through plans for programming and also introduce some new policies which Banyan Park has adopted. Whilst the 18 policies being introduced will ensure we are working towards the National Quality Standards, many will simply put into writing what is already practiced at Banyan. These policies have been written for us and provided free of charge by our childcare expert Lisa Bryant. These policies can be considered best practise in the industry, so we are very pleased to have them! Once the staff are across the policies, they will be rolled out to parents for viewing.
Unfortunately we were unable to offer Vacation Care for this two week break. We are having some building work done which would have been very disruptive. The work is being carried out on advice from the childcare experts we have had on island recently. The walls between the toilet block and the main play room are being taken to half height, with a tinted window placed on the wall above the sinks in the toilets. This ensures educators can have a clear line of sight from the main room into the toilet block, whilst still maintaining some privacy for the kids. If you have any queries about this, please feel free to speak to the committee. Thanks to Jimmy Quintal (Hunter's Dad) who has made himself available during a busy time to undertake the work. We’re also very grateful that the staff have taken on the kids who needed care during the holiday period and filled that gap privately! We hope to offer Vacation care for Term 3/4 break and will be asking parents what their needs are closer to the time.
Upon reading our articles of association more closely, it has been identified that parent(s) of children attending Banyan need to be ‘Members of the Organisation’ (the organisation being Banyan Park Playcentre Inc.). A nominal $1 fee will be added to the invoice for each child attending Banyan for Term 3, and this will carry through until the AGM in March 2018. This membership is separate from the role of the committee. The Management committee elected at the AGM will still be responsible for the decision making at Banyan, though of course we welcome involvement and constructive comments from parents to improve Banyan Park for our children and the community.
The centre will only work if we are working together.
Thaenks f' Aklan,
The Management Committee (Heather, Angie, Victoria, Carrie, Sarah, Crystal & Leanne)