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Baby Safety Tips for the Home

Baby Safety Tips for the Home

Bringing home a new baby is an exciting and magical event for any family. Preparing your home in advance for the big day helps parents to proactively provide built in safety for the new addition to the family.

There are a range of different baby safety products on the market today that can make Mum and Dad’s life a lot easier. However, there are also some simple and very traditional types of safety practices that will keep your infant out of harm’s way.


Before your baby is up and about crawling and playing look at each room of the home. General safety issues that can be put in place include:

  • Baby safe latches on all drawers and cabinets in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and storage areas to prevent injury if baby pulls the drawers or cabinets open or gets into the stored contents.
  • Check all electrical cords and remove any that dangle or hang down. Cover all electrical outlets with spring loaded covers that automatically close when the cord is removed.
  • Roll all cords for blinds or drapes up to well above the height that a crawling baby, toddler or infant can reach.
  • Have a new cot and mattress for the baby that is designed to prevent the baby from getting hands or limbs lodged between the posts. The mattress should fit correctly in the cot and extend to the frame on all sides.
  • Limit items in and around the crib and ensure any mobiles or hanging items on the cot are safe and secure and approved for use for a baby.
  • Always have the correctly sized, approved car safety seat for your baby and do not travel with the baby in a vehicle when the child is not secured in the baby car seat.
  • Avoid using any types of room freshening or air treatment products in the nursery or the home as an infant may be extremely sensitive to these products.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, never leave your baby unattended unless they are in a safe, secure location such as their cot. This ensures that the baby can’t get into anything that is potentially dangerous in the few seconds you step away.


Baby, safety, childcare, Gympie, best, day care, nursery

How to Find the Right Bike for Your Child

How to Find the Right Bike for Your Child

With bicycling being one of the most popular outdoor activities in Australia, it only makes sense that sometime in the possibly not-so-distant future you will be looking for a new bike for your child.

When you first start looking, the massive wall of bikes at your bike shop or retailer can be overwhelming to say the least. There are a lot of options to choose from and it may be difficult to know which one is right for your child if you aren’t sure what to look for.


The most important thing and first decision to be made is about the size of the bike. Bikes for children are measured by the wheel’s diameter and can be from twelve to 24 inches. The size you’ll need depends on your child’s age and either his or her height or leg length. An easy example – a two-year-old will likely start on a 12-inch bike.


To make sure the bike has a proper fit with your child, have he or she sit on the bike with hands on the handlebars. A bike that is a good fit will allow your child to sit comfortably on the bike with both feet on the ground.


Safety is also very important and no bike purchase is complete without a helmet. By purchasing a helmet with your child’s first bike, you are setting them on a course of good, solid habits early on, not to mention Australia require helmets for any bike riders. Helmets can come in all shapes and sizes so be sure to pick one that fits properly: it should be tight against the back of your child’s head while the front is parallel with the eyes.  The helmet should also sit two fingers’ width above your child’s eyebrows.

You may also want to consider bells or horns for your child’s bike as a further added safety precaution. It never hurts to have your child get in the habit of alerting people that a little one is scooting by.


Bike safety, Kindergarten, Kindy, Safety, preschool, pre-prep, child care, childcare, daycare, early learning centre, best, Gympie

Answering The Difficult Questions for Childcare Aged Children

Answering The Difficult Questions for Childcare Aged Children

I had my son recently ask me “Dad when we die will we see each other and will we look like we do now?” Sometimes difficult questions can take parents by surprise. It can be good to plan in advance on how and what to talk to your children about when they ask about death. It is critical not to avoid or try to brush off the questions as that will only cause more confusion and perhaps even fear if children pick up your discomfort on the subject.


Stay Child Centred

It is very important to discuss death and dying at the child’s level of understanding. Taking in abstract terms or using common phrases about death to kids will only cause confusion. You certainly can talk about spiritual or religious beliefs about the death and dying with your children but keep them at an age appropriate level.


Be careful not to use terms like “sleeping” or “passed on” or “lost” but rather be compassionate and honest. Children need a clear description that makes sense to them. Even younger children can understand that a body can stop working when a person is in an accident or is elderly. Often this type of honest, clear and simple explanation is enough for a youngster.


Talk About Real World Examples

It is important, especially with younger children, to stay to simple examples and not to try to include too many concepts at one time. It is important for children to understand that death is a normal part of life without stressing the mortality of the child or of you as the parent. It is also important to remember that younger children, especially those under the age of 10, may see death as reversible.


Kids may ask about a pet, family member or loved one’s death repeatedly. Be patient and provide a consistent answer that provides the information the child is seeking. Talking to a counsellor or reading a book about death that is at an age appropriate level can help a parent start the conversation and allow children to ask the questions they may be worrying about.


Kindergarten, Childcare, Child Care, Pre-prep, preschool, difficult, conversations, best, Gympie, daycare, Kindy, Early Learning Centre

Teaching Children About Dental Health in Child Care in Gympie

Teaching Children About Dental Health in Child Care in Gympie

It’s never too soon to teach your children about the importance of good oral health and get them in to a routine that will carry them throughout their lives. While some children will take to the task at hand easily and without much fuss, everyone learns differently and may take a little extra coaxing. Here are a few tips for you to help your little ones keep their teeth and gums healthy.


  • Teach your children about their teeth. Explain the different types of teeth, how many they have, where they are located and even what their jobs are. As adults we have 32 teeth – twelve molars (in sets of three and are in the back of the mouth), eight premolars (also known as bicuspids and are used to crush and tear food), four cuspids (next to the bicuspids or premolars and are pointed which make tearing food easy) and eight incisors (located in the front of the mouth and are used to cut food.)
  • Read books specifically about dental health. A trip to your library or local book store will provide plenty of age-appropriate reading material that talk about good dental health. For younger children, books with more illustrations are a better choice. If you are able to connect to the Internet, the Australian Dental Association’s website offers more information about going to the dentist.

The younger your children are the better when it comes to teaching about good oral health habits. Don’t put it off another minute.


Dentist, Healthcare, Childcare, Child Care, Daycare, Early Learning Centre, Nursery, Gympie, Best, Kindy, Kindergarten

A Good Nights Sleep for Children in Child Care

A Good Nights Sleep for Children in Child Care

Does your child suffer from sleep problems? If so, according to University of Cologne (Germany) research (originally published in the journal SLEEP), he or she is more likely to have trouble falling asleep than staying asleep. Here are some tips to help your children that may attend child care and help them sleep better from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:


  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep.
  • Establish a relaxing setting at bed time.
  • Interact with your child at bed time. Don’t let the television, computer or video games take your place.
  • Keep your children from TV programs, movies and video games which are not appropriate for their age.
  • Do not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle or while nursing.
  • At bed time, do not allow your child to have foods or drinks which contain caffeine. Try not to give him or her any medicine which has a stimulant at bed time.


Childcare, Kindergarten, Nursery, Kindy, Child Care, Daycare, Day Care, Gympie, Sleep, Best

How To Determine What Level of Book is Right for Your Children in Childcare

How To Determine What Level of Book is Right for Your Children in Childcare

Your child isn’t going to become a great reader over night, but it can happen one book at a time. But what is the best way for you to choose the right book for your child to read?

It may be second nature to feel like you should be picking your children’s books, but the fact remains that letting your child choose their own books is a skill that they should learn at young age. By allowing your child to choose their own books independent of your input, allows your child to learn the different reason we choose a book to read in the first place.

If your child has reached reading age, here are a few helpful tips to help him or her learn to choose books that will make them want to read more:


  • When your child is ready to start reading, begin instilling the fact that we read for a purpose – whether it’s too learn something or if the purpose is simply for enjoyment.
  • Have your child browse through the books either at the library or the bookstore. If this seems to be too overwhelming, then have them narrow down their choices by either a type of book (fiction or nonfiction) or by action, funny or other subject.
  • Say “yes” as often as you can when your child selects a book that he or she is interested in. Rather than saying “no” try saying that a choice is “not so a great selection.
  • If your child selects a book that is beyond his or her reading ability, solve the problem by reading the book out loud with your child. Let them read as much of the book as possible, you can jump in if there are difficult parts for your child to read.
  • If your child has really enjoyed a particular book, remind him or her of the author name when they are selecting books the next time.


Childcare, Kindergarten, Preprep, Reading, Gympie, Daycare, Early Learning, Best.

Separate Nursery Room for Child Care in Gympie

Separate Nursery Room for Child Care in Gympie

Parkside Early Learning Centre has made available a separate nursery room for children from 6 weeks of age.
The move has been because of growth in the amount of families enrolling at Parkside and the need to have babies and infants in a separate environment. The nursery has its own spacious room along with a separate sleeping room. Both the sleeping room and the classroom have air conditioning and views out over the natural parklands that surround the centre.
The nursery and toddler rooms have their own private covered balcony and outdoor play area. This keeps them safe and in an environment of age appropriate play experiences. The nursery staff exceptionally experienced and have a special passion for the nursery age group. For safety of our children they follow SIDS protocols. Parkside also offer all meals.
Many centres in Gympie don’t offer care for the younger age groups. For the owners Andrew and Carolin being able to offer a full child care service for all ages was always part of the plan. “We want to be able to offer families the convenience of having all their children in one service in a safe and caring environment.” says Andrew
Children can start from the age of 6 weeks and then progress through the different classrooms with their friends and up until the Kindergarten room where they run the Queensland approved kindergarten program before heading off the school.
Toddler LP
The nursery is almost at capacity on many days now with more families to start in the coming weeks. If you are interested in finding out more call on 07 5482 7738 or here.
Child Care, Nursery, Gympie, Daycare, Childcare, Early Learning Centre, Babies, Infant, Toddler
The importance of Creative Play in Childcare

The importance of Creative Play in Childcare

It is already February – the year is moving fast! Christmas is well and truly in the past and our kids’ rooms are full with new toys – often more than they can handle! The floor is in a mess and we can hardly see the carpet… and yet they come up to us and say they are bored!!!

This conversation usually plays out in someone threatening to get a big rubbish bag and bin all the new toys! How can they be bored with so many toys around, and most of them are only a month old? Did Santa get it all wrong?

Recently I came across an interesting quote saying that “the more the toy does the less the child does, and the less the toy does the more the child does.”

This really got me thinking, especially since we at Parkside Early Learning Centre in Gympie believe in play-based learning. Research has shown how important play is for children: Maria Montessori, known for her work in early childhood education and childcare, said:” Play is the work of a child.”; and Albert Einstein once said “Play is the highest form of research”. So, if your children spend extended time playing, they are in fact hard at work and researching the world.

But then my next question is what exactly is play and is any kind of play good?

We say ‘our children are playing’ when they are actively engaged with others in the sandpit building sandcastles, when they are solitary engrossed pushing trains around on their tracks or when they act out real life situations in the family corner pretend cooking or dressing up. And all this is work or research? Well, yes, it is! Children participating in play such as this practise and acquire important social skills, they explore ways of doing things or experiment what happens when we pour too much sand or water in a container. They gain confidence as they progress in the skills they acquire and learn to understand the world around them better.

Play often involves all 5 senses – this is the way children learn best. We see this in little babies: they turn their head when they hear a tune, they stick everything in their mouths or squish things with their little hands. Older children use their senses to explore textures, make sounds with instruments or use their eyes to follow a bird or butterfly. At our childcare centre in Gympie, Parkside Early Learning, we expose the children to lots of sensory experiences like painting, messy play like swishing shaving foam around, hiding animals in rice or making slime. We allow the children to explore real life natural materials like pine cones, seeds, drift wood or pumice stone rocks. They love it!

So back to the toys…Do we need them and what are good toys? Are we wasting our money on the shiny noise making toys advertised on TV as must haves?

Toys are objects for children to play with. Some toys on offer these days seem to do a lot and attract our children’s attention but, soon after every button has been pressed, the excitement wanes and the attention of our child moves away quickly (and we are disappointed about all the money we spend). Toys like that usually have a set of activities requested from the child and, once completed, the child can’t develop any further skills and a new toy is needed.

Creative Toys 2

Some people mention the ‘good old days’ when they played with sticks and stones. They became swords, cookies or counters in games. And they cost NOTHING! All can be called toys but there seem to be toys that require more imagination and that brings us back to the quote from the beginning that some toys do a lot and require little input from the child and others do little but engage the child’s imagination a lot more. Children need to develop a bright imagination in order to become good thinker outside the box and problem solvers. Imagination helps develop the children’s cognitive skills and they became more adaptable. All these are skills our children need in order to get school ready and later in adult working life.

Creative Toys 3

So, maybe, as parents we need to be more adventurous and send them outside more, allow them to climb trees, play with sticks, stones, sand and water (and hide some of the old toys). At Parkside Early Learning centre, we are very fortunate being located next to a lovely park – we have gone over there for picnics, to collect natural materials which we later used for art, craft or play, and to watch birds and insects. As parents, we are called to be role models for our children. So, let’s get down on the floor, grab an old pot, some water and leaves and make some delicious soup. Help you child develop creativity and, on the way, you might make some of the best memories of play with your child and re-develop your own creativity!


childcare, early learning centre, kindergarten, kindy, day care, gympie, child care, parenting 

Coping with Separation Anxiety in Child Care

Coping with Separation Anxiety in Child Care

Coping With Separation Anxiety

As it starts into the new enrollment year at Parkside Early Learning Centre separation anxiety is very common. Parkside works very closely with the families to ensure a smooth and successful transition for all our new families. Here are a few other tools and techniques to assist parents with dealing with separation anxiety.

A child starting in child care is a major life transition for both young children and their families. Any change,even when it is a positive change can be stressful. For many children this can be the first time a child is away from the secure and loving arms of their family. Parents and children may experience anxiety about starting a child care experience. Parents want to know that their child will be in a loving and safe environment when the child is not in their direct care. It is very normal for parents to feel guilty about placing the child in a daycare program, thus making the departure more difficult. Little children have been developing a attachment to their parents and are often secure in their daily home life and routine. There are definitely things that parents and child care centre can do to alleviate separation anxiety.

I remember with my own son when he went into child care for the first time. He would cry to begin with and I would want to go back just for one last cuddle but that would prove to be the wrong choice. Sure enough once we were down the road the crying stopped as soon as it begun. Soon he couldn’t wait to get to his centre each day to have fun with his friends and teachers.

For Parents Coping with Separation Anxiety

  • Recognise your own feelings – Your child is sensitive to your emotional state and attitudes. If you are apprehensive about the childcare program or how your child will adjust, you may unwillingly convey this to your child. If is important that you have taken great care in choosing a childcare alternative that you are personally comfortable with. Also be sure to always talk to the child about daycare as a positive and exciting thing. Avoid apologising to the child about enrolling them in to child care.
  • Recognise your child’s temperament – You know your child better than anyone else. Let your knowledge about your child’s personality and temperament guide how you approach this new transition. If your child is naturally somewhat shy and slow to warm up, then you will know that you may need to take extra time in introducing your child to a new environment and new people.
  • Prepare your child in advance – Your child will have less anxiety if they know what to expect and are familiar with the program and caregivers. Bring the child along when you tour a program or meet a family daycare provider. Try to visit at least once where you can remain with the child as they explore the new surroundings. There are some super children’s books about starting daycare that address what daycare is like. Often these books show another child overcoming separation anxiety in a positive way.
  • Make the first day a first week – One of the most successful strategies for alleviating separation anxiety is to make the break slowly. If at possible, start your child’s daycare experience slowly. Maybe only an hour the first day, two hours the next, until the child is comfortable remaining in care the full day.
  • Reinforce a sense of trust with your child – Young children’s separation anxiety is often closely tied to fears of abandonment. It is important that they will know that you will be returning for them at a designated time. With an older child you can even point out on the clock when you will return or give them a concrete milestone such as, “I will be back for you right after lunch time”. It may also be helpful to discuss with your child where you will be and what you will be doing during the time of separation. In any case remind your child that you will indeed return.
  • Leave something behind – Sometimes called transitional objects; blankies, teddys and other objects of comfort can help a child feel secure. Many parents find that an object that helps the child remember the parent is of great benefit. These “remembrance” objects may include photos or an object of the parents clothing.
  • Communicate with the caregiver – They are your greatest ally in making the separation a smooth and calm experience. Be sure to let them know if you have any specific concerns and needs. Don’t be afraid to specifically request their assistance or guidance. Some caregivers will stand back until you directly say,”I am leaving now and I need you to hold Todd.”
  • Say Good-bye – You may wish to warn that child that you will be leaving in five minutes, or that after the story you will be going to work. When it is time to go, say good-bye and go. Continued extensions to the separation seem to only add to anxiety and make the separation more difficult. It is never suggested to “sneak” out. Regardless of how upset the child is, sneaking out only adds to their anxiety, increases fear of abandonment, and breaks down the child’s sense of trust.

Remember overcoming separation anxiety and adjusting to childcare, like any major life change is a gradual process. Soon daycare will become a positive and exciting part of your child’s daily routine. You and your child will be in the best of hands at Parkside to ensure a smooth beginning to their life of learning.


Child Care, Early Learning, Day Care, Gympie, Kindergarten, Kindy, Child