Vacancy Care's December Newsletter

December 2019

December 2019


Hello everyone, welcome to’s December newsletter! As always, we are providing a preview of what is happening in our little community. This month we focus on the upcoming summer holidays.

With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, you can look forward to a fair amount of quality time with your family. This is the time of year when memories are made - whether you are heading to a riverside retreat, cruising along the coast, or camping it in the bush.

Send us an email to let us know what you think of this newsletter. We would love to hear any suggestions, which articles you enjoyed, and what you would like to see more of!

Topic of the month - Summer Holidays 

The summer holidays approaching! From the middle of this month, Australian children will be treated to a six week holiday. And with Christmas around the corner, the excitement is palpable.

For children, the summer holidays are a break from their routine. It is a time to enjoy with friends and family, exploring interests and making memories. 

For parents, the summer holidays mean stocking up on sunscreen. However, if you are working during this time, the holidays can present you with a logistical nightmare. What do you do with your children while you work?

On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to have time off work, a holiday may be on the agenda. Whether you head to Fraser Island, Bali or Byron Bay, this downtime together will be spoken about for years to come. 

Through this issue, we discuss what makes a perfect family holiday, as well as some ways you can keep your children busy if you work during the holidays.

“The rise of American-style summer camps in Australia” 

Author: Amy Bisset 

Brace yourselves, American-style summer camps have arrived in Australia, and seem to be spreading like a cane toads.

Most Aussies are fairly clued up about what these summer camps entail, having watched Hollywood movies such as Parent Trap and American Pie. And for those who missed these films, think of camps centred around outdoor activities and exploring the wilderness. 

While some are centred around specific activities, from surfing to chess, others are more general in nature. Either way, they all focus on being outdoors and encouraging friendships outside a child’s normal environment. 

This means leaving all electronic devices at home - no phones, no tablets, no laptops. Television is replaced by a campfire, allowing your little ones to immerse themselves in their natural surroundings. 

Read on for further details. The full article covers summer camp safety, addresses the suitability of these camps for your child, and recommends some of Australia’s top summer camps.

“Tips for a perfect family holiday”

Authors: David Mark 

Holidays are undoubtedly the highlight of the year, and taking the kids along is a recipe for life-long memories. However, travelling with little ones is challenging, requiring extra thought and preparation.

For most families, happy children make happy parents, visa versa. That is why we have included this 10 step guide to creating the perfect family holiday your family will remember for years to come.

While limiting travel time and picking accommodation with a pool ensure the kids are happy, organising a babysitter or including another family with kids of a similar age will make ‘adult time’ a real possibility. 

Read the full article and make up your own mind about what is needed for the perfect family holiday.

What is the latest in child care?


“A look at childcare centres of the future”

Author: Liz Main

Award-winning Japanese childcare centre architect Takaharu Tezuka’s designs have made their way to Australia. These state-of-the-art facilities are shaping the future of childcare centres in Australia.

They include many small features that challenge children, aiding their development. Your child will be faced with a multitude of physical and mental challenges simply wandering around these facilities. Overcoming these ultimately aid your child’s development. 

An example are corridors that have slight inclines, which help the young ones develop their sense of balance. 

At the moment, these centres are rare, found in the centre of Australia’s major cities, servicing people who live or work in these areas. However, we expect the trend to catch on, so you can expect similar childcare facilities to appear all over the country in the future.

Read the original article to learn more about Takaharu Tezuka’s new-age childcare centres. 

“Children in childcare not getting enough moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity”

Author: Trish Tucker & Leigh Vanderloo

These days, many parents forced to rely on childcare centres to provide physical activity for their children during the week. A full days work means that children find themselves in daycare for a full working day, ultimately leaving little time for physical activities afterwards.

Physical activity, especially in the form of active play, helps children develop physically, socially and cognitively. It is therefore vitally important that a child does not suffer from a lack of physical activity. 

Unfortunately, childcare centres are not equipped to provide adequate physical activity for children. Due to a lack of training, many childcare workers do not feel equipped to lead physical activities. 

Furthermore, intense physical activity is promoted by outdoor space, as well as play equipment that encourages intense physical activity. Unfortunately, these are luxuries not available to most Australian childcare centres. 

Refer to the full article to learn what can be done to help your children’s childcare centre meet their physical needs.

Childcare development

0-12 month development

Babies as young as six months can show empathy for victims, study finds

Author: Suzi Catchpole 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Humans’ innate ability to empathise is what, to a large extent, separates us from the animal kingdom.

It was previously thought that babies develop the ability to empathise after 12 months. However, a new study published in the British Journal of Psychology has debunked this, showing that children as young as six months old can empathise.

After showing infants videos depicting a range of characters, from bullies to victims of bullying, the experiment illustrated how the children distanced themselves from the aggressive characters, favouring the victims of bullying.

Refer to the original article for further information.

1-2 year development

Dealing with toddler sleep regression 

Author: Catherine Rodie 

Sleep regression, a parent's worst nightmare. After finally experiencing a full night’s sleep, your little one is once again unable to sleep through the night. 

Despite the utter inconvenience, sleep progression is perfectly normal. Think about it, many adults struggle to sleep, or go through stages where sleeping is difficult - so why would your child be any different.

The article explores the reasons for sleep regression as well as possible solutions. While mental development can result in new fears which inhibit peaceful sleeping, tactics such as co-sleeping can help your child sleep through the night.

You can read the full article here.

2-3 year development

4 things you should know about gender stereotypes in kid’s toys

Author: Chrisanne Grise

Gender stereotyping has been a hot topic for some time. It is widely acknowledged how children are pigeonholed according to their gender from birth. While girls are often dressed in pink, boys are commonly seen kitted out in blue.

This article summarises a journalist’s insights into the issue of gender stereotyping through children’s toys, after she attended a conference on the matter. 

Interestingly, the article explains how gender-stereotyped toys are a relatively recent phenomenon. Compared to the ’70s, we see far fewer gender-neutral toys.

Refer to the full article for an in-depth look at gender stereotyping through children’s toys.

3-4 year development

6 tips to raise an optimist

Author: Vicki Glembocki

People who see the glass as half full are better equipped to dealing with challenging situations and find themselves happier too. Parents should, therefore, encourage their children to take on this positive outlook.

Although your child’s level of optimism is influenced by their genetic makeup, you have the power to influence their disposition. From encouraging reasonable risk-taking to limiting complaints, you have the power to shape your child’s outlook.

Furthermore, by promoting optimism in your child, your own outlook will likely shift too. Say hello to your new positive outlook.

Read on here for the full list of tips.

4-5 year development

How to promote self-improvement in your kids

Author: Amy Morin 

Engaging in self-improvement is actively taking the time to work on improving yourself. Children who learn to embrace self-improvement will see endless benefits for the rest of their lives.

As they say, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. Teaching your children self-improvement is equivalent to teaching your child to fish. You are empowering them to continually improve themselves in all aspects of their lives.

The full article introduces 13 ways you can promote self-improvement in your kids. From setting healthy goals to offering incentives, you are a variety of tools at your disposal.

Refer to the original article for further details.

Development of boys

How to teach a nervous boy to talk to girls

Author: Matthew Utley

Although nervous, young boys generally outgrow their fear of talking to girls, this phenomenon is linked to gender discrimination. It is nothing malicious, but boys who are nervous speaking to girls see females differently.

This article suggests that, if we want young boys to listen to and see girls as equals, you need to facilitate play amongst them as often as possible. The idea is that play is where a child makes sense of the world. Therefore, if a child’s play experiences include girls as equals, so will their worldview.

So all you need to do is encourage friendships with the opposite gender. Time spent playing with girls will show your son that girls are nothing to be afraid of, and promote a more inclusive outlook on gender.

The complete article provides a more detailed explanation of the issue.

Development of girls

The right way to praise your daughter

Author: Nancy Jergins

One thinks of praise as positive, but that is not always the case. Your praise can sometimes result in your daughter feeling excess parental pressure, especially if she is an over-achiever.

Continually praising your daughter as ‘the sweetest little girl in the world’ seems like a harmless compliment, but can result in your daughter feeling pressured to always be sweet. She may be bottling her anger to remain ‘sweet’.

However, this does not mean you should stop the praise. Instead, you should look at how you can modify your compliments to avoid excess pressure. The full article discusses exactly how one should hand out praise to encourage future efforts, rather than piling on the pressure.

Refer to the original article for more information.

Craft Corner: Special Sports Fun 

Make clothespin snowmen Christmas decorations

A quick and easy craft to get the kids in the holiday spirit. What's more, these snowmen can be pegged anywhere, brightening up anything from the Christmas tree to the kitchen. All you need are wooden clothespins, a few basic supplies, and a little patience.

Read on for further instructions


Build 3D paper reindeer

Let your kids fall in love with Christmas through the story of Rudolph the Reindeer. Build 3D Reindeers out of brown paper, decorating with some basic accessories. This craft requires some cutting skills, so might be difficult for children not yet comfortable using scissors.

Detailed instructions provided here

Craft projects you can make out of cereal boxes

The holidays give your children a chance to create and express themselves artistically. True innovation and creativity require making use of the things around you, so why not encourage your child to do exactly that. Here are 15 craft projects that used cereal boxes. Are you interested in giving it a shot?

See examples of this new kind of chalk art.

Make paper loops turtles

Create turtles with 3D shells using glue, paper and innovation. This is the simplest and easiest craft on our list but will excite the kids like no other. As many of us will be going to the beach over the upcoming summer months, this is also a nice opportunity to develop an interest in the ocean and its inhabitants.

Continue reading for exact directions.



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