Vacancy Care's January Newsletter

January 2020

January 2020


Hello everyone, welcome to’s January newsletter! As always, we are providing a preview of what is happening in our little community. This month we will focus on how you can help Australia deal with the devastating bushfires that continue to burn our country.

Global warming has resulted in a generally warmer climate but also increased the likelihood of extreme weather conditions, such as NSW’s severe drought. Ultimately, this has resulted in one of the hottest and driest summers on record, perfect conditions for bushfires.

Although there is much controversy over to what extent our environmental policies and politicians are failing the country and contributing to this disaster, we will avoid that conversation, rather focusing on what you can do to help.


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 - Help Australia deal with our bush fires

Bush fires are a reality of summer in Australia. However, this year is not normal, with extreme heat and drought causing a severe natural disaster. The fires started earlier than usual and continue to burn out of control.

Since the start of July, 15 people have been killed by the bushfires and more than 1 000 homes lost. The effect these fires have had on Australian families is immeasurable, with many families currently trapped like refugees on our beaches.

Furthermore, it is estimated that over 12 million acres have burned. Australia’s delicate natural habitat is suffering, with many vulnerable species and plants put at further risk of extinction.


Ultimately we need to band together to help Australia overcome one of our worst ever natural disasters. Below, in the next few sections, we discuss the various ways you can help Australia fight these terrible fires.

Donate money towards bushfire relief 

For those with money to give, donations to the Salvation Army, the Australian Red Cross and state-based brigades like the NSW Rural Fire Service will go towards bushfire relief.

Red Cross acting chief executive officer Noel Clement said the organisation's joint disaster appeal with the ABC has raised more than $2 million. You can donate here. The Red Cross said, while they are heartened by incredible tokens of kindness and generosity — as people offer food, clothes and open up their homes — they are not in a position to take and distribute these items.

Donations made directly to the NSW RFS are for the benefit of volunteer brigades and are always gratefully received and are a tremendous help. All donations over $2.00 are tax-deductible. 

If you are interested in making a donation to the NSW RFS, you can do so in three ways:

- Via online credit or debit card transactions.
- Through direct Electronic Funds Transactions (EFT).
- By posting a cheque/money order.

Visit the NSW RFS donation page for further information and banking details.

Donate goods to help the fire relief efforts

While donating money is probably the best and quickest way to directly impact the fire relief efforts, our firefighters and displaced families will also benefit from the donation of goods.

Charities like Givit specialise in receiving and distributing donated goods, acting as a "charity broker" to avoid the trap of unwanted, random items. 

They've pleaded for people not to personally drop or send donations to affected areas that are already struggling with congestion and traffic issues. Givit founder and director Juliette Wright advised that such actions are  "only hampering their response efforts".

The exact items people need are listed via charities on this Givit webpage. The public can match what is requested or register items they are able to donate, in case someone has a use for them.


Right now, Givit is running two specific campaigns supporting NSW and Queensland bushfire victims on top of its regular services.

Help Australia’s wildlife survive this season’s bush fires

While the current bush fires have taken human lives and destroyed many homes, our wildlife is even more vulnerable to this disaster. 

We are warned to evacuate by car, to be smart enough to take shelter at the beach, and to have the option to wear respiratory masks to help ourselves breathe through thick smoke. On the other hand, animals are left to fend for themselves relying on their instincts to survive while their habitats are destroyed.

While there are countless charities and non-profit organisations helping our wildlife, we have been impressed with the work carried out by Koalas In Care and Wires Wildlife Rescue

Koalas In Care help look after the hurt animals. It is a non-profit that is run entirely run by volunteers. You can donate directly on the Koala In Care donation webpage or through their GoFundMe page.

Wires Wildfire Rescue is another operation mostly run by volunteers. They rescue all kinds of animal and wildlife that are injured. They are incredibly stretched after this year’s fires and could really use your help. They have set up a Wires Wildlife Rescue emergency fund to help fund their efforts to help local animals affected by the fires.

Childcare development

0-12 month development

20 Foods to Feed Your Baby Before Age 1

Author: Janna Helwig 

The transition to hard foods is an exciting time. You have the chance to watch your child experience a variety of new tastes and textures for the first time. While some new tastes will be met with beaming smiles, other treats will be spat out with disgust.

No matter your child’s food preferences, there is one golden rule. Try to consistently expose your child to as many different foods as possible. This will increase the likelihood of your child eating a wider variety of foods when he/she is older. 

This is especially true for fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods. You should expose your child to these foods so that they develop a palate for them and enjoy them later in life.

Refer to the original article for a list of foods you should introduce your child to in their first year on earth.

1-2 year development

Talking To Toddlers Improves Intelligence

Author: Fiona Peacock 

Talking to toddlers can be rewarding, but frustrating experience. You know a lot of what you’re saying is going in one cute little ear and out the other. And often their responses can be completely unrelated to your conversation.

One thing you can be sure of: the amount of time you spend talking to toddlers can have a big impact on their intelligence.

A new study published in Pediatrics, the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics, found toddlers’ language experiences have far-reaching consequences. Namely, the more opportunity they have to chat as toddlers, the higher their IQ. And the better their language skills are a decade later.

The study focused on toddlers aged between 18 and 24 months. There were 329 children involved in the study.

You can read the full article here to learn exactly how to talk to your children in your everyday life.

2-3 year development

Tips for disciplining your toddler

Author: Chrisanne Grise

No parent enjoys disciplining their children, but it is a vital part of the socialisation process. And no matter how well-behaved your children are, at some point, you will need to discipline them.

But how exactly does one discipline a toddler? Some people equate it with spanking and punishment, but that's not what is covered here. As many parenting experts see it, discipline is about setting rules to stop your little one from engaging in behaviour that's aggressive (hitting and biting), dangerous (running out in the street), and inappropriate (throwing food). 

It's also about following through with consequences when he breaks the rules—or what Linda Pearson, a Denver-based psychiatric nurse practitioner who specializes in family and parent counselling, calls "being a good boss." 

Refer to the full article for seven strategies that can help you set limits and stop bad behaviour.

3-4 year development

How to react when your child tells a lie

Author: Meghan Leahy

Is your three-year-old starting to figure out that she can lie? Is she ‘fibbing’ when asked if she dropped your cell phone, threw the food on the wall, or hit his/her sibling? This is completely normal, but how should you respond to discourage this behaviour.

It is not necessary to punish lying right off the bat as your child is just experimenting. However, you should start talking about the importance of telling the truth and encourage truthful and honest behaviour.

Compared to punishment, this approach requires greater effort on your behalf, however, it is what your child needs. At this age he/she would benefit from support rather than discipline.

Read on here for an in-depth look on how to encourage honesty. 

4-5 year development

How To Teach Your Kid To Receive Gifts Well

Author: Amy Morin 

As I am sure you may have just experienced, the holidays are in many ways designed to bring out the absolute worst in young kids. They’re off their routines, loaded up with sugar and receiving presents from distant relatives they do not know well. 

Ideally, your son/daughter will wait patiently to open their gift, refrain from becoming jealous of other children’s gifts, and show gratitude for what they receive - even socks! However, with all the excitement, this is very difficult.

To start you could explain how they should act when receiving gifts and practice this. Just remember that true gratitude only develops at the age of 8, so taper your expectations.


Refer to the original article for further details.

Development of boys

Long Hair on Toddler Boys – Do or Don’t?

Author: Kristina Cappetta

Kids will always have to go to the bathroom when we’re out in public and seem to go more when they’re out than when they’re home. It can be downright annoying, but it goes with the territory of being a parent.

If you have little girls, you obviously bring them in with you when either one of you has to go. But, what if you have little boys? At what point do you send them into the men’s room alone? 

Even if your child can competently complete his business alone, you have no control over who he will meet in the bathroom. Are more family bathrooms the answer?

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

Development of girls

At what age are children aware of gender differences?

From Essential Kids

For decades, computer scientists have been saying that coding and programming will one day be as essential as reading and writing. Like the language we use to communicate with each other, coding is the language used to communicate with computers.

Computer science and coding has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. To combat this, it is suggested that we should expose our daughters to coding as early as possible. This will show them that they are perfectly capable of succeeding in this fascinating line of work.

This article explains how Mentone Girls' Grammar school near Melbourne is exposing its students to the fundamental principles of coding and programming, with the aim of providing them with basic understanding of coding.

Refer to the original article for more information.

Craft Corner: Special Sports Fun 

Ice cream stick crafts for kids

Popsicle sticks, ice cream sticks, paddlepop sticks or craft sticks - whatever you call them, there are plenty of fun things to do with these small wooden items.

Use these craft ideas for rainy day activities or themed birthday party activities.


Read on for further instructions

Fold Easy Origami Fish

Create origami fish using nothing but colourful paper, googly eyes, and a pair of scissors. This easy Japanese-style craft will keep the kids busy for around an hour. Furthermore, the finished product makes a cute gift for your child to distribute.


Detailed instructions provided here

How to draw a turtle 

This tutorial will show you how to draw a turtle swimming and it’s perfect for beginners of all ages – from kids in preschool to teenagers just starting out. Follow the steps to become Picasso overnight


Follow the steps to create your very own turtle.

Create a paper pinwheel

Market the final product as the original fidget spinner and your kids will be hooked! What's more, this craft is also powered by the wind, introducing your child to renewable energy. This craft is relatively difficult, so would be more appropriate for children around seven years old.


Continue reading for exact directions.