Vacancy Care's March Newsletter

March 2020


Hello everyone, welcome to our March newsletter! As always, we are providing a preview of what is happening in our little childcare community. This month we will focus on sun protection.

A record-breaking summer, Australia has never been hotter. This makes protecting your children’s skin from the sun as important as ever. We run through why you need to protect your child’s skin from the sun, as well as how to do so best.

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 - Sun protection

Sunburn in a nutshell

In the past, sun exposure was thought to be a health benefit of outdoor activities. This was an intuitive belief, born from the fact that the sun feels great on our skin.

Studies have since unveiled the many unhealthy effects of sun exposure, ranging from early ageing to skin cancer. Although sunburn can heal, sometimes even resulting in a beautiful olive tan, cell damage adds up year after year.


After around 20 years or more, the built-up damage appears as wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer.

The importance of sun protection in Australia

Protecting oneself from the Australian sun is particularly important. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians developing some form of skin cancer before age 70.

There are multiple reasons for these statistics, however, it is mainly due to Australia’s genetics. Most Australians have the wrong type of skin for our scorching climate. Through migration, the country has been populated by many people with fair skin.


People with European ancestors come from colder climates where sun damage is not as much of an issue. They therefore never developed the same protective pigmentation. This leaves these Australians’ skin cells especially vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays.

Protecting skin from the sun

Sun protection tactics come in three “S’s”. These are Sun Avoidance, Sun-protective Clothing and Sunscreen

Sun Avoidance

Staying completely out of the sun is the most obvious way to protect your skin from sun exposure. However, this is not realistic and prevents one from realising the sun’s important health benefits. Ultimately, you should look to limit direct sun exposure during peak sun hours (between 10 am and 4 pm).

You could also cover the outdoor areas your children love, such as a sandpit or the shallow end of a swimming pool. If you do cover an area, consider how much UV is being filtered. Some plastics do not filter UV, while loosely woven textile fabrics only filter a percentage of the sun’s harmful rays.

Sun-Protective Clothing

This involves covering exposed skin with protective clothing, such as hats, lightweight long sleeve shirts, and long pants. Look for UV protective clothing when possible and remember that tightly woven fabrics provide more protection than loose ones. 

This tactic should be used in combination with sunscreen, not instead of it.


It’s simple and we all know the drill. When you are in the sun, wear sunscreen. And reapply, especially when swimming. 

How should I apply sunscreen?

Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before exposure to UV in order to create the intended protective barrier. It should be applied liberally and evenly to clean and dry skin.

Sunscreen should always be reapplied at least every two hours, irrespective of water-resistance. Swimming, sport, sweating and towel drying can reduce effectiveness, so sunscreen should always be reapplied after these activities.

Choosing sunscreen

It’s not so much about choosing the right sunscreen. In actual fact, sunscreen is strictly regulated in Australia to ensure quality no matter the brand. Furthermore, even SPF50+ wears off. 

Simply, it's about application rather than what you buy. Purchase whatever you are most likely to use, and get something waterproof if you plan on swimming.

Childcare development

0-12 month development

The Stages of Sitting

Author: Stacey Wilson

Watching your baby start to sit on his/her own is exciting. This is a real milestone in a child’s development and grants them a great amount of independence. 

Sitting requires a child to have a certain amount of strength, as well as the large motor skills to control their muscles and body. As a parent, there are many things you can do to encourage your child to sit, or even help him/her develop the strength and motor skills needed to sit independently. 

A key tip is to refrain from rushing or forcing this development. If a child does not have the motor skills needed to hold his/her neck up straight, he/she will not be able to sit independently. 

Rather than rushing a child’s development, use age-appropriate balance exercises. This way, you aid a child’s development in a nurturing, safe environment. For further tips, refer to the original article.

1-2 year development

Could Your Toddler’s Diet Be Keeping You Awake At Night?

Author: Pinky McKay

Children struggle to sleep through the night for a number of reasons. However, new evidence suggests diet is strongly linked to sleep patterns. Ultimately, your baby and toddler’s sleep patterns are affected by their diet.

Restlessness and an inability to sleep through the night can be caused by allergies or food intolerance, sometimes to foods passing through your breast milk. Although no baby is allergic to its mother’s milk, he/she can be intolerant to the food mom eats.

Babies can be allergic to ingredients included in milk formulas. Furthermore, breastfed babies can be allergic to foods that pass into their mother’s breast milk, not the breast milk itself. 

Allergies in infants may cause symptoms including colic, nausea, vomiting and reflux, wheezing and respiratory congestion, dermatitis, eczema, and various rashes (although other medical causes should be ruled out for these symptoms).

Refer to the full article to learn more about infant food allergies.

2-3 year development

Bratty behaviours explained

Author: Irene Daria-Wiener

Most preschoolers are a handful when they are 3 years old. And even when naughty, they are so adorable that it is often difficult to bring yourself to discipline them properly. They act up, and then simply flash you a mischievous grin, making you laugh and forgive them instantaneously. 

It is so easy to give in to your child’s demands because you are too tired to deal with the whining or crying. Unfortunately, this style of parenting often makes children a nightmare to discipline.

As a parent, the only thing you can do is make sure your style of discipline is clear, firm and consistent. It is imperative that you stand by your rules and enforce your consequences. If you fail to do so, your rules will become easy to ignore or bend.

Read on to understand the real reasons behind your child's bratty behaviour and how you can combat them.

3-4 year development

Why so many kids cheat, and how to help them stop

Author: Karin Bilich

The desire to be successful is what drives the majority of children to cheat. And growing up in such a competitive society that places such an importance on winning, it’s no wonder most children give cheating a try.

But how do you handle these cheating episodes and what can you do to put an end to them? 

It is important to consider the age of a child when you find them cheating. Kids under the age of 5 generally don't attach any moral value to cheating and will not hold a grudge when someone cheats. On the other hand, children around the age of 8 know that cheating is wrong and remember when their peers cheat, labelling them as cheaters.

Additionally, you should consider the pressures that may influence a child to cheat. Some children cheat at school because they feel an immense pressure to perform. Others may be attempting to live up to unrealistic parental expectations.

Read on for a nuanced understanding of why children cheat and how you should deal with this problematic behaviour.

4-5 year development

Three ways to help children think critically about the news

Authors: Tanya Notley and Michael Dezuanni

Like adults, children use the news to learn about what's happening in the world. In 2017, the first nationally representative survey of how Australian children (aged 8 to 16) consume news showed that children as young as eight are interested in news.

Unfortunately, the circulation of misinformation, such as the recent spread of “fake news” about Coronavirus, blurs their understanding of events and issues. And with the numerous platforms and devices news is consumed though, it is almost impossible to control what news your children are exposed to.

That is why it is suggested you teach your children how to think critically about the news. Critical thinking empowers children to question what they read, decerning for themselves what is to be believed. 

Read on to learn how to teach a child to think critically about the news.

Development of boys

A Parent’s Advice to Parents of Girly Boys

Author: Kate Steinbeck

Popular Kiddy blogger and now author, Lori Duron, shares the parenting lessons she's learned from raising her gender-creative son. Over the years, her youngest son rejected the clothing he inherited from his older brother, preferring items from the ladies department.

Her first piece of advice was to relax and take your time. You do not need to figure out exactly what your child is going on right away. As long as you provide your children with a loving and accepting environment to express themselves, you are doing enough.

If there is a deeper meaning to your child’s behaviour, all you can do is wait for it to reveal itself. Prying for information can make your children feel like they are behaving abnormally, potentially discouraging them from behaving naturally.

The complete article provides a more detailed explanation of how to raise boys who do not conform to traditional gender norms.

Development of girls

Raising a powerful girl

Authored by PBS Kids, an online publication

Powerful girls grow up feeling secure in themselves. They learn to take action, making positive choices about their own lives and doing positive things for others. They think critically about the world around them. 

Powerful girls express their feelings and acknowledge their thoughts of others in caring ways. They feel good about themselves and grow up with a “can-do” attitude. They will, of course, experience insecurity and self-doubt, but these feelings will not be paralyzing because the girls will have learned to work through their problems. 

Ultimately, powerful girls possess the tools to grow up to lead full, valuable lives. It is therefore in your best interest to help your daughter become a powerful girl. It all starts with helping your daughter find a passion, through which she can develop confidence and eventually power.

Refer to the original article for more ways in which you can help your daughter become a powerful girl.

Craft Corner: Special Sports Fun 

Make a paper flower

This paper flower craft combines the arts with science. The flower is closed, to begin with, but opens as you place it in water, just like a real flower. This craft is most appropriate for older children, as it requires sketching, colouring, cutting and some advanced folding.

Read on for further instructions

Star Wars crafts for kids

Hey moms and dads, are you Star Wars fans? If so, these crafts are the perfect way to share your love of the Empire with your children. Help your children make a Yoda key chain out of green fluff, build a cardboard death star, or work together to create their next Halloween costumes.

Detailed instructions provided here

Create stale bread birdfeeders

Teach your children to recycle old food and help them develop a love for the natural world with this intuitive craft. Simply cover a hard piece of stale bread with peanut butter before coating it with seeds. All you need to do from there is thread a piece of cotton through the bread before hanging it on a tree. 

Follow the steps to create your very own

Add colour to hiking with coloured walking sticks

With Summer in full swing, hiking is most likely on the agenda. This fantastic physical activity is a great way to introduce your child to nature. So why not spice up your hike with colourful hiking sticks?

Continue reading for exact directions.