Hello everyone, welcome to our August newsletter! As always, we will be providing a preview of what is happening in our little community. This month we focus on the importance of investing in childcare, for individual families and Australia as a whole.
Spring is around the corner, but it sure doesn't feel like it is getting any warmer. In just a few months we will be struggling through the heat, but for now, settle down in front of a fire.
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 - Investing in childcare, it’s a no-brainer
Childcare is a major expense for families and the government. With some families paying $200 a day for a single child, this great expense must be questioned. Is it worthwhile spending such a great amount of money on childcare?
In short … yes! For many years it has been acknowledged that every dollar a government invests in preschool can, under the right conditions, return two dollars to the economy. Furthermore, organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the positive effect the availability suitable childcare can have.
Through this study, we explore the effect of suitable childcare on parents ability to return to work after having a child, how a lack of childcare can negatively affect your performance at work, as well as childcare solutions.
A value proposition - Parents choosing family over work
Today, parents have shown that parents consistently arrange their employment around their childcare options, often seeking work that offers flexible hours or is near their preferred childcare provider.
When suitable childcare not available, parents tend to reduce their hours, stop working altogether or come up with creative, but imperfect solutions.
An example of such a solution is one parent working night shifts, while the other works day shifts. This ensures that one parent is always around, but reduces the amount of time parents spend together and leaves little time for the night shift worker to rest.
It is therefore in an employer’s interest to assist employees find childcare, decreasing the likelihood of turnover and part-time work arrangements.
Unsuitable childcare arrangements - The negative effect
Unsuitable childcare arrangements make it very difficult for parents to maintain a healthy work-family balance, resulting in stress.
With a lack of alternate options, a parent may be forced to leave their child with a childcare provider they are not completely comfortable with. On the other hand, another parent working long hours may need forced to find a relative or friend to pick up their child from daycare before it closes each day.
This stress has a tangible effect on parents’ performance, increasing absenteeism, turnover and part time work arrangements, while also decreasing employee engagement. Ultimately, this means that it is very much in employers’ interest to assist employees find suitable childcare.
Suitable childcare - The benefit
On the other hand, suitable childcare gives parents the ability to leave their children in safe hands while they work, and feel comfortable doing so. This type of care arrangement is also flexible, allowing parents to work longer hours if required.
While suitable childcare can be solely provided by a childcare centre, it is more often a result of a collaborative effort between parents, relatives, friends and/or childcare providers.
Either way, suitable childcare allows parents who work full-time to achieve a healthy work-life balance. This eliminates a major source of stress for working parents, allowing them to perform to their full-potential.
0-12 month development
14 Surprising Ways to Save on Baby Stuff
Author: Andrea Stanley
Raising your children is going to be one of the most rewarding, but expensive projects of your life. For the next 18 years or so, new parents will be supporting their very own little human, and it will not be cheap.
However, there are many tactics, tips and tricks that can save you a fair amount of tom each month. Start from day one, building healthy spending habits that will save you a countless amount over the next two decades.
From making use of online specials and employer perks, to using reusable products and convertible gear that can adapt as your child grows, the original articlehas all the information you need.
1-2 year development
Is Your Toddler’s Diet Increasing The Risk Of Obesity?
Author: Maria Pyanov
Western society is battling an obesity crisis, with scientists tracing the disease back to childhood nutrition. The idea is that a poor diet sets toddlers up for obesity in later life.
To start, the pitfalls in a typical childhood diet are analysed. From excess protein, sodium and calorie intakes, to a lack of fibre and vitamin D, toddlers are generally exposed to inappropriate diets.
Moving on, the article then lays out a toddler’s ideal diet, as well as the role of diary should play. Common misconceptions around dairy products’ health benefits are explored, exposing myths around milk’s health benefits.
With your children picking up an iPads at an incredibly young age, children’s ‘screen time’ has become a hot topic. Parents are worried that an increase in ‘screen time’ will result in decreased physical activity, as well as attention deficit issues.
Physical activity is vital, providing children with the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills, while attention deficit issues can plague an individual for life. However, it seems that increased screen time does not directly result in these problems.
Parents should rather concern themselves with what types of games and shows a child is exposed to, as well as the amount of physical activity they participate in when not behind a screen.
Whether your little one is drawing or starting to practice the letters his/her name, a correct pencil grip is of the utmost importance. The habit of holding a pencil incorrectly can be incredibly difficult to break and often results in a poor handwriting style.
Although typing is steadily replace hand-writing, it is unlikely that the practice will soon be fazed out altogether. At the end of the day, could you see yourself typing a birthday card?
To start, the good old ‘three finger rule’ or ‘tripod grip’ is the way to go. And if your child insists on gripping a pencil with more than three fingers, try a triangular pencil. Read on for further tips on how to help your child perfect their pencil grip.
4-5 year development
Helping children choose extracurricular activities
Author: Brooke Tasovac
Unless your child is a prodigy showing incredible signs of talent at a young age, you will be looking at extracurricular activities as an opportunity for him/her to develop alternate skills, helping form a more rounded individual.
With regards to sport, it is a good idea to encourage your child to take part in both individual and team sports. While individual sports develop skills such as determination and self-motivation, team sports help socialise children to function in groups and take instructions from a central leader figure.
On the other hand, creative pursuits are equally important, especially if you are looking to develop well-rounded individual. Acting or art classes would give your child an opportunity to express his/her creative side.
No matter what you call it - roughhousing, play-fighting or wrestling - young boys usually cannot get enough. While some parents worry this type of play will cause injury or is a sign of a latent aggression issue, it is no cause for concern.
These rough games are completely normal and help children develop physically and socially. Socially, this roughhousing clarifies physical dominance, helping children understand social hierarchies and teaching children who are not physically gifted that they will need to develop other skills.
However, establishing clear boundaries is crucial, so that play-fighting does not escalate into full-blown violence. Refer to the complete article for advice on how to go about setting these boundaries.
Development of girls
How to Bully-Proof Your Daughter for Middle School
Author: Sherri Gordon
Bullies are a fact of life. Although we have come a long way to help support bullied children, as well as the often troubled bullies themselves, we have not managed to eradicate bullying.
Your daughter will eventually come face-to-face with a bully and in all likelihood, you will not be there to protect her. This makes it incredibly important to teach your daughter how to deal with bullies effectively.
One tactic is to build your child’s self-confidence, making it easier for her to dismiss teasing or offensive remarks. Another approach would be to coach your child how to spot good friends, enabling them to differentiate between true friends and ‘mean girls’.
Hang them on your keys, put them on your handbag, or attach them to the dogs collar. Either way, these colourful keyrings are going to brighten up your day. Recreate a favourite cartoon character or keep it simple with cloud keyrings.
Do you have a veggie garden. If so, this is the perfect craft to keep your plants healthy and entertain the kids. Build an inviting timber home for the bugs that assist you plants to grow. This will also provide your child with a look at how the natural world functions, showing them how plants and animals coexist in symbiotic relationships.
Homemade bling is on the agenda. Choose to use simple arts and craft equipment to make bracelets, pendants, rings and/or brooches. Keep in mind that you may end up wearing a ‘beautiful’ piece of jewelry gifted to you by your child.
No space for a veggie garden? Don't worry, with a wheelbarrow vegetable garden you don't need much space at all. Drill a few holes in your wheelbarrow and it will make the perfect plant pot for your veggies. An added benefit of a wheelbarrow garden is the ability to move your plants into the sun or out of the wind.