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GSN Open Day, Celebrating interNational Nanny Recognition Week 2019

19 Sep 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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We invite all Central Coast Nannies to the GSN Open Day – interNational Nanny Recognition Week 2019

We’re opening the doors to welcome Nannies from across the Central Coast! Come join us for a cup of coffee or light refreshments as we celebrate interNational Nanny Recognition Week 2019.

Have a look behind the scenes of our small Support Agency, Connect with fellow Nannies and enjoy a day all about you!

All attendees will receive a goody bag with some treats from local business partners to say Thank You for all that you do, for our families, for our children and for our industry 💖

Let us know you will be attending by RSVP on our Facebook Event GSN Open Day

No cost involved, registration/RSVP ensures we cater appropriately for numbers


This year we’ve partnered with the below local businesses to celebrate interNational Nanny Recognition Week 2019

It’s Simply Serendipity are offering this exclusive sale for Nannies.
To order your own Nanny key ring, simply comment or message us what colours you want and how many key rings. $10 payment is to be made in collection at next Wednesday’s GSN Open Day

Benefits of Reading with Children

19 Sep 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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This year to celebrate Australian Reading Hour, we wanted to focus on the benefits of reading with young children, and share some of our top tips. Have a read through our blog below, then maybe go and pick up a book and enjoy some story reading for yourself, or better yet with your children.

Benefits of reading to babies

  • Great opportunity for extra cuddles, strengthening the growing bond with your baby
  • Introduces language and communication skills
  • Reading to babies helps “exercise” their brain
  • Supports the development of children’s vocabulary
  • Is a great “wind down” inclusion for soe quiet time before bed

Benefits of reading with young children

  • Reading supports the development of early literacy skills
  • Reading stories has shown to support children’s brain development particularly cognitive and communication skills
  • Including specific reading time daily encourages children to focus and concentrate
  • Encouraging children to read aloud can support speech and language skills
  • Reading together supports children’s social skills
  • Reading together supports the bond between adult and child

Benefits of encouraging independent reading in children

  • Children learn to value books
  • Children learn about culture, history and the world through reading stories
  • Reading sparks children’s imagination, creativity and curiosity
  • Reading provides an outlet for children, whether they need some quiet time or a positive distraction from any stress they may be experiencing
  • Children learn the difference between “real” and “fantasy” by exposing them to both non-fiction and fiction books
  • Providing children with their own reading area or bookshelf with books just for them also encourages caring for the books

Top tips for reading with children

  • Let your child choose which book to read
  • Engage in the story, by altering your tone of voice and giving life to the words on the page
  • Connect with your child, if they want to turn the pages or tell part of the story, let them! Even if it’s not the same as what’s written in front of them, supporting their independence and creativity
  • Repetition is your friend, even if you’ve read the same story over and over again there’s actually proven benefits to this. Read more on this at The Cultivated Learning Blog
  • Enjoy it! Enjoy the story, enjoy the moment of peace, enjoy the bonding time with your child, enjoy the extra cuddles, simply enjoy the experience

Australian Reading Hour

Australian Reading Hour this year is held on Thursday September 19 2019.

Our chosen quote to reflect on today is by Emilie Buchwald:

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”

So take the time today, not just for yourself but for your children and introduce them to world of books, sharing the joy of reading.

Find out more information at www.readinghour.org.au

Benefits of Sensory Play

04 Jun 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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Good morning, good evening and good afternoon!

It’s Nanny Georgia here and today I’ll be talking about the benefits of sensory play for our children!

Most of us are born with 5 sensory elements, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste! Just like any skill, we aren’t born having full control over these abilities, rather as we go through life we learn to adapt our senses as we experience new things. 

There are 5 key benefits of sensory play for children, so lets get in to it! 

The first benefit of sensory play is that it builds the nerve connections within the developing brains neural pathways. Creating a neural pathway can take up to as little as 18 days and as long as 200! Did you know that it takes 66 days as the average amount of time to form an understanding or habit! A child’s new found ability through sensory play can increase their inclination for and ability in completing more complex learning tasks and life skills. 

Benefit number two is that sensory play helps support the development of a child’s language, by allowing children to discuss their sensory experience, this extends their language development and vocabulary. Sensory play helps with cognitive growth, enhancing their thought process, manipulating new materials and understanding new concepts, such as wet and dry. Social interaction is another benefit that sensory play supports, a positive environment with sensory experiences encourages children to interact and work effectively with others, they will share ideas and develop new relationships. 

Another crucial benefit of sensory play is that it enhances memory! Memories occur when certain groups of neurons are reactivated. Encoding is a biological even which begins in recognising the senses which allows the perceived item of interest to be made into a construct which can be stored in the brain and recalled later from either long-term or short-term memory! How cool is that, by allowing our children to engage in sensory activities we hand them the opportunity to enhance their memory function! 

When overwhelmed with emotions, even as adults we can sometimes feel like the world is against us.  Lucky for our children, us adults can incorporate sensory play into their environment in hopes to calm them back down. Allowing a child to engage in a sensory activity while they are experiencing an emotional out-burst, letting a child use their senses to bring themselves back down is an import way of learning to understand and regulate their emotions. This applies to benefit number 4, sensory play is a good way to settle children. 

Our fifth and final benefit of sensory play, is that it allows children to learn vitally important sensory attributes like; sticky, wet, cold dry and hot, loud and soft. Allowing children to explore and discover these attributes through sensory play also then helps build the neural path ways, bringing more of an understanding of the world around them.

Yes, sensory play can be messy and time hungry, but children learn through their senses every day, not just when given the opportunity to play a sensory activity or game. Next time you’re out with your babies, ask them questions about the world around them.

“can you hear that?/what’s that sound?”

“what do they feel like?”

“is it hot or cold?”

You’d be surprised just how intrigued they are!

That’s all for today! 

Keep up to date with us on Instagram!

@lifeasagsnnanny 

Bye for now! 

Nanny Gg

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Coming up soon:

  • Tots and Tech
  • How to keep the party going

Asking the hard questions. Communication with your Nanny

17 May 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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Good morning, good evening and good afternoon!

Its Nanny GG here and today our topic of discussion is about communication between families and nannies.

When being assigned a new nanny or carer, it can be very daunting, will they fit in with your family? Are their beliefs similar to yours? Will the children like them? There’s lots of questions to ask and plenty of answers to be given. So, let’s get onto the topic of communication!

How does communication help us? How does communication help you? How does communication help the children? What happens if you forget to mention something? What happens if there is a miss-communication?

Sometimes things happen, things get missed or forgotten and that’s okay! We are all human, it happens. Are there ways we can try and avoid this happening? There sure are! So now I am going to answer these questions and give some helpful hints on how to stay connected! 

When working with families, as nannies, it is one of our priorities to understand and adapt to your routine, we are here to support you and your children. Sometimes it can be a little scary meeting a new family or meeting a new nanny. What questions do you ask? Are those questions too weird? Too straight forward? What if they don’t agree to something I believe in? I have concerns, how do I address them?

Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions, no question is too weird or straight forward, in-fact we would rather you ask as many questions as possible, that way we can get the best idea of you and your family, helping us to understand your dynamic and how things happen in your family home. The more questions and answers that are given, between both family and nanny, the clearer understanding we both have of the role the nanny
will play in your family and the easier it will be for all of us to adapt to each other!

Just as we encourage children to reach out and speak up, families should feel comfortable to do the same with their Nanny

The hardest questions to ask are usually the most important and often, the longer the party waits to ask these questions, the more awkward or confusing it can become for everyone. It is important for both nannies and families to be open and honest, seeking ways to give the best outcome for everyone involved. we

The more we know and understand about our families, allows us to better accommodate for your wants and needs, your beliefs and cultural preferences. One of these major accommodations is discipline. Giggles and Smiles is a child safe organisation, which means we work and collaborate with parents, to ensure we are putting the needs and best interests of the children first. Being a child safe organisation means we do not allow, tolerate or encourage any physical discipline or any verbal discipline that would de-humanize the children. With the effort between both parents and nannies we can arrange strategies and put them in to place to try and implement the best possible learning outcome for your children.

Here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying we understand the important roles we play in helping families guide and support their child’s behaviour in positive and effective ways in line with NQF Q.A. 5 Supporting Children to Regulate their own Behaviour. Our nannies work together to ensure we include respectfully communication about all aspects of a child’s learning and development, which allows both sides to obtain a holistic and consistent approach. 

So when it comes to asking the hard questions, or you find yourself second guessing whether you should ask or not… please do! Communication is vital, and remember no question is silly or unnecessary. Your nanny is providing care for your little ones, the most important things in your life, you can ask as many questions as you want!

That’s all from me for now, have any questions or feedback? Leave them in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date on all things GSN and Nanny related.

See you soon,

~ GG

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Coming up soon:

  • Benefits of Sensory Play
  • Tots and Tech

References:

ACECQA, National Quality Standard|Information sheet: Quality Area 5 Supporting Children to Regulate Their Own Behaviour (February 2019)

What is the GSN Nanny difference?

27 Apr 19
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Good morning, good evening and good afternoon! 

It’s Nanny Gg here and today we are going to be talking about, “what is a nanny” and what the “GSN Nanny” difference is.

So let’s get started!  What is a Nanny? Well, here at GSN our Nannies are lots of different things, future doctors, future teachers, dancers and performers, mums and educators and we all share the same passion caring for children.

Our Nannies are people who bring quality childcare  to you and your children, into your own home. Here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying our nannies are regularly invited to attended professional development workshops and training days to help bring the most out in ourselves and the children when working, to ensure we are providing the highest quality care possible. 

So, what do we do exactly? Among most stereotypes of working in the childcare industry, we just get to sit and play, all day, every day, maybe sort out an argument between children every now and then, right? Wrong! 

For sure, we do play with the children! But before children want to play with us, they first have to feel comfortable. So we start by building a bond, a connection with your children, talking to them, discussing their favourite things, what they like to do, and then we can play! Creating this bond allows the children to feel safe and secure and will allow for future learning when in our care! 

Don’t they have that connection at schools and day cares though? 

100% they do, but I find it’s harder to maintain a bond and respectful relationship with a child when you have 25 other children in the same class, with only 2 teachers, who all need your attention, a cuddle, a cup of water or even just a hug. We only have so many hands!! 

Having just one person focusing on your children, assuring all their needs are met without the disruption of having the responsibility of caring for a large group of children can help build your child’s ability to have meaningful and respected connections to people and things outside of their own family. 

So, back to play! After we have established a growing bond with your child, we will engage them in activities, that’s right, we bring all the fun (and take the mess away too!) Most often we will have discussed with families prior, their children’s interests and will accommodate for that from our very first day together, which is usually a play session. Play Sessions are where we get to meet families and their children, for a 2-hour session dedicated to engaging in play with the children to establish that initial bond prior to commencing care services.

Then our nannies will go from there, continuing to help grow your child’s interest and ability to explore their world, Giggles and Smiles Nannying is a true believer in Child led play! This is so important because children will want to learn anything and everything, but only if they’re interested in that topic, we can’t rush a genius! 

As well as playing and activities and having fun, our nannies will accommodate for their needs, cooking for them, making sure they are comfortable, bed time routines, morning routines, lunch routines, all kinds of routines! You tell us what they are and what they need and we can continue to have that set routine for you while you’re away, that way the children aren’t all put out of whack after having no routine! Don’t have a routine established yet? No worries! Giggles and Smiles Nannying will take the time to get to know your family dynamics and priorities as we support your family in establishing a routine suitable to your needs.

One of the most important things to us here at GSN is the safety of your children, our nannies are required to have all their correct training and checks done before being sent out to a new family! What a relief, right?! Along with ensuring that our Nannies have valid clearances, checks and experience to work with children, we also go that extra step in ensuring our Nannies have access to company policies and procedures, in-house training as well as external training providers across a variety of topics specific to caring for children and families in the home environment. You can be assured that in an emergency your nanny is trained to remain calm, collected and capable in keeping your children safe.

Over all, all our nannies here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying are dedicated to providing the safest and best possible care for your children, where it is engaging, led by them and developed to extend their interests, abilities and help them venture in their own world, confidently and safely. 

Being part of the GSN Nanny Team has been an amazing opportunity and opened my eyes beyond what I expected when first interviewing for a Nanny position. Are you a fellow Nanny yourself? What is your experience as a Nanny? Get in touch and share your story, we would love to hear others experiences as a Nanny.

That’s all from me for now. Stay tuned for our next blog post. Talk soon!

Gg

Acknowledging ANZAC Day with Children

25 Apr 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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We Remember Them,

We Thank Them,

for because of them we have our today and our children’s tomorrow

ANZAC Day is held on the 25th of April each year, a day where we remember the brave men and woman who have served our country in times of war and those that continue to protect our country as part of our Defence Forces.

ANZAC Day can be a difficult topic to discuss with children when it is in our nature to protect them and keep them safe from harm, though on reflection, isn’t that part of what we acknowledge on ANZAC Day? Our brave soldiers; Australian, New Zealand and Aboriginal Men and Women; continue to this day to serve and protect our Nation, our children and their future.

“Learning about ANZAC Day helps young children to understand the life and times of Australia and its people.”

www.anzacday.org.au

By supporting our children in understanding the importance of ANZAC Day, including the traditions, facts and history surrounding the ANZACs ensures that they will continue to be remembered and not lost on future generations.

We encourage families to allow children to ask the questions, listen to their interpretations on what ANZAC Day is about and guide them gently to the truth. Talk about the freedom we have now to feel safe because of their sacrifice. Focus on the collective pride of the country and the traditions that continue to this day.

There are a wide variety of ways families can acknowledge ANZAC Day with children. Whether this be by attending your local dawn service, march parade or doing your own traditions at home like baking ANZAC Biscuits, making craft poppies or reading books based on true stories acknowledging the ANZACS.

Below is our recommended reading list for children acknowledging ANZAC Day:

  • “ANZAC Ted” by Belinda Landsberry
  • “Lest We Regret” by Kerry Brown
  • “Meet… the ANZACS” by Claire Saxby
  • “Gallipoli” by Kerry Greenwood & Annie White
  • “A Day To Remember” by Jackie French
  • “My Grandad Marches On ANZAC Day” by Catriona Hoy & Benjamin Johnson

We close our blog with The Ode and the memory sounding of the Last Post played on a Bugle symbolising our fallen heroes who have gone to their final rest.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

Lest we forget

Nanny Gg attends International Nanny Training Day

18 Apr 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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Good morning, good evening and good afternoon! 

It’s Nanny Georgia here and I am super excited to type up this blog and share with you the amazing things I learnt at the International Nanny Training day in Sydney last weekend!

As you may have seen through our GSN social media threads, I attended a Nanny training day in Sydney. Being able to go to something like this and not only take in information and learn new things but starting to network with so many different nannies from all over Australia. I am so privileged to have attended such an amazing event and connected with so many new people.


Connecting with amazing Nannies from all over Australia!

The training day was provided thanks to “Nannypalooza“; a National Nanny Conference over in the United States of America designed by nannies, for nannies, focused on learning, connecting and growing as a professional. During our training day here in Sydney, NSW Australia, we had three speakers; Rebecca Thompson from “Stone & Sprocket“, Angela Agius from “Circle of Security” and Shannon from “Oh Creative Day“.

The below reflections are based on my own personal experience as an attendee and have not been endorsed by any of the mentioned speakers or organisations.


Stone & Sprocket offers high quality professional development, nature programs and support in children’s behaviour.

Stone & Sprocket Website
Rebecca from Stone & Sprocket

Rebecca focused on children’s behaviour and digging deeper to understand why children behave in certain ways and strategies in combating that behaviour. She discussed the different types of words we use when talking to children and that certain tones and reactions can influence a child’s behaviour. For example, if there is a child who is visibly upset because they didn’t get an ice-cream and is now kicking you and screaming; us as parents, educators and nannies need to allow time for that child to calm back down whilst also acknowledging their emotions.

Billie* I can see you are really upset right now, but it’s not safe to kick people, I am telling you to stop kicking now and we can talk when you are ready”

By doing this, you acknowledge their emotions but also let them know that what they’re doing isn’t okay. Rebecca also pointed out that children will often continue to react in a negative way if they know it will bring attention to them. By acknowledging their distress and asserting the kicking issue, it is then time to take a step back and wait for them to calm down into a more settle state. Some may see this as a ‘time out’, where as we refer to this as ‘calm space’. Rebecca’s description of this being a snow globe affect was a great example; the child has just been shaken up, there is snow everywhere and we need to allow time for the child to settle before attempting to talk with them, like the snow in the snow globe and being able to see clearly again.

It was then discussed that children will continue to respond negatively when our reactions are “over the top” thus giving them the reaction and the attention they want. Coming back to the previous situation with Billie*, if we respond with words like

“that’s enough!”

“stop it, you’re being dramatic!”

“no! don’t do that!” 

We aren’t allowing ourselves or the child the chance to acknowledge their emotions, this will then often lead the child to become more distressed, thus continuing to react due to the words and tone we use, then that creates one exhausted carer! It will become draining for you both.


Circle of Security International presents trainings around the globe focusing on the early intervention models to increase attachment and security developed by Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, and Bert Powell.

Circle of Security Website
Angela from Circle of Security

Angela was our second speaker, focusing on the ways in which children ask for our attention. Often when children want our attention, they are seeking a connection with us.

You know how your three year old asks 100 questions in thirty seconds? That’s your child asking “I would like you to talk to me, I want a connection with you”

Often they may only need five minutes of your time, but time is such a valuable thing, isn’t it?

There are so many ways we can establish that connection with our children even when we are a little bit strapped for time but the most important thing us as adults need to remember is that the children want a connection not just a response. Engaging with them about what you’re doing, tell them, show them, even get them to assist you when it is okay. Sometimes they will only need those five minutes but in those five minutes you have established that connection, they feel connected and listened to.

This connection links to the circle of security. When a child is ready and eager to explore, they will only be capable if they feel safe and secure, and guess who their safety and security is? Yup! You!

You are the person they will go to when they need just that little bit of reassurance, they are safe and you’re right there learning with them. You don’t need to be constantly talking to them, or engaging with them, if they are happy to explore their world alone, let them, but be there for when they return and begin interacting with you, showing you what they have found or what they can do.

This links back to our discussion on children’s behaviour, if they are interacting with you it means they want connection, reassurance, they want to feel supported and secure in their world and they will get this through the people they feel most safe with. After a child gets that connection and reassurance, they will venture back out and do it all over again!



OH CREATIVE DAY IS A PLACE WHERE WHIMSY AND WISDOM LIVE AND THRIVE!


Oh Creative Day Website
Shannon from Oh Creative Day

Our third and final speaker today was Shannon, who runs her own social media blog called “ohcreativeday” and we were lucky enough to even participate in some cool activities she shared with us!

We discussed today the importance of craft play, what do you think is so important about craft? You may be sitting reading this and thinking “oh my, all that mess!” – you’re not alone! However, as much as we all don’t like huge messes, a mess means children got creative and that’s awesome!

What is it that they learn when they cut up 3 pieces of paper, stuck it on cardboard, drew on it with some textas and made a monster out of it?

Well, first and for most, they used their imagination, they created something from nothing and they did it all by themselves, it was their idea, their design and their work. Cutting and pasting the paper on to the cardboard gives them the opportunity to strengthen their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination!

“But cutting and pasting is so simple?”

Fine motor activities (activities that require a lot of hand work) actually help the muscles in the child’s hand to develop and strengthen, so when they start learning to write or doing up a button they are able to manipulate those smaller materials into doing what they need.

Who knew that such a simple craft activity could help children achieve so much developmentally?!


For further information on organisations mentioned in this blog, please refer directly to their websites below:

All in all it was an amazing day, I got to connect with so many amazing people and professionals, I am eager to continue my involvement in training days and self-development. 

See you soon,

~ GG

Kipper & Joey had a great day learning with Nanny Gg
where will we be off to next time?

Keep up to date with our blog posts by following us on Instagram! 

@lifeasagsnnanny 


Coming up next:

  • What is a Nanny?
  • The importance of investing in Professional Development: a reflection from Director Elle
  • GSN Goes to America!!!

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GG takes over “Life as a GSN Nanny”

02 Apr 19
Giggles and Smiles Nannying
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Good morning, good evening and good afternoon!

I am Nanny Georgia! (or GG as some people call me) and I am super-duper excited to be taking over our Giggles and Smiles, “Life as a Nanny” blog!

I have been working with Giggles and Smiles Nannying for almost 6 months now and it is hands down the best job I have ever had! So I am eager to get started on this spectacular blog that I get to share with you alongside our Instagram feed for Life as a GSN Nanny.

Our life as a GSN Nanny blog has been designed to keep you up to date on all things GSN and all those special and amazing events that happen Nationally and Internationally throughout the year.

Seeing as it is already the end of March, maybe we need a little catch up on what has been happening!

January was fairly quiet for me this year, I took on a beautiful new family, two afternoons a week after school and we have already been on so many adventures! It is truly amazing how much you miss when you live somewhere. Going exploring with the children has opened up my eyes to all the wonders Newcastle has to offer.

This year we also kicked off our monthly newsletter, which is filled with recent events at GSN, tips and tricks, recipes and Nanny of the month! I had the privilege of receiving our January Nanny of the month. This was such a lovely surprise, I had received some great feedback from a few of my beautiful families and shed a few tears when I read the lovely things they said about me! I just absolutely love my job!

During February we located to a new office in Gosford! Giggles and Smiles Nannying is a service that provides quality in-home child care for families up the coast from the hunter region all the way down to Sydney. The relocation to Gosford meant that our admin and office facilities became more accessible to our families and staff members, providing a location at a half way point! Our superstar admin manager Jaycinta was awarded team member of the month! Jaycinta is an absolute legend and is the superstar working behind the scenes! She ensures that the business side (so all that paper work, reading and organising!!) runs smoothly! Not too sure what we would do with out her!

We also launched Giggles and Smiles Parties! Myself, Director Elle and the lovely party host Mel had a party host induction where we did costume fittings, we practiced face painting, sang some songs and brain stormed some ideas for the parties! We all had an absolute blast.

That following weekend was March! Giggles and Smiles Parties attended the Capes 4 Kids even at Gosford show ground, I was working that weekend but decided to take the children down to Gosford and have a share in all the fun! So many capes and so many bubbles….

The children and all of us at GSN and GSP had an absolute ball! Even if it did start raining while we packed away. This month I also took over the resource room and our Life as a GSN nanny blog! This week I am heading down to the office to crash tackle the resource room, getting it as organised as a resource room can be and hopefully I can make it super easy to follow and understand for all the Nannies and Party hosts at GSN. Stay tuned to read all about the mysterious treasures we have stored away in our GSN resource room.

All in all I think that is pretty much it for the last few months here at Giggles and Smiles Nannying! It’s been a busy start to the year with many more adventures to come. So make sure you follow our blog by subscribing below to ensure you stay up to date on all the excitement Life as a GSN Nanny can be!

See you soon,

~ GG


Coming up next:

  • International Nanny Training Day 2019
  • What is a Nanny?
  • GSN Goes to America!!!
  • The importance of investing in Professional Development,

Subscribe to our blog updates below

Giggles and Smiles Nannying goes to America

18 Feb 19
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One of our many exciting times ahead in 2019 including a trip to America locked in the diary.

Director Elle will be representing Giggles and Smiles Nannying at the International Nanny Association Conference in New Orleans. An amazing opportunity to learn from experts in our field and network with fellow nannies on a global level. This years conference theme is “Elevate”

“Elevate your career
Elevate your business
Elevate our industry” – source: INA Conference Website

A theme we can relate to as we move forward with our goals for 2019 and exciting times ahead.

#gigglesandsmilesnannying #gsnnanny #lifeasagsnnanny #internationalnannyassociation#inaconference2019 #neworleansherewecome #nannylife #professionaldevelopment 

BACK TO SCHOOL TOP 10 TIPS

28 Jan 19
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Whether it is your child’s first or last year of primary school, the first day of term 1 is always exciting. With a whole year ahead for learning new things, making new friends and growing another year older. Our teachers oversee the education side of development, Families and Nannies get to support the success as well as failures that come along with studies.

This is the inspiration behind today’s blog post, with our top ten tips for back to school, these are just some of the ways we can start the school year off supporting our little learners as well as their teachers.

Tip 1: Enjoy the experience with a smile

Your children continue to grow every day, don’t miss out on those important opportunities to be involved in your child’s education. Whether this is seeing them off at the classroom on their first day rather than then front gate, attending assembly when their class presents an item, acknowledging their hard work learning and asking about their day. Remember your smile and they’ll want to share these experiences with you, there’s nothing better than your child running up excited to tell you all about their day, they may even ask you about yours.

Tip 2:  Have back-ups!

Do yourself a favour, do not keep a tally of how many times a jumper or hat gets lost, these things will get lost repeatedly that’s where having back-ups comes in handy. While children are encouraged to be responsible for their belongings, things will get lost from time to time, and often will turn up again. However, a missing hat could mean no outdoor play with the sun safe standards of “no hat, no play” having a back-up is essential in this case, just as much so for jumpers in winter and water bottles for hydration. When it comes to stationary, they will be used and need replacing frequently throughout the school year. To avoid multiple shopping trips, stock up, have your child set up their resource station/area so that they know where these are kept and can replace their own stationary as needed.

Tip 3: Teach your child how to put their shoes on

Not only is this an essential skill for children to have before starting school, it also supports their independence if they are familiar with this routine. Whether your child has Velcro or Lace-Up school shoes, they will undo repeatedly throughout the school day (even with double knots).

Tip 4: Pack meals separately

Crunch n Sip, Morning Tea and Lunch are the three meal breaks to cover throughout the school day. Most schools now have assigned tubs for storing the different snack breaks throughout the day, though this will also help your child if they do stay in their bag as they can identify each meal break themselves, hopefully avoiding lunch being eaten at morning tea time. Ensure your child has a full water bottle as well and that they know how to refill it themselves to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Tip 5: Label everything

Having your child’s name on their possessions such as school hats, jumpers, drink bottles and lunch boxes are a must to ensure you have a chance of having these items returned when they eventually end up missing from their bag at the end of the day.

Tip 6: Make your child’s bag stand out

Many schools have their own school bag each child is to use, make your child’s bag stand out for easy recognition. Whether this is a simple key ring or ribbon tied to the zipper, you will appreciate this when you arrive at pick up time and get lost in a sea of green/blue bags all looking the same. This will also support your child in being able to identify their own bag at meals, unpacking and packing away time. Encourage your child to choose their own decorative key chain to give them a sense of identity and ownership, their smile makes the hour shopping trip to find the “perfect” bag accessory worth it 100%.

Tip 7: Say hello to your school staff

Your child’s teacher plays the main role in their education; however, it takes a village to raise a child. When walking around the school grounds you may notice other teachers, the principal, librarian, even the gardener smile or say hello to your child and vice versa. Take a moment to say hello, introduce yourself and smile in passing as you see them throughout the school year. The office staff are the ones you call with enquiries and who call you if your child is unwell, saying hello every now and then and learning their names can go a long way in helping your child see that they are in a supportive environment.

Tip 8: Schedule a time for updates with your child’s teacher

Teachers get asked daily for updates on various children’s development and progress reports. This can be time consuming and ineffective as they may not be prepared to discuss your child’s progress. With up to 30+ children in their class, that is a lot of children to keep track of, this means a lot of paperwork to keep on top of their educational progress. Rather than putting teachers on the spot, we encourage families to prepare a list of questions ahead of your assigned Parent/Teacher Meeting held usually on a termly basis. If you have any enquiries in the meantime, you can always ask your child’s teacher if they have availability to schedule time for a brief discussion, this will often show better responses to enquiries and undivided attention.

Tip 9: Celebrate child birthdays while being health conscious

Many schools are now very health conscious when it comes to birthday and holiday celebrations, requesting parents not to bring cakes, lollies or treats. Many may question this, though when you stop and think about it, there may be a week where multiple children have birthdays and almost every child wants to share Easter eggs or candy canes with their friends. This can turn a small treat into a mountain of sugar for our little ones. Rather than sending in “treats” we recommend a small inexpensive gift for your child’s class and/or friends such as fun erasers, stamps, stickers or everyone’s favourite… bubbles!

Tip 10: Acknowledge success as well as failure

Often, we will praise when a child comes home with an award or a sticker on their homework saying “good job” though it is rare that children will share when they didn’t do so well. Children will often see failure as final, it is in our power to support them to develop a growth mindset where failure isn’t the end, rather a learning step that shows they tried. Acknowledging both success and failure, re-worded to attempts, will support children in having a healthy growth mindset surrounding their education. Of course, we want our children to succeed, but it is important for all of us to acknowledge we do not always get things right first go. This is part of life and life goes on, we continue to try and that is what we want to teach our children.

Have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below, we would love to hear them.