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.”
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;
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
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.
A newborn can bring a whirlwind
of emotions and, if it is your first baby, a massive change to life as you
previously knew it! Here are some tips to help you navigate this new life and
create as much ease as possible.
Ensure you are not allowing your little one to become overtired. It is really important to watch your little one for tired signs and monitor how long they have been awake for. Babies up to the age of 3 weeks only need approximately 45 minutes awake time. From 3-6 weeks of age, you are looking at around 1 hour of awake time. Once babies are 6 weeks old, the awake time increases to 1 hour and 15 minutes. From 9 weeks of age you can start to implement a routine however awake times are still the most important factor so you would ensure your little one is awake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Use a swaddle to help replicate the tight feeling of the womb. I prefer an arms down swaddle however if your little one has reflux, often an arms up swaddle is more comfortable for them. Baby wearing is also a really effective way for your little one to feel secure and you can be assured this will not create bad habits doing this in the first 9-12 weeks.
Don’t worry too much about how you are getting your little one to sleep in the first 9-12 weeks. You are much better off using a pram or car or rocking or feeding your little one to sleep than allowing them to be awake for too long and becoming overtired. By all means, you can attempt some mattress settling however if your little one is not responding to this, use any method necessary to get them to sleep.
I hope these tips help to create an enjoyable start to life with your newborn.
New Support Option Available for Families
I have recently launched a new phone consultation support option to help prepare you for your baby or to offer assistance in the first 12 weeks if you are having difficulty or just need some extra support and reassurance. This package also includes a Newborn Handbook with essential information regarding sleep, feeding, environment, settling strategies and the use of sleep associations.
When people hear the term ‘sleep training’, the first image that may come to mind for a lot of people is that of a little baby lying in a cot being left to cry. Or a toddler standing in the cot thrashing at the cot bars screaming out for mum or dad.
Yes this is sleep training. However that is one way and is quite an
outdated practice from my perspective.
Sleep training can also mean no
crying. Sleep training can also mean
some crying but you being there to support your little one the entire
time. Sleep training can mean that you
still pick your little one up and comfort them if they are upset.
All of these ways will help lead
you to an outcome you are after when it comes to sleep being easier to achieve
and does not have to involve your little one being left alone crying at all.
Sleep training actually refers to
helping your little one develop the skills to be able to achieve sleep on their
own or to be able to link sleep cycles.
This can be achieved in many ways and really can be achieved in a way that
is comfortable and feels right for you and your little one.
Let’s link the words assisting, teaching, guiding, supporting and gentle to the thought of helping your little one with their sleep, and then see how you feel about proceeding down the ‘sleep training’ path.
1. If your little one is not consolidating their naps, it is very easy for them to have awake windows longer than they can developmentally handle. This causes your little one to be overtired which elevates cortisol levels. Once cortisol levels get too high, cortisol is then converted into adrenaline. Adrenaline will cause your little one to have difficulty settling and resettling causing the vicious cycle of only achieving short naps to continue and can also cause issues overnight.
2. If your little one is only having short naps and not consolidating at least one nap, it can lead to multiple short naps through the day. In an older baby, this can actually add up and cause too much day sleep. This can affect your little one’s night sleep as they will not be tired enough to achieve a good length of sleep overnight. It can also cause the final short nap to be too late in the day which then leads to issues settling your little one at bedtime.
3. In consolidated sleep that is over an hour in length, many amazing things occur. Short term memory is converted to long term memory, newly learnt skills are secured, pathways are made in the brain, emotions are processed and vision is sharpened.
4. Achieving a consolidated nap during the day attributes to ensuring your little one is achieving restorative sleep. Unless there is a physiological issue, when your little one is consolidating a nap during the day and achieving quality sleep it will lead to improved behaviour when they are awake. This allows them to enjoy time exploring and learning from their environment along with enjoying good quality time with you.
5. The final reason is for your mental health! Any mum with a baby that does not achieve consolidated naps knows how tiring the day can be and how difficult it is to get anything done. A consolidated nap is great for your little one’s development but is also a great way for you to get some housework done, have a shower or even just sit down and enjoy a coffee.
Top 5 tips for newborn sleep from a mother’s perspective
it comes to newborn sleep, everywhere you look there is different advice on
what will help your newborn sleep. Tips and advice are great however when you
get conflicting advice, it can get confusing and overwhelming. This is just
talking about the information you find online. The information from
well-meaning people in your life and, sometimes even strangers, can be even
more conflicting. This can create so much overwhelm for a new mum and the worst
part, can make mum question her instincts. So much pressure!
leads me to my top 5 tips for newborn sleep from a mother’s perspective. Read
them and decide what tips resonate with you and any that don’t, disregard them!
You are the parent – don’t underestimate the importance of your opinion.
1. Trust yourself. Mums are so in-tune and connected with their little one that it is important to listen to what your gut instinct is telling you and make that important rather than making everybody else’s thoughts important. Getting some advice from family and friends is great however do not let it undermine what you feel is right for you.
2. Newborn sleep is neurologically immature. This means that some newborns just won’t sleep well on their own and require a lot of assistance. This can be completely normal and the best way to deal with this is to roll with it. If your little one needs to be held in order to sleep, then baby wear. This gives you the freedom to move about as you wish whilst still assisting your little one with sleep. If you just need sleep to happen easily, use the pram or car if it is a sure way to settle your newborn to sleep. There is no right or wrong just what works for you and what doesn’t.
3. Avoid your newborn becoming overtired by following age appropriate awake times. Keeping to awake windows as closely as possible avoids your little one becoming overtired. It is important to avoid your newborn becoming overtired as this makes their ability to settle to sleep and achieve a good length of sleep so much harder.
4. You can’t create bad habits. If you enjoy lying with your newborn and having a nap with them, then do it! If you enjoy feeding to sleep, then do it! Take the pressure off trying to do everything ‘right’ and just do everything the way you want to and enjoy your gorgeous baby. The newborn phase, whilst can feel overwhelming and exhausting, does not last long. Enjoy it as much as you can. If something is not working, change it and/or seek external support.
5. The house can wait! If you are tired, enjoying a cuddle, need a break etc. all of the housework can wait. It isn’t going anywhere so look after you first and don’t put so much pressure on yourself to have everything done. Trust me, I have 3 children and the housework is still there waiting – always waiting – it doesn’t go away! I don’t look back on the days when my children were little babies and feel glad that I kept on top of the housework. I look back at those days and feel glad that I have so many memories of enjoying time with my babies. So take a break from the housework and enjoy your baby!
Happy parent’s equal happy children so make that a priority and enjoy the journey of parenthood.
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.
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!
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,
Coming up soon:
Benefits of Sensory Play
Tots and Tech
ACECQA, National Quality Standard|Information sheet: Quality Area 5 Supporting Children to Regulate Their Own Behaviour (February 2019)
There are many factors that need to be taken into
consideration in order to help your little one achieve sleep. One of these
factors is the amount of sleep pressure they have. This is where awake
times come into play. If your little one’s awake times are too short, this
will not give them enough sleep pressure to either fall asleep, achieve a
long sleep or both. If your little one’s awake times are too long, this will
cause them to be overtired and this will affect their ability to join
sleep cycles and therefore the ability to
achieve restorative consolidated sleep.
Ensuring your little one’s awake times are of an appropriate
length is important at any age and, in particular, newborns up to the age of 12
weeks. A newborn that is overtired will often not cope at all and this
will not only impact sleep but can also affect all elements including feeding.
The following table provides you with the age appropriate
amount of awake times between naps.
1 hour 45 minutes
2 hours 15 minutes
30 months +
Ensuring your little one is having the right amount of
naps is also important as this helps to create the balance between
the amount of day sleep and the length of their awake times.
The following table gives you an idea of how many naps you
are aiming for based on your little one’s age.
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!