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The children are settling back into a new term. Of course, some children take longer than others to settle after a holiday break, which is normal. There are many new activities and learning environments to explore, and I am sure they will enjoy these in the coming weeks.

There have been some staffing changes this term. Sommer Lea Collins has accepted the ongoing position of Transition and Reception teacher at our Bairnsdale Campus. We are excited to have her in a more significant role at the ELC and know she brings many strengths to our program. In Sale, Katie Whitfield is on leave and is being covered by Candace Membrey. Candace is an experienced early childhood teacher with a special education background, and we are grateful to have her join us. It has been a particularly busy time in Sale over the past two weeks as the centre has undergone the National Quality Assessment and Ratings process. I want to thank the team who have worked extremely hard to document and evidence our quality work with the children.

This term, we will be exploring the concept of caring for others. We encourage the children to reflect on how lucky they are to have a home, warm clothes, education, loving families and food. We will support Anglicare by collecting packets of foodstuffs for distribution to those who need it in the local community. Packets rather than tins are our preference as they are easier for us to lift and carry. We encourage you to help develop your child's sense of social justice and empathy by involving them in selecting or purchasing items to put in the collection basket outside the ELC. Please donate 'in-date' undamaged packets only. Ideas of foodstuffs in demand include cereal, long-life milk, rice, pasta, packet soups, teabags, biscuits and so on.

The buddies program with our ELC and Year 5 students has begun, and the children are forming lovely and caring relationships with each other. This week the classes in Sale began their 'buddies in nature' program with an Autumn walk around the beautiful St Anne's grounds. The older students discussed what is natural versus manufactured and recorded their little buddies ideas and 'wonderings' for classroom follow-up. In the coming weeks, the program will continue to explore natural and sustainable learning with excursions to the SEED Community Garden, the Port of Sale and tree planting at Lake Guyatt.

The children have been very busy preparing many special handmade surprises and gifts for our special Mums. On Tuesday the Reception children at the Bairnsdale Campus invited their Mums to a ‘relaxation and beauty parlour’ treatment before giving them beautiful handmade cards and gifts. At the St Anne’s campus the Transition children enjoyed hosting breakfast, complete with yummy croissants and a hand-painted coffee cup as a present. The children have been thinking about why their Mum is so special to them, and we have been exploring the concept of gratitude to those around us. I know that those lovingly made cards and gifts will be cherished forever as some of the greatest experiences of being a parent.

I hope all our Mums have a wonderful day on Sunday.

Lisa Burgess

ELC Director