Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book: Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming EC Environments

Book title:
Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments

Author: Deb Curtis, and Margie Carter

Publication Date: 2003
Publisher: Readleaf Press, MN United States

So recently in the last few months, I've been working with a new childcare employer, I shall call Employer O., or EO for short. They aren't an recruitment agency, and shall be deemed as such.

After having been to a number of their campuses, I've had a feel of how their different schools prepare their environment. 

I found this book a couple of months back, in March, and only remembered now that I had wrote a short post on it. 

When I saw this book, Designs for Living and Learning, at the TAFE library, I thought it was an apt moment to borrow it. 

Notes taken from this text: 

Elements to consider when planning EC spaces:
- Connections and a sense of belonging
- Flexible space and open ended materials 
- Wonder, curiosity, and intellectual engagement 
- Symbolic representations, literacy, and the visual arts.

Pg21: The lives of today's children are filled with plastic, concrete, metal, electronic media, and other materials 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Co-Sleeping With Baby

I had an interesting conversation with two preschoolers about Baby Hannah yesterday. 

In my current household, there have been  some domestic discord. As such, Baby Hannah's father had been relegated to the sleeping quarters in the hall.

I was asked to occupy the space beside Baby Hannah's mother. Now, Baby Hannah's mother has bought a crib for the baby costing Aud500 ish from Ikea. But from day 1 that Baby Hannah has come home, she has been frolicky and never used the crib. The only reason they bought the crib was open request of the midwife.

Now, when enquired, the mom told me that the midwives had insisted that they procure a crib. The midwives were of Caucasian background.

Like most Asian families, just to give some background stories, most babies always sleep with their moms. I can't remember much about my childhood, but I know I didn't move into my own room till I was 7. My brother was already 9 then. This was in the 1980s.

I do know of a Thai lady whose daughter is about Year 3, and she has her own room, but sleeps on a bed in the same room as the mother. 

My ex bf, who is now in his mid 30s, with his brother, used to co sleep with their parents until they finished high school. His story is a bit extreme, coz I moved into my room at 7. 

Anyways in continuing the story, Baby Hannah's parents sleep on a mattress on the floor. The mom is from Korean descent, and father is from Pakistani Indian descent. Both are accustomed to sleeping on the floor, which is the practise in their home countries.

When I was lying on the bed, the baby just crawled over to sleeping beside me and then she slept on my hand. 

Man, her head is heavy...

I didn't really think about it coz I was exhausted, and was already fast asleep not long after.

I somehow found it amusing and was sharing the story with two preschoolers, Ava and Ben. They both come from Caucasian backgrounds. 

Ben has his own room, and is the eldest child with a younger sister in his family. Ava is also the eldest child, with a toddler for a sister.

They somehow found the story fascinating that the baby was using my arm as a pillow. Even more fascinating was they were asking whether I stayed next door, and I told them I was a friend who stayed with them in the same unit. 

Then they moved on to what kind of a house we lived in... And why I was living in the same place. 

To simplify the story, I told them that when the daddy was away, I slept with the mother. This went on for close to half an hour.

Anyways, this story does bring to point the differences in child rearing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Are your shoes Pretty or Macho?

So today I had an interesting episode with some children at a centre on Coogee.

We were outside at the sandpit with with a couple of toddlers (2-3 year olds).

Girl A: Are my princess shoes pretty?
Me: yes, there are.
Boy A: Are mine pretty too?
Me: Boys don't normally ask if their shoes are pretty. They like to call it macho. Can you say macho?

Anyways, as an experiment, I asked Girl A another question. Boy A had already gone home by then.

Me: Are your shoes macho?
Girl A: No they are not..

Then I asked Girl B the same question.
Me: Are your shoes macho?
Girl B: Yes, they are.
Me: Are your shoes pretty?
Girl B: Yes, they are.
Me: So your shoes are both macho and pretty?
Girl B: Yes, they are... Are you tricking me?


So I asked a lady teacher the same question
Me: Are your shoes macho?
Teacher A: hmmmm they are not very.. Why?
Me: This is supposed to be a trick question. So are they macho?
Teacher A: I guess not..
Me: So are they pretty?
Teacher A: I would suppose so...I think they should be..

Then I told her the episode of what happened earlier.
Teacher A: Was that Girl B? Kids these days are getting too smart..!

Friday, December 13, 2013

First shift with a new employer!

So today is my first ever shift with a new Childcare company. For the sake of brevity and future blog posts, I shall refer to them as E.O, short for 'Employer O' in future posts. 

Just earlier this week, I went for an interview in this not for profit company , E.O, that manages their own Childcare centres.

Out of necessity, I had started looking for a new company to work for as my current Agent E did not provide adequate nor consistent work for me to rely on. 

I decided not to apply for further work in recruitment agencies as most Childcare centres have to pay a high premium to get casual staff to come in, hence shifts are normally not given to them unless the Childcare centres themselves cannot find the needed staff from their own list of casuals. 

Also too, if a work applicant has been sent by the recruitment agency to any group related Childcare centres, she is automatically legally not allowed to apply for work for the following six months at any of the other centres of the same company. 

The same applies for me as with Agent E as well.

When I asked the E.O HR consultant if they will check my work references, she said that unless I was applying for a permanent position, it was not necessary. Anyways, I shoved her a copy of references. 

When I checked my phone this morning, the history of the phone showed that the casuals team had called me once at 6.50am, and another time at 8:24am. 

In my blur just woke up state, I accidentally called the consultant, Julie on the phone. Well, I was still trying to figure out how to use the Iphone 4 that my father had passed on to me. =_=

Apparently they had a shift in the city. I was not supposed to start any shifts till next week anyways.

As I had been thoroughly bored at home for the entire week, I decided to go for the shift which starts at 10am, and ends at 6pm. It turns out I only have 30 mins lunch. I didn't ask whether it was unpaid or not though.

The centre took me about 30 mins to reach. It was easy enough to find, as it was in a well known area and I have been there previously many years ago. 

Work today was okay, and I was assigned to the Tiny Tots and Toddlers room. I managed fairly well, and decided to flow along. Although I do pray that I fared well. 

So the first day of work passed on without any hiccups. Which is a good thing. :-)

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