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KU teachers are specially trained to see what your child sees in the moment to take their learning further. 

There are many factors parents need to consider when choosing a preschool or childcare centre for their child, as not all early childhood services provide the same level of quality of education and care.

Current research suggests about 90% of brain development happens in the first five years of a child’s life. The early childhood service parents choose will have a significant impact on their child’s overall learning and development.

Christine Legg, CEO of KU Children’s Services, a leading provider of preschools, childcare and other early education services in Australia, says there are a number of factors that determine the quality of a service, with a key factor being the quality of educators.

“Early childhood educators led by a university qualified early childhood teacher are essential. Each teacher and educator plays a crucial role in supporting the ongoing learning and development of each child,” says Legg.

An important aspect of early childhood educators’ work is recognising ‘teachable moments’ throughout the day. Teachable moments are unplanned opportunities that teachers and educators can use as opportunities to extend children’s learning. For example, standing in the sun may provide an opportunity to talk about the importance of sun safety or shadows.

“90% of brain development happens in the first five years of a child’s life”

Vandana Vasudevan’s daughter attends KU Chatswood Community Preschool and has been seeking out familiar shapes in everyday items ever since her teachers introduced the idea through teachable moments.

“My daughter saw a pineapple at the supermarket and said ‘Mum, we have to take a picture! My teacher said we can see a pentagon shape’. Now she goes around taking photos of all the different shapes she finds in our house,” says Vasudevan.

“The teachers at KU Chatswood are amazing. I see their commitment and can tell they have inspired my daughter. She loves her teachers.”

Young children learn best by ‘doing’ rather than by ‘being told’. All KU centres have play-based learning programs which provide a wide range of active and meaningful experiences for children.

“Active participation through play is vital for each child’s learning and development and helps build and strengthen brain pathways,” says Legg. “Play has a wide range of intellectual and cognitive benefits, including those relating to memory, language development and regulating behaviour.”

When choosing a preschool or childcare centre, also consider the environment where the children will play and learn. The centre’s environment should be open, inviting and nurturing to support each child’s learning.

Belinda Rahim’s daughter Zakiah attends KU Corrimal East Preschool and the safe, warm and supportive environment at the preschool has allowed her daughter to feel more comfortable and become more confident as she learns.

“KU Corrimal East is the type of centre I had been looking for because it matched with our gentle and respectful attachment style of parenting,” says Rahim.

“KU feels like part of our family. Our daughter loves to tell her teachers exciting things that have been happening in her life, and her stories and experiences are always celebrated, listened to and remembered.”

Ultimately, while the quality of teachers and educators, the educational program and the environment are all central factors to consider when choosing a preschool or childcare centre, sometimes the difference between centres is more instinctive. Visiting a range of centres is recommended before choosing a place where you can see, feel and hear the difference.

www.ku.com.au

Resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Club Med is one of the original “All Inclusive” holiday specialists on the market, which means they include as much as they can in their price.

Out of all the 80 resorts that Club Med has around the world, a whopping 57 of them are family friendly – that’s a lot of holidays to choose from!

The resorts (or villages, as they like to be called) are located all over the world, ranging from the ski slopes in Europe, to the cultural richness of Mexico, so there really is something for everyone.

Major Inclusions:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals (great for budgeting)
  • Sporting activities
  • Shows
  • Evening entertainment

The beauty of this type of holiday is that children are catered for in just about every age group. Club Med have dedicated “Kids Clubs”, ranging from the bubs to the teenagers. If the adults want to have some “grown up” time and take advantage of the Kids Clubs, they may find that their children want to stay all day!

Some villages offer the following care for children:

  • Baby Club Med   – 4 to 23 months
  • Petit Club Med   – 2 to 3 years
  • Mini Club Med   – 4 to 10 years
  • Junior Club Med – 10 to 17 years (some clubs offer 11-13 and 14-17 years)

 Some activities on offer (for everyone, not just the kids!)

  • Tennis
  • Archery
  • Swimming
  • Trapeze
  • Arts and crafts
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Sailing
  • Cooking
  • Snorkelling
  • Bush Walking

If parents want to stay out for the evening, babysitting is also offered for an additional fee.

One of the villages close to home is the Cherating Beach Resort in Malaysia. It has been voted into the top 10 family resorts in Asia by Trip Advisor for 2013.

Highlights include:

  • Baby gym
  • Circus school
  • Petit Chef Program – a fantastic experience! Children learn to cook local dishes and parents come and taste them…yum!
  • Clean Art Planet – children use objects from the sea to create, tell stories, photograph…the list is endless
  • Hiking
  • Dance

Additional highlights:

  • Baby corner in the main restaurant
  • Spare prams (limited supply)
  • Playground

Top tip: If you have young children, ask for a ‘Club Med Baby Welcome Service.’

It includes:

  • Personal Welcome
  • Cot
  • Change mat
  • Bottle Warmer
  • Baby bath
  • High chair if available

For more information visit

www.clubmed.com.au

Getting there

Club Med can even arrange your flights and transfers to your village of choice if you so desire. Alternatively, you can arrange this yourself through your travel agent or online.

When travelling with children I recommend a direct flight where possible. Both Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia fly directly from Perth.

For more information visit

www.malaysianairlines.com

www.airasia.com

** Please be aware that not all the villages offer all the activities**