About Carinya

Blue Mountains Welcome by Karen Maber
Carinya Neighbourhood Children’s Centre Inc. aims to provide a homelike atmosphere within a caring and stimulating environment, focusing on each child’s individual needs, with particular consideration for the interest and aptitudes of each child, one that supports families to achieve their expectations of high quality care and education. In 2015 the National Quality Standard rated the centre as exceeding.

Carinya provides an environment that is safe, where children are valued and cared for, one that encourages them to have fun by exploring, discovering and experiencing their world and recognizing each child as a unique individual, with a right to grow with a positive self image.

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Food


Food at Carinya

Meals and snacks are an important part of the Carinya day. The children eat healthy and tasty food and drinks to fuel their play, learning and physical growth.

All meals are prepared onsite by our qualified Cook and follow the current Australian Dietary Guidelines published by the National Health and Medical Research Council. This means we

  • eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit;
  • keep sugar and salt to minimal levels;
  • choose mostly wholegrain breads and cereals;
  • enjoy low fat cheese and yogurt and drink whole fresh milk (calcium fortified soy for those who cannot tolerate dairy);
  • eat lean meats, poultry, fish and legumes.

In addition to these guidelines we choose to avoid all artificial colours and flavours as well as MSG.

We serve filtered water with lunch. On days where a vegetarian lunch is served we serve diluted juice as the vitamin C present boosts iron absorption. We also serve other iron rich foods on these days (eg milo, dried fruit or wholemeal breads/cereals). We drink milk at snack times.

We cater for food allergies and intolerances and work together with families to produce an Allergy Management Plan that includes foods to be avoided/included. In order to protect those children in our care with anaphylactic food allergies we ask that families send no food with their children to Carinya and that only water be sent in their drink bottles.

We respect all religious, cultural and family traditions, including those that influence how or what we eat.


Mealtimes


Mealtimes at Carinya

IMG_8880When the children sit together at tables with friends and educators there are opportunities for fabulous conversations and for learning age appropriate table manners. Children are encouraged to try new foods, and are often more adventurous at Carinya than at home. Children are never pressured into eating something they dislike and alternatives are always offered in cases of food refusal.

All ages of children participate in cooking and food related activities. These activities may include making play dough, preparing mini pizzas, making breads, cakes and muffins, blending smoothies, making salads, using fruits and veges in artwork and the old favourite, setting up shops! We save boxes and jars so the children can set up realistic shops and let them use the green shopping bags.

As part of our whole centre commitment to sustainable practices we save kitchen scraps for both our compost and worm farm. We use recyclable shopping bags, choose products with minimal packaging where possible and opt for earth friendly detergents and cleaners.

We choose products that support Australian farmers and manufacturers wherever possible. We use only free range eggs.


Birthdays


Birthdays at Carinya

birthdayTo celebrate each child’s birthday our Cook makes a cupcake for the birthday person which is decorated with candles to blow while everyone sings. We use party hats/birthday crowns and the older children share a bag of natural lollies with their friends. This usually happens at afternoon tea time and staff photograph and document the special event for your child’s portfolio.

Please remember to tell us about your family’s special birthday traditions or let us know if you would prefer that we celebrate in a different way.

Philosophy

Centre Philosophy

Carinya Neighbourhood Children’s Centre Inc. aims to provide a homelike atmosphere within a caring and stimulating environment, focusing on each child’s individual needs, with particular consideration for the interest and aptitudes of each child, one that supports families to achieve their expectations of high quality care and education. Carinya provides an environment that is safe, where children are valued and cared for, one that encourages them to have fun by exploring, discovering and experiencing their world and recognizing each child as a unique individual, with a right to grow with a positive self image.

Education

At Springwood Foundation Day, marching as the Very Hungry Caterpillar!

At Foundation Day 2014, marching as the Very Hungry Caterpillar!

We offer regular excursions to local amenities such as the Library, Post Office, local Aboriginal sites, bush walks.  Carinya takes an active part in the community by being involved in events such as ‘Foundation Day’ etc – through this, children are enabled to experience the world around them and be involved in their community.  The service also provides many Incursions, which are part of the centre’s programmed activities, and meets the aims of the Early Years Learning Framework, Curriculum Framework and the NQF.

Children at Carinya will gain a respect for the environment through hands-on learning experiences.  Educators will plan experiences and activities that introduce the children to environmental concepts such as recycling, composting, tree planting, gardening and water conservation.  Environmental topics and issues will be discussed with the children in everyday practice.

The  Educators, Parent Management Committee, and all other members of staff at Carinya respect and take into consideration any cultural, socioeconomic situations, disabilities, or any other differences of individuals who come into contact with the centre. Each child at Carinya, regardless of gender, race, religion, physical ability or aptitude, is given the same opportunities as every other child. The educators ensure that each child is exposed to a wide range of cultural experiences and ensure that a conscious effort is given for girls and boys to have equal verbal interaction and activities. Educators actively discourage gender stereotypical behaviours.  A climate of co-operation rather than competition is promoted within the centre.

Parents

Parents are assumed to be competent and caring in raising their children, and are recognised as unique individuals entitled to their thoughts, opinions, beliefs and lifestyles.  They have a right to expect that their cultural and /or religious practices be respected.  Parental involvement in the program is encouraged and welcomed.  Educators offer information, resources and support where appropriate.  Educators and parents need to work co-operatively to obtain the best results for all children in our community.

Staff

Carinya Neighbourhood Children’s Centre Inc. recognises that its staff members play a pivotal role in the well being and nurturing of children.  All staff are respected, valued, supported, and their wellbeing in their work environment is ensured. Educators are encouraged to develop and enhance their skills through training and awareness courses, thus ensuring they are competent and professional. The centre allocates annual funds from its budget to foster staff development. Work Place Health and Safety is paramount, policies and procedures are in place to ensure an effective safe work place for the education and care of children and for all users.  Emotional, physical and environment concerns are addressed through various forums.  Grievance procedures are in place to resolve any conflict that arises and a counselling service is offered to address and /or mediate any difficulties that staff may experience.