3 Effective tips on Refurbishing your Service within BudgetCarrying out a refurb project within your budget is possible. All you have to do is a little bit of preliminary planning. Here’s 3 simple & effective tips on how to refurbish your centre within budget:
1. Set the budget in advance: This is the most important preliminary step. Setting the budget allows you to establish the framework for the refurbishment. It gives you a chance to plan strategically about hiring contractors or looking at supply options.
2. Find the right supplier: Do online research and compare the cost of supplies from different vendors. Get in touch with the suppliers like us – we can provide you with a personalised quote with generous discounts. One of our staff will be willing to come and visit your centre and offer design tips unique to your centre.
3. Buy Off season – Often, childcare suppliers will run discount campaigns and sales. These give you an opportunity to reduce the cost of acquiring new resources, equipment and furniture. We always maintain a selection of clearance items. From shelf units and furniture pieces to paper and toys, you can easily discover a good selection of essentials that are affordable.
Quick and easy tips for creating an effective Nursery roomHere’s 5 quick and easy tips for ensuring an effective Nursery room in your Childcare centre:
1. Use back saver cots. Sleeping cots that feature a higher base and one drop-side are more ergonomic for the educators back as they don’t have to lean so far over to pick up a child, and allows for a smoother transition in and out of the cot.
2. Purchase appropriate highchairs. The decision is yours, whether you prefer High or Low chairs, wooden or moulded plastic frames, choose according to the centres needs & requirements.
3. Have a designated changing station. Some centres feature a built-in changing station area, specifically for changing the children’s nappies. This is a good practice for maintaining hygiene and organisation within the centre.
4. Age-appropriate resources. Choose wisely when selecting learning resources for the nursery, and ensure there are no small or loose parts that could be a hazard for little children. Soft toys, baby books and teethers are great resources to include.
5. Maintain hygiene supplies. Keep good stocks of hygiene supplies including wipes, gloves & child-safe cleaning chemicals. Children can be unpredictable, so we need to be prepared .
And there you go, you’ll have an effective Nursery room quicker and easier then you thought.
Product Review: Silishapes Soft BricksOur Silishapes soft bricks are chunky, colourful, silicon pieces that young children can use in their everyday play. Made from ultra-soft, flexible silicon, these bricks are safe for littlest of hands.
Children can stack, use them for sorting or arrange them into patterns with ease. They are translucent so light can pass through them, and they light up when placed on a light panel. Ideal for being used in construction and small world play as well as in sand & water.
They are dishwasher safe for simple & easy cleaning. Silishapes soft bricks are available in a set of 24 or 72, and are suitable for children from the age of 18 months.
View product online: https://step4.com.au/blocks-construction/silishapes-soft-bricks-72pcs/
Product Review: Magnetic Multicultural KidsMagnetic Multicultural kids is a set of brightly painted wooden blocks, depicting 8 different multi-ethnic characters. The pieces are 2-sided and are held together with magnets, making them easier for young children to connect together.
They encourage young children to put parts together to create characters and teach them about face recognition and clothing. Great for hand-eye coordination as well as logical thinking, and will promote conversations about the differences and similarities of the characters.
Ideal for children from 2 years of age.
View product online: https://step4.com.au/multicultural-resources/magnetic-multicultural-kids/
Product Review: Light PanelsThe good old classroom favourite! Portable, lightweight, and easy to use, these Light panels provide consistent clean light creating a calm, sensory atmosphere.
Featuring 3 light settings and a handy lock feature that prevents the panel being switched off unintentionally. Ideal for exploring light, dark, colour mixing and shadows; and serves as a great focused area to study the detail of man-made and natural materials.
Light panels encourage the children to gather around them when working collaboratively, discussing what they see. A comprehensive guide is included with the light panel with inspiring ideas for using a light panel. Available in over 5 different shapes and sizes.
View online: https://step4.com.au/product/learning-resources/science-discovery/visual-discovery/
Product Review: Sensory Mood LightsIntroducing our Sensory Mood Lights! Made from hollow plastic, these 3D Mood lights provide background and mood lighting to stimulate a child’s senses. They are lit from the inside by LED’s to create a warm glow, and create a calming atmosphere.
Each mood light uses safe low voltage and current, meaning the lights never get hot even if left switched on for long periods of time. Available in different shapes all of which fit on the recharge station. Using the remote control you can choose one of 16 different colours, or set to fade smoothly through the entire spectrum of shades from a cool ultra-violet to a warm red.
When the sensory mood lights are plugged in, they charge up their own internal re-chargeable batteries so they can be unplugged and moved anywhere whilst still illuminated. Completely waterproof, and strong enough for children to sit on, these lights are a great addition to any quiet corner.
View online at www.step4.com.au
Top Tips: 3 Cleaning Precautions for your ServiceHere are 3 cleaning precautions you can take to minimise the chance of germs & bacteria spreading in your home, work or child care centre:
1. Clean regularly: high touch surfaces that are frequently used such as door handles, light switches, the kitchen table, toilets and even mobile phones
2. Use the right cleaners: The Centres for Disease control recommends using a diluted bleach solution, disinfectant cleaning solutions or antibacterial cleaners.
3. Wear gloves when cleaning: Disposable latex gloves are a great option, and it is recommended you replace these each time you start a new round of cleaning.
If you’re wondering where & how to get started, we have created a range of Sanitising Kits designed to suit your home & your workplace. These kits include a variety of Non-Rinse Sanitisers, Bleach, Disinfectant, Spray bottles, gloves & cleaning cloths & more. Choose the right kit for your size centre, and you’ll have a safe, clean sanitised centre before you know it!
Product Review: Elou Cork ToysElou Cork toys stimulate sensory, spatial and cognitive development amongst children.
Cork is a sustainable, hypoallergenic substance. Its soft texture, lightness, shock resistance and absorptive properties make it ideal for creating child-friendly toys at childcare quality. Unlike other wooden toys, cork toys can be used in the bath, by the pool and outdoors. Choose from an environmentally friendly range of giant blocks, dominoes, pull along toys, stackers, posting resources & more.
View cork toys online: https://step4.com.au/product/learning-resources/manipulative-developmental/elou-cork-toys/
Product Review: Fantasy FortOur versatile Fantasy Fort can provide hours of fun for your children to create whatever they desire. Is it a house? Is it a boat? Is it a secret hideout?…the options are endless!
The set includes 16 sturdy, heavy duty cardboard panels that can be connected on any of the four sides, with double sided Velcro connectors.
If one set just isn’t enough to build the fort of your dreams, add on another set to double your opportunities!
The pieces can be arranged and rearranged over again to provide an opportunity for limitless creations. The fun doesn’t end once the fort is complete… children can set up a shop or house inside, have a quiet area to read, or furnish their ‘Princess Castle’.
Take it outside on a nice sunny day, this is a great way to enjoy the fresh air!
View online: https://step4.com.au/blocks-construction/fantasy-fort-kit/
Product Review: Bamboo Construct & RollThis amazing resource is so open-ended, so a child can truly use their
imagination to explore and play. If you’re serious about children
learning through play then this is one natural learning resource that you
must have in your block corner or child’s play room.
As children build bamboo ramps and investigate rolling a variety of
objects they gain a deeper understanding of foundational maths and
science concepts (STEM). There are so many opportunities for children
to practise problem solving, engage in open-ended play and investigate
rolling a variety of objects. This natural learning resource is made from
natural bamboo and every piece is unique. All pieces come apart simply
joined by dowel and holes. So it can also be added to loose parts or
combined with blocks for further building extensions.
View online: https://step4.com.au/blocks-construction/bamboo-construct-roll-22pcs/
Product Review: Giant Dome PanelsThere’s nothing more fascinating than seeing yourself in a distorted world, which is why convex mirrors are always a favourite amongst children.
With dome mirrors, children will see themselves enlarged and stretched when standing close to the mirror, and diminishing in size as they move away. These mirrors are available as a single dome, or with 9 dome panels. The scratch resilient acrylic mirror makes it ideal for withstanding the rigours of children’s play.
Great for the home corner area and can be used inside or out. The mirror measures 78x78cm and comes with sticky pads & corner fixing brackets.
View product online:
Simple & clever hacks to creating a room layout that flowsUse zones: An effective room layout utilises zones to stimulate different types of activities. Some of the common areas include cubby storage, a quiet reading corner, an open activity area, storage spaces and a social and a roleplay area.
Define a path: To ensure order and smooth operations, define a path of travel within the room. Signs and floor mats are ideal for showing children how they should move around the room.
Visual Boundaries: Visual boundaries can be created through the use of furniture, whiteboards and mobile classroom dividers. It’s also a good idea to feature labels, pictures or different colours to show what each part of the room is intended for.
Think Like A Child: The most effective room layouts are the ones that make use of space from a child’s point of view. To design from a child’s perspective, it can be a good idea to get down on your hands and knees. This way, you can think about security and exploration in a way you wouldn’t have considered before.