G8 launches Community Cubby initiative to support families to navigate “new normal”
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to change the way Australian families live, work and care for children, G8 Education has developed an online resource to support parents as they navigate “the new normal”.
Known as the Community Cubby, the resource provides families with expert tips on play-based learning, tried and tested recipes, physical activities to keep the family active and entertained, and ideas for maintaining health and wellbeing.
Aside from practical hints, tips and ideas, the resource has been designed to reassure parents, whether their children are attending a centre or self-isolating at home, that their best efforts to juggle child care, home based learning and work are good enough, and now is not the time to aspire to perfect parenting, a G8 spokesperson said.
While the Community Cubby was established in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 it will be a permanent resource, with a growing library of advice and resources, and in future will draw on the experience of centre managers, educators and teachers employed by G8.
CEO and Managing Director Gary Carroll said that many parents of young children had been faced with difficult decisions balancing both health and economic factors, and that there is no one right decision for parents, only the one which is right for their family based on individual circumstances.
Mr Carroll spoke about the lengths educators have gone to in ensuring that children who are self isolating remain included in the day to day life of centres, including establishing regular zoom sessions to include self-isolating children, sending home activity packs, holding virtual birthday parties for children and hosting story time sessions.
“Parents working on the front line or whose job can’t be performed from home, have also needed the reassurance that their children are happy, safe and thriving while they are in our care,” he added.
The Community Cubby builds on G8 Education’s Kindness Initiative which saw many centres around the country finding ways to bring happiness to their wider communities.
Some decorated centres with colourful rainbows, while others established community pantries inviting families to “leave what you can, take what you need”. Centre chefs turned excess produce into ready cooked meals for parents who needed support, and children found many creative ways to reach out to others especially residents of aged care centres, isolated by measures to protect them from infection.
Mr Carroll said the “many incredible acts of kindness” from centre staff, parents and children had “generated a deeper sense of purpose and community within the G8 Education family.”
The Community Cubby may be viewed here.