Raising Bi-lingual Children

bi lingual

We are so fortunate at Bald Hills Kindergarten to have within our community a number of staff and families who are multi-lingual.  

We thought it might be useful and interesting to share a little information about bilingual children…….

  • The best way for children to learn a second language is to have a strong foundation in their first language and for their family to continue to use and support their first language at home
  • Children are able to learn and use more than one language and understand when to use each language 
  • Bilingual children develop language at the same rate as children who speak only one language
  • Many children become silent when first exposed to a second language. This silent period can last months and can be important in developing understanding. During this period it is important to allow children time to just observe without pressure to speak. 
non verbal cues
  • Non-verbal cues (including key concept signing) can be useful when children are learning a new language
  • Following and imitating other children is also a useful strategy for children to use

speech development

You may like to research the topic further.  Here are a few useful websites:

Bilingualism and raising bilingual children

Supporting bilingual children in early childhood

Three common myths about raising bilingual children

Researched by Leisa Smith

Emotional Wellbeing

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As part of our ongoing commitment to improvement and professional learning, our staff continue to participate in regular professional development sessions.

Mrs Hassum and Mrs Smith have both recently participated in seminars covering topics related to children’s emotional wellbeing.  We would like to share a little of the information we learnt and some resources.

Parenting an Anxious Child - Trish Hassum

Anxiety/worry – it is a “normal” emotion; but like all emotions, we feel them to different intensities and at varying times. Whilst it may be a feeling you are familiar with, maybe you think and consider it a lot; these things differ from understanding it and knowing how it works; controlling it so that it does not get stronger or take control of your life. This can make anxiety confusing and frustrating, given you experience it and consider it a lot, but how does it actually work?

Worry can help you, and it can also hurt you. 

We have access to an e-book that explains how this works beautifully and we would like to share it with our interested families. Please request a copy via email.

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Now, what is normal? My image of normal is most likely different to yours, and to the person next to you etc. I challenge you to consider what normal means to you, and with this knowledge, celebrate your uniqueness; be proud of who you are! What I find most amazing about life, is how we are all different; every single one of us. We all have positive attributes and we all have attributes that need a little more effort or consideration.  

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What I learnt most from this professional learning was that sometimes we can travel through life as a family and make adjustments to certain behaviours to adapt to the needs of the family/people around us, to make their lives more comfortable, and I believe that this holds real value and empathy. But what I began to understand and relate to personally was that sometimes these adjustments begin to control your life, or the lives of others. At these times it is then necessary to take a good look at the issue, to start talking with others and to seek some further guidance, maybe from a professional; because once you understand how it works, you are then empowered to control it as you wish.

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“It takes a village to raise a child.” I know it is used plentifully, but we can’t all be masters of all knowledge. Everyone has something to contribute to the world; I strongly believe in the theory of multiple intelligences and passionately believe that I can learn something from every person I meet. I believe that we are utilising our world when we involve the knowledge of experts to guide us and teach us when we have a desire or need to learn.

As suggested, we all experience anxiety/worry. Dr Carolyn Russell was a very enjoyable and approachable presenter at this learning session. She is the co-Founder of Foundations Counselling Centre at Carseldine. They appear to have a broad array of people and knowledge, so if you are looking to expand your village, perhaps someone there may be what you are seeking?

We thank you for allowing us to be a part of your village :)


Teaching young children to manage their emotions - Leisa Smith

Some practical tips follow:

Children need support to learn to identify and control their emotions.  We can assist this by “mirroring” their facial expressions and verbally identifying their feelings from a very young age – “I see you are feeling sad/angry/frustrated”.  

When children are overwhelmed by their emotions, their language skills might not be adequate for them to be able to express themselves verbally.  Waiting until the child feels calm and discussing the situation can be more successful.  Connection and empathy are needed to regulate our emotions, then discussion and learning can take place.

A few steps that adults can take when assisting children to calm down are -

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  1. 1. stay calm and in control (even though this can be difficult)
  2. 2. hold a young child tightly (especially if they are at risk of hurting themselves or others)
  3. 3. mirror the child’s facial expressions
  4. 4. de-escalate the situation using your voice (start high/loud and bring it down)
  5. 5. help the child make sense of what’s happening using words
  6. 6. wish fulfilment (say “I know you wish that ……”)
  7. 7. provide a ‘chill out’ space where the child can go until they feel calm (perhaps with physical items like cushions or a special toy)

This session was delivered by Dr Kaylene Henderson.  Her website has some fantastic free resources, as well as access to her online parenting course – definitely worth checking out!

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Come join in our ROCK FESTIVAL

Come join in our ROCK FESTIVAL!

As part of our playground re-design, we will be creating a dry creek bed / rock garden.

We are asking families to collect and bring along rocks that they might find at home, at the beach, in the park, while camping......

Perhaps you can find some during your Easter activities?

We would prefer smooth rocks between 5 cm and 10 cm in size.

Can your rock join the festival? For safety purposes, use this choke check tool link to check your rock is larger than a child’s trachea. 

All donations gratefully received.

Agency of the child

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Our senior educators recently participated in a professional development opportunity presented by ACECQA (Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority).

The topic was AGENCY OF THE CHILD.

Our Early Years Learning Framework and Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline tells us about the importance of promoting children’s agency and providing opportunities for children to influence their environment.

Agency is “being able to make choices and decisions, to influence events and to have an impact on one’s world” (EYLF pg 45). 

Our educators understand and value the importance of “agency” within the lives of children, within our daily programmes and within our service ethos.  We consistently undertake critical reflection to promote children’s agency and their sense of agency.


Here is a few strategies and practices which we use to ensure children have agency within our service –

> Educators are responsive to children’s ideas and input

> Children are given choice and support regarding rest and sleep requirements

> Progressive morning tea and lunch routines with flexible times

> Child access to resources and materials

> Participation in gardening experiences

> Participation in tidying up routines

> Flexibility within centre schedule to allow for meaningful involvement in learning experiences

> Children are views as competent and active learners

> Time allowed for children to experiment with strategies to resolve conflict, problem solve, negotiation, make decisions

> Independence in hygiene routines promoted

> Supporting children to become increasingly responsible for their own belongings

> Scaffolding safe risk-taking

> Participation in ‘real-life’ tasks and responsibilities

Empowering children to voice their personal views, needs and emotions. 

© Bald Hills Kindergarten & Preschool 2017