"Meet our clients" Category

JoJos Childcare

July 29, 2019 / Meet our clients

This month we enjoyed having a catch-up with Jo, a Kumeu local, qualified teacher, mum of five and manager of the popular Jojo’s Childcare centre. Affectionately known by the kids as Jojo, she loves family, giving back to her community and seeing children learn and grow through play.

 

Can you introduce Jojo’s Childcare?

We’re a family owned and run Early Learning Centre licenced for 100 children, from birth to six years old, and we’re based in Kumeu. We’ve got an amazing team of teachers who love seeing our children make discoveries through play, and we’re committed to giving back to our community.

 

What are you focusing on at the moment?

We’ve been reflecting on our learning stories – how we can better represent each child’s time here and look more deeply into their development.

We’re also looking at ways we can engage more with our local culture – making sure that when we talk about biculturalism and speaking te Reo Māori, that we are doing it authentically and in conversation with our families and local iwi.

 

For people who don’t know what learning stories are can you tell me a bit about that?

Typically, learning stories are a snapshot of what your child is up to and they get collated into a portfolio which parents can take home or view online. A teacher generally observes a child or a group of children in an activity – they take a couple of photos and write up a story to go into the portfolio.

The learning stories can then be used as part of the teacher’s inquiry and planning – with the idea that planning and assessment is child-led and prompted by their interests and development.

There’s not one way to do learning stories; there’s a lot of grey areas. Typically, most centres use the learning stories to observe, take photos and then write one story a month based on one of those interactions.

But this falls short because one interaction a month is just a snapshot – a child’s interests and development changes all the time.

Because of their relationship with the children, teachers are aware of the child’s development and interests, but in terms of documenting and sharing with parents, it’s just one moment in time – it doesn’t really go deep into the child’s development.

 

Childrens outdoor playground at Jojos Childcare

 

What is Jojo’s trying to do differently with their learning stories?

We are currently trialling a new system suggested by one of our under two’s teachers. She had the idea of an individual development plan. As the under two teachers have more non-contact time available (with babies sleeping more) they are able to dedicate more time to documenting each child’s development. Instead of one photo a month and a longer story, her idea was to take more photos and write one or two sentence summaries of what’s happening in the photo.

We knew it wasn’t feasible to just rollout across the centre without testing the waters first, but her suggestion did prompt us to look more deeply at what we do.

The new system is based on looking at stories across a term, where we can create a child’s individual development plan and include more input from parents and the children themselves.

Based on this new approach, you might end up with about nine photos and summaries over a term -showing a child’s development, their changing interests, and including their thoughts and their parents input too.

As a result, you have a much chunkier, deeper evaluation and understanding of each child. Parents can see what their child has got up to through that term and how it relates to the curriculum. These development plans can then be used to plan for the next term.

This means term by term we’re going to get a much bigger picture, which will really help with our child-led planning.

 

How are the trials going?

Some of our parents are aware of it and it’s really important we get it right. So we tried it out for a few children in term one and asked for parent feedback. We trialled it again in term two and brought in more children. And we will evaluate again and speak to parents.

The parents who have been involved in the trials are happy.

Each term we intend to bring on more children and if the feedback continues to be positive we will look to roll it out across the centre – so real child-led planning and assessment for all our children – from baby to schoolies.

 

Sounds great. Can you tell me a bit more about your other focus – engaging more authentically with your local culture? What does that look like?

Two of our teachers are working on creating a local curriculum. They are in contact with our local marae and asking for contribution from our families connected with our local iwi, Ngāti Whātua. We’re looking at what stories or issues might be particularly relevant and exploring ways to include them in our curriculum.

We speak and sing in te reo too, and we want to make sure that we are incorporating language and culture in a way that is really authentic, rather than it being a token gesture.

We are interested in how we create a local curriculum which is relevant to Jojo’s and make sure we listen and include our families, especially those with Māori  heritage, to make them feel welcome and offer them the opportunity to contribute.

Authentic biculturalism is really important to Jojo’s. This inquiry is relevant to our families and will have a positive impact on our children.

 

 

What does this look like in practice?

We want to have a deeper connection with Māori culture and feel more confident when using Māori words and practice. Having these conversations with local marae and families affirms that we are on the right track and it deepens our knowledge.

We’ve also been thinking about how we celebrate Matariki, especially how we can make it more about our families. For the first time this year, we held a celebration towards the end of Matariki, where our families came together to enjoy a shared meal and incorporate what we have learnt.

It’s about making it more real for families. It’s hard to say what direction this will take us or how it will play out, but so far we have done quite a lot of research into our local area and our community’s history.

Another thing we have done is look at our pepeha – who we are, our name, river and mountain.

 

What else is Jojo’s focusing on?

We’re moving ahead with our school holiday programmes. We did our first one in the last school holidays and will run them again in the next school break.

And at the beginning of this year, we also started before and after school care.

 

Why is this important?

For a few reasons. For school age children we wanted to offer a continuity of care. We also want to better support our staff who have got school age children and our wider community.

We also advertise a room for hire during school hours. So, from 9am-3pm we have a room that is available for community use. It’s important that Jojo’s contributes and gives back to our community as much as we can.

 

Great. How else are you helping the local community?

By valuing sustainability and finding ways to reduce our footprint. We’re about to start a trial of using cloth nappies with the support of Auckland Council. Cloth nappies are obviously much better for the environment. We are going to do an eight week trial, where Auckland Council does an audit of our rubbish at the beginning and the end. If we can prove that we can significantly reduce our waste during the trial, Auckland Council will provide us with a set of cloth nappies at a discounted rate.

We are also looking at making our own wipes with coconut oils and paper towels, as well as reusable wipes.

 

Thanks Jo. Where can people go to find out more?

Please visit our website at www.jojoschildcare.co.nz or give us a call on 09 412 5325. If you’re looking for a childcare centre, we’d love to hear from you and arrange a time when you can come for a visit.

 


Two Sparrows developed a website for Jojos Childcare, and Imelda’s two youngest children attended the centre before they started school – both children loved their time there! 

Waitakere Foot

April 9, 2019 / Meet our clients

With the wealth of information that’s easily available to us now, we spend more time thinking about our health and wellbeing than ever before. Yet, how many of us spend much time considering our feet? (Except for maybe painting our toenails every now and again.)

This month we spoke to the founder of Waitakere Foot, Kiseon Hong, to talk about the Waitakere Foot podiatry clinics, and how looking after our feet can be the key to staying mobile and healthy.

 

Our beginnings

Ten years ago, I was a podiatrist based in a small room at a physio clinic in Te Atatu Peninsula. I recognised that West Aucklanders needed a proper, larger podiatry clinic that was easy for them to access, affordable and professional. Before Waitakere Foot, there were no podiatry clinics in West Auckland that were providing full services and full-time access.

So, I founded Waitakere Foot. And from a one-person clinic we’ve grown to three clinics – Te Atatu, Henderson and New Lynn, with a team of six highly-skilled podiatrists.

 

Remember your feet!

We can easily take our feet for granted and not give them the proper attention they deserve. They are the furthest limb from our body, which makes it hard for some – especially the elderly – to look after them. But when things go wrong, we can lose mobility and our whole health may deteriorate.

Conditions like diabetes can result in complications to the feet as a result of nerve damage. We treat patients with diabetes to prevent these kind of complications – especially to stop their feet being amputated.

At Waitakere Foot, we want to help people take care of their feet and for everyone to be able to walk or run through life without pain.

 

woman running through a park, wearing running shoes

 

A full service

General and sports. Young and old. Prevention and treatment.

We provide a complete service to treat and care for the whole family’s feet from babies, to active adults and the elderly. This means we can help prevent and treat general and sports-related injuries, care for feet and nails, and alleviate pain.

We look after the whole of the foot from addressing muscular-skeletal concerns to skin care, nail treatments and orthotics (corrective devices to put in your shoes). We have a range of treatments and equipment available in our clinics. For example, in New Lynn, we can offer Light Therapy Treatment and in Te Atatu, patients can get Shockwave Therapy.

Our clinicians are trained in a range of specialties, from general podiatry to sports podiatry and orthotics, to ingrown and fungal nail treatments and surgery. You can see the full range of our services on our website.

 

Keeping up-to-date

It’s important that our clients receive the most up-to-date procedures and treatments. Our experienced clinicians each have their own specialty, and we regularly go to conferences to keep informed of any changes to technology and within podiatry – to make sure that what we do is always current and evidence-based.

 

Teaching the next generation of podiatrists

We value education and promoting podiatry. As well as helping our patients look after their feet, we take on students for placements, teach classes at AUT, and sit in at med school with our future doctors.

 

Easy access

Looking after our feet well, choosing the right shoes, properly managing and treating problem nails, alleviating pain from sports injuries, and preventing serious complications to our feet are all so important to our mobility and overall health. That’s why easy access to highly skilled and experienced podiatrists is crucial.

Our podiatrists are available at our three Waitakere Foot clinics five-days a week with late night and Saturday appointments available on request.


For more information about Waitakere Foot, visit www.waitakerefoot.co.nz

 

Two Sparrows provide graphic design services and recently developed a new website for Waitakere Foot. 

Banana Boat Ocean Swim

December 11, 2018 / Meet our clients

Images © Banana Boat Ocean Swim


For 12 years, Banana Boat New Zealand’s Ocean Swim Series has been hosting open water swimming events around the country for all swimmers – from first-timers to the very competitive. And they continue to keep their line-up exciting and challenging by adding events – including the new Amphibian series, and a 5km swim in Rotorua – their longest swim yet.

Here, Ocean Swim’s chief, Scott Rice, chats to us about his passion for swimming, what’s new, and how you can get into open water swimming this summer.

 

What’s your why?

Swimming’s been a huge part of my life. I learnt to swim at an early age, and my whole family were into swimming. I swam competitively for about 15 years.

With the Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series, I wanted to give other people the opportunity to swim, or encourage others to improve their swimming and get out there. We have a range of distances – from 500m to 5km – so it suits everyone, from people wanting to tick off an open water swim from their bucket list, right through to swimmers who are at the top of their game.

 

Swimmers in wetsuits running across the beach from the water

 

What’s great about open water swimming?

It takes you out of your comfort zone, into the outdoors, and you can switch off in ways you probably can’t in a pool. You’re at one with nature and there are no walls so you don’t have to turn around and swim back. It’s great to swim around islands, across a harbour or to a lighthouse. It’s a real sense of achievement beating your personal best or completing the event. It’s exhilarating when you finish.

New Zealand has some fantastic places to swim – Mount Maunganui and Omaha are two of my favourites. Overseas, Fiji has some beautiful spots – anywhere with clear and warm water makes for great swimming.

 

What’s new?

This 2018/2019 season we’re launching the Amphibian Series which combines swimming and running. We know that multi-sport events are really popular, and we’ve got some spectacular venues where we have our swims, so it’s easy to add running. We want to encourage new people to get involved and our swimmers are keen for a new challenge too!

Our very first Amphibian event will be at the Generation Homes Sand to Surf on 9th February at the legendary Mount Maunganui, with a 500m swim, followed by a 4km run around the base of the Mount. Then on 16th March, at the Generation Homes Legend of the Lake in Rotorua, there will be a 1.5km swim across the Blue Lake, then a 3km forest run, followed by a final 500m swim around the Blue Lake shoreline.

 

Competitors running into ocean

 

Start swimming this summer

Your local pool will have resources if you want to learn to swim or improve your swimming. Swimming relies on good technique so it’s good to get your technique checked and make some adjustments before you head out into the open water.

We partner with other events around the country – there are plenty of swimming coaches you can access or local squads in pools that you can join. And, we have a program for first-timers – from getting off the couch to completing a 500 metre swim. Take a look at our website for this and all our other events.

The Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim series events run right through summer – we started on December 1st in the Bay of Islands. Challenge yourself, have fun, and see you out there!


For more information about the Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series, visit www.oceanswim.co.nz

 

Two Sparrows provides website support, development and design to Ocean Swim. 

Growing up in New Zealand

December 4, 2018 / Meet our clients

Images: © Growing Up in New Zealand. Featured children and families have consented to the use of their images.


One thing we love about working with our amazing clients is catching on to their story – being inspired by their work and the commitment they have to the people they impact on a daily basis. In the case of Growing Up in New Zealand, the information they collect and research they undertake has the potential to have a far-reaching and important impact on the future health and wellbeing of New Zealand children and families.

In the first of our series profiling the teams and organisations that Two Sparrows is honoured to be associated with, we ask the University of Auckland’s Growing Up in New Zealand for some insights into their work.

 

What does Growing Up in New Zealand do?

Growing Up in New Zealand is a long term child development study exploring what life is like for children in 21st century New Zealand. For more than a decade we’ve been following around 6,800 children; we started in pregnancy and plan to continue until the children are at least 21 years old. The information from the study is used to help  shape how communities, organisations and the government can provide targeted and early support to families with the goal of giving every New Zealand child the best start in life.

 

 

How does the study gather the information?

We interview, measure, and observe the children in the context of their families to track their health, wellbeing and development.  The children were originally born in the Auckland and Waikato regions, but are now based all over New Zealand and some even overseas. During our data collection waves we have a dedicated team of field interviewers who head out around the country to meet with our study families.

In April 2018 we celebrated the ten year anniversary of the study’s launch. Over that time we’ve carried out more than 90,000 interviews and collected more than 50 million pieces of data, providing insights into areas such as paid parental leave, immunisation, household safety, bullying and perinatal depression among fathers.

 

What’s exciting about your latest data collection?

For the first time since this study began, our latest data collection wave has invited and captured answers directly from the children themselves. It’s really exciting to now be hearing their voices because it gives us first-hand insights into their lives and their unique perspectives on what it’s like to be growing up in New Zealand today. As part of this data collection wave, the children have also had the opportunity to complete Time Use Diaries. They’ve shared some beautiful artwork, poetry and recipes with us which has been fantastic!

 

What are some recent discoveries?

We’ve learned a lot over the last ten years! For example, kiwi kids are very mobile – two thirds of all the cohort children and their families moved at least once before they started school. And there is a huge diversity of languages spoken in the homes of today’s New Zealand preschoolers – more than 85! Also, our ability to know and speak Te Reo Māori is growing.

Sadly, bullying can begin early. We found that one in ten children experienced regular bullying or had been picked on since the age of two.

We also know that today’s kiwi kids are digital natives and we’ve explored concerns around screen time and how that impacts behavior. What we’ve learned so far is that the type of content and the rules around device use might have more of an impact on behavioural issues than just the amount of time kids are engaging with screens.

Findings like these help us and others understand how kiwi kids live, learn and grow. Here are some more intriguing insights.

 

 

Why is this study so important?

Growing Up in New Zealand gives New Zealand families and children a voice and shows what steps families, communities, organisations and the government can take to give children the best start in life. The findings show how children interact not only within their family, but their wider social and cultural environment – their neighborhoods and schools, for instance.

The beauty of longitudinal studies like Growing Up in New Zealand is that the information they provide grows richer over time, and we can see how what happens in early life can impact and shape outcomes in later life. That gives people like researchers, policy makers, academics and clinicians the necessary evidence to make changes in the areas that matter most.

Our Growing Up families come from a diverse range of backgrounds and are a strong representation of all New Zealand whānau. So the insights they so generously share with us can help make a positive and lasting impact to the lives of all New Zealand children, both now and in the future. We think that’s a pretty special gift.


For more information on Growing Up in New Zealand, visit www.growingup.co.nz

 

Two Sparrows provides graphic design services to Growing Up in New Zealand, including newsletter and magazine layout, report layout, illustration and birthday card design.