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'Culture of Tea' warming the soul at Red Hill

Goodstart centres

Each morning the children and educators at Goodstart Red Hill gather round the teapot for a chat and a nice warm cuppa.

Red Hill Centre Director Renee Mitchell said they decided to embed a 'culture of tea' at the centre as a way for everyone to slow down and connect.

“It came about as an extension to our mindfulness practices which we’ve been doing for over a year now,” Renee said.

“It’s an opportunity for us all to take a mindful moment to appreciate a warm cuppa and a chat with others while taking in our wonderful natural bush environment.”

The children have quickly become very fond of their morning ritual and jump up to come over and join in when they see the tea tray arrive.

“We’ve noticed that children find both peace and calm, joy and laughter while they are having a cuppa – be it in the morning, or in the afternoon.

“It seems that they find comfort in the idea of sitting and being with others.

“In what can be a very busy day for everyone, time out for a cuppa is a nice chance to just relax and find joy in the simple things.”

Parents are also embracing the idea, with many taking the time in the mornings at drop-off to stop for a warm cup of tea and chat.

“Families have been overwhelmingly positive about our tea times," Renee said.

“As well as a chance for them to sit, connect and ‘just be’ with their child, they are using the time to have an informal chat with us about how they are going.

“It’s lovely to see just how much this has contributed to the wellbeing of our little community.”

Renee said it’s not just a feel-good initiative, it’s also strengthening their focus on language and interactions.

“The team here are encouraged to use their tea ceremony time to develop conversation skills, using the Strive for Five strategy and chatting with the children using ‘dancing talk’.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to build positive relationships, and spend time engaging the children in conversations about their lives and their world."

The centre has big plans to continue to embed their culture of tea even further.

“As part of our centre tours we are now offering a cup of tea on arrival during the initial chat in the office.

“We had our first tour accept the offer of tea this week, and it was lovely – we received a very kind email within a couple of hours, and a call from a friend who was referred to go on the waiting list as well.

“We will also soon be extending invitations to our local prep teachers to spend some time here with families for a tea and a chat, as we see this as an opportunity for families to know more about the local schools and start building relationships with the teachers prior to the child’s transition to school.”

Here’s what a couple of our Goodstart Red Hill children had to say about ‘tea time’:
  • “It’s delicious and warm.” -  Isabelle, 3
  • “It tastes like flowers and honey.” -  Amelia 3

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