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From the Principal

The wind is in the barley-grass
The wattles are in bloom
The breezes greet us as they pass
With honey-sweet perfume;
The parakeets go screaming by
With flash of golden wing,
And from the swamp the wild-ducks cry
Their long-drawn note of revelry
Rejoicing at the spring.


Isn’t it lovely to feel Spring in the air?

With the recent warmer mornings, the bright moon-lit nights and welcome rain too, it feels with nature’s offerings, we have much to feel grateful for!
One of the lovely times of day on our school site is late afternoon when everything gradually becomes quieter and quieter and the animals and birds come out to play.

It was just this time last Friday when something unexpected and magical happened. A very active, healthy Koala came bounding across the top green playground (much like a rabbit) and scampered up a tree…it sat and looked around…then climbed higher and took a flying leap to another tree. It leapt this way from tree to tree several times before climbing back down to the ground, sniffing at the Macadamia tree and ambling onto the brick path past my office, then it rabbit-hopped quickly past Class 3, towards Class 1 and over to the Eucalypt trees he was surely seeking! So special!

In Animal Dreaming, a book by Scott Alexander King, Koala represents Journeys – A sacred journey that is unique for everyone, an expedition that supports the individual needs and requirements of all people. Koala reassures us that we inherently know the answers to our questions. Koala can show us that now is the time to take responsibility for our own life, our own path and our own destiny by listening to our heart of hearts. With Koala dreaming, the potential for growth and transformation strengthens.

Happy Spring Days


Can you help?

Hello all,  I am a year 11 student who has had the opportunity to be an ambassador for a small non for profit organisation ‘Period Pack’ which was founded by Lily Harrison a CBRSS student who graduated in 2019. This organisation aims to provide women and people who menstruate in need in the Northern Rivers with menstruation products and maternity packs to make life a little easier each month. Whilst in Australia menstrual products are still not free we can all do something to bridge the gap between period poverty. If you would like to contribute to making someone’s month easier there is a donation box at the administration desk at school. Every dollar counts so if you can donate it is very much appreciated. If you would like to contribute but are unable to donate at school please email me to work something out. Email: Meira2021@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au
Here is a link to Period Pack’s website for more information: https://periodpack.com.au/
Many Thanks
Meira Violet. 

Please Support our Year 11 Fundraiser

Year 11 Steiner students feel extremely grateful to have not been deeply affected by COVID-19. Nevertheless, our previous fundraising events, such as showcases, have been cancelled as a result of the physical distancing restrictions. Due to this, our class has had to create alternative fundraising events in order to support our year 12 formal. Hence our idea to host an online silent auction of our peers’ artworks. Art students have worked tirelessly to produce artworks to auction via this website. We would be beyond grateful if bids were placed on these beautiful pieces, in order to help raise money for our formal. Thank you.

Click on the link to view the artwork: https://joshuas20211.wixsite.com/steiner-art-auction

Class 3 & Class 4 gardening programme

Here are some pics from the Class 3 gardening programme with Evan this term. The students planted bulbs at the end of term 2 and you may have noticed that
the jonquils are the first to start flowering! Keep an eye out for them and other bulbs during the next few weeks.

Class 3 & Class 4 have also started planting potatoes and salad greens. They also did a bit of seed saving from the beans while revitalising last season’s garden beds. I think Class 3 got the most joy out of using their pitchforks on the giant mulch mounds near the car park!

Tanja – Teacher Assistant

‘Have a Go’ Athletics Classes 3 to 6

Class 6 day in the 1850’s

The Students of Class 6 spent a day learning in the ‘old school’ way in a classroom from the 1850’s. Copperplate handwriting, history and grammar formed part of our morning lessons. We learned the importance of manners and the teacher’s favorite proverb “Speech is silver but silence is golden”.
We also had a visit from Dr Benjamin Daly who checked the children for lice and showed them some of his surgical equipment which included a large pair of pliers for extracting teeth. Thankfully,  a clean bill of health was declared with the exception of a lass with a suspected case of cholera and one boy who may have a tapeworm.
After reading our Primers and practicing some arithmetic, we met Mrs MaCrae the music teacher who has formed a ‘Bush Band’ with the students and together they played a very jolly polka on their stringed instruments.
After lunch Mrs Nelson arrived to meet the girls as she is seeking to employ a young lady to help in her haberdashery shop. The girls practiced their sewing with Mrs Nelson whilst the boys engaged in woodwork under my supervision.
At the end of the day we debriefed our experience of the 1850’s and how both schooling and attitudes have changed for the better and will continue to change into the future.
Matt Reynolds
Class 6 Teacher

Class 3 and Class 9 news

Class Nine and Class Three shared some time reading together and showing their Main Lesson books. Over the years the two classes have periodically met; something that is beneficial and enjoyable for both ages (and a true joy for Naina who has been class teacher for both.)

High School Athletics Carnival Day

On Friday the 14th of August, the High School students spent a sunny winters day at Ewingsdale sports ground participating in the Inter-House Athletics Carnival. A total of ten Track and Field events were on offer for students to test their physical skills in running, jumping and throwing. The carnival continued into a couple of weeks after the Ewingsdale event with students completing the high jump event during lunchtimes and in their PE lessons, so the final results were not be known until just last week.

The results were incredibly close and could have seen any house in the lead at the end of the carnival. The final results are;-

Crete               878pts,

Sparta              859pts,

Athens             837pts,

Olympia          831pts.

Without doubt, this has been the closest competition between all the houses ever!

As usual there was some outstanding individual performers with 19 school records being broken. However, what was more impressive was the extent of participation of students enjoying the thrill and challenge of doing their best or pushing themselves to achieve a few extra points for their house. Team spirit was strong and defined by the excellent performances and leadership of all the house captains and by the number of new records broken by the year 12’s

New record holders,-

Year 12 Taj Birrell yr 12 – 100m, 200m & Shot Put, Thibault Walker– Long Jump, Lucia Bora – Long Jump & High Jump, Pearl Truswell– Javelin,  Harper Kelso -400m, Josie Huntsman – 200m,

Year 11 Della Knight – Javelin, Issac Poulson – 200m

Year 10 Zac Walcott – Shot Put, Arlia Keller – High Jump & Discus, Sachin Smith – 400m

Year 9 Brianna Hart – 800m & Long Jump

Junior Boys Relay by Crete

Senior Boys Relay by Athens

Students who performed well in their events by coming first or second would normally be invited to represent the school at the North Coast Sports Association Regional Carnival. Unfortunately, due to the Corona Virus, these have been cancelled.

Rudolf Steiner knew how important it was to have students participate in physical activities.  It has been proven time and time again how physical movement is directly related to assisting the development of pathways in the brain and therefore assists learning in many academic pursuits. It is also well known that exercise relieves stress and improves self-esteem. It allows social development and encourages students to express themselves in an acceptable and healthy way. Carnivals such as this provide opportunities for students to hone social skills of co-operation, teamwork and to develop a sense of empathy and trust. Skills that are not easily taught in the classroom but are regarded by Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, its staff, and its community as important life skills required for any human being to achieve their potential.

A big thank you to all staff and parents who support these events and encourage the students to participate. You have made a difference to allow these students to realise their potential and be the best they can be as human beings.

Steven (Ric) Richards

CBRSS High School students and Staff “Wear it Purple”

Wear it Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. wearitpurple.org

Year 9/10 Art Elective

Some Beautiful Pencil and Charcoal Animal Drawings created by the students in Year 9/10 Art Elective.


The Summer Day reimagined

In Year 11 English Standard, we have been studying poetry from a recent anthology compiled by Paul Kelly, including Mary Oliver’s well known poem The Summer Day that celebrates the wonder of life via close observation of the natural world. The students appropriated her work, replacing her imagery of the grasshopper with aspects of the natural world as they know it to be. If you have a moment to pour a cup of tea and read their work, I’m sure you will also find it uplifting and reaffirming of life. Beautiful work Year 11! – Cover art, “Towards Bangalow” by Dash Pegram-Jones.


English Extension 2 Major Work- done!

Congratulations to all!

Play, Games, and Sports in Childhood – The Right Thing at the Right Time

By Jaimen McMillan RSMT, RSME and Adam MacKinnon

As parents and educators our challenge is to help our children develop into healthy, happy, free adult human beings. To do that, we have to realize that a child is not a miniature adult, but a unique, developing being who has to go through a process of becoming a mature human being.

The infant, the young child and even the adolescent are to some degree “outside” themselves. They are in a process of incarnation, of bringing into their growing and changing physical bodies other dimensions of their being—energetic, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.

Rudolf Treichler, a psychiatrist who was a student of Rudolf Steiner, held that parents can help children by bringing them IN in such a way that they can go OUT again freely, IN enough so that the children are really present in their bodies (fully incarnated), and OUT in such a way that they can come back in. This rhythmical breathing of OUT and IN is necessary in becoming a mature, free adult.

If children are not brought in to their bodies in a timely way, they may ‘hover’ on the periphery of life—seeming dreamy, perhaps lazy, or even disengaged. On the other hand, if the outside world drives them in too much, they can get stuck, and then they can’t get back OUT in a healthy way. They may then seek inappropriate ways to get out, such as alcohol and drug abuse.

A predictable, observed daily schedule with established times for meals, play, going to bed, and getting up support a healthy “going in” and “going out.” Family time sharing experiences of the day in relaxed conversation is also good. Screen time with computers, smart phones, and television, especially for the young child is not helpful. The more time spent in front of a screen, the harder time the children will have to go “out”, to enter, for example into imaginative play or deep sleep. It is important that parents be role models in these areas.

One way children venture ‘out’ is through healthy movement. As a child grows and develops, there is a deepening relationship to the three planes of space: progressing from the horizontal (transverse) plane; to the frontal (coronal) plane, and finally to the symmetry (sagittal) plane.

Birth to Seven – Mastering the Horizontal (Transverse) Plane

Until children are six or seven they are mainly involved in mastering the first plane of space, the transverse plane, the plane that unites UP and DOWN and involves balance. Play is the work of young children. Their primary task is to find and experience a balance between levity and gravity, and they seek out activities that help them do so. They love to climb—trees, monkey bars and the like—and to jump down. They love swings, slides, and teeter totters. For parents a good general rule is—let the children do what they love to do in nature or in a playground even if it may seem to involve some minor risk. It is what they need. Look for their rosy cheeks. When the children create their own relationship with above and below they are simply joyous. Anything that has to do with balance is helpful learning for them. Balance is the basis of every activity in life.

Adults have to provide opportunities for the children to fall down—even get hurt a little bit, without seriously injuring themselves of course. The experience of falling is really important. They need to hurt themselves just enough to learn consequences. A little bit of struggle, a little bit of disappointment—even temporary failure—is exactly what they need to find their own feet, and their way in life.

With infants, parents should see that the child spends time on its tummy as well as on its back. This switching of position challenges the child in important ways to deal with up and down. It is also helpful in integrating reflexes. Tummy time will help the infant develop the ability to lift up its (relatively) heavy head.

Even the simplest movement one does with babies, for example rocking them up and down gently, with subtle hovering pauses, can be a comforting and effective aid to helping them befriend the horizontal (transverse) plane.

Seven to Fourteen — Mastering the Frontal (Coronal) Plane

Moving the frontal plane involves fluctuating between the front and back across a central plane. During the second seven-year period of development, children love games that involve forward and backward movement. One excellent game for children during this time is “Mother, May I?” It exists in variations in cultures all over the world. The aim of the game and the desire of the children is to come forward, but they can do so only when given permission by the “Mother.” The Mother gives instructions and the other children must strictly follow them. The game is also an exercise in self-control. The children have to ask permission.

Hide and seek is another perfect game for the frontal plane game, as is Tag. Red Light/Green Light is another great activity through which children can learn to rein themselves in within the borders of the frontal plane. The fact that this and similar games are played by children all over the world, even when adults are not around to organize them, shows that, at some level the children realize that learning to master the frontal plane is important for them. I once had the joy and challenge of teaching a second-grade class that had a pupil who had serious problems controlling himself I introduced the game Red Light/Green Light to the children and this boy responded with “I hate this game! This is a stupid game.” However, one day we did not have the time to play Red Light/Green Light and this same untamed boy came up to me, tears streaming down his face, and said, ‘We didn’t play that game where I have to stop myself!’”

The key is to get children moving and for them to learn to control their movements -to be able, by themselves to stop on a dime. When they can, they have mastered the frontal (coronal) plane.

Fourteen to Twenty-One — Mastering the Symmetry / Sagittal Plane

The sagittal plane creates the symmetry between right and left and directs the young person forward with intention. In the middle school and high school years, the adolescent needs to learn to focus, aim, and direct his/her force towards definite goals.

Fencing and archery are two activities that challenge young people at this time and can help them move through this stage. In fencing, one turns one’s body onto the sagittal plane and seeks to touch the other fencer, with precision, at lightning speed. In archery, one stands still but sends the arrow out along the plane. Basketball is another excellent activity during this period. The adolescent learns to extend him/herself forward in an arc, directing the ball toward the basket. The sagittal /symmetry plane is the plane that demands and develops precision. Mastery of this exacting plane can come only after healthy relationships to the other two planes have been developed. Baseball, Volleyball, Tennis, and Soccer (without “heading” the ball!) are some of the other competitive sports that also develop mastery of the sagittal plane.


Thus, from infancy through age seven, the child is finding balance in the horizontal/transverse plane. The next phase requires that the child learn to find the middle between forward and backward, developing restraint and self–control through an experience of the frontal/coronal plane. Then comes the satisfaction of setting a goal and going after it along the sagittal or symmetry plane. The important thing is that the intensive work on the symmetry plane comes after mastery of the other two planes.

This brings us to the question: At what age should a child begin participating in organized competitive sports teams?

The dominant trend in North America is “the earlier the better.” This trend is based on the idea that if a child learns and develops the basic skills of a sport at an early age, he or she will be able to play at a very high level later on.

There are a couple of problems with this hurried approach. One is that, if a child has been playing on a soccer team since age six, for example (not at all uncommon today), then by high school he or she may have burned out and may even have lost all joy in playing. Many high schools are in fact discovering that fewer and fewer students are trying out for school athletic teams. They have had enough! There is an emotional element also. Young children may experience losing a game or making a crucial mistake in a game as much more distressing and traumatic than we adults can imagine.

Another problem is that the bodies of young children, bodies that are still growing and developing, are not up to the demands of recurrent practices, repetitive drills, and intense competition in games. Injuries sustained by over-training in childhood can last a lifetime. Movement therapists are seeing serious injuries among teenagers caused by the overuse of muscles and joints that hadn’t developed enough to support the kinds of stresses that competitive sports were putting on them.

The following analogy may give a helpful perspective on having children begin playing on sports teams before they are twelve years old.

“I love butterflies, so I collect caterpillars, and I tape my caterpillars onto kites, and I fly the caterpillars up in the sky on these kites, so that they will fly better when they are butterflies!”

This is obviously ludicrous, but why then are we hoodwinked by the premise and the promise that children will do better at some do we think that children will do better at something if they do it earlier and earlier? Why can’t we just let a caterpillar be a caterpillar? Why can’t we just let a child be a child?”

Of course, children under twelve can play baseball, basketball, or volleyball, for example and enjoy themselves. But engaging in these sports as “play” is much different from being thrust into organized sports events for the sake of competition. When children are playing together and become tired, they’ll stop, naturally, on their own, when their body tells them to. But on organized teams, the child has to go till the clock stops, or the coach finishes the drills. In playing a game, children are simply having fun changing the rules to fit their abilities. In organized sports the emphasis is on competition, on winning, on overwhelming the other team, and the rules are immutable.

Also, when a child begins to engage in organized team sports, he/she starts to absorb the underlying philosophy of competitive sport. Simply stated, it is “This side is mine, that side is yours. I will defend my side, and I will attack yours.” or “We are in a battle and my aim to overwhelm and subdue you.”

Instead , why don’t we simply teach the children to play together, before we put children into set frameworks where the goal is to defeat the other? Circus arts can play an integrating role here. In such activities, children can be challenged at every level, and everyone is a winner.

Age-Appropriate phases of Movement

As children develop, they need to go through the phases of movement activities in a wholesome, age-appropriate way. First, in early childhood they should engage in imaginative and free play, in nature as well as indoors, pretending they are animals kings, queens, knights, damsels, and dragons. Outdoor-play, especially in natural settings is very important. Nature is still the best teacher. Then can come such games as “Mother, May I?” and “Hide and Seek”, which have flexible rules and no “winners” and “losers.” Then can come informal team games, with flexible rules and an emphasis on everyone having fun, rather than on competition. Finally, when the child is approaching or in puberty organized team sports can come into the picture. Eurythmy, Bothmer Gymnastics® and Spacial Dynamics® are separate and unique disciplines that work together in Waldorf schools to address the inner and outer development of the child.

Learning the INs and OUTs of the dynamic progression from child, to youth, to teen, to adult, is an exciting journey. Today there is much peer pressure for children to join competitive teams at an ever earlier age. Parents should insist on their right to allow their child to develop at her own pace. Telling a child “Not now, that needs to wait” may be one of the most important parenting decisions mothers and fathers will ever make. Every age comes with an expiration date. Each child is a “caterpillar”, not a little adult. Parents can create the spaces and the opportunities for their child to fully benefit from every stage before it is time for them to move on to the next one. The stakes are high. The prize is having a real childhood.

Read the full article at Waldorf Today

Deeds of Love

Our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in deeds of love – Rudolf Steiner

From the Principal

Greetings to all

Thank you to all members of our CBRSS community who continue to follow health advice regarding COVID-19, in keeping unwell children at home and respecting changed protocols. This continues to be a challenging time for all of us, as we find things changing day to day and as we face the uncertainty of what lies ahead should the situation in NSW deteriorate.

You may have heard that last week the Chief Health Officer of New South Wales issued a NSW Public Health Order. One directive which has impacted our school greatly is that group singing and chanting activities and use of wind instruments such as recorders in group music is to cease in schools.
CBRSS Updated Response is effective as of Wednesday 19th August.

This situation has required us to make sudden changes to school management, events, classes, routines and teaching modes in a swiftly, responsive way.
Once again, it is with inspiring flexibility, that our wonderful Teachers and Support Staff continue to re-think and adjust plans to enable events and activities to still take place for our students at school. At our Book Week Parade this week, teachers hastily devised a plan that did not include singing our much loved Book Week song, while still allowing students and teachers to enjoy all the usual dress up fun together.

We greatly appreciated parents supporting their children with costume preparations and we also greatly missed sharing our many Book Week characters with our usual parent audience. Of course, this circumstance feels very disappointing for many, but it is helpful to remember that there are also valuable lessons to be learned at this time in working with the constant changes; so as far as possible at school, we are encouraging a cheerful, resilient attitude and approach with our students and staff in meeting such challenges.

Please see the details of the NSW Public Health Order and some additional changes to our school practices outlined in the next article.

Our Support Staff and Teachers are striving daily to continue keeping the health and safety of our school community at the forefront of our practices at Cape Byron Steiner School.

At this time, more than ever, it is so important that we are mindful of making sure our interactions with others are kind, considerate and caring; in this way, we all ensure that our students, parents and staff will feel well supported through the remainder of the term and year ahead.

With thanks and best wishes to all

Minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools and their communities.

NSW Public Health Order issued by the Chief Health Officer requires all schools to:

  • exclude students with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 and encourage immediate testing for any symptomatic child(ren)
  • prohibit return to school for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 until a negative COVID test result has been reported
  • ensure that adults, including parents, maintain physical distancing at all times
  • promote good hand hygiene at all times

The Chief Health Officer also stated that certain practices in NSW schools must cease altogether.  These include:

  • school-related group singing or chanting activities and use of wind instruments in groups
  • school-related social activities (e.g. school formals, dinners or dances; graduation ceremonies; or parent engagement functions)
  • school-related overnight events (e.g. retreats, camps)
  • excursions

Changes when Students become unwell at CBRSS

If a student becomes unwell and is displaying symptoms consistent with COVID -19, we will ask for them to be collected and taken home. In order for students to return to school, a COVID negative test result or a medical certificate from a GP will be required, advising that they are safe, well and able to return to school.

These measures will assist in reducing the risk of community transmission, and will support our school to continue to deliver onsite learning.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in this.

Responding to COVID-19 Confirmed Cases or Suspected Cases

There is a clear plan in place for the School to respond to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community. We work closely with NSW Health and AISNSW and will communicate with parents if a situation arises.

Important Reminders  

  • WATER BOTTLES – It is imperative that ALL students K-12 bring a water bottle to school each day.  There is a strict closure of all drinking fountains and bubblers continuing.  Please ensure your child brings a full water bottle to school each day.
  • PARENTS ON SITE – Parents are NOT permitted to be on site unless in an emergency or with the permission of the Principal. An emergency constitutes collecting a child from the Sick Bay or if it has been pre-arranged and approved.

Primary School Bookweek

Sunflower Kindy News

Sunflower Kindy were treated to a bush tucker walk and talk, by our very knowledgeable friend Gavin.

The children ( and teachers) were treated to a walk and treasure hunt around our beautiful school, discovering all the hidden edible treasures within the grounds.

We got to harvest and sample our own bush tucker along the way!

This was such an enriching and educational experience for our youngest students, and we extend our love and gratitude to our friend Gavin for the sharing of his time and knowledge.

Our Gratitude also to all the plants that shared their food with us, and to our first people for handing down this knowledge over time.

We ended our walk with a blessing for the plants, which the children sang to the trees. Maybe you were lucky to hear us throughout the school?

Blessings on the blossoms
Blessings on the fruits
Blessings on the leaves and stems
And blessings on the roots

Class 2 News

Class 2 have had a mildly challenging time over the last two weeks with my absence. I know they have missed me but Lisa and Kristine have guided them into their next main lesson and they have begun learning their times tables! I was sad to miss book week but Lisa has shared these lovely photos of them all. Here also are some photos of their work in the classroom. I can’t wait to join the class again next week and continue our exploration of counting, multiplication and times tables.


Class Three Play

Class Three performed Noah and the Flood, an Old Testament story that we have studied this year.

As a part of our experience, the children made posters to display around the school. This was done in small groups and were composed by the children themselves.

High School Athletics 2020

High School Dress Up days

Year 11 students are busy finding fun and creative ways to fundraise and support important causes. Thursday 20 August Dress was ‘dress as the Opposite Gender Day‘ and our students and High School teachers looked great as they paid a gold coin for the privilege to dress up. Next week it’s ‘Wear it Purple Day‘ on Friday 28 August to celebrate and foster a safe, inclusive and empowering environment for rainbow young people.

A quixotic lot!

Congratulations Anouk!

Congratulations to Anouk Smith for being selected as a finalist in the prestigious Lester Portrait Art Competition. The Lester Prize Youth Award encourages the creative talents of young, aspiring and emerging artists. For more details please visit the website: https://www.lesterprize.com/index.php/gallery/youth-prize/

The Power of Evening Routines

How a predictable structure can help families gain quality time and reduce end-of-day frenzy.

By Heather Miller – Harvard Graduate School of Education

The word “structure” can evoke less than positive associations. It suggests constraints, which are never a good thing, right?

Wrong. It turns out that everyone benefits from a certain amount of daily structure, so long as that structure is pleasant, productive, and meaningful. Whether it’s the most inventive minds in history, or those people who live in good health past 100, a daily routine or set of micro-routines is correlated with productivity, health, and longevity.

As beneficial as routines are for artists and centenarians, they are even more essential for children. “One thing we know is that children do best when they know what is coming next, “ says Brenda Carrasquillo, principal of Icahn Charter School 2 in the Bronx, New York, a National Blue Ribbon School. A positive, predictable home routine helps children feel safe and secure. And doing the same things the same way at pretty much the same time each day facilitates the acquisition of skills and knowledge bit by bit, day after day. This is as relevant for learning one’s ABCs as it is for learning how to tie shoe laces or learning how to participate in mealtime conversation.

Not surprisingly, children from unstructured homes often struggle in school. After all, schools are worlds of routine. If you follow a routine at home, your executive function is better developed than it might be if your home life is unpredictable. Having learned one set of routines at home, it’s much easier to learn another set of routines at school. And as all routines require impulse control and focus, the very practice of executing routines strengthens our capacity for learning.

Read more

In the digital age, when the constant stream of devices so frequently interrupts the flow of home life and face-to-face interaction, routines at home are more important than ever — especially ones that involve turning off those devices entirely for limited amounts of time. A nightly two-hour, screen-free routine can help us actively parent and provide a meaningful, positive home structure that not only benefits a child’s development but enhances the well-being of the entire family.