We believe children learn through play and should be given the opportunity to experience many self-selected play activities.
Children learn at their own rate and pass through a series of stages as they develop. This starts with their care-giver – they must be happy and secure in order to play and learn. Recognising this, we offer a rich ‘hands on’ environment, no matter what stage of development your child is at.
Children are Unique individuals. Our role is to respect their individuality and provide activities and routines that are suited to their individual needs. We stimulate their learning by catering for each child’s individual needs to assist them in developing to their full potential.
The centre provides an educational program that is based on the approved learning framework and meets the developmental needs, interests and experiences of each child attending the centre. Educators draw on their professional knowledge and their in-depth knowledge of each child to choose appropriate teaching strategies and design a learning and leisure environment that will engage children in active learning.
Educators work in partnership with children, families and other professionals to:
- Plan effectively for children’s learning and wellbeing
- Communicate with families about children’s development and wellbeing
- Evaluate children’s progress towards achieving intended outcomes
- Identify children who may need additional support.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the education and care environment and the experiences offered, and the approaches taken by educators to achieve the best learning and developmental outcomes for each child.
- Reflect on their own professional practice and relationships with children and families and use this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of the program and teaching strategies.
- The centre’s Interactions with Children Policy underpins the manner in which educators interact with children whenever they are at the education and care service.
Educational programs are balanced and varied (i.e. they provide for indoor/outdoor learning experiences, quiet/active times, individual/small group/large group times, time for individual educator/child interaction, children’s individual and group interests, including activities that are physical, creative, exploratory, dramatic, musical, cognitive and involve construction), and are flexible enough to allow for spontaneity and the unexpected.
Educators provide individual holistic programs that are responsive to children’s lives, interests and learning styles and promote each child’s social, cultural, physical, emotional, intellectual, language and creative potential, and meet individual children’s play and relaxation needs. Educators use observations of children’s participation, set up a learning environment that stimulates children’s natural curiosity, encourage children to be actively involved in their own learning and decision making, and use the partnerships they have developed with families to enhance and individualise programs for children.
Programs are planned with children’s involvement. Educators involve children through the following strategies:
- seeking information about children’s interests, valuing children’s contributions and ideas and letting the child know they are appreciated;
- observing very young children’s responses to the environment and other people in order to gain an understanding of their interests, likes and dislikes;
- providing a variety of resources and experiences, and setting up the environment so that shelving for equipment and toys is easily accessible, allowing children to make choices about their activities, and observing children’s preferred choices;
- one to one discussions with children during which educators ask them what they like to do and what they think about their experiences;
- observing group interests and interactions;
- using interest questionnaires, or short surveys for children to complete;
- holding meetings and allowing children to raise issues and become decision makers;
- involve children in interviewing other children about what they like and dislike doing at the centre;
- encourage older children to manage some aspects of the program (such as running a club) independently.
The centre provides a variety of toys for all children to play with regardless of gender. Both boys and girls will be encouraged to explore a full range of experiences and emotions.
The educational program is child centred and allows children to experience a variety of materials and pursue their own interests. Educators offer appropriate choices to children, talk to them about the choices available to them, and help them to decide what to do if needed. There will always be alternatives when a child does not wish to participate in a particular activity, or chooses to initiate their own experiences and play.
Children will be challenged and encouraged to take ‘safe’ risks in order to:
- develop their problem solving skills;
- build resilience, confidence and social competence;
- extend their strength, fitness levels and coordination through physically challenging activities; and
- learn about taking safe risks by raising their consciousness of risks and the consequences of particular actions or choices.
Educators use children’s real life experiences to engage children in learning opportunities. Families are encouraged to share their cultural traditions, customs and beliefs with educators so that children’s rights to have their cultures and identities acknowledged and valued can be upheld.
Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) 2011
Australian Community Services Employers Association
Belonging, Being and Becoming, The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia page 33
 My Time Our Place, Framework for School Age Care in Australia page 33