(Our centre philosophy incorporates the beliefs of theorists)
As a staff we believe that families are and should be the principal influence in their child’s life. It is therefore vital that families and educators communicate openly and work together in close harmony for the benefit of the children. Based on knowledge acquired from the family and through educators’ observations, staff then strive to create a relevant curriculum and a safe, warm, caring environment which supports the individual competencies, needs and interests of both the families and children. “If we help children to get their needs met then they will grow into strong, resilient, competent adults” – Abraham Maslow
Each Educator works within one or more of the following guidelines according to the age group: The Early Years Learning Framework, The Queensland Kindergarten Guidelines and My Time, Our Place. The operations at this centre are governed by the Education & Care Services National Law and Regulations 2011.
Knowledge gained is utilised by educators to assist in creating a stimulating environment, one which the children will be eager to explore thus allowing them the opportunity for intellectual, physical, social and emotional stimulation and growth. Children learn by exploring their world, their own physical capabilities and being involved in relationships with adults and friends.
“Children learn through observing and imitating adults. Adults have a role in guiding children’s behaviour” – Barbara Rogoff. We believe that a large majority of this learning occurs when a child is heavily engrossed in ‘play’. We feel that children should be given many opportunities to practice new skills. “Giving children a chance to practice new skills works better than just telling or showing them” – B.F. Skinner. We encourage children to become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing and take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
Our educators strive to provide satisfying and rewarding experiences for the children during play and routine activities so each child feels a sense of success. These experiences incorporate literacy and numeracy and give educators the opportunity to increase the children’s awareness. We believe children should interact with educators and peers to explore ideas and concepts, clarify and challenge thinking and negotiate and share new ideas and experiences. “..talking is necessary to clarify important points but also talking with others helps us to learn more about communication. Children solve practical tasks with the help of speech..” – Lev Vygotsky
By documenting children’s learning we are able to provide children with an environment that is conducive to their particular needs. “Children learn from and through their environment. Documentation is essential to support children’s learning.” – Reggio Emilia
Positive experiences assist each child to develop a stronger sense of identity. We respect each child/family for their individuality regardless of additional needs, gender, race or cultural beliefs.
We acknowledge and support the uniqueness of each family and the significance of their culture, customs, language and values. We believe the diversity within our community adds a richness to children’s learning as they develop an appreciation for their own and other cultural identities. “Development is influenced through interactions with family, friends and culture.” – Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky
Our educators are actively involved with our local community by establishing positive links with other professionals, community members and with families so appropriate support can be obtained. This provides children with the knowledge that people have various roles within the community. As early childhood educators in the community we will continue to learn, contribute and grow. “Relationships between the community, the family, early childhood and school settings support children’s whole development.” – Reggio Emilia
We believe that our environment plays an important role within our curriculum. This includes both our indoor and outdoor settings. Within our curriculum we educate children about environmental awareness including sustainability. Educators explore areas such as saving energy and water, recycling, reusing, waste minimization and ecosystems.
Quality care is of the greatest importance to us at Little Explorers. Educators constantly strive to improve their practices so that they can provide a stimulating curriculum for the children that fosters interesting, valuable and purposeful play based on children’s needs and interests. “.. adults should support children by ‘scaffolding’ their learning through play. When scaffolding children’s learning, the focus ideally stems from the interests and desires of children and it requires staff support, interaction, guidance, use of language and practical activity.” – Jerome Bruner
Educators, families and members of our local community work together so that the centre staff and management can devise a Quality Improvement Plan to benefit children’s overall development and learning. This plan also guides our goals with the intent of improving the quality of care we provide to families. We welcome families’ contributions towards the curriculum at all levels, from participation in the daily life of the centre, to making and shaping the centre’s policies and philosophy. Staff and management maintain the facilities regularly so that children, families and educators can enjoy a safe environment.