We recognize and value ‘Play-Based Learning’ (PBL) as developmentally appropriate practice in the early years. PBL acknowledges that children instinctively explore, investigate, discover, manipulate and learn within their environment as they play. The national ‘Early Years Learning Framework’ advises:
“Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning” (EYLF p.17).
The role of the educator within a PBL program is to facilitate children’s learning by flexibly weaving together integrated teaching and learning approaches. These approaches include; child-led play’, ‘guided play’ and ‘adult-led play’. Child-led play is freely directed by the child or children. It is voluntary, internally motivated and pleasurable. Guided play occurs when educators directly engage in play with children and co-construct their learning. Adult-led play is purposefully framed and planned by the educator based on the observed interests and needs of the children. All educators seek to be ‘intentional’ in their interactions with children. ‘Intentional teaching’ means educators are deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decisions and actions in both their planned program and during every day spontaneous ‘teachable moments’. The ‘Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework’ states:
“Play is central to the concept of integrated teaching and learning approaches. Play is essential to stimulate and integrate a wide range of children’s intellectual, physical, social and creative abilities. Effective early childhood practices use integrated teaching and learning approaches to support sustained and shared interactions with children. Through play and other opportunities children learn to make sense of and construct ideas about the social and natural world – the people, places, objects and experiences they encounter every day” (VEYLDF p.14)
Every child’s learning journey
We recognize that each child is a unique individual and that their learning journey will follow its own exceptional path. Our aim is to capture that journey through the provision of an individual portfolio for each child that tracts their learning and participation throughout the year. The portfolio affords a beautiful keepsake for families highlighting their child’s remarkable accomplishments during their time with us in the ELC.
Educator to child ratio: 1-3
Our yellow room caters for children aged 0 – 3 years of age. The room is led by a Diploma qualified educator who has many years of experience working with and planning stimulating, high quality educational experiences for this age range.
Our ratio of 1 educator to 3 children exceeds the regulatory requirements for early childhood services and therefore allows our educators greater opportunity to give each child the attention and care that they deserve.
Our daily program focuses on offering experiences that support the development of each child’s language, social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. The experiences we provide are designed to be fun, captivating and enjoyable as we know that, for children, this is when the best engagement and learning happens. Throughout the day, we observe each child closely and tune-in to their particular needs and interests to inform our learning program.
We are located in a culturally diverse community and our educators reflect this diversity. We have many educators who are bilingual and we have ready access to translation services where needed.
Parents, grandparents and carers are all welcome at the service at any time throughout the day.
Blue Room (3 to 4 years) and Green room (4 to 5 years)
Our 3 year old kinder program is in the Blue room and our 4 year old kinder program is in the Green room.
Educator to child ratio: 1–10
The preschool years are an exciting time during a child’s learning and development. It is important to recognize that the preschool experience offers an important educational program in its own right, it is not only about preparation for school.
Within a high quality preschool program children learn many valuable life skills including: how to develop friendships, how to make good choices, a capacity for self-regulation, resilience, an ability to empathise with others and how to be responsible citizens within a community of learners. Alongside the development of these prosocial skills, children will develop pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills that will be foundational to their future academic success.
Our preschool programs offer inspirational learning environments which present children with opportunities to explore, discover, experiment, imagine, create, and solve-problems through an approach that is responsive to each child’s individual needs and interests.
The preschool programs offered in the ELC are delivered by fully qualified early childhood teachers in both the Blue and Green rooms together with a team of highly qualified co-educators. The programs initiated for the children are guided by the national early years learning framework and the Victorian early years learning and development framework.
Our ratio of 1 educator to 10 children exceeds the regulatory requirements for early childhood services and therefore allows our educators greater opportunity to give each child the attention and care that they deserve.
A typical day
Our days in the ELC are loosely organized around routines and a schedule that may vary slightly across each room. A degree of predictability across the week supports children to develop a sense of security and belonging within the learning environment. They are able to predict how their day will progress and develop their capacity to organize their time within it. Our days are specifically designed to allow children prolonged periods of time and opportunity to extend their own learning in accordance with their interests and with the support of their educators.
Elements of the schedule include:
Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and late snack
Shared group times for singing, drama and stories
Indoor and Outdoor play
PMP sports program (Blue and Green rooms only)
Library story time visits
Free play and learning
The most significant predictor of school readiness and successful transition to school is a child’s social and emotional maturity. Surprisingly for many parents, it is not that a child can write their name, count to ten, recall the names of colours and shapes or recognize the letters of the alphabet. A child can know all of these things, but if they are not emotionally and socially ready for the school environment they will struggle to remain focused and learn.
The preschool program we offer helps children to develop their social and emotional skills. They learn to:
Communicate with others to express their needs, thoughts and ideas
Retain and follow instructions
Share and take turns with materials and resources
Seek help when needed
Self-regulate their emotions and interact with others in a prosocial manner
Be helpful, kind and considerate of others
Be inquisitive and curious about the world around them
Throughout their time in Blue and Green rooms, our educators take the children on regular visits to the school to attend a PMP sports program and story time at the library. A music teacher from the school attends the ELC once a week to provide a music program across all three rooms.
As we progress toward the end of the year, our Prep teachers come to the ELC to spend time with the children and the ELC teachers take the children across to the Prep rooms. This allows the children to get to know the Prep teachers and to become familiar with the Prep learning environment. In fourth term, a transition to school program is provided for parents and children who will be enrolling in the Colleges Prep-Year 9 program.
Other things we do to make a difference
Our centre is a place for parents and carers, as well as children. We encourage parents and grandparents to come into our rooms at any time, to read a book with children or take part in an activity. Every term we have a family function in each room where families meet our staff and take part in fun activities with their children.
We focus on children developing healthy eating habits by introducing a wide range of fruits and vegetables into meals prepared by our cook.
We emphasise the importance of good manners by teaching children how to be kind and considerate to others, how to be resilient and develop self-regulation of their behaviour.
Our director is responsible for overseeing our teaching and learning program, making sure that every room has a detailed learning plan and every child has an individual learning plan that includes teacher observations and assessments.
We believe it is vital to intervene early if a child has a development problem. Problems are identified early, assessed and acted on quickly. If families need specialist help we ensure they get it through our integrated model of health, education and family services available on site.
Policy and Government Regulations
Our centre’s program is guided by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
We ensure that our programs, staff, equipment and facilities comply with the regulations outlined by the Authority in its National Quality Framework.
To learn more about these regulations please go to the Authority’s website www.acecqa.gov.au