Early Years Curriculum
Young children have only one go at their childhood. They need an early childhood in which they have plenty of time to explore alongside adults who respect their interests and how they learn. Both the EYLF and the National Quality Standards (NQS) support putting children’s interests at the Centre of any childcare program. At St Simon Peter Early Learning Centre, we encourage child-initiated experiences, where children use their personal choice to direct their own learning.
For young children, this learning will most likely occur through play. This is considered ‘best practice’ in early childhood as it is developmentally appropriate and allows children to be leaders in their own learning. In the ELC, we truly value play and the physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits it provides children. We facilitate many types of play including:
- Dramatic (eg. pretending to be doctors, using the play-kitchen)
- Sensory/manipulative (eg. playdough, puzzles)
- Exploratory (eg. using magnifying glasses to look at insects, treasure hunts)
- Physical (eg. obstacle courses, running, playing with balls)
- Rule-based (board games, circle games, outdoor games)
Due to this focus on child-led play, you may discover that your child will not bring ‘work’ home every day. Please do not take this to mean that your child is not learning. Children are constantly learning through their play and interactions. We also find that some children simply are not interested in creating artwork or doing craft. We will never force children to do these activities, as we value the choices they make. Please take time to have a look at our program and web to see what the children are currently exploring.
The role of the early years educators at St Simon Peter
At St Simon Peter Early Learning Centre, we consider our role as ‘partners in play’ with the children. We are responsible for providing an engaging learning environment, suitable resources and a positive attitude. We engage in play with the children, while still encouraging their independence. As educators, we work daily to ensure that we are supporting play.
We as Educators provide a balance between child-led, child-initiated and educator-supported learning and recognise spontaneous teachable moments as they occur, using them to build on teachable moments. We also believe our role involves encouraging children to share in the decision making and direction of what will happen during the day. You may find that the tables are bare if you are one of the first families to arrive to the Centre. This is because we aim to give children choices over the resources they would like to have available to them.
Our educators are supportive and encouraging, and communicate with the children in a friendly, positive and courteous manner to establish a warm and caring relationship with each child in their care. Each day, the staff member responsible for your child will discuss your child’s day with you. Please take advantage of this time to discover your child’s highs and lows for the day.
You will find your child’s program displayed in their room. We invite you to have input into program development especially in relation to multicultural issues, music and storytelling. Any suggestions you have can be put into the Suggestions Box in the Reception Area or discussed with your child’s educator. We love to hear what is happening at home or the highlights from your weekend so we can include these ideas and expand upon them in our program forming a strong link from home and the Centre for children.
The educators are responsible for creating an atmosphere and environment which is responsive to the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and special needs of each individual child and to the group as a whole which reflects the philosophy and goals of the service. The program is child centred, and takes a ‘hands on’ approach, with educators acting as facilitators who create an environment and experiences which are stimulating, safe, nurturing and fun. The program will include indoor and outdoor learning experiences, quiet and active times, individual, small group and large group times, time for individual educator/child interaction, group interests, children’s special interests, and be flexible enough to allow for spontaneity and the unexpected.