Little Darlings Child Care Centre recognises children as unique individuals, and as such, we and aim to enhance all areas of your child’s development, which includes physical, social, emotional, self help, cognitive and language skills. Individualised programs are provided to cater for children according to their age, stage of development, and children’s interest. Our qualified educators team this with regular observations and note taking on each child, so you stay up-to-date and informed on the progress of your child.
The diversity of cultures is recognised at Little Darlings, and an anti bias approach is fostered throughout the curriculum and center culture. Based on child observations, reflective evaluations and family input, this curriculum is based on the early years learning framework, where the curriculum evolves through the day together with intentional teaching.
The program aims to contribute to the following outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework:
To ensure individualised learning, children are separated into learning environments with age appropriate programs that are aimed at developing and challenging the child. Our qualified educators plan these programs based on individual needs and age specific outcomes, which focus on the journey of learning – not the final outcome.OBSERVATIONS
Educators use a variety of observation methods and reflections to assist children to meet their fullest potential. End of year reports are provided to families together with child portfolios as a keep sake for the year.
At Little Darlings Child Care Centre we believe in working with families to benefit the child, Therefore communication and partnership with families is important in regards to your child’s development.
Our qualified Educators provide regular observations based on your child's progress and development.Observations allow for educators to set learning outcomes for your child within the curriculum. Reports are completed at the end of the year, providing a summary of your child's development and progress in accordance with the early years learning framework.
As an Early Childhood Trained Teacher I have had several years experience in teaching young children to reach their full potential in all areas of their growth and development.
This knowledge has assisted in training our educators to effectively observe children's development and interpret needs, strengths and weaknesses. Development is enhanced within the program, routine and resources available. All teaching methods are evaluated to ensure effectiveness.
The curriculum is an extension of our philosophy as well as the early years learning framework and incorporates the 3 B’s into learning:
BELONGING: Children feel safe secure, accepted and supported within their environment.
BEING: As educators we allow children to be children and develop awareness of their social and cultural heritage of gender, and their significance in their world. Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
BECOMING: Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and a sense of agency.
Little Darlings have created special learning environments for your children, changing as they develop. We have a nursery room (Caringbah only), Toddler Room, 3-4 Years Room, and 4-5 Years Room. Each of these environments caters to all age specific exploration and discovery, in accordance with the early years learning framework. This involves a weekly program for indoor and outdoor environments, which provides a balance of experiences such as:
active / passive, formal / informal, self directed / other directed, solitary / social, structured / unstructured, small group / large group, along with learning with technology through the use of smart boards, laptops and iPads.
These learning experiences aim to develop sustainability awareness, science/technology/problem solving, fine and gross motor skills, expressiveness, cognitive and investigation, language and literacy, music and movement, social development, physical development and diversity. These are incorporated within the program through stimulating experiences, which encourage play. Play allows children to learn through a process of problem solving, exploring, social interaction, role-play and communicating, which results in children becoming successful learners. Staff will choose experiences and resources that are appropriate and foster these skills through play.
As well as whole group programs, Little Darlings ensures children have small group and one to one interaction between teachers and other children. To encourage interaction we incorporate music and language programs, allowing opportunities for children to express themselves creatively. Exposure to music is important to a child’s development, as it expands concentration when exposed to classical and instrumental types, as well as rhymes and dances exercise their thinking and concentration to follow instructions. This is teamed with our language programs, which monitor children’s expressive and receptive development, and aim to expand their abilities and the content of their vocabulary and use of sentence structure.
School preparation plays a very important role to ensure a smooth transition to school. During this year the children have skills perfected in all areas of development and a emphasis is placed on both academic and social development.
Social readiness is very important in regards to the entrance to school for children, therefore we as early childhood educators ensure this is achieved by the use of:
• our curriculum,
• observations/interactions and
• experiences to expand your child's knowledge and development.
Our transition to school room / prepratory preschool room ensures each child is able to:
• recognise their own name,
• letter recognition and formation,
• hand preference established and appropriate pencil grip
• start and finish activities
• enter social play situations
• able to ask for assistance
• recognise their belongings and follow small instructions
• self help skills such as toileting, feeding, hand washing
• some children may be at the level of reading due to our literacy curriculum, which we encourage and extend.
Lap tops, smart board and iPads are allocated in rooms to build computer skills and expand knowledge and abilities. A separate dining area is also provided to encourage table manners as well as exposing children to a healthy attitude towards food. Beds are provided if a rest is required. Our transition to school and prepratory preschool room at Little Darlings ensures your child's readiness for school.
Each playroom has learning centres where children can explore and create through a variety of activities that are accessible to them. These include; a science corner, sensory corner, construction corner, writing centre, relaxation corner, cognitive area, drama corner, art and expression, technology, yoga, sustainability and diversity programs.
Our centres have state of the art technology incorporated into activities for learning and play, with children having access to iPads, computers and smart boards. Incorporating technology into our programs allows children to flourish in each aspect of their development.
Computers are powerful tools that provide children with a place to practice what they are learning. Our Staff use computers in the curricullum to strengthen children's abilities and provide them with the opportunity to use their imagination through various educational software programs. Computers are located in children's rooms which are used daily as part of teaching and are an extension of learning.
Children 2- 5 years of age are developmentally ready to use computers. The computer centre is a valuable activity for learning.
We have incorporated computers into our curriculum and trained our staff to educate the children on the use and function of computers.
We have added several programs such as rhymes, numeral awareness, letter recognition, mathematics, art/craft, shapes, science and many more. As well as this we teach the children basic computer skills and what certain parts are called. Children also practise to type, print and email.
Having their own lap tops with supporting programs have developmental gains such as intelligence, non verbal skills, structural knowledge, long term memory, manual dexterity,verbal skills and problem solving abilities. The lap tops are in each preschool playroom at both services.
An interactive whiteboard is another way to provide a hands-on approach to early childhood learning. Our Staff can have children interact with their learning by having children use a special pen to write on the board. Using this interactive approach to learning will only entice students to learn. Staff plan and extend lesson plans using this technology.
Apple's iPad is the newest trend in educational technology today. Our Staff incorporate the iPad into their lesson Plans as a way of motivating the children. For age appropriate use of the iPad in early Childhood our staff download applications that tailor to early childhood learning and also expand children's learning.
We believe that yoga is a tool that can assist children to further develop their skills by relaxing their minds. Focusing on the movements assists concentration in children, relaxes the child and encourages brain development through the imagination and creative side of completing yoga using storytelling.
The benefits on a physiological level is all the muscles are exercised and strengthened, the spine becomes straighter, stronger and more flexible.
The children learn various poses and can recall them by name and are designed to use all gross motor muscles. At the end of each session the children go to a relax pose.
Yoga is completed daily at Little Darlings.
The developmental theorist we have chosen to implement within our teaching and environment is the Reggio Emilia Approach. The reason why is because we believe what it is based upon.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
• Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
• Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
• Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
• Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the centre of its philosophy.
Another important part of the Reggio Emilia approach is that parents are a vital component to the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children. As Educators we respect parents as each childs first teacher and involve parents in every aspect of the curriculum and for our planning.
THE ROLE OF EDUCATORS
In the Reggio approach, the Educator is considered a co-learner and collaborator with the child and not just an instructor. Teachers are encouraged to facilitate the child's learning by planning activities and lessons based on the child's interests, asking questions to further understanding, and actively engaging in the activities alongside the child, instead of sitting back and observing the child learning. "As partner to the child, the teacher is inside the learning situation" (Hewett, 2001).
While working on projects with the child, the teacher can also expand the child's learning by collecting data such as photographs, notes, videos, and conversations that can be reviewed at a later time. The teacher needs to maintain an active, mutual participation in the activity to help ensure that the child is clearly understanding what is being "taught".
THE ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENT/ THE ENVIRONMENT AS THE THIRD TEACHER
The organization of the physical environment is crucial to Reggio Emilia's early childhood program, and is often referred to as the child's "third teacher". Major aims in the planning of new spaces and the remodeling of old ones include the integration of each classroom with the rest of the school, and the school with the surrounding community. The importance of the environment lies in the belief that children can best create meaning and make sense of their world through environments which support "complex, varied, sustained, and changing relationships between people, the world of experience, ideas and the many ways of expressing ideas." Therefore learning centres are rich in materials provided as well as being aesthetically pleasing in the set up and attract the child to that area. The learning centres have a variety of materials for children to choose from and expand on learning that can be facilitated by the educator. The learning centres are also set up based upon the child’s interest and are suited to developmental areas.