Centre Philosophy

Image of the child

 

Ocean Street Long Day Preschool (OSLDP) views each child as unique, capable and curious individuals, who deserve access to quality education and nurturing care. OSLDP believes that each child should be happy, comfortable and involved learners who have time to explore, play and care for one another and their educators.

 

Vision of children’s development

 

At OSLDP we believe children learn best through a creative, constructive and resilient environment. This allows children to problem solve and explore in order to become strong and confident learners. Relationships and play are important to their learning and wellbeing and how they place themselves in the world as citizens.

 

As facilitators in a care giving context, we are guiding them to feel safe, accepted and respected to develop a healthy self-esteem. By guiding children in a positive way we are facilitating their intellectual and social skills. In this way we can ensure that they become strong, caring, intelligent and compassionate individuals with a sense of belonging.

 

Vision of programme development

 

At OSLDP we continually develop the children’s program over time and with collaboration of others, so as to ensure the program development best suits the needs of the current children, families, staff and our community. At OSLDP, an individual and group emergent curriculum is created through spontaneous play and childrens learning interests, knowledge and abilties, and assists in providing high quality care and educational learning, accommodating each child’s individual needs.

 

At OSLDP, we see critical reflection as an integral part of the programme. Critical reflection is important to reflect on the ideas and interests of the children to allow them to feel part of the collective, whilst developing a flexible and meaningful learning environment. As leaders in early childhood education and care, we continue to discuss how we can improve our programme based on the centre’s philosophy, staff beliefs and parent’s input, through one on one discussions and online surveys during staff meetings. OSLDP sees critical reflection, pro social behaviours and ethics as an opportunity to enable children to improve and refine their skills.

 

As early childhood leaders we evaluate the child, educator, and parent reflections as an opportunity to plan tasks and extensions where best suit individual/group children’s needs and age appropriate implementations. In this way we can deliver an ongoing improvement plan for strong self-esteem, independence, social and emotional skills for life and transition to school. Our goal is to promote an effective programme and preschool programme during staff meetings and children’s group meetings, listening to their thinking and ideas as we record them in writing as ‘children’s voices’ (DEEWR, 2009)

 

Vision of staff development

 

We believe that to attain the appropriate leadership qualities as a passionate caregiver, we need to be committed to providing a warm, caring, nurturing, emotionally intelligent and positive environment for all involved within the centre, specifically to the children. Recognising the importance of supporting each other in a team work environment is essential as ‘together we achieve more’.

 

These beliefs, on the role of a caregiver, are applied with open communication, electronic sources such as Kindy Hub and encouragement through weekly room discussions. In our monthly staff meeting we establish flexible programming time. We have informal discussions and critical reflection on the current practices.

 

We strive to be the best mentors we can be and can only do this by understanding that this concept is built on relationships and working with others. We are social beings and developing the children’s social skills is one of the prime ways that leadership comes into play as a role of a caregiver. We further value our staff by providing pedagogical opportunities for them to build on their knowledge and develop their strengths.

 

Vision of inclusion

 

We believe in the importance of encouraging and accepting families and children to be active contributors and participants in our programme at the centre. It is also imperative to welcome parents and children regardless of their ability, gender, culture and background. Another factor is to be committed to a diverse culture of community family’s involvement and ongoing improvement, to create a comfortable community where adults and children experience a sense of connection and new possibilities, in order to become strong citizens and have a sense of belonging.

 

These beliefs inform OSLDP with not only community feedback but with updated incursions, excursions through newsletters which would promote inclusion and anti-bias practices. We value the importance of diversity of cultures, families, genders, abilities and believe it is essential for fostering attitudes of democracy, equity and social justice in our society.

 

OSLDP is liaising and working in collaboration with other professionals and families to support full access and inclusion of all children in the service.

 

Vision of sustainability

 

At OSLDP we provide a natural environment in order to integrate values of sustainability. Children inherit connection to the natural world and we as facilitators in their learning hope to stimulate an appreciation of their surroundings. We also need to provide the families with a welcoming environment to build a strong collaboration of all involved and a strong partnership with ongoing care. It is necessary to have active and constant involvement with parents (events such as working bees), so we can provide a smooth transition from home.

 

To promote a sense of sustainability such as reducing waste, recycling practices and discussions and reusing resources we promote a sense of responsibility, respect, investigations, proactive participation in the children’s social contexts and the centre’s programme. These are essential skills to protect our planet and specifically each other which are encouraged at OSLDP on a regular basis.

 

We believe through respect, acknowledgment, appreciation, collaboration, physical exercises and acceptance of diversity in our community, our service will embrace, celebrate and share traditions and culture throughout our programme and community events.

 

In this way we believe we promote a sense of wonder, safety, belonging to and love of the natural environment. Living things and animals are critical in developing respect towards mother earth and each other. Effective sustainability in place is the key to create an ongoing learning environment full of fun for all to discover and explore.

 

References: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Place Relations. [DEEWR]. (2009).  Belonging, Being & Becoming:  The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Barton, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia.