The beliefs and values of the children, families and educators of Elder Street Early Childhood Centre have been consolidated to form our philosophy on the wellbeing, care, and education of children aged birth to five years. Our philosophy is what we believe best represents, based on continually evolving evidence and collaboration, what is most important for children’s experiences in the early years. Through guiding values of accountability, collaboration, and courage we commit to the principles shared in this philosophy statement.
Each child’s wellbeing, safety and potential is at the core of our purpose.
The child is not an abstract concept. Each child, no matter how young, comes to us already connected and a part of the world.
Our image of young children and childhood shapes our relationships with them. As the human brain is at its most adaptable form in early childhood, what occurs during this formative period matters a great deal, affecting children’s life potential.
Children will have a strong start when they have rich contextually meaningful early experiences and when their families thrive in supportive communities. Therefore, we view all children as curious, competent, intentional learners who are knowledgeable, culturally, and socially connected meaning makers.
Positive outcomes are achieved for children by teaching and caring with happiness, joy and love and creating environments that are calm, flexible, authentic, and warm, open ended, ethical, and democratic.
PLAY & LEARNING
Learning through play provides opportunities for children to search for knowledge, solve problems, take risks, and think critically.
Play is complex and requires a child focused contemporary and diverse teaching approach to make children’s rich learning outcomes visible.
Our educational program is guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (DEEWR, 2009) and the Reggio Emilia approach to project work and documentation of children’s learning.
This type of learning enables interpretation and assessment of children’s creativity, curiosity, needs and interests as they play.
When children’s thoughts, ideas, feelings and being, is holistically supported through meaningful relationships a strong sense of wellbeing is developed.
We consider relationships to include those with children, families, educators, the broader community, and the Awabakal people whose land that we are situated on is unceded. The Awabakal people, their land and culture motivate our relationship and commitment to Reconciliation and forms an integral part of our play and learning curriculum.
We value a sustainable future for culture and land with approaches to learning that includes recognising the importance of equity for all. We believe in cultivating a deep relationship with the planet through Education for Sustainability. We do this through a focus on nature play, recycling, waste control, awareness of water and energy usage, land care and gardening with children and families.
Relationships for children and families are developed through connection with our team, through building friendships, through cuddles, through relationship with play environments that are both built and natural, through sharing the importance and value of our educators explicitly and through sound communication.
Each of these relationships needs to be nurtured, reciprocal, secure and based on being respected, respectful and deeply valued. Relationships are key to belonging to the Elder Street family.
We are guided by the international agreement for childrens’ rights, outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Along with the many articles contained in the convention, we are committed to ensuring children are seen as knowledgeable and capable.
Each day children are empowered to make their own choices, to be celebrated for who they are individually and to be heard and included within the community.
Along with their rights we also believe young children are capable of understanding the responsibility associated with these rights and the rights of others.
The development of children’s social and emotional wellbeing is highly valued by our community.
By engaging in trusting relationships with educators, friends and families, children will grow to become resilient, confident, and empathetic.
Through experiential learning that elicits joy, happiness, self-expression, and self-confidence children develop practical wellbeing skills and self-efficacy. This in turn fosters interdependence and emotional security.