Have you chosen a career in Early Education?

If so, my next question is have you considered KinderPark?

As Early Childhood Educators we should all know that we make a supreme difference in a child’s early years and, ultimately, a significant difference in their lives. We should be proud of this! More than 1.3 million children across Australia are utilising approved Early Learning Services; so, we are in strong demand! The number of service providers continues to grow annually, and the demand for early childhood professionals is expected to remain strong.

This is great news for Educators, the decision is then ‘where’? How do I choose my centre?

When we do family tours, we tell families that they should ‘know’ as soon as they walk in; the parent and the child should get a vibe and a comforting feel for the centre when they enter.

Well, so should Co-workers!! They should also have that gut feeling that ‘this is the place for me’. That’s what we strive to achieve. Our aim is to create a culture where the team feel that they can be themselves, they can be unique and that they are heard.

When you come to our centres not only do you spend the day with children, you also work side by side with likeminded, dedicated Co-workers. You share in camaraderie and make lifelong friendships.

You also build trusting relationships with the children and families, helping to relieve parent anxiety when children are away for extended periods of time. There can’t be anything more rewarding than seeing the pride and a sense of achievement on a child’s face when they see their hard work come through. Those funny moments that break up the day. Anyone who has spent time with children knows they can come out with some hilarious statements and questions; like “why don’t elephants have wings”? or “why do we call the moon the moon”?

Essentially Educators play a pivotal role in helping children master new skills as well as develop resilience, well-being, and a foundation for lifelong learning. We forever evolve as we cross paths with a wide range of personalities, learning styles and behavioural traits encouraging us to develop new strategies, ideas, and approaches.

The word evolve is key; there are ways to ‘earn while you learn’, this means that you can obtain nationally recognised qualifications while working in the sector to gain valuable experience. Opportunities to complete your certificate III, your diploma and potentially even your bachelor’s degree; there is so much to explore. We can help and support you to achieve this! You deserve the opportunity to do meaningful and satisfying work. Do what you love.

I circle back to the original question; Have you considered KinderPark?

Why outdoor play is important in Early Childhood

Remember when you were young and spent much of your time playing outside? Let’s take a step back together and remember the fun we had when we got messy, enjoying the sun on our faces, and running around with our friends. I bet you’ve just recalled some of your best memories!

It’s just the same for the children that attend KinderPark! We pride ourselves in providing the children with engaging, explorative, imaginative, and positive experiences within our natural outdoor environments to create their own adventures.

At KinderPark we encourage children to play games, challenge themselves physically and build self-confidence. The best part of outdoor play generally means more mess and quite often more mess means more fun!!!

No matter the season, outdoor environments provide an abundance of unique opportunities for children to engage in. Simple things like running their hands through the sand offering a sensory experience, exploring the garden to find creatures and bugs such as snails and caterpillars, and as I’m sure you know children love collecting bugs. These experiences can be the basis of our program where our Co-workers can offer further opportunities to the children for learning.

At KinderPark we value and understand that outdoor play isn’t just about the gross motor and physical aspects. It also provides our children the opportunities to explore, discover and appreciate the natural world.

Did you know that there are five important benefits of outdoor play!

It helps to relax by providing children the opportunity to read books under the trees or on comfy cushions.
It exercises the body when children run, jump, and climb.
It boosts the immune system, breathing in fresh air while at play
It improves focus and brain development assisting children to create new games, explore and be more independent.
It’s a chance to be social – playing chasey, peek a boo and taking turns on the equipment.

Outdoor play is a critical component in the development of children, supporting their mental wellbeing, physical growth and social skills. All KinderPark centres place a large focus on outdoor play through our programs and purpose-built outdoor play spaces as we prepare our children ‘Ready for Life’.

School Readiness of Life Readiness?

As we head towards the end of the year we are preparing for family celebrations and the excitement of a new year! There is something very important that our Kindy children are also preparing for…BIG school! There is a lot of talk about school readiness and ensuring that children are ready for their next step in their education. What does being school ready actually mean though?

There has been a huge shift in what school readiness means for children, previously it was thought that school readiness relied heavily on children knowing how to read and write, how high they could count and if they can identify shapes and colours. It is now understood that each child’s emotional readiness is just as important, if not more important, for each child’s entrance into their new environment.

We have Early Childhood Teachers who guide this learning and preparation in KinderPark centres. Through our child-led and environment-focused programs we are able to integrate the WA Curriculum Guidelines and focus on meeting the requirements that children need as they take the next step in their learning journey. By having a child-led curriculum we are able to tailor the needs of each child and move at their pace. We include their interests in the learning process and consider their wellbeing, given this is just as important as any development goals or milestones set.

The Kindy-aged children in our centres receive the support and ongoing cycle of learning that they need to develop a love of learning and curiosity; our environments are created with their lead and we learn just as much as they do most days! We know the world they are going into is a world where imagination and unlimited possibilities exist and we are so excited to be part of their journey to becoming valued and important citizens of our communities!

From planter box to plate

We all know the health and general wellness benefits from gardening; it can be calming, educational and encourage sustainable practices.  It may be something that we recall watching our parents or grandparents enjoy when we were children, but why wait until we are a certain age before this is part of our lifestyle? 

The idea of planting seeds, nurturing the sprouts, harvesting, and then eating produce, that may have been a challenge previously for some children, is now exciting and attractive as there is a curiosity to taste what has been grown.

This practice and experience offer children the opportunity to socialise and interact together as they develop an appreciation for nature and the cycle of plants.  It gives children a sense of responsibility and patience being a caretaker and encourages discussions with friends and Co-workers regarding when to plant seeds based on seasons. It helps children develop a respect for the environment and simply smelling the fresh herbs and seeing the vibrant colours will stimulate their senses.

Numeracy and science concepts are part of the learning process, even if we are not aware of the intentional teaching happening in that moment.  Counting seeds, measuring the water and understanding that the relationship between plants and the weather is vital to their health.

Composting food scraps, using worm juice from the worm farm to fertilise plants and using leftover water from drink bottles at the end of the day to water plants educates children on the importance of sustainability.

Food grown at our centres is either used in our lunches and snacks prepared by our cooks, or provided to families to take away and enjoy with their children at home. 

We encourage families to try this at home also, make it fun for the children! Discuss what you will do and draw a plan, you don’t have to go with tradition.  How about a ‘pizza vegetable garden’ where you can grow tomatoes, basil, oregano, and capsicum.  Once they have been harvested you have your perfect topping; that’s the foundation of our ‘planter box to plate’ idea.

At KinderPark we encourage this within our program daily and stand by our value of ‘Planet Positive’ which in turn creates the foundation for lifelong learning together.

Together let’s taste the outcome of our hard work! The opportunities are endless.

Do children in childcare develop differently from those who do not attend?

There has been many studies exploring the advantages of childcare and the benefits for children. One of the biggest findings has been that childcare offers opportunities for more extensive social contacts with peers and adults, which leads to open, extended social worlds for children.

When a baby arrives in the world, they are totally dependent on others for their survival. When a baby enrols in one of our centres, they may enter the nursery or babies room and with the support of their families and our Co-workers, the children learn to walk and talk and form attachments to others. By being present and engaged and by meeting the children’s needs the Co-workers teach the children to trust others.

From this circle of security children develop the confidence to build onto their skills and knowledge of the world. Co-workers support them to also develop their physical and language skills. They become stronger, more independent and able to use simple words and gestures to communicate.

As they become toddlers, children are encouraged to develop their self-help skills and to learn to manage the big emotions which emerge at this age. Co-workers support the development of social skills as they become more interested in forming relationships and engaging in shared play.

Their journey will then bring them to the kindy room. A strong physical, social and emotional foundation has already been established and Co-workers are able to lead the children into developing more complex skills and knowledge, for example: communicating to enquire, hypothesize and to share their understanding and their theories.

They discover other ways to communicate through music, movement, drama, drawing, painting, sculpture, symbols and signs. Their physical skills grow to be more complex with abilities to dodge a ball, balancing, throwing and catching. Socially, they will learn how to negotiate and resolve conflict while they develop an awareness of fairness as they learn how to play games with rules.

Childcare and early learning centres play a pivotal role in encouraging children to embark on a journey of lifelong learning. At KinderPark, we promote this idea through our curriculum, resources and spaces, providing stimulating environments that prepare our children, ready for life!  

The importance of child-led play

Have you ever sat back and watched your child play?

Their imaginations and creative minds can take you by surprise.

Child led play is all about following a child’s lead and allowing yourself to be directed, things to remember when you’re allowing your child to lead.

Observe, watch and listen.

As a child leads they build communication skills and learn how to influence things around them.

We can provide an opportunity, but the idea of child led play is to observe how the child approaches the activity and how they adapt the task to their own direction.

For example, As Adults We may ask children if they’d like to play the sandpit expecting children would build sandcastles, but a child may decide to take cars into the sandpit and build a racetrack.

This is child led play They’ve created a new adventure for themselves without instruction from an adult or a teacher.

When children initiate play, they can make their own choices, by being given this space children learn that their own ideas are important, validating their choices.

As child lead play can include things such as role play, they can also explore specific ideas and emotions that are relevant to them at the time.

Its great for letting them work through emotions in a safe space in their own way.

Child led play gives children a level of independence from an early age that is not provided by adult led play.

Thiers so many benefits as children learn through play, build confidence, feel loved happy and safe, gain ownership, which allows them to understand more about how the world works.

Its also a key element to the EYLF of Being, Belonging and Becoming.

At KinderPark we believe their way is our way, together we create child-led environments that encourage children to explore, play discover and learn in their own unique way.

Let’s empower our children The opportunities are endless.

As Albert Einstein said Play is the Highest form of research.