The Children’s Program Page
Our programs are evident all around you when you enter our centre.The programs are not just happening in the rooms with the children, but are in the foyer, in the hallways, in the garden and in the staff room. What we do is not confined to a space, but is a feeling, it is what you hear and it is what you see. We know that finding that special place where your child can feel nurtured and where you can have peace of mind is important and that is what we want you to feel through our programs.
It is now widely acknowledged that learning begins at birth and has a profound effect on lifelong development and adult well-being. Experts agree that a high quality child care environment provides children with excellent learning opportunities to optimize their physical, cognitive, cultural, social and emotional development. Our program aims to provide for your child a unique beginning for lifelong learning where children are celebrated and encouraged to learn in a way that develops their self-esteem and natural curiosity.
Our Centre programming is primarily based on the intentional emergent curriculum, which embraces the interests of the children and is responsive to their curiosity and thinking. Projects are used as a medium to wonder, explore and construct meaning about our community and wider world. Staff plan a suitable program that meets the needs and interests of the children, driven by the interests of the children and based on what they observe about the individual children. They formulate experiences that match the children’s needs, interests and stages of development.
The program is made up of all the activities, learning experiences, routines and staff/child interactions that happen in day care. All these things need to be planned for, carried out and evaluated. Experiences include music, drama, games, storytelling, reading, dance movement, water play and a wide range of creative arts. We provide times for exploratory play and social interaction. Our Program follows the Early Years Learning Framework (which describes the principles, practice and outcomes essential to support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school), in conjunction with Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework: Birth to 8 years (Victorian Framework) as endorsed by the Department Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD).
Emergent curriculum describes curriculum that develops from exploring what is relevant, interesting and personally meaningful to children. “As Educators, we make choices for children that reflect our values; at the same time we keep our plans open-ended and responsive to children.”
Key features of an Intentional emergent curriculum:
1. Emergent curriculum is not a linear process. An emergent curriculum is constantly evolving in response to children’s changing needs and interests, parental and community interests and concerns, and teachers’ priorities. Each of these key elements shapes the direction for future learning.
2. Emergent curriculum is cyclical. As Educators get to know children and their families, they observe children’s learning, discuss and share ideas with colleagues and families, interact with children and continue to monitor learning progress and document learning. This process is repeated continually.
3. Emergent curriculum is flexible and responsive. Educators plan flexibly with children, as curriculum is constantly evolving in response to children’s interests, building on children’s strengths and needs.
4. Emergent curriculum is collaborative. Emergent curriculum provides opportunities for adults and children to contribute to decision making processes.
5. Emergent curriculum makes children’s learning and Educators thinking visible. Educators document learning with children, colleagues and parents. They engage partners in discussion and reflection about their learning experiences and document learning through a range of tools to make the learning process visible. In the process, Educators own thinking, planning and decision-making is made visible.
In the childcare setting, planning and recording the learning experiences that develop from children’s interests, passions, strengths and needs, is an important part of educator’s intentional teaching practices. The topics of interest that emerge are often linked to children’s play, their experiences at home, a community event, and priorities that emerge from conversations between children; children and Educators; and Educators, parents and other partners. The benefits of using an intentional emergent curriculum approach to teaching and learning are evident for children, Educators and partners.
We recognise and value the importance of a child’s family and context and strive to work closely with families. Our programming recognises that children need to feel safe and secure in a predictable environment. Programs are flexible and responsive to individual children’s interests and take into consideration children’s emerging sense of autonomy (“I can do it”), well-being and belonging.