The philosophy of a childcare centre largely influences the types of learning experiences, the curriculum and the kind of care that will be present in the centre. Therefore, it is imperative that parents become familiar with the philosophy behind the centre in order to understand the focus of the program.
Early Childhood Education and Care
Education is based on children’s construction of knowledge through meaningful experiences which emanate from children’s lives, interests and ideas.
Learning occurs through interactions with more expert others, including other children as well as adults.
Children’s thinking is expressed and supported through multi-literate ‘languages’ including play and the arts as essential symbolic modes of communication.
Curriculum is co-constructed with children.
Documentation of children’s thinking as expressed through their play, and other forms of representation, is a vital part of the teaching-learning process.
Teachers scaffold play, interests and ideas through open questioning, assisting children to solve problems which emerge in their play and investigations, supporting children as theory-makers, and documenting their emerging knowledge and skills.
Children bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their interactions and play which should be valued and built on through play, and enquiry.
Children are competent thinkers and communicators who are keen to learn, and form relationships.
Children are imaginers, and intrinsically creative thinkers, who deserve environments that value and support creativity through all forms of creative expression.
Teachers provide time, space, and materials for children to explore, represent, and build knowledge and ideas.
Teachers interact with children to tune into their thinking and feelings, support the representation of their interests, and affirm their abilities.
Teachers build partnerships with parents to share insights into children and collaborate in their children’s education and well-being.
Teachers create environments that maximize child control and self-regulation.
Environment offers choices, a predominance of open-ended resources, and opportunities for children to change or redesign the environment both indoors and outdoors.
Children’s artworks, creations and documentation adorn the walls together with items of beauty such as art prints, flower arrangements, and pot plants.
Environment is flexible and spacious enough to accommodate significant numbers of children in spaces where they can create artistically, play dramatically, make music, dance, investigate, build and explore.
Large spaces should be dedicated to the arts, construction, and dramatic play, as these are means whereby children have the greatest opportunities to express their thinking.
Environment contains couches, and cosy places for adults and children to relax, read stories, talk and day-dream.
Parents and Communications
Parents feel welcome to visit and stay anytime, and have places where they can sit and talk with one another and staff.
Parents and teachers engage in regular exchanges to promote partnerships in the education and rearing of children.
Documentation plays a critical role in helping parents to understand their children’s play and development. Portfolios with photos with explanatory text are a prime mode for documenting children’s learning as well as daily journals to allow parents to ‘see’ the daily program.