“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” - Dr Suess
I have been working in the childcare industry for sixteen years and thus far have had a variety of experiences in the different areas, with approximately half my experience being in a Long Day Care setting and the remainder in Family Day Care. My goal is to establish a service based on the best elements of each, incorporating a homely and person-centered environment into a heavily resourced center based service. My degree in Behavioural Science and my minor work in Counselling at Notre Dame University have furthered my understanding of community engagement, with a focus on empowering people and supporting wellbeing. I intend to bring this knowledge into the service and incorporate it into the centres philosophy.
Children learn through experiencing the world in their own individual way, developing skills and knowledge whilst engaging in meaningful experiences. An integral element of a child’s development is reliant upon stable and respectful relationships with the adults around them. Here at Our Place we aim to develop these relationships, in a homely feeling environment, with the benefit of a wide range of resources. This will encourage children to master the various areas of development, both in small and large group situations.
Our role is to provide the opportunity for children to learn and develop in an environment where not only are their basic needs satisfied, but ensuring that they feel safe, secure and valued while at Our Place. The environment will be challenging, fun and most importantly age appropriate, allowing children to explore freely. As Our Place is set up to care for children aged three and up, older children will be encouraged to lead in their play and follow through with the interests and curiosities, without the barriers that can sometimes occur in an environment that also cares for very young children. Through out this process they will gain pride in their own ideas and abilities, whilst also developing a respect for other ideas, abilities and knowledge.
Engagement in the community will form a significant portion of our program, extending the children’s support networks, encouraging the children to be valued and active members of their communities. Partnerships will be formed in areas of interest to the children, facilitating a link between specific organisations and Our Place that the children will willingly engage with.
Parents and extended family members will be a valued resource for Our Place and will be invited to participate in the children’s learning. When possible, family members will be encouraged to share their knowledge and skills with the children, by participating in planned experiences. Families will also be encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions for the program and the environment. Information on the children’s Learning Journey will be readily accessible for both the children and parents to view and share together.