Early childhood is “a period of momentous significance for all people growing up in our culture. By the time this period is over, children will have formed conceptions of themselves as social beings, as thinkers, as language users, and they will have reached certain important decisions about their own abilities and their worth.”
(Donaldson M, Grive R and Reatt C, 1983.)
Cameron Park Early Learning Centre believes in acknowledging the original custodians of the land, the Awabakal people and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
We believe in providing an environment that is all encompassing respecting a child’s right and need for belonging, wellbeing, supportive relationships and safety. We believe children gain positive self identity and confidence when valued in an inclusive, responsive and nurturing environment.
In our centre, shared with children, their families, staff and the broader community we aim to work in a collaborative partnership embracing the diversity of knowledge, culture, beliefs and values to enrich the lives of children. Through this connection we are able to give children greater opportunities to flourish and become responsible and respectful citizens of the world.
Recognising that the first 5 years of life are the most important and influential in for children’s learning and future wellbeing we focus on building reciprocal and trusting relationships where children feel heard, respected, appreciated and empowered. We view children from a holistic perspective and focus on ‘knowing’ each child, valuing and extending on their unique strengths, abilities and ways of ‘being’.
We believe children are competent, capable, knowledgeable and powerful beings and come with their own ideas, views, interests, passion and questions to be explored and discovered. It is important that we validate these giving children opportunities to learn about themselves and others and the many wonders of their surrounding world. From this platform we believe our work as educators is to nurture children’s sense of empathy, provoke curiosity and enquiry and foster an ecological conscious, instilling a desire for learning and the preservation of our earth.
As educators we believe it essential that we continually reflect on our practice and attitudes to ensure we are teaching with intention and respect, adapting our practice in response to the ever changing and dynamic needs of our community. We value the diversity of strengths and abilities of educators and capitalise on these to support positive outcomes for children, families and for themselves in their valuable role.
The importance of play is emphasised in our program, validated by research that shows play is vital to young children, promoting their healthy social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Supporting a play based program we create and facilitate experiences that provoke children to explore, use their imagination, problem solve, think critically, take risks and connect with nature. Our natural, sensory and aesthetic physical environments are presented to enhance children’s learning and wellbeing with careful attention paid to beauty, order and a supply of open ended materials rich in possibility.
Our educational approach and planning is informed by children’s innovative, creative and collaborative learning pursuits and developed through thoughtful reflection, research and shared consultation with children, families and educators. Building on our programs we reference the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards and in conjunction with these acknowledge and reflect contemporary early childhood theories.
We believe children’s wellbeing and learning is best supported through a responsive and flexible routine; one that accommodates both their individual and group needs. The routine is designed to provide children with the time and space required to engage in unhurried meaningful play and experience the joy of ‘being’ in the moment, fulfilling their learning desires.
Our philosophy aims to serve and work in the spirit of community as we strive to advocate for and honour the precious time that is Early Childhood.