The centre opens at 7.30am where families and the children are greeted with a smile by our friendly welcoming educators.
Families will drop their children to their rooms and play outdoors with their peers until about 10am. Outdoors children are supported to participate in learning fundamental movements skills, sandpit play or joining in quieter more solitary activities. Children can revisit games and activities from their last day of care at kindy when the same experiences are set up.
Before going into their rooms, each day the children participate in an Indigenous acknowledgement respecting the traditional owners of this land, the Dharawal people. Our daily acknowledgement shows that we value Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. This gives children the opportunity to develop their cultural competence of cultures different to their own. The Early Years Learning Framework recognises the importance of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Once the children are in their age appropriate rooms and are gathered on the carpet, rolls are called and a small pre-planned group time is carried out. Dependant on the children’s ages this can be a song, sharing past events, a discussion about a recent topic of interest e.g. road safety, what children have noticed in winter or a fun activity. Our qualified educators collaborate and decide what learning happens in this time.
To transition the children to the morning activities the educators sing songs and play fun games with the children. Examples of transition games include ‘if you’re wearing blue go and find an activity’. Transition times allow educators to intentionally teach children something they have or are learning about.
At 11am the Star Children go outside for half an hour and wash their hands before a progressive lunch and sleep.
After group time the Moon children play in both ends of their room for an hour and a half. Once the room is tidy, the children sit down for another group time and then transition to wash their hands, eat lunch before their 30 minutes of outdoor play at 12.30pm. Once the children go to the toilet and clean their hands they can immerse themselves in quieter activities and meditation. If children require a bed for sleep or rest, this is also provided. Parents and children are actively consulted for this.
Afternoon tea is served to both rooms at 2.45pm. After the final daily group time in both rooms all children go outdoors for afternoon play until about 5pm. Children participate in reading, puzzles or drawing until the centre closes at 5.30pm.
We find that providing outdoor play with mixed age groups allows children to display care giving and role modelling behaviours. Children learn through watching others as referenced in Vygotsky’s social cultural theory.