“Children thrive when families and educators work together in partnership to support young children’s learning”
(Early Years learning Framework, p.9)
Upon enrolment at Wagga Wagga Early Years Learning Centre, each family is given a tour of the service, meeting with our Directors & Educators. Families are then provided the opportunity to spend time in their child’s room, meeting with Educator’s that will care for their child each day – this opportunity allows both Educator and parents to share information about the child and family & the room, how it runs, expectations & curriculum.
Families are also asked to complete a Getting To Know You form, which staff then use, to further their understanding of each child.
Gaining an understanding of each child’s family life, their routine, culture, languages spoken at home, key words the child uses, their interests and strengths, allows our Educators to prepare for your child’s first day.
Your child’s first day can be a nervous time for both child and mummy & daddy, so by providing us with detailed information, we can ensure that experiences your child enjoys are available, and we will already have a guide to your child’s home routine, so we can keep their day similar to that at home.
Parents are also encouraged to phone the centre, speaking with your child’s Educators to hear how their day is going. Our educators also have access to email in their rooms and can email and send photos of your child’s day to reassure they are being cared for and having a good day.
Each room has created a display of the information we have gained from each child’s Getting to Know You form. Our Olive Tree’s (4yo) have created a garden scene and our Elm Tree’s (Nursery) have created a town scene. These displays make each child feel welcome and part of the WWEYLC family. Children have also brought in photos from home to share in our displays. Each display has been a fabulous talking point in getting to know each other.
Our Pepper Tree’s (2 yo) have been bringing photos from home which our Educators have made into books. Each child has their own book of photos, which they can look at throughout the day; telling their new friends about the photos; showing them their homes, pets and who each of their special people are. These books have also allowed for our Peppers to feel close to family and home whilst they are in care, being able to see a photo has helped them feel re-assured in their new environment.
To ensure families and children feel welcome at the service, each child is provided with a named locker, so they have place for their belongings each day. Photos of our Educators are displayed in each room, to inform families on who will be working with your child. These photos display the Educators name and their position at the service.
Family Input plays an integral part of our Curriculum, and we ask parents & other family member to contribute to our program on a regular basis.
One way we request information is through our “What did you do on the weekend” sheets, this information is then extended upon in our program, forming a link between our centre & your home.
Over the past weekend a child in our Olive Tree’s room visited the Botanic Gardens and took photos of flowers, which they brought in to share with us. Our Early Childhood Teacher has extended on this experience, through discussions with the children and hearing all about our friends adventures; displaying them on our drawing table to inspire creativity; bringing in and displaying fresh flowers in our art studio.
Another example, is a child from our Scribbly Gum’s (3yo) saw a hot air balloon on the way to WWEYLC this week, and was very keen to tell her friends all about it. Our Educators have extended on this by looking and talking about photos of hot air balloons , which have been found on the internet, photos have been brought in by other staff who have been hot air ballooning and we have talked about articles in the newspaper; we have been drawing and painting hot air balloons and reading books on things that move through the air.
Other forms of input may include daily conversation with Educators; sharing special events in your life with us via photos or visits to tell us all bout it; spending time with your child at the centre; sharing a special talent or hobby, maybe you would like to talk to us about your work, read to us, sing or play a musical instrument with us, cook or even garden with us. We would love to have you spend time with us, and I’m sure your child would be very proud to have mum or dad involved in their day.
Establishing positive relationships with both children and their families, has been paramount to a successful first few weeks at Wagga Wagga Early Years Learning Centre.
Partnerships with families are based on the foundations of understanding each other’s expectations and attitudes and build on the strength of each others’ knowledge.
In genuine partnerships, families and early childhood educators:
- Value each other’s knowledge of each child
- Value each other’s contributions to and roles in each child’s life
- Trust each other
- Communicate freely and respectfully with each other
- Share insights and perspectives about each child
- Engage in shared decision-making
(Early Years Learning Framework, p12)