Our Philosophy

Leongatha Children’s Centre (LCC) aims to provide a safe, inclusive and respectful environment where all families will be accepted for their uniqueness with no discrimination of cultural background or ability. We believe that the children, families and educators will be treated with respect and dignity. The Centre’s role is to nurture and educate children and their families through developing trust, security and loving relationships.  We recognise that children’s learning and development takes place in the context of their families and that each family is the child’s most important educator.  By acknowledging each family’s identity, culture and spirituality LCC aims to build children’s confidence, sense of wellbeing, safety and willingness to engage in play and learning.  We believe skilled educators are integral to the quality of care and education of children.  Leongatha Children Centre Inc will develop educator pedagogy via critical reflection, partnerships with professionals and regular ongoing professional development.  

Leongatha Children’s Centre respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their cultures. We aim to embed respectful relationships and environments that promote and enhance cultural inclusion  with respect and trust. We wish to seek out information and learn from Australia's first people.

We believe that each child is unique, capable and curious, with inbuilt strength and tremendous potential to be the master of their own learning. Our aim is to nurture these vital qualities with warmth and understanding to enable all children to grow and develop. LCC allows time for spontaneous experiences and understands the need for flexibility. Children learn at different rates, in different ways and at different times. Their development is not always easy or linear. For some children and families learning and development can be quite challenging and requires much perseverance. Therefore, different kinds of support and engagement will be required by LCC. We believe that children are resourceful learners who are capable of constructing their own knowledge of the world around them. 

We aim to promote healthy relationships that support children to feel a sense of belonging, see themselves as constructive contributors to the community; and see themselves as valued, unique and powerful. Children learn predominantly through play and exploration. Children absorb information and an understanding of what is acceptable through watching the example of their peers and adults. We believe in an integrated teaching approach. We believe that children benefit through community involvement and experiences reflecting our community and local culture.

We seek to create a sense of belonging, being and becoming by encouraging partnerships, respect and trust:  We do this in the following ways.

  1. Partnership with families – Leongatha Children’s Centre Inc recognises and values the central role of families in their child’s learning and development. A child’s family is their first and most important teacher. We endeavour to respect and support this by developing meaningful connections with families that promote effective collaboration. 

  2.  Partnerships with professionals – Working collaboratively to share information and plan to ensure holistic approaches to children’s learning and development.  

  3. High expectations for every child – Every child has the ability to learn and develop. Having high expectations is especially important in achieving better outcomes for the most vulnerable children. 

  4. Equity and diversity – Children’s personal, family and cultural histories shape their learning and development. We support children’s evolving capacities’ to learn from birth.

  5. Respectful relationships and responsive engagement - From birth, secure attachments formed through warm, nurturing and respectful relationships with familiar adults are fundamental to children’s learning and development.

  6. Integrated teaching and learning approaches - Learning is an active process that must involve children’s engagement. Play is essential for its ability to stimulate and integrate a wide range of children’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social and creative abilities. 

  7. Assessment for learning and development –All children benefit when assessment reflects a whole child approach, providing a holistic view of learning. 

  8. Reflective practice – Children’s learning and development is advanced when they experience interactions with highly effective early childhood educators.  Educators become more effective through critical reflection and a strong culture of professional inquiry.

Objectives

Children

  • For  the children to have a strong sense of identity.

  • For the children to connect with and contribute to their world.

  • For the children to have a strong sense of wellbeing.

  • For children to be confident and involved learners.

  • For the children to be effective communicators.

Families

  • To provide a service that will best meet the needs of parents/guardians in relation to their child rearing responsibilities and individual requirements. 

  • To encourage families to embrace and enhance their role as the primary educator and caregiver of the child. 

  • To provide a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

  • Encourages cooperation and active involvement from families through regular and varied forms of communication and experiences.

  • Acknowledge and support families via shared decision making at all levels of operation.

  • To provide opportunities for regular feedback about their child including information to support the child’s further development and learning.

  • Provide families with opportunities to extend their skills and knowledge regarding child health, safety and development.

 Educators / Staff

  • Educators / staff are critical to high quality care and education. Therefore we will endeavour to continue with low child staff ratios.

  • For all educators / staff to feel safe, respected and valued in their workplace.

  • To encourage and support educators/ staff with further training and skill deepening.

  • For educators / staff to have a sense of pride, enjoyment and value about their work with children and their families.

  • For educators / staff to give support, respect, care, and to communicate with one another, sharing ideas, information and beliefs.

  • For educators / staff to incorporate a range of teaching strategies and approaches that are reflective of the VEYLDF, LCC’s Reconciliation Action Plan and broader literature.

Community

  • We will maximise the use of Community resources designed to benefit young children and families.

  • For Leongatha Children’s Centre to be an integral part of the community and for children, families and staff to be involved in community events.

  • We endeavour to create a culturally safe and inclusive environment and to seek a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, rights and culture. 


Definitions

Spirituality: Refers to a range of human experiences including a sense of awe and wonder, a search for purpose and meaning and the exploration of being and knowing.

Integrated teaching approach: Refers to a collection of learning including guided play and learning, adult led learning and child directed play and learning.

Pedagogy: Professional practice, especially those aspects that involve building and nurturing relationships, curriculum decision making, teaching and learning.


Resources

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) (2016) Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework for all Children from Birth to eight Years. DET. Melbourne

Australian Government Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australia. (2009). Belonging Being and Becoming The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. ACT

Yappera Children’s Services (2008) Walking Together – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Customs and Protocols Community Child care, Melbourne, Victoria

Leongatha Children’s Centre’s (2021) Reconciliation Action Plan 

Reviewed: February 2021