Leongatha Children’s Centre (LCC)is a community run long day care and kindergarten service that aims to provide a safe and respectful environment where all families children and the greater community will be accepted for their uniqueness with no discrimination of cultural background or abilities. This will be reflected throughout our whole ethos; from the way in which we care for our fellow team members to the way in which we extend our warmth, knowledge and respect to each child and family member. LCC’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 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.
At Leongatha Children’s Centre we respectfully honour and acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and play, and provide opportunities for the children to learn from the experiences and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies. We aim to embed respectful relationships and environments that promote and enhance cultural education with respect and trust.
We believe that each child is unique, capable and curious, with inbuilt strength and tremendous potential to be 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 straightforward. For some children and families learning and development can be a considerable struggle 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, the concepts of "Belonging, Being, becoming" steer all that we do and say, and we recognise that children's voices are the most important part of our program. We see them as constructive contributors to the community; and see themselves as valued, unique and powerful. Children learn 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.
Family centre practices – Leongatha Children’s Centre Inc engages in family centred practice by respecting the pivotal role of all families in their children’s lives.
Partnerships with professionals – Working collaboratively to share information and plan to ensure holistic approaches to children’s learning and development.
High expectations for every child – Every child has the ability to learn and develop. Having high(realistic)expectations is especially important in achieving better outcomes for the most vulnerable children.
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.
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.
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.
Assessment for learning and development –All children benefit when assessment reflects a whole child approach, providing a holistic view of learning.
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.
For the children to have a strong sense of identity
For the children to connect 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
Referenced from VEYLDF
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 their role as the primary educator and caregiver of the child.
To provide a relaxed welcoming atmosphere.
Encourages co-operation 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
Provide families with opportunities to extend their skills and knowledge regarding child health, safety and development.
Encourage families to share and maintain their home cultures with us at LCC.
Educators / Staff
Educators are encouraged to work as a team supporting each other with open communication, motivation and acquiring new skills through workshops / Professional development. The experience gained will benefit children within their care. Educators ensure an ongoing cycle of review of current practices are examined, outcomes reviewed and ideas generated, this occurs on a daily basis to ensure a quality environment that focuses on the journey not the final outcome.
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.
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 have a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being thus improving our cultural competence.
Our goal is to facilitate, implement and adapt responses to the challenges emerging communicable diseases present to the education and care setting, so as to further protect our community. Clear health and safety guidelines, high hygiene standards and clear expeditious communication practices can reduce the risk (spread) of transmission within practical limitations of the Leongatha Children’s Centre.
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.
Expeditious: Immediate, speedy, active, diligent
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
Victoria State Government: Health and Human Services
Reviewed; October 27th 2021