aimsGARDNER FARM PHILOSOPHY

The educators of our centre show a commitment to “Belonging, Being and Becoming; The Early Years Learning Framework”, The National Quality Framework and The National Quality Standards. These guide the policies and decisions made at the centre on a daily basis as we aim to provide a service that meets and exceeds the National Quality Standard.

Educators at Gardner Farm Child Care view children as capable and competent, recognising and responding to every child’s individual strengths and supporting children’s learning by engaging them in experiences that reflect their interests and their lives. We believe that every child has a right to childhood, that children should have long periods of uninterrupted time to investigate, experiment and explore. We value authentic school readiness, where children are provided with quality tools and resources and are supported to develop a passion for learning. We believe that children learn best when their interests and ideas are respected and their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm is supported.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein.

Educators value risk taking in the early years. We believe that when supported children are capable of making decisions about their risk taking in play. We encourage children to assess risk, challenge themselves and make discoveries. Our educators believe it is not only possible, but essential, to balance safety with risk and acknowledge the importance of risk taking in children’s development. We believe it is our responsibility to advocate risk taking in early childhood and to take considered and educated risks ourselves. We believe that taking risks opens doors to new ideas, opportunities and understandings.

“Risk is essential. There is no growth or inspiration in staying within what is safe and comfortable.” – Alex Noble

At Gardner Farm Child Care uniqueness is embraced. We believe that all children, families and educators bring unique skills, interests, abilities, ideas and ways of being that contribute to the culture of our centre. We strive to build a rich picture of every child, recognising and respecting their differences and honouring the diversity within our community. Educators will encourage children to be comfortable with diversity and to appreciate the fundamental commonalities that underlie many differences, and to truly understand the notion of unity through diversity. Gardner Farm Child Care Centre acknowledges and values Australia’s indigenous heritage and that of the wider global community, incorporating this heritage authentically throughout the centre environment and curriculum.

“The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking.” – Malaguzzi

Parents and Carers are not only welcomed and invited to be involved in the centre but are collaborators with the professionals and the child in provisions made for the children. The family is the most powerful influence on their child’s/children’s learning and development. The family’s perspective of the child is encouraged to be shared and professionals will operate in partnership with parents in planning and programming for the child.

We believe the environment plays an integral part in how a child learns and aim to provide a physical space that nurtures concentration, creativity and the motivation to independently learn and explore. Choices about equipment, resources, and the physical environment are made with the needs of the children, aesthetics, and the effect on the natural environment, in mind. Gardner Farm Child Care aims to provide a safe, caring, well-balanced, stimulating and educational home-like environment. It is acknowledged that children learn in a variety of ways and at different paces. Educators will sometimes lead the children, sometimes follow and sometimes be a participant in the child’s/children’s experience, showing wisdom as to which role is appropriate.

Gardner Farm Child Care has a commitment to the environment and sustainable practices and teachings, with the aim to promote a sense of responsibility, respect, wonder, participation and a connection with the land. Through regular bushwalks, animals in our service and gardening programs, children have numerous opportunities to connect with nature. We believe that digging in the dirt, climbing trees, hunting for bugs and splashing in puddles are all important components of childhood.

“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education” – David Polis.

We believe in the importance of evolution. By continually reviewing and critically reflecting on our practices, environment, relationships and understandings, we are able to strive for excellence. Educators will be confident and open to change, ideas and new concepts, embracing innovation, progression and forward thinking. Educators are also learners, working collaboratively with the children, colleagues and parents. The centre as an organisation will assist the professionals of the centre to identify what they enjoy and are good at and support them to use those strengths and interests to benefit the centre, while keeping up to date with current early childhood practice and continually advancing the professional development of our educators.

References:

Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework
National Quality Framework
National Quality Standards