We acknowledge the traditional custodians and cultural knowledge holders of this land, the Darkinjung People, both past and present.
Aboriginal culture and heritage is valued and shared with the children through stories, art, music, our natural environment, ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ and enriched with the inclusion of Aboriginal culture and knowledge from the Aboriginal community, members of the Darkinjung Community and our Aboriginal families.
Long Jetty Pre-School’s Philosophy is a statement identifying our beliefs that reflect our values and the reasons behind our practices. Our Philosophy has been developed by management, educators, staff, children, families and the community that utilise our service and guides our practice and the educational program. It underpins the decisions we make, our policies and procedures and guides our educational program.
Our practice is embedded in our service operations; is shaped by meaningful engagement with families and the community and is strongly informed by critical reflection. We strive for best practice as we focus on respectful relationships; partnerships with families; high expectations and inclusion; respect for diversity and equity; and place great importance on reflective practice.
In relation to Children:
We believe the rights of the child are paramount and that all children are unique, capable & competent learners who actively construct their own learning, with children’s voices an important part of our educational program.
Children have agency; they have capacities and rights to initiate and lead learning and to be active participants and decision makers in matters affecting them.
All children are given equal opportunities regardless of their social, cultural and linguistic diversity (including learning style, abilities, disabilities, gender, family, family circumstances and geographic location), supporting every child’s inclusion. We support the inclusion of children with additional needs who may require additional support, working in conjunction with their family and other support services whilst planning for their specific strengths and needs.
Children develop at their own pace; therefore, educators will ensure their expectations for children’s development are specific to each child and their unique experiences and individual identity and backgrounds are valued. We believe learning is dynamic, complex and holistic and that children are good communicators who are connected and contribute to their world by being active and involved learners.
Children learn best through play and educators will support their development by providing experiences that are meaningful. Children are given the opportunity to choose their own experiences that, most importantly, reflect their own interests. The child’s knowledge is valued and can be used as a tool for enhancing the knowledge of others. (Becoming)
We appreciate the importance of the present day in our children’s lives, learning about themselves in a holistic manner, building and maintaining relationships and enjoying life. (Being)
Educators will use positive forms of behaviour guidance and will continue to work in partnerships with parents throughout this process. Educators give meaningful praise for efforts, success and positive behaviour, support children to build positive relationships with their peers.
We believe and practice the “Circle of Security” -a theory based on the foundation that once children form secure attachments (relationships) they will be able to thrive in all areas of development. By supporting our children’s attachment, emotional and behavioural needs we are promoting their abilities to develop and maintain positive and trusting relationships with their families, educators, peers and the wider Community (Belonging).
In relation to Families and Community:
Families are the most important people in their child’s life and have valuable information to share with us. We focus on ensuring parents/families feel welcomed and valued. We encourage them to become involved at the service in whatever way they feel comfortable.
Strategies are in place to encourage involvement of parents in the Management Committee, orientation process, email, program participation, an open-door policy, parent meetings, surveys and parent input into their child’s Individual Educational Program.
Educators are respectful and supportive of the role of parents and families play in their child’s life by valuing their knowledge, culture, beliefs and child rearing practices. Families are shown confidentiality, fairness, professionalism and the respect for privacy at all times.
We believe families have the right to high quality, affordable early childhood care and education and act as advocates for quality early childhood education and care and the needs and rights of young children and their families.
We believe that partnerships with families is beneficial to their children’s wellbeing at the service. Therefore, we endeavour to create sound and reciprocal relationships with our parents and the wider community. (Belonging)
Families need to feel secure in knowing that their child is cared for in a nurturing environment. We recognise that parents have needs and we endeavour to support then through difficult times through our own resources and referral to services within our community.
We encourage feedback, suggestions and opinions regarding our service to assist in continuous reflection and quality improvement.
We value the important role our volunteer Management Committee plays as the Approved Provider of the service, representing our local community and being responsible for meeting National Regulations and National Quality Standards.
In relation to Educators & Staff:
We recognise and respect that every educator is an individual with diverse needs, interests, skills, knowledge and experience. We see the important role of adults within our service is to be education facilitators who support, guide and encourage children’s learning at the child’s development, level and pace.
Our educators engage in Intentional Teaching; they are deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decisions and actions. Interactions, engagement and relationships are a key part of our education and care program
Our educator’s welcome opportunities to reflect on current practices and to further their skills and knowledge through training and professional development. Educators are life-long learners.
We work as a team by supporting each other, building a culture of trust and respect through open communication, valuing different points of view, using constructive methods of conflict resolution and maintaining professionalism and confidentiality.
We work in collaboration with our volunteer Management Committee to achieve Best Practice and abide by the Long Jetty Pre-School’s guidelines, policies & procedures, National Regulations and Laws, AECA Code of Ethics, UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, standards set by the ECECD DET, the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF-Belonging, Being & Becoming), National Quality Framework (NQF), and the KidsMatter and Circle of Security and Attachment theories and principles.
We foster and educate students in becoming high quality Early Childhood Professionals by working in partnership with a range of schools and tertiary institutions e.g. TAFE and universities.
In relation to the Educational Program:
Long Jetty Preschool embraces the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF) as a foundation to our play-based teaching philosophy. This Framework has been designed to extend and enrich children’s learning, maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. It has a specific emphasis on interest-based, strengths-based and play-based learning and encourages children to be active and engaged learners exploring their world with confidence.
Early childhood is a time of belonging, being and becoming. The most important part of ‘belonging’ to our preschool community is feeling included, accepted and valued for ‘being’ who we are; this in turn allows us to ‘become’ confident, capable and independent people within our community.
Our educator’s, led by our Educational Leader, develop a ‘Cycle of Planning’ to observe, analyse, document, plan for and assess the learning of the child/group as an ongoing process in partnership with families and other professionals. As a result, an educational program is designed that enhances and extends each child’s learning and development.
Educators engage regularly in Critical Reflection which guides our professional practice and the process of continual improvement. We focus on the importance of relationships, program decision-making, teaching and learning shaping meaningful engagement and service delivery.
Long Jetty Preschool educators are committed to equity believing in all children’s ability to succeed, empowering children to make choices through use of learning centres, and simultaneous indoor and outdoor play which fosters and nurtures sibling, family and peer’s relationships.
The program has an open approach incorporating both flexible and intentional teaching moments; educators encourage the children’s contributions to the curriculum, provide opportunities for children to wonder, explore, investigate, test, predict, problems solve, negotiate, reflect and research through play and in partnership with each other.
We acknowledge the principles and practices of the KidsMatter Early Childhood framework and its importance in all aspects of our program and service delivery. KidsMatter is a national mental health and wellbeing initiative for children.
We believe that children develop positive mental health and wellbeing within sensitive, nurturing and responsive relationships. Our educators respond to children’s emotional needs and aim to develop their social and emotional wellbeing and competence with our practise guided by KidsMatter Early Childhood framework and reflective practise. This framework highlights the importance of relationships and supports the wellbeing of children, their families, educators and the wider community.
In relation to the Environment:
Our educators recognise the importance of providing a safe, secure, homelike and consistent environment that supports trust and familiarity, as well as active exploration of learning.
We believe that our service is an extension of our children’s home environments by establishing a calm, friendly and positive atmosphere where children take ownership and are active participants in respecting themselves, the educators, each other and our resources. (Belonging)
In supportive quality learning environments, children can be confident and involved learners, increasingly responsible for their own learning, personal regulation and be connected with and contribute to their world
Our learning centres provide our children the opportunity to revisit experiences, making choices, refining, exploring, reinforcing and challenging their abilities. (Belonging)
The importance of nature and our environment is reflected in our outdoor learning environment. This area offers natural play spaces inviting open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. An appreciation of the natural environment is fostered, along with environmental awareness and responsibility for a sustainable future. We believe that the environment is our responsibility and we endeavour to become active advocates for sustainability.
By encouraging children to positively contribute in creating eco-friendly (natural surroundings) and sustainable environments, we are developing active environmental citizens who are appreciative and exhibit and awareness of our environment and the wider community for future generations. We recognise that we are part of the world community as well as our local community. It is our role to support children to become environmentally responsible and contribute to a sustainable future. (Being)