Kelly's Place Children's Centre Philosophy

Kelly's Place opened it doors on the 18th of June 1988.  During our 20th birthday celebrations Kelly Keen (our namesake) spoke about the initial vision for the centre stating “It is a social planner's dream that you put in place a facility that becomes a meeting point for the community…and that is so clearly what has happened here.” This highlights our belief that Kelly’s Place is more than just a building.

Kelly’s Place strives to uphold these ideals everyday through the relationships we form both within the centre and beyond its walls. Drawing from these relationships, we guide and shape our environment and program to nurture and educate our community’s children.

Relationships

We see relationships as imperative to the success of our centre and Kelly’s Place community.  Kelly’s Place educators take the time to build strong, genuine, respectful relationships with each child and their families. These relationships, along with open communication, encourage growth and an environment where strengths, abilities, culture, lifestyle, interests and beliefs are embraced. We see each child as unique, having their own ideas, quirks, values and knowledge base. We encourage each child to share their home culture which strengthens the culture of the Kelly’s Place community.

As early childhood professionals, we acknowledge parents as the first teachers, and the most important people in a child’s life. We therefore place value on the parents’ voice and information is exchanged with mutual appreciation and respect. From this, a more holistic image of the child comes into focus allowing us to create a more personalised program and learning experiences.

Within our Kelly’s Place community we promote an atmosphere of inclusiveness. Each family is important and valued. We create a home-like atmosphere enabling siblings and friends to strengthen their relationships within our Kelly’s Place community. This allows opportunities for varying ages to interact and learn from each other.

Kelly’s Place prides itself on its role within the community. Educators encourage a reciprocal relationship with the greater community. Our centre’s unique location and access to resources is utilised through excursions - these help children to make connections with their world, extend interests and build life-long learning skills. Our aim is to equip children with a sense of identity, values and communication skills to be confident individuals and active learners.

“When children feel safe, secure and supported they grow in confidence to explore and learn” – Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework pg. 20

The Learning Environment

We strongly support play as the major source of learning in all areas of children’s development. We appreciate and understand the importance of allowing children time, flexibility and the chance to grow in an unhurried learning environment. 

Our learning environment is viewed as the third teacher. Educators take pride in creating an environment that promotes beauty and wonder. Our environment contains elements that challenge, motivate, and extend the children’s knowledge. As educators we provide opportunities for children to revisit learning experiences, thus enabling children to reflect, share, consolidate and further question their thought processes and understandings. This also helps to us to observe children's development as both an individual and as part of a larger group. Whilst challenging and supporting children’s learning, safety and supervision is always taken into consideration.

We view children as powerful and active contributors to their own learning. Children and educators are seen as co-constructors. Together we share and explore our ideas, knowledge, interests and skills, thus gaining further understanding of the world around us. The Early Years Learning Framework underpins our learning environment and program. Children’s ideas, projects and strengths form the basis of our intentional teaching program, discussions and experiences. Our flexible program allows opportunities for spontaneous discoveries and teaching in the moment.

As educators, we use our knowledge of child development to subtly guide, model, facilitate and support learning in children. Educators use a variety of teaching styles to meet the unique learning style of each child. Together we celebrate with the children their achievements and challenges, responding to both their laughter and tears.

“Responsive learning relationships are strengthened as educators and children learn together and share decisions, respect and trust. Responsiveness enables educators to respectfully enter children’s play and ongoing projects, stimulate their thinking and enrich their learning.”  - Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework pg. 15

Our dedicated team of passionate educators regularly meet to discuss and reflect on the program. Each team member brings with them their individual talents, skills, passions and knowledge, cultivating a team approach to early childhood education. We support professional development and believe that high staff:child ratios are necessary to create an environment where children are safe, confident and challenged in order to grow and develop as strong capable individuals.

Looking to the Future

Kelly’s Place Management Committee, parents and educators strive to be a benchmark centre within the early childhood industry. We are committed to continual learning and applying best practice early childhood beliefs and procedures. This continual learning is documented in our Quality Improvemnet Plan. All stakeholders are invited to contribute to this document. Reflecting and evolving are key ingredients to maintaining a high quality children’s environment. At Kelly’s Place we understand that change is inevitable, we take it as an opportunity to reflect on our practices enabling us to learn and evolve. Educators at Kelly’s Place pride themselves on creating a dynamic environment in which such positive change is possible.

References

DEEWR. (2009). The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia – Belonging, Being and Becoming.

NSW Curriculum Framework (2006)

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) Code of Ethics (2005)

The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

 

Reviewed January 2014