The focus of Eltham Woods Childcare Cooperative (EWCC) is to create an inclusive, home like environment that enhances all aspects of children’s development whilst remaining warm and welcoming. We believe that children, families and staff are all integral parts of the Eltham Woods community and that each has a unique contribution to make to the centre. We believe our approach helps children to feel safe and secure at EWCC whilst giving them support and respect to increase their development in the five key areas of the Early Years Learning Framework.
At EWCC a large emphasis is placed on building strong relationships with families and involving parents in their child’s program. We understand that the child’s parents are their most influential educators and we aim to involve them in all aspects of our practice. Families are encouraged to share their beliefs, culture, language and home experiences with the centre so we can incorporate these into their child’s program and foster the child’s sense of identity. Our emphasis is on partnerships with families, for this reason families are encouraged to communicate frequently with EWCC staff, using a variety of communication tools, and share in all decision making relating to their child’s development at EWCC.
At EWCC our program is based on the Early Years Learning Framework, the children’s interests are the focus and staff use these interests to facilitate their program and enhance each child’s development. We believe that children learn and develop through their interests, interest based programming works cohesively with belonging, being and becoming, together these form the basis of our program. Our staff observe children and communicate frequently with parents to determine each child’s individual interests. EWCC staff use these individual interests to expand the child’s development using a wide range of learning activities and resources. We believe that incorporating each child’s interests allows the child to feel connected to their world through the contributions they are making to their individual program.
We also believe that children learn and develop when they are provided with a loving and supportive environment. The environment at EWCC is carefully considered to ensure a loving, supportive, home like atmosphere is created for children and parents. Room routines are flexible so that all children’s individual needs can be catered for. We acknowledge that children are effective communicators; our staff listen to each child’s individual needs on a daily basis and create individual routines to meet each child’s needs when required.
At EWCC we believe that all children are confident and involved learners. Our staff provide children with a range of play based experiences that ensure children are given the opportunity to learn and develop in their own way and in their own time. We utilize our indoor and outdoor play spaces to create a stimulating environment for the children to explore and develop their knowledge. We provide children with opportunities for both individual and group experiences that are designed to foster all areas of their development. We treat all children equally enabling them to acquire the ability to value the rights of others and to have a strong sense of wellbeing.
At EWCC our dedicated staff work together professionally as a team, to communicate, respect, trust and work cooperatively with each other. Staff are encouraged to have open and honest communication with parents and family members. Our staff work to maintain a professional relationship with all families, part of which includes they maintain confidentiality at all times. EWCC staff use positive approaches to educate children regarding expected behaviors. All staff at EWCC are encouraged to participate in professional development annually in order to ensure they maintain a high level of education in child development and industry changes.
At EWCC we are acutely aware of our natural “Green Wedge” surroundings and promote an environmentally friendly approach as a part of all centre operations. As an early childhood community service we believe this is an important responsibility for the children we teach, therefore we aim to educate the children about the environment and the impact they can have on it. Our unique outdoor environment allows the children to interact on a daily basis with their environment and provides them with educational opportunities surrounding not only physical development but also cognitive knowledge relating to seasons, environmental change and native flora and fauna.
We maintain strong working relationships with appropriate early childhood community organisations. Our staff attend local coordinator network meetings and play an active role in local Government early childhood initiatives, they also participate in appropriate Government training schemes. Through these activities we are able to maintain a strong presence in the Early Childhood Community throughout Nillumbik Council, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and other important early childhood organisations. We believe the relationships formed throughout these agencies combined with the training that our staff members complete results in EWCC being an industry leader throughout the Early Childhood community.
Committee of Management Approval date: 18 July 2012
Committee of Management Chairperson Centre Co-ordinator