Over years of reflection, experience and learning we’ve become a little more refined in what we understand to be the best ways to support children during the critical and singular window of development they’re experiencing in the first years of life.
We’ve developed a philosophy and approach to early childhood that we think is unique, and as our communities have developed, we’ve found our philosophy taking on its own individual expression in each campus, out of which specialist programs have evolved.
At some of our centres it looks like:
Beginning in 2016, the Outdoor Education Program was developed with the intention of introducing children to the natural environment and its processes; allowing them responsibility of it’s maintenance and care whilst giving children the opportunity to find wonder in its intricacies and beauty.
Our Outdoor Education Program is supported by a Bachelor trained teacher and it’s home is in the Harmony Garden; a purpose built space that honours the natural world and allows for children to get hands on, use real tools and be part of the construction of their learning spaces.
There’s chickens, garden beds, compost, worm farms, a fire pit, art studio and other elements that combine to make a nature-based curriculum that supports children to explore and develop their sensitivity to sustainability.
Current research is putting the ‘Nature VS Nurture’ debate to rest, indicating that a child’s development is impacted evenly between environmental and biological factors. That is to say; the relationships a child has and the environment they’re in affects the way their brain develops just as much as their genetics.
The first 1,000 days of life – from conception to age 2/3 – is a unique and powerful time where the brain develops all of the connections that determine its capacity for the rest of a person’s life.
During this time, a child’s brain can form 1,000 neural connections every second.
When we opened our centre in Bannockburn at the beginning of 2021, we were able to support this by establishing a specialist infant program. Lead by a bachelor trained teacher, the program is guided and inspired by Dr Emmi Pikler’s theory on how to best nurture infants.
In 2017 at our kindergarten in Geelong, a second language program emerged through consistent curiosity on the part of the children about the Chinese culture and language.
The following year we were able to be one of only 160 preschool’s chosen to be a part a government initiative to deliver a second language program led by a bachelor trained teacher at no additional cost to parents.
We’ve been able to watch the program develop every year since; focusing not only on language learning, but exploring cultural understanding and history.
New research is supporting the incredible things we’re seeing emerge from the program; learning a second language in your early years assists in the development of the frontal lobe (the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking processes). Bilingual children have been shown to have better critical thinking skills, creativity, enhanced memory and
problem solving skills.
In the spirit of respect, Kardinia Childcare and Kindergarten recognises the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia as the Traditional Custodians of the Land. We pay our respects to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future