The Grasshoppers educational program is for children aged 3 to 4 years, and has a ratio of two early childhood educators to 16 children. The room’s aims and objectives are based on providing an educational program that focuses primarily on the children’s interests and needs, but also exposes children to new learning experiences that are age and stage appropriate. This is reflected in the educational program and the experiences that are offered as the children are encouraged to manipulate, explore, discover and experiment at various play areas both indoors and outdoors.
We always ensure that all areas of play are being offered on a daily basis, so that the children are aware of what they can play with and do. These play areas include construction (blocks, Lego), dramatic play (based on children’s interests eg doctors), imaginative play (eg fairies, dinosaurs), fine motor activities (puzzles, drawing, art), literacy (books, reading, group discussions, singing), sensory play (clay, water, sand, play dough, slime), creative play (making art using various new and recycled materials).
Child care offers a child many benefits and skills that help and contribute to their well being. The child is offered a social setting that prepares them for pre-kinder and kindergarten, as well as teaching them how to socialise effectively with peers and adults in a safe and caring environment. At this age we encourage the children to practise their independence and negotiating skills, problem solving, confidence building and a sense of respect for others and the environment. It is most important for us to foster an open and friendly relationship not only with the children, but with their families too. This is achieved through verbal discussion about your child’s day, and also through regular educator / parent meetings. This is an opportunity for parents to discuss their child, raise any concerns that they may have, and also for the educator to inform you of your child’s achievements, and discuss what we can do as a team to help your child achieve their goals.
We communicate with parents in a number of ways including a group reflection folder, which documents what is happening in the room, as well as individual portfolios. The intention of the portfolios is to document and record your child’s learning journey in the Grasshoppers room. It is a collection of observations, photos, stories and artwork. It also records your child’s interests, achievements and challenges to help support planned learning experiences. This is not only a way for you to see what is happening during your child’s time in the Grasshoppers room, but is also a means for you to add stories, drawings, photos, things collected from home that will support your child’s leaning and connection to the room. We encourage a strong link between home and child care as this helps your child to feel that they belong and are an important member of the Grasshoppers room.