The Panda’s educational program is for children aged 2 to 3 years, and has a ratio of 12 children to three early childhood educators. We offer a range of age and developmentally appropriate learning experiences within the permanent learning areas: language and literacy, dramatic / imaginative play, manipulative / constructive play, science and the natural environment, music and movement / active play. The educational experiences available to the children evolve and change as part of an emergent curriculum, and the ideas for these experiences come from the children, educators and families.
The educational play experiences we offer – along with involvement in group activities such as collaborative creative projects, cooking and story-telling – encourage the development of the children’s confidence and social skills. At this age children are beginning to develop their independence, whilst still needing support and guidance from adults as they attempt new tasks and develop new skills and knowledge. We encourage and support the children to develop their independence by offering unhurried time and opportunity for attempting, practising and acquiring new skills and knowledge.
Each day the educational program involves indoor and outdoor play. We believe it can be detrimental to children’s learning to interrupt play, and so time indoors and out is negotiated between the children and educators depending on the needs of the group. We offer a staggered morning and afternoon tea so that children can choose when they will eat between play. After we all enjoy lunch together there is a rest time, and while not all children rest or sleep, we believe it is important for children to have some time to relax and rest during their busy day at Annie Dennis Children’s Centre.
We communicate about children’s learning and involvement in experiences during the day through a room reflection book, and also give further insight into children’s individual learning and development in their learning portfolios. We encourage families to add their own stories and experiences to these portfolios so children can share these important moments with their peers and educators. Twice yearly we hold parent / educator meetings and the room leader is also available to talk with families on planning days, either in person or by phone if this is more convenient for families.