Childcare & Early Learning 

At Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder we pride ourselves on providing children with quality early learning experiences. 

Our early learning program is structured to ensure it: 

  • offers valuable play and learning experiences for your child 

  • makes sure there is a caring and consistent relationship between staff and your child 

  • allows children time to explore and learn new activities 

  • supports all aspects of your child’s development, including their social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs 

  • sets clear and reasonable expectations of behaviour 

  • works in partnership with your family

Children are placed in one of 4 rooms based on their age & developmental needs. We believe children learn best when they can form strong bonds with their peers and educators. For this reason all our rooms are arranged in small groups with low educator to child ratios. This means the children are supported with activities, toys & learning opportunities that correspond with their ability & goals. 

Our Rooms
Nursery & Toddlers

Our Nursery & Toddlers rooms work collaboratively caring for children 6 weeks to 2 years with each having maximum of 4 children per day.  As a rough guide Nursery children are 0-1yo & Toddlers 1-2 however development across this age range occurs at different rates for each child and as such our groupings account for this.

Pre Kindergarten
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 Our Pre-Kindergarten room has a maximum of 9 children per day and caters for children around 2-3 years of age. To help prepare children for the transition to Kinder our Pre Kindergarten room is all about supporting their development of self help skills & communication skills.  

Kindergarten

When your child is 3 years old and developmentally ready they will join our Kinder room. This room caters for children 3-6 years of age. Our Kindergarten room has a strong focus on giving your child the best chance of success in school through our school readiness curriculum. 

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Small class sizes & Family Feel

Some early learning services these days can cater for upward of 120 children per day which can lead to children feeling overlooked and families missing a real sense of community within their centre.  Several studies also provide evidence of a strong link between class size's and overall quality of education and care showing that smaller group sizes and higher staff-child ratios lead not only to better educational outcomes but also result in teachers interactions that are more stimulating, warm, responsive and supportive.

 

At Hastings Childcare & Community Kinder we believe that children thrive and learn best when they develop real, meaningful connection with their educators and teachers. For this reason we run limited small groups meaning every staff knows every child and they really get the quality one on one individual attention they need and deserve.  Furthermore, parents and guardians can get to know the staff and can work collaboratively through ongoing communication as they really get to know each child and their family on a personal level.  

This close knit environment also provides a family feel for children so coming to care is like a home away from home full of familiar faces. This leads to greater interconnectivity and a community where all families and their children feel seen, heard and supported. 

The importance of Early Learning

Research shows that 85% of a person’s brain development occurs before age 5. These first years of life set the stage for lifelong development (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 2000). When an infant is born, 100 billion brain cells or neurons are in the brain. However, the critical connections that determine a child’s emotional, social, and intellectual structure are not yet developed. These critical connections are formed by the care, attention, and stimulation provided by parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators. When children experience positive and nurturing interactions, a release of chemicals is activated in a child’s brain that promotes growth and development (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child 2004; Shonkoff and Meisels 2000). For example, when adults repeat words and phrases to their babies, infants learn to understand speech and strengthen the language connections in the brain. Connections are also strengthened when children have daily opportunities to practice their developing social competence and to interact directly with their environment (Wisconsin Council on Children and Families 2007). By the time a child is 3 years old, their brain has formed about 1,000 trillion connections!

Learning Environment
Belonging, Being & Becoming
Early Years Learning Framework

Educators use the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) in conjunction with families to ensure a holistic approach is taken to support each child's individual goals.

 

We use these principles to provide ongoing support and guide our plan for further learning.

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The learning outcomes covered in the EYLF are as follows:

  • Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity

  • Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

  • Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

  • Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners

  • Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

Principles:

  • Secure, respectful & reciprocal relationships

  • Partnerships -High expectations and equity

  • Respect for diversity

  • Ongoing learning & reflective practice

Practice:

  • Holistic approaches

  • Responsiveness to children

  • Learning through play

  • Intentional teaching

  • Learning environments

  • Cultural competence

  • Continuity of learning & transitions

  • Assessment of learning