Children and families arrive and parents/carers and siblings are encouraged to spend time with the children before separating for the day. This is a great time for parents to meet other families. It also helps the child to settle as they see how relaxed and comfortable the parent/carer is and this in turn makes the children feel comfortable.
Parents will be prompted (via a gentle reminder, often music) when it is time to go. Though there will always be children, especially younger ones, who will find the separation from their families a little upsetting at first, we have experienced almost no ongoing problems with settling children as a result of this relaxed start to the day.
This time of the preschool day is also a great opportunity if parents need to catch up with a teacher to discuss their child’s special needs for that day. For instance if the child is unsettled due to a previous illness or a parent being away, etc. This information helps educators support the child as they may need a little extra help or attention during their day.
Once the parents leave, we often gather the children together, to welcome them and talk about the day ahead.
There are two food breaks during the preschool day, morning tea and lunch.
Parents provide all food and drink for their children and the preschool has facilities to refrigerate any food that needs to be kept cold. Parents are asked to pack something for both morning tea and lunch that is healthy and nutritious. Some examples include sandwich, sushi, rice, fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, cheese and water.
We do ask that no nuts or nut products are brought into the Preschool. We often have children who are anaphylactic or allergic to nuts.
We also have a “water only” policy and ask that parents provide a drink bottle with water for their child to drink, which will be filled again by staff as required during the day.
Prior to both morning tea and lunch, the children wash their hands, collect their food and drinks, then eat either at the tables in their classroom or have a lovely picnic outside.
There are many opportunities throughout the Preschool day for children to engage in learning experiences inside their classrooms. There are times where children can freely choose what they want to engage in, and time times where the children are grouped together for music, stories, literacy and / or information sharing times.
The aim is that children will enjoy a positive learning experience which allows them to work at their own individual level. We respect the children’s work for the process involved behind the play rather than the finished product.
This style of program allows each individual child to be recognised and also leads to a harmonious and constructive environment. Children are busy, engaged, happy and excited by this learning approach.
Each classroom group has many opportunities to play outside in our beautiful playground. Hats are required during all outside play regardless of the season. Sunscreen is applied dependent on the season and UV rating.
Children are provided with a range of activities and experiences to cater for all their needs and interests. There are several areas where children can practice gross motor skills, such are climbing and negotiating obstacles as well as numerous ‘imaginative’ play areas, including a large sand pit, cubby house and all manner of role-play equipment and costumes. We are very fortunate to have a beautiful natural outdoor play space that incorporates sand and water play, mud play, a mud kitchen, vegetable gardens and more!
At the completion of outside play, children will then be invited to tidy the playground so that it is neat and organised, ready for the next classroom group come out.
Encouraging respect for our preschool and our environment is an important aspect of outside play.
Parents begin to arrive from about 2:30pm and are invited to our rooms to discover the child’s day, via visual displays left out such as computer slide shows. Children leave by 3:45pm and staff reflect on the day and prepare for the next.
During the day, educators will monitor and be engaged with the children and note down observations relating to the progress of each child, so that they can develop an individual profile of the child’s interests, strengths and needs. These are used to develop individual outcomes for each child. This is how we monitor each child’s learning and development. We create learning stories of children’s play and interactions with others, as well as samples of their work – photos and artwork. We collate this work into a portfolio which is always available for families to view and have input into. At the end of the year, families can take it home as a record of their child’s learning and a beautiful memory of their preschool journey.
We are happy to meet at any time and discuss your child with you and we do offer interviews with your child’s classroom teacher twice each year.