Understanding the changes to child care subsidies
As a result of recent changes to child care subsidies, outside school hours care is now a more affordable option for families.
Finding a high-quality early education program, with plenty of opportunities for your child to freely explore, discover and connect with the world will give them a great foundation for life.
Learning begins from the minute your child is born. In fact, children learn more during their first five years than at any other time in life. Finding a high-quality early education program, with plenty of opportunities for your child to freely explore, discover and connect with the world will give them a great foundation for life. In this article, we look at four things to consider when choosing a kindergarten for your child.
One very important way that children learn is through play. It’s through uninterrupted periods of free play, and spontaneous and planned intentional play-based teaching moments by the kindergarten teacher and educator, that children learn about the world around them and develop critical thinking, problem solving, self-awareness and relationship skills.
When selecting a kindergarten for your child, ensure there is a qualified registered early child teacher responsible and engaged in the program. Having an early childhood teacher within the kindergarten program is essential for it to be recognised as an approved program that meets government guidelines to access kindergarten funding.
When speaking with the kindergarten teacher about the program ask how they create spaces and opportunities for children to explore and discover new things? Is the program a Queensland-government approved kindergarten with a qualified and registered early childhood trained teacher? How will your child be supported to learn through play?
Starting prep means many new experiences for you and your child. A kindergarten program that actively prepares everyone for this important milestone will ease the transition for your family and help your child walk into their first day with confidence.
Look for a kindergarten that offers regular excursions to a primary school. Opportunities to become familiar with the environment, learn how to use the bubbler and where to find the bathrooms can make all the difference. When kindergartens are located alongside primary schools, children can benefit from regular visits to the library, school assemblies and school events, prep classrooms, playgrounds and tuckshop.
Buddy programs and opportunities to join ‘big school’ events like book week parades, athletics carnivals and other celebrations will help your child develop social skills and build resilience.
While forts and static play structures may be popular, providing opportunities for exploration of loose parts in the playground support creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. When choosing a kindergarten program consider whether the physical environment and resources will stimulate and challenge your child’s natural curiosity. Does the kindergarten provide natural outdoor play areas? Are there opportunities for running, mud play and tree climbing? Are there garden beds and opportunities for your child to plant veggies and explore animals in their natural environment? Do they run a bush kindy program or excursions within the community?
Open-ended resources, spaces and natural environments will provide your child with plenty of challenges and opportunities to try new things, practice critical thinking, express their individuality and grow creatively.
Research shows that children learn most about the world through interactions with others. Strong relationships with parents, family, friends and early childhood educators will help your child feel safe and secure, freeing them up to experience other things in the world around them.
Finding a kindergarten that will promote your child’s sense of self and belonging as part of a broader community is important. Catholic Early EdCare partners with Brisbane Catholic Education, local schools and parishes to deliver learning experiences that are embedded in local school and parish communities. Most of our kindergartens are located on-site or alongside our Catholic primary schools and have close ties to local parishes and the community.
Don’t underestimate the importance of finding the right early education program for your child. Talk to us about our kindergarten programs and how we can help your child blossom and grow, with a love of learning that will continue to flourish through life.