STYLES STREET CHILDRENS COMMUNITY
Who we are and what we do
Styles Street Community Long Day Care has been educating local children since the 1970’s. We are situated in Leichhardt, in the Inner West of Sydney, on Wangal land. The centre has a rich history of bringing local families together to support and nurture children and their learning. This legacy still informs our philosophy and practice today, and we hope it will continue to inform our culture for many years to come.
At Styles Street Children’s Community Long Day Care Centre we are a community of learners that strive to provide a welcoming, caring and stimulating environment where all children, families and staff feel a sense of belonging and connectedness. We place a high value on including and developing positive and reciprocal relationships within our community as we know this supports children’s wellbeing and learning.
We respect and value the traditional owners of the land and the natural world around us, striving to educate children about this and helping children to fall in love with the natural world, so they can then look after it.
We view early childhood as a unique time in itself to be respected and celebrated in the here and now, while also acknowledging the great importance this time has in laying foundations for future learning, health and wellbeing.
We value children growing up with the understandings, skills and dispositions to be successful learners. Learners who are confident, caring and creative individuals who develop into active and informed citizens who contribute to their world and enjoy positive relationships with others.
Our Beliefs and our Practices
- We recognise that children belong first and foremost to a family and that families are the child’s first and most influential teachers (EYLF:2009).
- We build and maintain strong, respectful and reciprocal relationships with families built on trust, open communication and knowledge sharing to ensure the ongoing care and education of their children.
- We respect and value the unique and diverse dynamics, cultures, languages and customs of all families.
- We encourage family involvement in the curriculum according to the children’s interests and needs. Our goal is to enrich and deepen the child’s learning and development whilst developing both the child’s and families’ sense of belonging.
- We encourage family involvement in the decision making and management of the centre, through involvement in our parent committee of management, working bees, fundraisers, excursions and social events.
- We recognise children as competent and capable individuals who are active participants and decision makers in their own learning and lives.
- We respect and value children’s voices, feelings, knowledge, skills and opinions, ensuring they feel included and are involved in decision making and are given responsibilities throughout the day.
- We create a safe, welcoming and stimulating learning environment that encourages thoughtful and meaningful play and relationships through which learning and development occurs.
- We encourage children to be curious about their world and explore it with their creativity, imagination, inquiry, investigations and informed risk taking.
- We encourage children to develop a love and respect for their natural environment, so they can care for it as the future custodians of this world.
- We support children to embrace diversity and to accept and acknowledge all abilities, differences, perspectives and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
- We support children to develop an understanding and sense of respect towards each other, our centre and their community.
- We promote the physical wellbeing of all children through support and the encouragement of physical fitness, good nutrition and personal hygiene.
- We promote the social and emotional wellbeing of all children through the support and encouragement of resilience, belonging, self-worth, self-regulation and strong, caring and respectful relationships with and between children.
- We support children’s communication and problem-solving skills together with their capacity to express and acknowledge their feelings and the feelings of others.
- We recognise and value our educators as engaged professionals, who each bring with them their own individual skills, knowledge, culture and experiences. We encourage our educators to share this with their colleagues and contribute to our decision making.
- We are committed to continuous quality improvement, constantly seeking and supporting opportunities for educators to develop their personal and professional knowledge and skills and reflect critically on their practice.
- We encourage a lively culture of professional enquiry where practices are examined, outcomes are reviewed, and new ideas are born.
- We build a spirit of collegiality and professionalism through collaborative relationships based on trust, respect and honesty.
- We are intentional, purposeful and thoughtful in our decisions and actions when developing and implementing the curriculum.
- We create a beautiful, safe, secure and supportive environment for children and staff to flourish.
- We are advocates for children and our profession, promoting the value of play as a tool for learning and growth and the importance of the development in the early years.
- We believe in the importance of respecting and caring for our natural environment, providing experiences for children to fall in love with it and promoting and developing sustainability practices amongst all stakeholders within our community.
- We understand that learning is a social process, occurring through relationships and thus work on these as the foundations of learning for all children.
- We acknowledge that mistakes are part of learning from which we can learn and grow.
- We acknowledge that children learn best when they are interested and having fun, so we offer a play-based program that allows the children to explore their ideas and imagination, engage their creativity, practice and develop skills, create new knowledge, and learn about their world.
- Our educators follow and extend on ideas raised by the children as well as initiate new experiences for them to explore.
- We support children to develop a sense of belonging past our gates to the wider community, as we head out the gate and form connections and collaborative relationships with families, children and the community.
- We acknowledge, respect and celebrate the traditional owners of the Wangal land on which our community lives, works and plays, incorporating these perspectives in our decision making and within our curriculum and learning environment.
- We acknowledge and celebrate the diverse cultures that make up our community, including them in our program of learning, everyday interactions and celebrations.
Sources: Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia 2009. Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Early Childhood Australia-A voice for young children: www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au ; ECA Code of Ethics 2016: http://www.imagineeducation.com.au/files/CHC30113/ECA_COE_Brochure_2016.pdf