The Centre is committed to following the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
Children's play provides opportunities for children to learn, as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. Social play assists our children in developing a sense of individual and social identity. In addition, they learn to communicate and express themselves. Our educators facilitate learning through play by allowing our children to have variety of spaces to play, access a range of meaningful resources and utilise opportunities for learning in supervised uninterrupted time to play. The supervised time allows the educators to assess and reflect on our children’s journey towards further development.Please visit the government website for more information www.acecqa.gov.au
What is Kindergarten?
Kindergarten is a pre-prep program that gives children a flying start to learning and life. It is offered at long day care centres – like other kindergarten centres across the country. Kindergartens help lay a strong foundation for a child’s future education. This is the link www.qld.gov.au/kindy
Why send my 4 year old child to Kindergarten?
Kindergarten builds up a child’s confidence levels while providing play-based learning experiences that develop vital skills in their early years. Because the learning is play-based, children don’t return home pressured or stressed. Children at Hamilton House often don’t want to go home and can’t wait to come back the next day!
Who will teach my child at Kindergarten?
At Hamilton House we have a qualified teacher – who leads children through the range of exciting and challenging activities . The teacher understands that she is building on the important role that parents play as their child’s first educator.
Why are the benefits of having a Kindergarten program at a Long Day Care Centre?
The obvious benefit to choosing a kindergarten program within a long day care centre is the care outside of regular kindergarten hours. A typical kindergarten centre offers care during the hours of 9.00am till 3.00pm. A long day care centre can offer care before and after the kindergarten program hours. Hamilton House is available to suit the needs of working parents who need care for their children between the hours of 7 am till 6 pm.
What does the Kindergarten Program at Hamilton House look like?
Our kindergarten curriculum is based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines – these are set out by the Queensland Government and are based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Both of these guidelines and frameworks set out principles and practices that guide our educators to provide early childhood services for Queensland children.
The Kindergarten Learning Guidelines set out five learning areas – these being:
The learning that occurs within these five areas is driven by child selected and teacher initiated activities. The main priority and focus of the kindergarten program is learning through play. Children learn best through self-selecting activities and enjoying the discovery of learning.
Here’s a snapshot of the learning that occurs within these guidelines:
This learning outcome encourages children to develop a sense of security and trust. Within out kindergarten program we organise and take the time to talk and engage in personal conversations with children about their daily routines and lives. This encourages a sense of emotional security in familiar and unfamiliar environments.
From a practical point of view we encourage the children to use the environment around them. The kindergarten room is full of visual prompts and physical resources eg: posters and photos that help children understand and interact with the world around them. This models the skills that we as adults use every day to help us navigate the world around us.
The kindergarten room is well resourced with games, puzzles, furniture and musical equipment that help children develop increased independence and confidence.
This learning outcome centres on building positive relationships with others. In our kindergarten program we have wonderful resources that help children relate positively with those around them. Our kindergarten teacher organises and joins in with turn taking games – such as connect four or a whole class group game – to support children in learning about what it means to ‘take a turn’ and to listen and respect other children’s ways of play.
We also take advantage of our large playground. Within the playground we have our centre pets. We have two guinea pigs. Kindergarten children are expected to learn how to show respect for their environment by understanding the different interactions between people and the environment. We model positive ways of looking after and playing with pets. We show children and actively invite them to join us in observing, experiencing and reflecting on animal and plant behaviour.
During our kindergarten program we also observe our natural environment by exploring the qualities of natural and human-made materials. For example we provide clay for modelling and then dry it out in the sun – then observe the changes we see.
Kindergarten children have access to many indoor and outdoor resources that will develop their relationship with the environment and other people.
Kindergarten children aim to build a sense of autonomy and well-being by delighting in the choices that they make for themselves. Hamilton House promotes this objective by providing many indoor and outdoor play choices – for example chairs, tables, tubes, recycled boxes and materials, blocks, construction kits, fabrics, dress up clothes, telephones, collage and art supplies – to name but a few!
Another aim within this learning area is to allow children to understand and regulate their emotions. A great way of fostering this skill is through music. Hamilton House provides an integrated music curriculum that uses songs and instruments to prompt children to express feelings and emotions in a safe and fun way.
Kindergarten children at Hamilton House build positive approaches to learning. They do this by having questions asked of them that build their curiosity. Our educators know that by fostering and motivating inquiry – children will more readily problem solve and reflect on what they have learned.
We have many resources at Hamilton House that promote inquiry based learning. One of the children’s favourites is the engineers set that allows the children to build any moving object from a car to a boat to a plane. We then take photos of our learning and reflect on what worked, why it worked or didn’t work and what we could do next time to make it better.
Kindergarten children routinely access tools and resources that help them be creative and imaginative. At Hamilton House we use sustainable practices to show children how to recycle old materials and make new exciting products. For example we have intriguing new and used resources that provoke inquiry and discovery. We have a water trough that children use to develop mathematical and scientific skills. For example we have a set of scales that children can use to experiment with and discover new ways of problem solving. We also have other resources such as magnifying glasses, bubble making resources, magnets and a long list of tools that children use to play and discover. We give children the tools to play, create and imagine and develop a love of learning.
This learning outcome is of paramount importance as it focuses on the development of early literacy and numeracy skills. At Hamilton House we recognise the importance of developing these skills as young as possible. We promote learning through dramatic play for early language development. We have a beautiful home corner as well as other thematic discovery areas where children play with physical resources such as sand or a kettle or a play kitchen stove and explore language in a dramatic way. This expands their ability to utilise language in a fun but meaningful way.
Overall our kindergarten program is a fun and educational journey that prepares children to succeed at school and into the future.
Further details of Kindergarten Program can be found at www.deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood