Cuddly Bear Templestowe - Service Philosophy
“Play is a means by which the child comes to discover the world, it is the activity which builds self fulfilment” (Educating young children by Logan and Logan).
The backbone of Cuddly Bear Templestowe is the Philosophy; this document guides our educators on practices, families, our goals and standards, and the greater community that makes Cuddly Bear Templestowe unique.
Our Place – Our Community
Cuddly Bear Templestowe Early Learning Centre is a 55 place privately owned Child Care and Government Funded Kindergarten, catering for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, established in 1999 and situated in the Manningham Community.
We respectfully honour and acknowledge the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and play, and provide opportunities for the children to learn from the experiences and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies.
At Cuddly Bear Templestowe we aim to provide an inclusive environment for all children, families and educators, acknowledging the uniqueness of everyone regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, religion, culture, physical and mental abilities and socio-economic background.
At Cuddly Bear Templestowe we aim to provide a supportive environment that welcomes and fosters a strong sense of belonging to the entire community, We create an environment that represents a second home for the children enrolled, is full of natural light and airflow, this supports a healthy relationship between children, families and educators.
Our centre community is made up of a professional team of Early childhood educators from various diverse backgrounds which have a long-term commitment to the service with many educators exceeding 15 years of service. Cuddly Bear Templestowe is proud of the cultural diversity represented amongst our children, families and educators.
By providing an environment that accurately represents our broader society, this enhances and fosters tolerance and understanding within children from an early age.
We are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework and Victorian Early Years Learning and Development framework and in partnership with the Early Childhood Code of Ethics and Child Safe standards.
We are governed by the National Quality Framework, and Education and Care services Regulations and Law and the child safe standards This philosophy guides the curriculum, our educators, management, policies and procedures at our service, and drives continuous quality improvement at Cuddly Bear Templestowe Early Learning Centre
We believe in implementing a school transition program in our Government Funded Kindergarten, that allows smooth passage into schooling for children and families. We work closely with the local schools and their teachers for a smooth transition to school. We continually strive to develop and maintain collaborative and open partnerships with families and invite their participation into all aspects of our programs, policies, procedures and events. We invite parents to help us to meet the changing needs of our centre, valuing their feedback and ideas as we strive for continual improvement.
At Cuddly Bear Templestowe we view all children as being capable and competent learners. We believe in creating a close and positive partnership with families, the Manningham area and wider community so we can work in collaboration to support the capabilities of all children, with regular incursion and excursions such a, music and dance (Musical minds) and weekly aquatic education classes at local Swim-Centre.
We believe one of our strongest assets is our diverse multicultural educators, that speak a range of different languages and we imbed this in our educational program with children, families and the wider community. We use this asset by communicating with families from different cultural background in their home language to form strong and trusting connections with families and ensuring they have a sense on belonging to our centre.
We believe home and family are the child’s primary educators and we foster collaborative partnerships for the holistic approach to learning, meeting each individual child’s needs for the best possible outcomes.
We believe children learn best through hands on play, in the inquiry-based model of learning and having an emphasis on learning, incorporating intentional teaching with consideration for communication and language (Early Literacy and Numeracy), Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) social and emotional development.
We believe in an open-ended play setting including the indoor and outdoor environments which encourages creativity and imagination skills, competency, risk taking and choice in the child’s play.
we offer playful and holistic learning that focuses on the needs of each child to nurture imagination and inspire a sense of adventure and fun.
To facilitate children’s learning, we are committed to the 5 learning outcomes in our curriculum development.
The five learning outcomes are-
- Children have a strong sense of identity.
- Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
- Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
- Children are confident and involved learners.
- Children are effective communicators.
All our interactions, experiences, routines and events are carefully considered to engage children and identify their strength, interest and building on their growing confidence for the future.
We believe in promoting a sense of children’s agency which allows many opportunities to practice making choices and decisions a foundation for growth, learning and development.
We pride ourselves in providing a progressive, calm and aesthetically pleasing space for learning that encourages each child’s strengths, talents and abilities to flourish in all aspects of development and where children’s voices, views and opinions are celebrated and valued. Our aim is that children be aware of and contribute to the sustainability of the natural environments and to become environmentally responsible by recycling, using upcycled materials, planting and maintaining natural resources at our centre, at home and in the community. We encourage all children and educators to strengthen their connections with nature through vegetable patches, herb gardens, worm farms throughout their program Cuddly Bear Templestowe is aware that evidence shows when children eat well, they find it easier to learn – are more alert and more likely to grow and develop to their full potential.
Our rotational menu prepared by our experienced and qualified chef is jam-packed with wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals that reflect cultures of the community and promote healthy eating to all children, families and educators. This is also done embedding activities such as cooking healthy food with children and growing and picking vegetables from our own edible garden.
Children use herbs and vegetables in their play in our environment and the aromas of mint and parsley can be smelt throughout the yard and on the children’s hands. We value what our land has to offer and caring for the environment through sustainable practices. These practices complement our healthy and nutritionally balanced meals that are prepared daily by using high quality, locally sourced fresh ingredients.
Our Service is committed to the safety, wellbeing and support of all children and young people. Management, Staff and volunteers will treat all children with the utmost respect and understanding.
We are committed to protecting children, families, educators and the wider community by implementing directions set out by Staying Healthy in Childcare outlined in our Health and Safety policy.
We are committed to the Child Safe Standards and provide strategies for a child safe environment for all children’s, their families and the wider community. We have an obligation to the best we can to keep children safe from harm and abuse.
Our professional practice allows us to choose appropriate teaching strategies to build and nurture relationships, curriculum and decision making. We as educators at Cuddly Bear Templestowe capture meaningful learning through a range of different documents types including Storypark and other multimedia platforms.
Our educators partake in ongoing professional development as well as in in house mentoring to enhance our skills and knowledge consistent with change in the Early Childhood Learning field.
Educators are committed to gain knowledge and strategies for helping children, young people, families and follow educators through everyday practices and ongoing professional development, we achieve their best possible mental health through the BE YOU program, which is associated with Beyond Blue.
Our Educators respect are supportive of each other and aim to offer high quality programs through reflective practice and value one another’s contributions and critically reflect upon ourselves and practices.
Our service is committed to being a second home to not only children but families and educators and being a valuable support network to families, educators and the wider community, during times of hardship and to celebrate small and large achievements too.
Our Statement of Commitment of Safety and Child Wellbeing
Cuddly Bear Templestowe is committed to child safety.
- We want children to be safe, happy, and empowered.
- We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers.
- We are committed to the safety, participation, and empowerment of all children.
- We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.
- We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
- Cuddly Bear Templestowe is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early and removing and reducing these risks.
Cuddly Bear Templestowe has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers and is committed to regularly training and educating our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks.
We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from a culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability and children and families part of LBGTQI+ community. We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
This philosophy has been devised with considerable input from the centre’s community, educators, children and families in addition to research from replicable sources, theorists and input from the Early Childhood Sector including Child Safe Standards, National Quality Standard, and Learning Frameworks.