Category Archives: Child care centre

Loose Parts Play

As a passionate early childhood teacher, walking into Reverse Garbage at Woolloongabba was exhilarating, as I know the endless amount of play opportunities the loose part items were going to provide our kindergarten children. Within our indoor and outdoor environments at Eskay Kids Capalaba we have a substantial amount of loose part items, both big and small, that allow our children to design, create and explore with.

Loose parts are open-ended materials with no specific purpose, and can be used in many different ways. They are natural or synthetic items, that children can easily carry, move, tinker with and redesign. They provide children with infinite opportunities to creatively express themselves and enhance their play opportunities.   

 

loose parts

 

Within our Kindergarten environment, these are some of the loose part items our children have access to each day:

  • Cardboard tubes
  • Small recycled pieces of plastic
  • Wood cut-offs
  • Different coloured small and large tiles
  • PVC pipes
  • Milk crates
  • Rocks
  • Seed pods
  • Tiny stones
  • Natural items such as leaves, sticks, pine cones etc.
  • Wire racks
  • Bamboo
  • Mixture of small plastic lids
  • Carpet squares
  • Material cut offs
  • Tyres
  • Stumps

And the list goes on…..

 

By providing children with loose part items, I believe it provides them with endless opportunities to be creative, engage and collaborate with other children, develop their problem solving skills, as well as early literacy and mathematical understandings. I believe children have richer play experiences when they have access to a wide variety of materials that have open-ended possibilities. Play is such a vital aspect of early education, and providing children with loose part items enhances their play opportunities.

 

Loose Parts in Action!

 

 

As you can see, our Kindergarten children thoroughly enjoy creating with loose parts, and each day they are able to utilise these resources in different ways. Whilst observing the process of Ethan, Hamish and Parker’s play, it was evident there was a great deal of learning and enjoyment occurring. They spent an extended period of time carefully and purposely placing each item in the position they wanted it, whilst discussing and negotiating with each other about their project design. They were able to work cooperatively and collaboratively to create what they had envisaged, whilst using their imaginations and creativity.

During this process, where they were so deeply engaged and excited about their project, they didn’t need support or guidance from their educators, they just needed uninterrupted time and space. Once they were ready, they excitedly announced to their educators and peers that they had created a baby elephant house! They had even created an elephant costume with some material cut offs and sticky tape!

You tell me where you could buy resources that would allow your children to make a baby elephant house and costume?

 

Loose Parts + Long Uninterrupted Periods of Play = Learning

 

Written by Courtney Sandilands

Early Childhood Teacher

Eskay Kids Capalaba

Essentials your child needs for Eskay’s Karana Child Care Centre

Our Karana child care centre is a home away from home for all Eskay Kids, whether they come once or five days a week. We certainly do our best to give children a safe environment to play, learn, and grow, though we need some help from the parents.

Packed lunchbox

Our Karana Downs child care centre is open from 6.45am to 6.15pm. This allows busy parents to leave their children with us for the day, and having a packed lunchbox is essential. Healthy snacks like fruits, or vegetables and some dip will keep little ones satisfied and full of energy. Lunch options for busy parents can be  as simple as a Vegemite sandwich and some fruit.

For drinks, a water bottle is a must. Your child will need this through the day to stay hydrated. Drinks that are high in calcium, like milk (flavoured or not), are a popular treat.

Change of clothes

Eskay Kids’ day care centres emphasise getting back to nature, and this does involve having fun in the mud sometimes. Therefore, we recommend packing a change of clothes in your child’s backpack.

Long pants and a jumper are recommended, too. Queensland temperatures drop rapidly in the evenings, and it can get cold outside. Other essentials include nappies and a hat for all outdoor activities.

Sunscreen

We supply sunscreen at the Karana child care centre, though sometimes parents give us a helping hand by packing their own. This is common because parents know what suits their child best, or the family has a brand they trust.

Favourite toy

Child separation anxiety is difficult during the initial first few months. When coming to the Karana child care centre for the first time, bring something from home that will give your son or daughter comfort. Children make attachments with toys and books, turning them into a source of comfort. It can help with the transition from home to daycare.

Trust

Parents trust us to take care of their precious bundles, and we certainly work hard to live up to that standard. Our Karana child care centres, like the ones in Springfield and Capalaba, are licensed and have achieved an ‘Excellent’ standard from ACECQA. Another great factor is that Karana won Centre of the Year in the Australian Family Early Childhood Awards.

Awards and licensing are only part of the reason parents trust us. Our carers (all Blue Card certified) do their best to make families welcome and follow the children’s lead when it comes to choosing activities. This way the kids always do something they’ll enjoy.  

Classic books you’ll find on child care centre shelves – or at home

Every child care centre, including ours in Karana, Springfield, and Capalaba, has a small reading area stocked with books. Children wanting to have some quiet time will pick up their favourite and read, no matter how many times they have done so before. Some of these books have been around for years and won’t go out of publication any time soon.

 

Books written by Enid Blyton

The Magic Faraway Tree and The Magic Wishing Chair count among classic tales that parents can read to their children. Though it’s ‘advanced’ reading for kids themselves, anyone listening will be transported into a land of magic. Enid’s stories certainly give children the opportunity to imagine the impossible. The lands atop the Faraway Tree include the Land of Goodies. It’s a sweet tooth’s dream with its edible houses and plants! There’s also the Land of Tea Parties, complete with rabbits as waiters.

When parents read either of these books to their children, the playground at any of our child care centres become the kids’ own Enchanted Wood!

 

Books written by Mem Fox

Boo to a Goose, Possum Magic, and Wombat Divine count among some of the timeless stories this author has written. Mem herself is a literature professor in South Australia. In July 2017, News Corp began its Great Australian Storybook Collection campaign, with five of Mem’s books counting among the fifteen giveaways.

It’s magical, what reading does for a child’s imagination…(they) think about amazing characters and places … This collection is a lovely mix of beauty and history as well as a bit of silly and fun with titles every child and parent will enjoy.” (Campaign Brief 2017)

Mem strongly encourages reading as a parent-child bonding activity and continues to write books today. Possum Magic has been a staple book shelf choice since it was published in 1983.

 

Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

This book was published in 1892 but remains a popular children’s story today. The Tale of Peter Rabbit follows a young bunny, Peter, and the mischief he gets up to in Mr MacGregor’s garden. All after his mother explicitly tells him not to go in there!

After children listen to this story, you might see them hunting around outside for rabbits. Books are supposed to stoke the imagination, after all.

 

Classic Disney stories

Although they come from different authors around the world, Disney re-publishes picture book versions of their stories regularly. Children and adults alike love stories under the company’s umbrella. Timeless tales include Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Tarzan, though the next generation is exposed to new stories like Moana and Brave.

At the child care centre and at home, there’s plenty of classics that children will read again and again. And one day they’ll read them to children of their own.

Getting through the first month with Eskay child care Karana

Our Eskay Kids child care Karana centre is home to children from pages fifteen months to five years. Often, our centre will be children’s first home-away-from-home, and the lead up, as well as the inevitable first day, can be an emotional time for both families and children.  The first month is an opportunity to set a routine that makes drop-offs easier as time goes on.

Eskay’s child care Karana centre won the Early Education and Care Service Award for best service in QLD in 2017.  The team were overjoyed to receive this award and for being recognised for the amazing work they do everyday with children.  After calling the centre, book a time to walk through to get a good feel for what we do.  It will give both you and your child a chance to explore our space, meet our Director and educators and see what happens each day.  There are multiple spaces to play, to read, to run, jump, skip, and even jump in puddles.   

Before the first day arrives, make sure that you have everything ready. Essentials include a hat, water bottle, change of clothes, and lunchbox. During drop-off time, if your child is anxious try to make some time to stay and have a little play, find a teacher to chat to and say goodbye. Sneaking away is not recommended and makes drop off the next day much harder.  

Another way to ‘survive’ the first month, or the first day, is to make friends with other parents and listen to their experiences. Children aren’t the only ones who form friendships in child care. The Karana Downs’ community is always welcoming to newcomers, and many of our families have formed close bonds outside the centre.

Over the next few weeks, make sure that you set a routine with your child so going to kindy gets easier. Talk about what they’ll do during the day while you’re in the car, arrive early so you’re not rushing, and arrange time outside child care to have playdates with other children. For parents having some separation blues or who just want an update, Eskay’s child care Karana staff are happy to talk over the phone at any time of the day.

If you want more tips about surviving your child’s first month in child care, the parent’s guide is available here. There’s advice, how our centres are different from other kindys, and links to educational articles about the benefits of play-based learning.

How early childhood education in Capalaba helps kids grow

Early childhood education in Capalaba, Karana Downs, and other places around Australia helps children grow into confident young people. Formal education itself is a right for all. But at Eskay Kids, we are the ones who feel privileged when children not only learn, but take lessons home with them.

 

Eskay Kids early childhood education centres don’t have separate ‘play’ and ‘learning’ times. We don’t force children to do anything they don’t want to. Rather, we follow children’s lead and observe valuable learning in almost every situation.  Whether you’re looking at early childhood education in Capalaba, Karana Downs, or Springfield, all our centres follow the same ethos. The children play with each other regardless of age, and the staff provide a safe environment where children can explore the world around them.

 

At our early childhood education centre, the children develop relationships, find their voice, and learn how to listen to the opinions of others. This valuable learning stays with children throughout their lives. Our educators observe children throughout the year, and record the beautiful journey of learning for each child.  It’s an ongoing cycle of observation that happens throughout every day, during play, interactions, meal times, quiet times and many other opportunities that present themselves each day.  

 

As children grow, they become more adept at observing, analysing, explaining, and verifying information. These and other mathematical/scientific skills develop in the early years and are especially important to nurture, so children can grow to the best of their ability. Our Eskay Kids educators facilitate these skills further by carefully planning environments where children invited to explore, play, learn, create, enquire, question and problem solve.  

 

If you’re looking for early childhood education in Capalaba, give Eskay Kids Capalaba your consideration. We give your children the opportunity to grow through play. Children build their mathematical and scientific skills, make friends, and get back to nature in our centre, where joyful, authentic childhoods are at the top of our priority list . Early childhood education doesn’t stop when children leave us, many skills, dispositions and attitudes children learn in the early years will stay with them forever.

Child care Capalaba: the Eskay difference

Type ‘child care Capalaba’ into Google and the results will list Eskay Kids on both the list and the map. You might wonder what makes us different from other child care centres listed on that page, so we’re breaking it down for you here.

 

Our centre is open 51 weeks of the year (just closing over the Christmas/New Year period).  We are licensed for children aged 6 weeks to 5 years, and have a strong focus on using a Nature Pedagogy approach, which values a strong connection to nature in the inside, outside and beyond.

 

When you’re searching for child care in Capalaba you want a place where you’re confident your little ones will thrive. Children are curious, and we let them explore in a safe, play-based, learning environment, where their childhood is respected. This method is more clearly explained in the Early Years Learning Framework. The Framework outlines the qualities child care centres aim to develop by the time children reach school.

 

Play-based learning doesn’t mean children run off and go rowdy. But they also aren’t confined to a classroom with only an hour of constructive play per day either. Eskay Kids uses the outdoors as a classroom instead. Households, like the world in general, are dominated by technology and screens. Eskay Kids encourages children to choose whether they would like to play in the indoor classrooms or the outdoor classrooms for the majority of the day.  Both spaces have a strong nature pedagogy approach, with the indoor play usually focused on smaller, quieter engagement, and the outdoors is usually where children are moving their big muscles, playing co-operatively, exploring, connecting with nature, making friends and ultimately learning all the time.

 

Some of the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework include that children develop into involved learners, effective and confident communicators, and have a strong sense of self (or identity). Play-based learning in the outdoors gives children the opportunity to engage in activities, sometimes on their own, and sometimes in small or larger groups. Through this engagement, children come to understand that even though their own opinions are important, they must learn to respect those of others, even if they’re a bit different.

 

Next time you search ‘child care Capalaba’ on the web, give Eskay Kids a good once-over. We’re available almost all year, follow government guidelines, and give children a beautiful connection to nature in both our indoor and outdoor environments.  Parents know in their hearts what they value for their children, so we would encourage you to have a visit, and choose a centre that feels right in your heart.   

The secret behind our child care centre in Capalaba

The Eskay Kids child care centre in Capalaba follows the Early Years Learning Framework and the Government Approved QLD Kindergarten Learning Guidelines. We take a unique approach in how we run our centres, but we follow the same rules and regulations as everyone else. So what does this mean for you and your child?

 

Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines

Our child care centre in Capalaba, as well as those in Karana Downs and Springfield, follow the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines or QKLG (same as every child care centre in the state).  At the core is exploring decision-making practices, processes, and elements.

 

These elements are key for teachers working in early childhood education. Teachers carefully plan each day and provide enriching environments, so children can play, develop, and learn. Children have large periods of uninterrupted time to play, explore, learn, discover, question, enquire and engage in social learning experiences with children and adults alike.  Teachers regularly observe the interests, strengths and learning over time and provide a transition statement for families to share with the school which includes information about the child’s interests, their communication skills, active learning, identity, wellbeing, connectedness and other information that may be pertinent.   

 

Our Kindergarten teacher spends a lot of time reflecting on the children within the Kindy program.  The QKLG states that reflection is key for developing strategies, looking back on elements that worked well or were overlooked, and identifying what worked best.     

capalaba QKLG

(Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines, 2017)

 

At Eskay Kids  child care centre in Capalaba, our educators have intimate knowledge about what children respond to best. They enjoy their time in the outdoors enormously, they enjoy time spent with their friends engaging in play that is interesting to them, and they also enjoy quieter times in quieter spaces either by themselves or with a small group of friends.  

 

Though we know what works best, the educators at Eskay Kids are always engaging in further learning and professional development to improve and refine their knowledge and understanding of contemporary early childhood development, and are always pushing themselves past “what has always been done”.  A teacher never stops learning; they network, attend seminars on early education, and meet with parents to discuss concerns.  

Why go to our kindergarten in Capalaba?

Kindergarten is a German word, which translates to ‘children’s garden’ in English. If you look around for a kindergarten in Capalaba, you’ll find Eskay Kids. We also have centres in Springfield and Karana Downs, and all of our kindergartens have the same mission: To give the children in our care the best possible childhood.

 

Kindergarten, or ‘kindy’, helps ease the transition from home to school for parents and children alike. Kindy originated in 19th century Bavaria as a place for working parents to leave their children. It was a safe environment where the children could learn, interact with different people (other children, teachers), and play.

 

Eskay Kids’ kindergarten in Capalaba is equipped with both indoor and outdoor classrooms.  It’s a common sight to see our children running barefoot through the playground, making figures in the sandpit, or making cubbies. The children are afforded agency which empowers them to make decisions about their day.  Children’s voices are respected and their choices are real.  Children become good problem solvers, by learning to solve problems.  Children become good decision makers, by learning to make decisions.  We partner with children, and work with them to support their interests, curiosities, enquiries and questions.  Programs across our service are documented using the Floorbook approach (by Claire Warden), and consultation with children is the cornerstone of our practice.   

 

Of course, there’s also excursions. Eskay Kids has begun exploring beyond the fence.  We’ve organised our first trips to Bunnings Warehouse, and are in the planning stages of taking our children to “the beyond”. Excursions gives children the opportunity to actively engage with the world and their community around them.

 

Our kindergartens in Capalaba, Springfield, and  Karana Downs don’t have stencils, ‘classroom time’ or anything else that is highly structured and developmentally inappropriate.  Eskay appreciates that children are curious and our centres provide a safe place for them to learn, grow, become confident,make friends, and have beautiful, authentic childhoods  before that inevitable first day of school.