Our Program and Approach
At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, our program has a strong focus around building respectful, strong relationships with children and their families. The philosophies of 'Circle of Security' and the Educaring® Approach underpin our daily practice of supporting children's emotional wellbeing.
These approaches help children feel safe and secure. We believe optimum learning occurs when children feel safe, are treated with respect and have trusting relationships with the adults who care for them.
At our centre, we are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Our educational program is planned based on the interests, strengths and developing skills of children. We believe that children learn though play and we encourage them to be active participants in a variety of learning experiences, including blocks, puzzles, play dough, art, dramatic play (pretend play), music and movement and reading and writing.
We also believe optimum learning occurs when educators and families work in partnership. We value interaction, conversations and sharing with families about their children.
In addition to the high quality well-rounded programs we offer, all KU centres are also encouraged to develop an area of specialisation.
At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, we specialise in a high quality infant and toddler program inspired by The Educaring® Approach and The Circle of Security.
We incorporate this into our program by being committed to seeing infants and toddlers as equal members in relationships, who we give our mutual respect.
We do this by following the principles of RIE®.
In order to foster quality care, RIE® encourages:
- Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer and a self-learner.
- An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing.
- Time for uninterrupted play.
- Freedom to explore and interact with other infants.
- Involvement of the child in all care activities to allow the child to become an active participant, rather than a passive recipient.
- Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand the child’s needs.
- Consistency and clearly defined limits and expectations to develop self discipline.
We have six specialist infant and toddler educators who have completed the RIE® Foundations course. These educators provide training and mentoring for the other educators in our team to further build knowledge and skills. Educators within our team also present and share our work with the wider Early Childhood sector at Early Childhood seminars and conferences.
Our centre has been independently assessed by the Department of Education NSW under the National Quality Standard, and are proud to be rated as 'Exceeding' in all 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard.
However what matters most is what our families think...
“I have had an excellent experience at KU ANSTO Children's Centre. Educators are very professional and both of my children have enjoyed their time there. My older son has built strong relationships with other children and educators, and now my second has settled so easily. You get to be part of a big community and feel that your children are safe and secure in expert and loving hands.” – KU ANSTO Children's Centre parent
“KU ANSTO Children's Centre has sensational staff – enthusiastic and professional and always provide care and service above and beyond. The approach to the care of our children is so unique at KU ANSTO, to the point where my husband and I parent differently because of the things we have been taught. We have a different level of understanding about the need for our children to feel safe and secure and their requirements to learn from free play. KU ANSTO Children's Centre is unique and we are so fortunate to have our children within this KU family.” – KU ANSTO Children's Centre parent
Our playground is designed to allow children to explore nature and discover the natural environment. We want children to be able to dig in the mud, climb trees, discover and learn about insects and enjoy connecting with nature.
In our learning environments, the open ended multidimensional resources, learning spaces, convey messages to children of a ‘yes’ environment, whereby they are agents of their own learning without adult interference. We provide a “loose parts approach” to our resources in our outdoor environment. Natural, manufactured, and re-used loose parts have been sourced and added, which can be moved, carried, re-designed, lined up, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.
Our “loose parts” play approach offers a significant contribution to children’s physical, social and intellectual development. Loose parts lend themselves to innovation and will encourage more symbolic (representational) play, which is a higher level of play.
In 2021, KU ANSTO Children's Centre Director Amanda Ford was named winner of a National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA), and in the same year was also awarded the 'Making the KU Difference Award' for Staff.
The Making the KU Difference Awards were introduced a number of years ago, as a way of acknowledging KU staff who have made a significant contribution to KU. These annual awards are open to all KU staff, at any level (either individual staff or a team), who have worked above and beyond their normal duties.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan
KU was proud to launch its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, we began our journey to develop our centre’s RAP in 2018 and we are proud to present it here.