The Mini-Skool Philosophy
Every year of a child's life is precious, but when it comes to development, the first five are the most important. They are the ‘foundation years’; the years that shape children’s future, health, happiness, growth, development and learning achievement at school, in their family and community, and in life in general. It is here that they develop the skills that will remain with them for life-time.
At Mini-Skool, our philosophy is making these early years of our children’s lives meaningful, memorable, engaging, supportive and fun. We accomplish this by providing caring and supportive environments that promote holistic early childhood development and greatly increase children's chances of a successful transition to school and later life.
Mini-Skool recognises that children are competent individuals who have many strengths and abilities and that their learning is life-long. Children are capable and resourceful learners who are active contributors to their own learning. We understand that all stakeholders share a common goal; that is, the best possible outcomes for the child, whatever they may be. To achieve this, we recognise that embedding the family’s aspirations, our educators’ knowledge and understandings of early childhood theory and National documents are essential.
We foster a child’s sense of agency at Mini-Skool. We program, plan and design the children’s learning by empowering the children individually. We recognise that learning is a journey of exploration and that for children to gain confidence to learn new skills and try new things, they need to have the opportunity to share their knowledge through many languages and many rich and meaningful experiences. Our educators ensure that they are teaching the whole child and providing each student with a learning experience that meets their personal needs.
The environment plays a particularly critical role in this learning. Where some may only see play equipment, we see rich, engaging learning opportunities for children. We provide a safe and nurturing space for children to practice, take risk and explore, allowing them to gain many new skills for future use. We are inspired by Anne Pelo’s statement – ‘Pay attention to the child’s attention’. We reflect on this as our environments are designed and integrated with the committed understanding of children’s competence and emerging skills.
When children are growing, we believe it is important to care for their whole self: their mind, body and spirit. Our educators focus on helping our children learn how to cope with their feelings. At Mini-Skool educators are a child's guide in sharing the joys of life and coping with the challenges, starting from day one. Research has also shown that children’s ability to effectively manage their full range of emotions, also known as self-regulation, is one of the most important factors for success in school, work, and relationships into the long-term.
We believe that diversity is the acceptance of differences and respect for others regardless of age, religion or cultural background. Cultural heritage and understanding are recognised as an essential component of the curriculum and our everyday practices reflect this belief. We encourage families to be involved in the centre’s program and festivities and to share their cultural heritage or celebrations with us at every opportunity or in whatever way they feel comfortable. A genuine commitment to inclusion and respect for diversity role models to children the values of respect and acceptance.
Secure and trusting relationships always bring out the best in everyone. Strong, respectful relationships and building healthy attachments with children is essential and effective communication and developing an ongoing partnership with families is the core of Mini-Skool’s service. Our Educators are empathetic, attentive and communicative towards your child and give them the stimulation, positive feedback and emotional support they need to thrive.
Educators influence a child’s ability to learn and grow. The importance of great educators who allow children to learn and grow while fostering curious natures can be tied to a child’s success throughout their first years of school and form part of their life-long journey. Our educators know how to enthuse and connect with children. They appropriately engage with children and teach them by inspiring and challenging them. Our educators’ ability with children is legendary. Teaching, after all, is about engagement, positive interactions and reinforcements. Our educators will talk with children in a two-sided manner. We encourage children to have their own opinions, ideas and comments. Our Educators always support children with this and let them know that their ideas are valued.
By providing the children with opportunities for long term learning and enthusing their love of learning through play we can see them motivated to investigate and engage with their peers and teachers on a journey of discovery. Vygotsky’s notion of the Zone of Proximal Development inspires educators to scaffold children’s learning by working with others. This supports our image of the child on an evolving journey rather than just one milestone to achieve. This scaffolding allows the educators to understand where the child’s learning is leading to and then enables the intentional teaching to be meaningfully considered and collaborated. Educators’ frequent and ongoing critical reflection on holistic development of individual child is paramount to our service and contributes towards an improved childcare practice.
Together we value the opportunity to help care for your child and help lay foundations they will keep with them for the rest of their lives.