As an early childhood teacher, my early learning centre is a wonderful place for children to play, learn and flourish in a friendly and stimulating environment, and is provided in a safe loving care, in a nurturing and positive learning environment. We strive to create a supportive family atmosphere in which the care given is an extension of the home. This is essential for the centre staff to establish a positive partnership between home and the learning centre, providing children with a caring, accepting and respecting childhood full of discovery and exploration.
To allow the children to develop to their full potential, as an early childhood teacher, I provide an environment that fosters all aspects of child’s development, including using Early Years Learning Framework of Australia (DEEWR, 2009). My role is to encourage children to play through experimenting science, literacy and numeracy which is important for their thinking and language skills. We provide an environment where children are able to interact with the teachers within their environment. Through play children learn about trust, autonomy and initiative. Through play, children create their own language such as learning different cultural languages such as Auslan (Australian Deaf Sign Language), Japanese, Greek and Italian. Our children learn about themselves, their environment, people and the world around them. As they play, children learn to solve problems with blocks, Duplo, Painting as well especially when children paint outside in a windy area and problem solve with attaching pegs on the side of the paper so it won’t fly away, amazing! Also, puzzles and sometimes box construction which is hard for them. They enhance their creativity with toys, art and crafts especially with wooden sticks when they make people with them, develop their leadership skills, coordination and healthy personalities. I believe that play is part of growing up, being independent, boost self-esteem and confidence and developing skills where children need to learn to read and write and communicate with one another. For example play in my centre is the best foundation for success in kindergarten. I always believed that positive play experiences develop positive emotional well-being and through play and imagination, children can fulfil wishes and overcome fears of unpleasant experiences. I feel that play helps the child master the environment and when children feel secure, safe, successful and capable, they acquire important components of positive emotional health. In addition, in my learning centre, play belongs to children, it is for all children, all ages from babyhood till teenagers and all abilities.
I believe that child care is not just child minding but a school for children to learn and develop. Usually children are placed in child care because either both parents are working or parents would like time for themselves. I know that a child’s family and home environment influences his development more than child care does. However, some parents mentioned that they were advised by a professional to enrol their children in child care because this is healthy for them in a way where they can learn, explore, experiment and experience in childcare and an environment that will promote their child’s development and be successful as they grow up.
Child care is very expensive and for parents to place their child in childcare cost up to $25,000 a year including the child care benefit. I feel that child care is another mortgage, rent payments and another expense that parents have to pay in which a family with young children deals with or struggles, especially those with low income is very hard for some parents.
I manually comb through payments each week, I manually track down who has paid and who is yet to pay. I double check data in the systems and all of this cost adding up. This is a massive impact on my childcare centre’s quality standards and profitability.
With parents returning to work, parents were prepared to pay high prices to put their child in our centre for a entire day cost between $95 to $130. I managed to make a budget each week for the supplies such as food, nappies and equipment needed for the centre. The costs can inevitably rise in the future and this is why we need the government to help us with the funding especially families with low income. When I try to put prices up, I am likely to hear about it from the parents. I also remember that the costs are fixed, so thinking of expansion is the only way to grow the business.