Grow to learn, Learn to grow
Our awareness campaign ‘Grow to learn, Learn to grow’ helps families to understand the benefits of and how to recognise quality in early childhood education and care services.
The campaign encourages audiences to use a new finder tool developed to address shortfalls in existing early childhood education and care finder sites and promotes the newly introduced NSW family-friendly quality ratings graphic.
Hosted on the Service NSW website, the finder provides streamlined access to information that supports families during the first 2000 days of a child’s life (from pregnancy to age 5).
- I like painting and doing all of the creating stuff.
- I like stories because they have different pictures in them.
- I like playing with the pillow.
- Going to the sand pit.
- Playing with lego.
- We have an opportunity at this age to be able to ignite their passion for learning so that when they go to school, the foundation is laid and they already want to know things, they already want to be engaged in education.
- Look how big this is Hiro.
- My favourite friends are Isaac and Imogen.
- Rosalyn and Ayushi.
- I play with Niro and Remy.
- I would definitely say the educators are a bit like extended family. I feel like we have really open dialogue with them. We have really nice conversations.
- I would tell them you should go to preschool instead of staying home. 'Cause you're gonna make new friends!
A kindergarten teacher's perspective
- I've been a teacher for seven or eight years. What I love most, particularly in early education, is the growth that you can see in the children from the start of the year to the end of the year.
- Even a koala?
- The first 2000 days of life's really important for young children because 90% of their brain development occurs. The attendance in early childhood education settings gives them that exposure when they come to primary school to really have that good foundational skills when they move into formal education in kindergarten and beyond. Okay, so have a look, this is where you're going to come to kindergarten next year. I think the students that have been through early childhood education definitely come to school with a lot more confidence. It shows in the way that they undertake those learning activities and they can collaborate with their peers. So if any of my friends had a four year old son or daughter, my advice would be to attend a formal early childhood setting and look at the quality rating of the centre. So go in and take a look and see what kind of activities are being are being run in there.
Aboriginal educators and parents' perspective
- I would say that early childhood is very, very important for our children. When children know who they are, I feel like they feel more confident and believe in themselves.
- Definitely their social, emotional skills as well. That's one of the reasons I actually put my kids in childcare.
- Especially being Aboriginal children, because it gives them some sort of connection to the Country. And it also gives them knowledge about their background and how they are culturally with their families and things as well.
- I always tell the children that they're Aboriginal 'cause at that age they just say, "Oh, I'm a girl or I'm a boy," they don't know. But I just keep telling them who they are. And I always remind them, "One day, you know, when you grow up, you're gonna represent us Aboriginal people." So I really try and drum that into them.
- It's very important to have Indigenous teachers to teach our children.
- [Sheryn] Just having that like a mirror image of who they are.
- It's about introducing language to children, and introducing the place that we're at, getting to know more about the culture itself and the richness that the culture has to share.
- They call us aunties and uncles.
- They're very connected to a lot of the children, the other children here, they've grown together and bonded.
- [Sheryn] It's a journey that we have with the children here.
- And families will say, it's like coming into home here. It's like a family.
- We celebrate their achievements just so they can believe in themselves and know that they can do it. If we could just go so far with our learning and our education, we could become unstoppable.
- The children have had a huge amount of independence where we don't actually get to put the school bags away anymore and the children do.
- He's just grown in so many ways... confidence, socially.
- And she has started self-feeding and she now knows how to share because what this centre had provided her is confidence
- We feel that it's important to start at this ground level to prepare her for the future.
- It's really important. It does provide students with a lot of foundational skills that they'll need to learn in their literacy, numeracy, socialisation, and collaborative skills when they move into primary school.
- Lots of other learning stuff that we wouldn't do at home that they would do here.
- Gave her more opportunity to explore things and she's more creative and more curious about the world.
- She's showing that she's very musical as well, which is something that we never taught her.
- [Wolski] The importance of students having the ability to interact with students from other cultures can't be understated. It's very important for them to build those relationships with those students.
- [Christina] I think it's really important when looking for a preschool there is a quality rating system.
- [Darna] It will give you the ability to make a really good decision about where to send your child.
- [Christina] It's more of a holistic rating system where it's looking at the environment of the school, the leadership of the teachers.
- The educators here are highly trained. They're professionals. They're also passionate educators.
- [Christopher] And they have what they do at heart and we feel very much at home with them.
- [Rachel] And I've seen so many kids grow here. They have wonderful, wonderful teachers here.
- The first 2,000 days of life is incredibly important for every child. We have an opportunity at this age to be able to ignite their passion for learning.
- And really, really shape how their journey is in life.
- [Rochelle] That they're gaining more and more skills before they start school.
- [Gail] And to encourage them to be lifelong learners.
- Here, we teach children to just be themselves. Having that strong identity. Set up the foundation.
- Then, when they start going off to big school, they can be proud and strong in who they are, and just unstoppable. When looking for an early childhood service for your child, it's important to know not only that the centre that you're going to is local or is close by, but also that they have a quality rating.
- Quality rating is where we go through assessment and rating through seven quality areas.
A Nurse's perspective
- [Child] Early childhood education is a place where children grow to learn and learn to grow.
- Play is the basis for a child's future development, representational play, the imaginary play. These foundations set up that child for adult life.
- [Educator] and purple.
- [Child 2] Purple.
- Early education is crucial for these areas of development because it gives the children opportunity and builds the foundations that are needed for future success and health and learning outcomes. Now we have the research to show that a child's brain is 90% developed by the age of five. And in that time, the first 2000 days framework, there is so much development that has to go on. Early education has to be the key. These centres are gold for development because they do offer these opportunities for all areas of a child's development, fine motor skills, with drawing, colouring in and painting, for gross motor skills, for jumping and playing and dancing around, as well as their social and emotional skills.
- [Woman] How can we help Owen to get that to stand up all by itself?
- [Melissa] So they are learning to be with others, they are learning to work with others and in groups, they are learning to share, take turns, listen to directions, people giving them boundaries and these are really foundational for the future. So confidence and independence is a big skill for a child to transition to school with. And if they've had that exposure to these experiences in early childhood education, that will certainly help that transition into the school environment We work in partnership, so if a parent does have a concern about their child, that concern is taken seriously and the child and family health nurse will escalate. We've got questionnaires where we check their development in more detail and make referrals