Philosophy

At Coffs Harbour Community Preschool we aim to give the children who attend our centre a great start in life to empower them to be their best selves to go out and create a better world

We, the Coffs Harbour Community Preschool families, staff, and children have created our service philosophy to reflect our core values. Our core values relate to the following 8 areas: Children first, Learning and wellbeing, Community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning, Equity and inclusion, Relationships, Sustainability and connection to nature, and Professionalism.

Children first

We believe that we must put children first, and that children’s education and their well-being are the driving forces behind our preschool. The children are at the heart of every decision that we make. We aim to advocate for the awareness of and respect for early childhood as a unique period of a person’s life, which is not solely preparation for the future but is also about the here and now.

In these formative years, children are building their identity, knowledge, understanding, capacities, skills and relationships as they participate in a variety of experiences. We celebrate and share the children’s journey of self discovery and change.

We view children as capable and competent individuals who are active participants in their individual learning journeys. We respect children’s rights and advocate for children’s best interests in our community. We aim to empower children to become the best that they can be.

Learning and wellbeing

We believe that teaching and learning is most powerful when it builds on what the child knows, their experiences, ideas and interests. We recognise learning is not achieved in isolation but is promoted through relationships with peers, family, educators and the environment.

We believe each child has unlimited potential which we will support and encourage to emerge. Educators are deliberate, purposeful and intentional in their provision of learning experiences. We make use of spontaneous teachable moments to extend children’s learning. The educators use dynamic, varied practices that respond to the needs and strengths of the individual child.

Children should be guided, encouraged and supported to make decisions and choices, and seek to develop positive problem solving skills in a growth-orientated environment. We believe children respond with confidence when they know what is expected of them, and when there is structure and relationships that are predictable, responsive and supportive.

We believe that positive risk taking fosters children’s development and learning. We provide opportunities for children to experience ‘safe risks’ that help children develop the skills to assess and manage risk, use their initiative and be safe. We encourage and promote children’s safety, health and hygiene, and ensure healthy eating, physical activity, and personal safety is embedded in our program.

Educators aim to empower children to be aware of their emotions and to begin to regulate their own behaviour and develop resilience as they learn skills to negotiate and resolve conflicts or disagreements with others.

We believe in celebrating children’s play, discoveries and self expression. We promote children’s curiosity and provide opportunities for children to experiment, inquire, discover, explore, create, investigate, practice theories, and solve problems with the support of other children and the educators.

We provide fun and playful learning opportunities for children. Play is children’s work and it has a vital role in children’s healthy brain development and their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. We honour children’s right to play and believe in the ideal of allowing children to “be children”.

We strive to build a community of learners that enables children to develop a readiness for the transition to school and more meaningfully, an ongoing readiness for life.

Community

We believe we are an important part of our community and we are proud to be a community based service. We recognise and reflect the families’ and wider community’s values, cultures, beliefs, abilities and languages.

Children, educators, and families are considered as capable, resourceful and valued members of the community. We welcome families and community members to be an integral part of our learning program to foster a sense of belonging.

We promote community connections and aim to build the capacity of community members who are involved in the preschool. We participate in community events and welcome our families and broader community into our preschool. Community participation enriches the children’s learning, and fosters their sense of becoming citizens in the world.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning

We believe our role includes promoting respect for the culture and traditions of the first Australians within our community, and to acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people as the traditional custodians of this land. We aim to embed a deep respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being into our program.

We aspire to continually learn and understand more about the Gumbaynggirr land that we are situated on. We strive to develop and maintain relationships with Gumbaynggirr Elders and community members, and to learn what we can about the Gumbaynggirr traditions, language and culture.

Equity and inclusion

We believe that every child and family has a right to feel that they belong at Coffs Harbour Community Preschool. We celebrate and embrace diversity and believe that every child and family should be fully included and welcomed regardless of their ability, learning style, ethnicity, culture, religion, social background, gender, sexuality, or family structure.

We aim to link our preschool program with the diversity of our world by encouraging acceptance of others, supporting social inclusion, and taking advantage of the rich learning opportunities that diversity and difference bring.

Relationships

We believe learning is enhanced in an environment where you feel you belong and are respected. Educators develop responsive, warm, trusting and respectful relationships with all children, fostering positive self esteem.

Educators support each child as he or she begins to empathise with others, value collaboration and teamwork, and appreciate his or her connectedness and interdependence as learners.

We provide children with opportunities to discover and learn about themselves, others and the environment in an atmosphere that encourages harmonious and meaningful relationships.

Sustainability and connection to nature

We believe a sense of wonder, belonging to and love of nature and life is critical for young children to develop lifelong respectful, positive and proactive attitudes towards our environment and its inhabitants and to ensure our sustainable future.

We learn in, about, and for the environment. Our ‘out and about’ curriculum provides opportunities for children to learn in the environment, engage with it, and develop a deeper connection to nature. We learn about the environment through investigating, researching and observing the natural world. We practise education for the environment as we embed sustainable practices in our program such as recycling, composting, collecting rain water, conserving energy and growing food.

Professionalism

Our educators are committed to ongoing learning and aim to instill a love of learning and foster a sense of curiosity in the children of Coffs Harbour Community Preschool. Our program is guided by the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics, in conjunction with a collaborative curriculum.

We aim to continually develop our knowledge of the children, families, and our community. Coffs Harbour Community Preschool is dedicated to the professionalism of early childhood education and will support a positive culture, professional learning, and continuous improvement in all aspects of our service.

Our educators value each other’s individual strengths and talents and work together in a spirit of collegiality. We connect with our colleagues in other services, and mentor students in order to participate in the process of developing and advocating for the early childhood profession.

Testimonial

“Many, many happy memories” Lynne & Sharni

“The past meeting the present, well done to the whole community” Jannette

“It was lovel to see everyone again – we will come back each year” Meagan

2014 Back to Preschool Day