Merri Community Childcare Centre & Kindergarten Inc. (Merri) sits on Wurundjeri land and is dedicated to providing a welcoming, inclusive community which values and respects childhood and encourages the development of identity. At Merri, we acknowledge the Aboriginal people as the first peoples of Australia, and work towards developing our children’s, educators and families understanding of our shared history.
As a community-managed centre, we recognise the value of the family’s involvement during their child’s time with us. We acknowledge the family as the child’s first teachers and use this contextual information to guide our practice.
We strive to provide a higher educator to child ratio than is required to support high expectations and quality interactions with children, families and the community. As educators we see the children as capable and competent individuals.
We trust and respect the children, and collaborate with them and their families to intentionally create a curriculum that reflects the child’s interests, abilities and well being. This trusting environment challenges them to extend their thinking and development of knowledge and skills. We believe that play is the medium by which children learn, explore and experience their environment.
We draw on our professional knowledge, current research, experiences, the Early Years Learning and Development Framework (EYLF), and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) to provide a high quality education and care environment. Underpinning this is our fundamental value of respecting the rights and views of the child.
Key points underpinning our Philosophy
- We promote inclusive practices to enrich and embrace the abilities and experiences of all children, families and community, and strive to provide additional support where required
- We acknowledge our role in being advocates for children in Merri and for all children
- We embrace the diversity of our community and encourage each child and their family to share their culture, language, and ideas
- We strive to increase our individual and professional knowledge of Indigenous issues and endeavour to incorporate this into all aspects of our curriculum
- We ensure every child has access to nutritious and healthy food and drink, with an emphasis on fresh and whole foods
- We promote relationships of trust and respect, to enhance each child’s sense of well-being, security and identity
- We encourage parental and community involvement in all aspects of Merri’s operations
- We actively introduce ideas and principles of social justice to the children where appropriate
- We empower our children to assert their feelings and understanding regardless of age or ability
- We foster bonding and attachment by systematically implementing continuity of care practices
- We promote and cater for each child’s health and physical well-being
- We assist and guide children to be active and autonomous individuals, to ensure they are confident and capable thinkers and communicators
- We encourage curiosity in children and staff as the motivator for dynamic learning
- We promote the use of natural resources, knowledge of the natural environment and sustainable practices
- We use incursions and excursions to enrich our programs
- We recognise and support our educators who are valued for their individual skills, knowledge, personalities and life experiences
- We constantly reflect upon our practice individually and collectively to improve our collaborative practices
- We expect that our staff will keep up to date with current practices and research through training opportunities offered and reflective practice
- We believe that our philosophy statement evolves as it is influenced by new children, families and Educators entering our community