Merri sits on Wurundjeri land and is dedicated to providing a welcoming, inclusive community, that values and respects childhood and encourages the development of identity. At Merri, we acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander as the First Peoples of Australia. We promote care for country and work towards developing our children’s, educators and families understanding of our shared history.

We recognise the uniqueness of all families and acknowledge them as the child’s first teachers. As a community-managed centre, we value relationships and collaborations with all families.

We pride ourselves in being a centre of choice where we build a safe and trusting environment for children to learn.

Our higher educator to child ratio provides opportunities that support better outcomes and quality interactions with children, their families, and the community. As educators we hear and value the voice and autonomy of the child. We see children as capable and competent learners and value our relationships with them.

We trust and respect the children and collaborate with them and their families to intentionally create a curriculum that reflects their interests, abilities, and well-being. This approach challenges children to extend their thinking and supports the development of their knowledge and skills towards a defined set of goals. We believe in and value the importance of play as the medium by which children learn, explore, and experience their environment.

We draw on our professional experience and knowledge of child development, and theory to guide our reflective practices, in order 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 strive to increase our individual and professional knowledge of Indigenous perspectives and endeavour to embed this into all aspects of our curriculum.

· We promote inclusive practices to enrich and embrace the abilities and experiences of all children, families, and community, and strive to provide support where required

· We provide a safe and welcoming environment for the children which reflects their wider community.

· We actively introduce ideas and principles of social justice to the children where appropriate

· We embrace the diversity of our community and encourage all to share their culture, language, and ideas

· We encourage community and family involvement in all aspects of Merri’s operations

· We promote relationships of trust and respect, to enhance each child’s sense of well-being, security, and identity

· We promote and cater for each child’s health and physical wellbeing

· We ensure every child has access to nutritious and healthy food and drink, with an emphasis on fresh and whole foods

· We foster bonding and attachment by systematically implementing continuity of care practices.

· 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 Educators as the motivator for dynamic learning

· We constantly reflect upon our practice individually and collectively to improve our collaborative practices

· We promote the use of natural resources, knowledge of the natural environment and sustainable practices

· We use incursions and excursions to enrich our curriculum

· We recognise and support our educators who are valued for their individual skills, knowledge, personalities, and life experiences

· We support our Educators to keep up to date with current practices and research through training opportunities offered and reflective practice

· We act as advocates for children by prioritising their needs, voice and rights

· We believe that our philosophy statement evolves as it is influenced by new children, families and Educators entering our community.

We would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people, the Traditional custodians of the land on which we are gathered and pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.