Early learning program benefits children across the globe
A passion to give children the best start in life has encouraged Goodstart Early Learning’s Sunete Hulsebos to take her ideas to Thailand.
Sunete, a casual educator at Goodstart Collingwood Park
, visited children from her home town of Bangkok where she shared Goodstart’s vision and the Early Years Learning Framework.
Sunete spent a month in Bangkok volunteering her time at local schools and kindergartens – some with classes of up to 380 children, She used play-based practices she had learnt at Goodstart Collingwood Park
, to create a fun learning environment, including counting games, storytelling, painting and art.
“I volunteered for the two kindergarten schools - one in my home town of Northeast Thailand with about 50 children, and the other at a private school in Phetchaburi Province south of Bangkok with about 380 children,” Sunete said.
“The children enjoyed all the activities, and the educators and staff were a great support. Most of the children experienced these activities for the first time, including playing with dolls and toys, play dough, reading books and signing educational songs.”
Through her volunteering, Sunete was able to help local educators and staff in developing stimulating new teaching practices, such as using the outdoor environment to extend the children’s learning and development.
“Thai culture and beliefs influence the learning activities children can be involved in. For example some kindergarten children must not get their uniform dirty or play with mess, so there’s not much opportunity for children to play outdoors.
“Playing and exploring in the outdoor environment is crucial to the development of children’s gross motor skills. It helps them develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
“My plan is to continue volunteering in Thailand over the next years to help the educators adopt outdoor play as part of their early learning program.”
On her return to Australia, Sunete has shared her experience and learnings with the children and educators at Goodstart Collingwood Park. The children are learning about different cultures and exploring what a typical school day looks like in Bangkok.