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Home >  News & advice > March 2017 > Your need-to-know guide to kindergarten and preschool

Your need-to-know guide to kindergarten and preschool

Your need-to-know guide to kindergarten and preschool

In the years before school, children grow rapidly in their understanding of the world and their place in it. With the right encouragement and stimulation there’s no limit to what they can imagine for themselves and their future.

Our programs are based on the latest research about what works best for young learners, and we know that children who access quality early learning benefit right through their school years.

With the guidance of our skilled teachers and educators, your child will learn to think deeply, problem solve and work cooperatively. They’ll experience the value of persistence, the joy of helping others and the satisfaction of mastering something new – all great skills for school and life.

In this post we’ll show you how we ensure the kindergarten or preschool year helps your child develop and be prepared for the transition to school.

But before we go too deep, let’s clarify one thing: while the terminology may vary from state to state, when we say kindergarten or preschool, we’re talking about the year before school.

So what do you need to know about kindergarten and preschool at Goodstart?

It all starts with our favourite four letter word – PLAY

Play is central to the lives of children at this age. It’s how they learn, figure things out, explore, make mistakes and try again. It’s the teaching ground for negotiation, conflict and friendship.

It may look random and haphazard to an untrained eye but rest assured, play at Goodstart is intentional, purposeful and most of all, enjoyable.

Every learner needs a great teacher

Most of us have had a great teacher at least once in our life. Along with a real love of learning, they genuinely care about their students and see their potential.

That’s the kind of teacher you’ll meet at Goodstart.

We see each child as an individual with unique gifts, interests, family context and cultural traditions. And we make the most of these by offering a wide landscape of learning opportunities with just the right balance of free exploration and guidance.

Our curriculum

We have our own Practice Guide which describes all the practices that help children’s language development, thinking skills and their social, emotional and physical wellbeing.

It’s based on insights from international early learning experts, the latest evidence of what works best for children and our own on-the-ground experience.

We’re refining it all the time, so you can be sure our curriculum focusses on the areas that are most important for children’s success now and later in life.

Our kindergarten and preschool program has seven key learning areas:
  • Social and emotional skills
  • Language and literacy
  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Drama and pretend play
  • Construction and building
  • Drawing, painting, music and dance
  • Physical activity
  • Inquiry Projects
We give children loads of opportunities to build on their life experiences, curiosity and growing abilities in a safe, social and fun learning environment.

The importance of playing and learning together

Children learn to play together, take turns and solve problems when they work in small groups. We schedule the day around small group times and encourage the children to help plan what we’ll play and learn during these sessions.

It’s a great way for them to see their ideas come to life and an opportunity for us to respond to their current interests and questions.

Your child will also have plenty of one-on-one time with us which we’ll use to explore their passions and provide support for any specific learning or developmental needs.

We work with language and speech pathologists, psychologists and occupational therapists.

Learning at home

Did you know your home learning environment has more impact on your child’s development than your occupation, education or income level? No pressure there! At least now you don’t have to manage it alone.

We’ll help you embed and build on what we’re doing at the centre with ideas and activities that are easy to do as part of your normal family routine, and you’ll have the benefit of our expertise to help you make the most of learning opportunities at home.

It’s a great way to build your child’s confidence and a deeper appreciation of culture, language and family traditions.

Predictable routines

We have a predictable daily routine for arriving and leaving, eating and resting to help your child feel comfortable and secure.

Your child is like no other, so if there’s something special you do to help them settle or relax, please let us know so we can continue the same routine where possible when they’re with us.

We encourage the children to help with our daily routines. It shows respect for their growing capabilities and helps them feel good about themselves and their contribution.

A word about friendships

Around this age, relationships with other children become more intense and are central to their learning experiences. We’re here to help them become confident and able to make friends wherever they go – a great skill for school and life.

Your child will be opening their world to more people and forming wider friendship groups, so it’s natural to have a few concerns about bullying, teasing or being left out.

Rest assured, we anticipate situations that may cause conflict and we set expectations that are clear, consistent and supported by simple visual clues in the classroom.

We’ll help your child make choices about how they play and who they play with, learn to manage their emotions and understand the feelings of others.

Keeping track of their learning

Children change and grow so quickly it can be hard to keep up with them. And with school just around the corner, it’s important to pay close attention to how they’re progressing.
  • We use the national Early Years Learning Framework to help identify and assess children’s strengths, skills and understanding.
  • We record their words, drawings and experiences in a learning journal which we use to reflect on their progress and celebrate their achievements.
  • We take photos and videos and write observations about their learning so you have a precious record of their emerging personality and talents and we have an important reference point for assessing their readiness for school.
  • We share the learning with you via Storypark so you can connect with their learning community.
Sometimes children have learning difficulties. We’re experienced in spotting these and we’ll work with you if additional support is needed.

Transitioning to school

There’s no one right way or time for children to develop a skill, which is why it can be so difficult to know whether everything is on track. As you’d expect, we know how to assess and review children’s developmental progress and we’ll be doing this throughout your time with us.

Your own observations are really important too, so together we can monitor how your child is progressing against typical learning and development milestones.

If you’re not sure your child is ready to move onto school, we’ll work with you to determine if another year of kindergarten or preschool would be beneficial.

For children who are ready to move on, we provide a formal School Transitional Statement which you can provide to your child’s school.


The Goodstart advantage 

Kindergarten and preschool in a long day care setting has its perks.

You have the reassurance of a government approved curriculum based on the Early Years Learning Framework, bachelor-qualified teachers and stimulating age-appropriate learning. Plus you get wraparound care 12 hours a day, so you can be confident your child is in the best environment, whatever hours you choose to use.

That means greater convenience for you, plus quality learning and care to help your child thrive.

Government funding

Your family may be eligible to apply for government funding to offset the costs of attending kindergarten or preschool. For the most up to date information on available funding, please visit our fees and rebates page.

To learn more or to visit a Goodstart centre near you, contact us online or call 1800 222 543.


Posted by Goodstart
02 March 2017

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