Attuned relationships a way of life at South Hurstville
At Goodstart South Hurstville the needs of every individual child are taken into account when it comes to the educational and operational decisions within the centre.
That’s because of the staff’s unwavering commitment to forming and nurturing strong, attuned and connected relationships with children and their families.
Early childhood teacher Kate Anthony said the centre had been practicing key educator relationships for the past four years because of centre director Frida Caris’ passion for building strong connections with children and their families.
“The relationships we build with the children and the groups we form influence every single aspect of our centre, from our rostering, right down to what we display in our learning spaces,” she said.
“To us, the relationships we have with our children and families are part of a culture that is embedded across the centre which is why we are able to base every decision we make on how they will affect individual children.”
For example, if a child is new to the centre and their key educator knows they become stressed at certain times, staff work to rejig the daily plans so the educator can be available to support the child when they need it the most.
“Our key educator relationships are at the forefront of every single decision we make and every discussion we have within the centre,” Ms Anthony said.
“You need to keep in mind how your choice, or your contribution to a discussion will affect the children you know the most about.”
Ms Anthony said learning displays around the centre were carefully planned by consulting with the children’s key educators and then tailored to suit individual children.
“For example, we were talking about wrapping up a learning space we had set up that featured dinosaurs because it appeared not many children were engaging with the dinosaurs,” she said.
“However, after discussing the plan with all of the educators we discovered that the dinosaur area was very important to two little boys, so instead of packing it away we were able to move it to another space so they two boys could still enjoy it.
“This seems like such a small thing, but because of the strong relationships we have with the children and how well the key educators know the children we are able to assess the impacts of every single decision we make and tailor it to our individual children’s needs.”