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Creating welcoming spaces at Marrickville

Goodstart stories

The presentation of indoor and outdoor environments in early learning centres plays an essential role in the quality of children’s experiences and ultimately, their learning outcomes.

The way we organise furniture, equipment, play materials and other resources helps to spark children’s curiosity and encourages them to explore.

Through years of experience in observing what works best for children we know that when the physical environment is organised and inviting, children are more likely to engage in play with each other and as a result, educators spend more time interacting with individual and small groups of children and less time managing disruptive behaviours.

Getting the physical environment just right has been a big focus for Goodstart Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west. As centre director Sarah Benjamin explains, the centre’s objective was to create environments that reflected the children, families and educators.

“Being located in the heart of Marrickville, our service is part of a culturally diverse melting pot where, regardless of your background, everyone belongs,” Sarah said.

“Our centre reflects the diversity of our area and we wanted to create an environment where diversity and difference was highlighted as soon as you walk into the foyer.

“The centre is an extension of family life and we wanted an amazing first impression from the moment you walk through the front door. The eclectic style of the centre is unique and it needed to shine.

“It’s all about the feeling of belonging from the very first moment you arrive in the centre. From the sight of bright and lively resources, the buzzing sound of children happily working and learning to the fresh scents of aroma therapy oils.”

The centre has recently won a NSW ‘Goodie Award’ for centre presentation, which is among the highest praise within Goodstart’s network of 644 centres.

In addition to winning the Goodie, Sarah has also been proud to see the positive development of children’s learning and development in response to their environment.

“The layout of the indoor and outdoor environments allows children to be fully engaged and there is a natural flow and ease in moving around.

“The environments and learning spaces are ever changing and evolving to reflect current interests, events, and our community. It’s a continuous process.

“Our parents, educators and children are proud of their environments.”
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