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Educator relationships the key to children’s success

Goodstart centres

Helping children reach their full potential through secure attachments and individual care and education is at the heart of Goodstart’s key educator relationships.

Goodstart has committed to working towards key educator relationships in all centres nationally to promote continuity and consistency through nurturing relationships between educators and children individually and in small groups.

Key educators give families and children one or two people in the centre who are deeply connected to the child, their development, their rituals and their specific needs.

For families, this means they always have a ‘go to’ person in the centre to discuss their child, ask questions or raise concerns while for children, key educators help to form strong and secure relationships which are essential for learning and well-being.

Goodstart Thurgoona senior educator Lisa Parslow said it was during the training sessions that she realised what a game changer key educator relationships were.

“I began to find and feel my passion again. I developed a belief that I was going to make a difference within my workspace,” she said.

“I began to see children differently, I changed the way I spoke to children.”

With the support of her centre director, Lisa expanded the approach, embedding it within her centre – starting with creating a team of educators who were split into small groups.

A supportive team was gathered and the team created small groups within each room and children were assigned a key educator.

“The opportunities where we could enhance key educator relationships were becoming more obvious, the more it worked,” she said

“Embedding the key educator relationships in our centre has created enhanced learning opportunities, meaningful attachments and conversations, along with a language enriched environment.”

Goodstart NSW Regional Manager and key educator national lead Michelle Richardson said key educator centres operated by assigning educators to small groups of children to help them build secure attachments, which worked towards combatting significant stress for children in group care environments.

“Doing this then enables responsiveness to children’s social and emotional being, healthy brain development and enriched learning outcomes,” she said.

The principles of key educator relationships worked towards creating a strong relationship with each family, developing a deep knowledge and understanding around each individual child’s rituals in the home and family context and building these shared understandings into daily practices and meaningful learning experiences, she said.

“Key educator relationships also support the building of strong secure, reciprocal and communicative relationships between each child and their family, which is based on trust and respect.

“This relationship is supported by a secondary educator when the key educator is unavailable.

“Key educator relationships enrich a deep understanding of each family’s uniqueness, and ensures we nurture and respond to each child’s holistic development and learning.”
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