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How we spark your child’s curiosity

Goodstart centres

Everything we do at Goodstart Early Learning is about putting children first. We have a unique approach to the way we work, which is based on our Goodstart Practice Guide and its ISTEP framework.

The Guide is used by every educator in every centre throughout Australia, although the way in each implements the practices and applies the ISTEP framework, will be unique to their local context, and the children and families in their centre.

ISTEP is a framework which helps our educators plan and observe their daily practices. There are five components, each crucial to early learning outcomes:
  • Interactions and relationships
  • Space, resources and materials
  • Time, routines and rituals
  • Experiences for learning
  • Planning, documentation and evaluation
This is the second in a series of articles which discusses each ISTEP component. Today we’ll be discussing how we use resources and materials to create flexible spaces designed to spark your child’s curiosity.
Sparking your child’s creative streak

When you walk into a Goodstart centre, you’ll see furniture, equipment, resources and play materials, all of which are designed to ensure your child has an engaging and happy time.

Our resources are designed to spark your child’s curiosity and enrich their explorations and interactions. Our spaces can change according to the needs of the learning experiences and play that is happening – from busy, active areas to quite, calming spaces.

Sand and play dough for learning essential skills

Open-ended materials, such as sand and play dough, are used for children to manipulate and shape. These materials help children develop creativity and problem-solving skills because they have no specific set of directions.

The importance of the great outdoors

At Goodstart, our outdoor spaces are highly valued. Research shows that when play structures such as climbers and slides are replaced, or minimised, with grass and shrubs, children increase their pretend play, language and creativity.

We encourage pretend play, art, water play and physically-active play such as running, crawling, rolling and jumping.  Our outdoor spaces are both fun and a continuation of the learning environment. At our centres, our aim is for your child to feel safe and secure, to have fun and to develop the social-emotional, thinking, language, and physical skills that will set them up for success in school and in life.
In next article we’ll talk about the importance of time, routines and rituals and how they can help bring children pleasure and create a sense of security.
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