Centre director Karlene Catchpole said the aim of the kindergarten program was to help children build and extend their language, literacy and numeracy skills, and independence, before they head off to school next year.
“Our centre uses the kinder funding to offer lots of fun and unique activities for our children to experience,” Ms Catchpole said.
“Twice a week the children participate in a music and movement program, which really focuses on the emotional and social aspects of learning. We include sign language as part of the music program which is helping extend the children’s language skills.
“Every Wednesday, the children participate in a physical education program to help promote good health, fitness and nutrition. This program allows us to extend our physical activity curriculum to assist children with their development of their gross motor skills, coordination and self-esteem. It’s all delivered in a fun, safe and social environment which the children just love,” she said.
“We’ve also just commenced a gardening and sustainability program where the children are helping develop a bush tucker garden that incorporates Aboriginal culture and heritage.”
The centre has also been selected to join the government’s highly successful Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program in 2017.
As part of the ELLA program the kindergarten children at Goodstart Labrador Gordon Street will learn Japanese using a tablet app and fun, play-based learning.
“We’re delighted we have been approved to offer Japanese lessons as part of our kindergarten program this year. The app is amazing and because of its interactive features it will make learning a new language a really engaging and interesting experience for children,” Ms Catchpole said.
“Research shows that learning another language helps develop and strengthen children’s overall literacy skills, which are transferable across other learning areas such as problem solving, so we see enormous benefits for our kindergarten children from a developmental perspective.
“We’ve only just started the ELLA program and the children and parents are already embracing it. The parents are also extending the children's learning from the classroom to the home environment using the parent app, which is fantastic to see,” she said.
The centre is now looking forward to starting a peer reading program with the local school later this year. Once a week, the children in the kindergarten class will spend 30 minutes at Labrador State School reading and playing games with the year three class.