There's a belief among some parents that community (or sessional) kindergarten is superior to a long daycare kindergarten environment.
When parents talk about kindergarten or preschool, the phrase 'Daycare kindy isn't proper kindy' is common. Nothing could be further from the truth for anyone working in the sector and parents who've experienced high-quality early learning firsthand.
These myths aren't fair to teachers or parents
The myth that daycare kindy is inferior ignores the evidence showing the positive and long-lasting impact of high-quality early learning on children. It dismisses the many quality indicators in long day care centres, nor does it reflect the professionalism, passion and dedication of our Goodstart teams.
It also places unnecessary stress and concern on parents. Very few people have the time and flexibility to send their children to community kindy. It's an unfair expectation to place on working families.
Daycare hours kindy isn't daycare
Everyone wants the best for their child, and daycare kindy teachers are just as (arguably more!) capable of giving your preschooler the best possible kindergarten experience in readiness for school. When parents ask me whether our kindergarten program is the same quality as sessional preschools or kindergartens, I tell them this:
Approved kindergarten programs must meet government guidelines
Our programs are developed per the Government's Early Years Learning Framework. In addition, each state has guidelines that every kindergarten and preschool must meet. Community and daycare kindergartens must meet this approval, not just the community kindies.
We'll tailor a learning plan to your child
We track their progress in the years leading up to school. If they stay at the same centre for their preschool or kindy year, we can get a more complete record of their development and strengths. Then, we provide these detailed transition statements to their school for their first year. The more information we can provide, the better for your child's first year.
We have a high-quality curriculum
We tailor our kindergarten curriculum to your child, their interests and strengths. This gets the best results when developing academic skills like literacy and numeracy. Tapping into their interests helps engage them with tasks that can be boring sometimes, like counting and reading. It also builds vital life skills like creativity and inquiry. Our play-based learning approach motivates children to explore and be curious. Play develops positive feelings towards learning while improving a range of key life skills.
Relationships are essential life skills
Building a child's social and emotional skills is critical. It provides the foundation for other learning to build on. A long daycare format also allows children to build attachments and connections with their key educators. Our teachers aim to nurture happy, curious, kind children who grow into thoughtful, confident and motivated adults. Goodstart preschoolers are also free to move across all age groups. This promotes a sense of belonging and helps older children learn key 'buddy' skills around leadership and empathy.
All our teachers are degree-qualified
To get government approval, we need degree-qualified kindergarten and preschool teachers teachers. At Goodstart, we have more than 900 nationwide. We invest heavily in professional development and training and have a team of industry experts keeping our teachers updated with the latest research and best practices.
We work closely with schools in our local area
We have strong relationships with local schools and provide detailed information about the incoming cohort of children. A long daycare kindy means educators have more time with the children throughout the year. This familiarity helps to better inform the school environment for children, giving them the best possible start to their first year.
We offer extracurricular activities
We offer extracurricular activities like:
visiting aged care facilities to develop inter-generational relationships
farms and animal shelters to encourage caring for animals.
We have in-house allied health professionals
At Goodstart, we provide access to the following specialised resources and expertise.
Social inclusion coordinators.
More time to get used to routines
We slowly introduce some of the routines and behaviours they need for school progressively during the year. Having long day hours helps keep this rhythm not broken up by holidays. With a long daycare preschool format, parents get hours of extra value in quality early learning every week. Finally, remember that a long daycare kindergarten is a huge bonus that helps parents juggle the challenges of raising young children while managing work and careers.