When some parents talk about kindergarten or preschool, there's a persistent 'Child care centre kindy isn't proper kindy'. Nothing could be further from the truth. But let's take a look at some of these myths and why they don't tell the whole story.
These myths aren't fair to teachers or parents
The myth that kindergarten programs taught in a child care centre setting is inferior ignores the Early Years Learning Framework (ELYF) that says belonging and relationships are at the centre of long-lasting, positive early learning experiences for children. There are many quality indicators that come with children staying in the same centre until they go to school. Disappointingly, it doesn't reflect the professionalism, passion and dedication of the kindrgarten teachers our and our wider Goodstart teams.
This misunderstanding also places unnecessary stress and concern on parents. Very few people have the time and flexibility to send their children to community kindy. If you and your family do, that's wonderful! But it's an unfair expectation to place on most working families.
Everyone wants the best for their child, and early learning centre kindy teachers are just as (arguably more!) capable of giving your preschooler the best possible kindergarten experience in readiness for school. Here's how our kindergarten programs show the same quality early education as sessional preschools or kindergartens,
Approved kindergarten programs must meet government guidelines
Our programs are developed based on the Government's Early Years Learning Framework. In addition, each state has guidelines that every kindergarten and preschool must meet. Community and early learning centre kindergartens must meet this approval, not just community kindies. All approved kindergratens are 'proper' kindergartens.
We work to tailor a learning plan for 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 longer centre based kindergarten programs allow 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. Early learning centre kindy programs mean 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 longer sessions helps build this rhythm, and it won't get broken up by holidays. With child care centre preschool programs, parents get hours of extra value in quality early learning every week.
Choosing the best kindergarten or preschool for your child relies on many factors. But rest easy knowing you aren't missing out if your child goes to kindy in the same early learning centre they attended child care at.
Finally, this can be a huge win for you. Kindergartens in early learning centres are a huge bonus than can help parents juggle the challenges of raising young children while managing work and careers.