20 Jan, 2017
10 : 00
At the core of our Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme, we aim to provide a warm and loving environment, as we believe that positive relationships are the foundation from which all learning can happen and be extended. These relationships include the children and the families, the teachers in our school, all working together to create a joyful, learning kindergarten. For us, this extends to the family’s caregivers too.
Our play-based and child-led programmes are for children aged from six months to four years. For the youngest, aged 6 months to two years of age, this takes the arrangement of a playgroup style, known as our Infant and Toddler Learning Programme (ITLP). Particularly within this age group our teachers can interact daily with the families’ caregivers, as attendance by an adult of the family’s choosing is necessary.
The provision of a dedicated Caregivers’ Workshop is vital for consistent messages and understanding for the children and all adults. On 18 January, our ECE team welcomed the caregivers of all our ECE children. The underlining important message was to allow them to feel valued; valued by the teachers, the child/children under their care and the family.
The first activity was in group form; seeing which team can work together to build the tallest structure that can stand up (the longest!) Naturally, this was a platform for cooperation and collaboration; two fundamental skills we encourage in our students. Following on, the groups passed through two activities; one being the quiet reflection opportunity to write on post-it notes the ‘joy’ their role brings and also, what ‘worries’ them in their position as caregivers. With no judgment, the group was able to express and discuss solutions of help, to ease a worry and perhaps encourage a different approach as part of their daily care. Together they compiled a “compass board” of thoughts, a style commonly used with our ECE children to promote self-expression.
The second activity was one of role play! Pulling on stimulating words such as ‘empathy’, ‘respect’, ‘patience’, ‘self-control’, ‘laughter’, ‘love’ pairs played out a typical daily occurrence that brought such elements to their role as caregiver. To conclude their reflections, each was invited to write a personal note about what they do every day for the child in their care and if, for some reason they were not there who would be affected. The evening drew to a close as the teachers gave a flower and hug to each caregiver, reminding them to feel valued and their actions make a difference, being a positive role model for the child.