UWA Early Learning Centre
Offering high quality care for children aged six weeks to five years.
Caring for your child
Nestled in a quiet, leafy corner of the UWA Nedlands campus, the Early Learning Centre is licensed for 100 children per day and offers families a warm and welcoming environment and exceptional facilities.
The mission of UWA Early Learning Centre is to provide excellence in early childhood education and care for all children, in partnership with families, in accordance with Education and Care Services National Law, Education and Care Services National Regulations, the National Quality Standard and the National Early Years Learning Framework.
We support the importance of low staff-child ratios for all children in our Centre. We offer below child-staff ratios at all times throughout the day, as we employ up to five additional shared educators each day. As per Regulation 123, Education and Care Services National Regulations 2012, the minimum ratio for staff to children are as follows:
- 0-2 year olds 1:4
- 2-3 year olds 1:5
- 3-5 year olds 1:10
What we believe
- Warm, responsive relationships are critical to every child’s happiness, health and wellbeing.
- The first five years of life are crucial in shaping a child’s ability to learn and think creatively.
- Children should be encouraged to become active participants in their own learning.
- The most successful curriculum approaches are child focused and supported by ongoing learning and reflection.
- Successful partnerships with families are communicative and mutually respectful.
- Equitability, inclusivity and diversity must be promoted in a genuine and positive manner.
- Connections to the local community should be fostered and maintained.
- A welcoming, calm and aesthetically pleasing setting enables all users of the centre to feel a sense of belonging.
- Responsibility for the natural environment and awareness of sustainability is imperative.
- Commitment to supportive, responsible management; ongoing professional development is vital to the centre’s continued success.
Our centre is warm and inviting – the large and modern building, entrance and reception area is softened by natural elements such as a variety of trees and plants as well as a large fish tank.
Our commercial-grade kitchen and attached dining room is a lively hub of activity for the most part of the morning. With delicious smells wafting through reception, many families linger to read the daily menu and savour the kitchen’s wonderful aromas. The outdoor spaces include fruit trees and small raised garden beds where vegetables and aromatic herbs are grown and used in the kitchen.
The activity rooms are light and spacious, with muted tones to offer a sense of calmness. Rammed earth walls bring a sense of nature and are an inviting blank canvas for the sensitive display of artworks, murals, photographs and much more. The older children also enjoy the addition of an outdoor art studio, giving them extra space in which to play and create in a sheltered outdoor environment.
The gardens are specifically designed to offer wonderful play and learning opportunities to the children as they are. Each age group’s outdoor area is specifically designed to suit their levels of development, and the areas feature natural elements such as edible gardens, sensory plants, fruit trees, handmade wooden equipment made from re-purposed materials, quiet spaces to sit and reflect, areas that invite active play, musical elements and water play elements.
The adjacent green spaces and beautiful tropical tree grove on the Nedlands campus invite local excursions for the children to investigate, play, gather materials, enjoy nature and explore our local community. This location, and our selection and use of natural materials, is what sets us apart from many other education and care services.
Our curriculum is inspired and guided by the unique interests, strengths and actions of all children, as well as by the spontaneous and serendipitous events that occur every day.
Out of this arise the foundations for play and learning experiences that stimulate and support children through their own learning journeys. Educators engage in an ongoing process of observing, analysing, planning and reflection to foster each child’s learning and development.
We believe that by providing children with freedom of choice and offering a wide variety of opportunities, resources and interactions, we are creating and facilitating a developmentally appropriate curriculum where children will be encouraged to develop at their own pace.
How the curriculum works
We begin by developing a relationship with each child, and with the group as a whole. By knowing the children well – their likes and dislikes, their strengths and interests, their temperament and personality, their culture, their unique development, their own learning style – we are able to program for them both individually and as a group.
Being ‘in tune’ with the children in our care, carrying out both formal and informal observations, and communicating with parents, all combine to help staff develop a program for individual children as well as for the group. Whether lasting a minute, an hour, a day or a week, many events, experiences, learning areas and environments will enhance learning for your child.
At the end of the week, many of these will be captured in the weekly reflective diary. The diary is a formal, retrospective program as well as an evaluation of the week’s events. It is important for educators to evaluate the program in a continual cycle of self-reflection and improvement.
We may plan to re-visit experiences that the children enjoyed; we may plan to repeat experiences in the future that the children weren't quite ready to explore. We may modify learning areas, extending on the children’s interests. In each diary, we link experiences, projects and play and learning areas with the EYLF, and evaluate the week’s events against these outcomes and objectives.
Parent input into and evaluation of our program is always welcomed and is an important part of the process of planning and continual improvement. The diary is emailed to families, weekly, as well as a hard copy being displayed in each room.
As well as the weekly reflective diary, each child has their own electronic portfolio. This portfolio aims to be a snapshot of your child’s learning journey at UWA Early Learning Centre. Each portfolio will include a variety of learning stories, observations (individual and group) and photographs. It may also include information on child development, or song lyrics, recipes and other things that may relate to your child’s learning journey.
At the middle and the end of each year, when your child moves up to the next age group, or when you leave the service, you will receive a copy of your child’s portfolio on a disc. Parents are always welcome to view their child’s electronic portfolio, and educators are encouraged to display or send home learning stories, observations and photos throughout the year.