Early Learning in my community. The educators and teachers I have met within our area are committed, enthusiastic and supportive of children and their families. We are fortunate to have so many early learning services and supports in my community. Ranging from Early Education Child Care and Preschool Services with some accessing Bush Kindy, to supported playgroups, Communities for Children programs and support services delivering innovative and Evidence Based Programs and Parenting Services within the community across many locations.
Early Learning Centres and Kindy’s are dotted throughout the Murray Bridge area giving opportunity and access close to schools and shopping centres making it convenient for families. Some centres offer a pick up and drop off service supporting families with limited transport services nearby to access early learning environments for their children. With a wide range of cultural backgrounds in our area including our indigenous Ngarrindjeri people, I am delighted to live and work on their land and be a part of the services available here. Our diverse cultures are able to access our Migrant Resource Centre, local Community Centre and TAFE to tap into what’s on and available for their children and families in Murray Bridge.
There are specific First Nations people services supporting their people’s overall well-being inclusive of social and emotional health. Included in these services are Moorundi ACCHS and Minya Porlar Creche wonderful services that families can use as they support early learning within the holistic early childhood view. (Images are not included out of cultural respect).
Playgroups, Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS) and our local Library support children in their first 1000 days of life and learning. Offering play-based learning, maternal health and early childhood health and programs for parents and their children, these services should not be underestimated in their value for informal learning. Equipping parents with ways to play, support and provide opportunities for their children are important tools in the success for children as they enter more formal learning environments.
Music and rhymes groups are popular in our community supporting language development and learning opportunities for children under 5 years of age and their families and caregivers. Family members including grandparents, aunties, uncles, older siblings are welcome into these groups as well as of course, their parents. Early Words, PACEY and LTSRP talk about the importance and power of singing in early years to promote learning.
Storytime at our Murray Bridge Library is a visual and auditory delight and promotes the importance of reading as do the previously mentioned programs. Let’s Read by the Smith Family also have some wonderful recommendations of books for children under 5 categorized by age appropriateness. A wonderful resource in addition to your local library. I was delighted to find a book the very familiar “I went walking” by Sue Machin translated into Ngarrindjeri language. You can promote the language in your centre of your First Nations people through accessing the 50 words project online https://50words.online
I love to encourage my clients and families to access these other services in the community as it is a great way for them to use the resources and services available to them to support their child’s learning at low cost.
I am always researching and looking for new services, training and designing workshops to support children’s early learning and I welcome any suggestions or tips. I find our early childhood community is one of sharing and collaborating and I love that aspect of our field.
Finally, in our last day of celebrating Early Learning Matters Week 2021, we have really enjoyed the reflection, the clarity and discovery that comes from writing an article a day about why we do what we do. May your Friday be full of yay a wonderful day to play, connect and learn however and wherever you can as you know how much #EarlyLearningMatters!