Kindercare's Education Program
Everything about your child is an original masterpiece. And at Kindercare, we believe they deserve care and learning that intentionally fosters their incredible, and unique potential. That’s why we developed Kindercare’s Education program: a flexible framework that allows our Early Childhood Teachers to create a personalised care and learning program for your child, based on their observations of their unique interests, needs and strengths.
Kindercare’s Education program is implemented and used in the Babies, Toddlers and Preschool rooms as well as offering a specialised focus for the Transition to School children.
At Kindercare, learning is about achieving specific outcomes for YOUR child, through play!
Find out more information about how we meet the specific needs of babies, toddlers and preschoolers here.
What is Kindercare’s Education program?
Kindercare’s Education program is more than just an innovative learning program; it’s a framework within which the relationship between the Teacher and your child is it intentionally nurtured.
As we take the time to get to know your little one, and build a nurturing relationship with them, we can respond to their cues and the rhythm of their day. It’s these loving, responsive relationships in the early years that are key to developing each child’s confidence, resilience and self-esteem, which is so essential, not only at this age, but at school and throughout their lives.
That’s how our Teachers begin to develop a plan to support your child’s individual care and learning - each step of their developmental journey with us. Our program is based on New Zealand’s national early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, which is a framework of principles and strands that support children to develop their capability as competent, confident learners.
Te Whāriki also supports the partnership between families and Teachers, to ensure we know and understand your aspirations for your child. That’s why Kindercare’s Education program provides ongoing opportunities for you to contribute to your child’s care and learning and encourages a close and consistent connection between home life and centre life.
Connecting your child, our values and our approach to learning
Our education program links three essential elements:
- your child
- our values (
- our approach to learning
Your child is central to the care and learning we provide. That’s why we see our relationship with you and your little one as a partnership, in which our role is to love and nurture your child within our culture of kindness. When your child joins our Kindercare family, our relationship with them comes first. Your little one will know they are loved as they’re treated with respect – through calm, unhurried interactions that give them time to absorb and prepare for what’s next. They’ll know they are valued as we continuously acknowledge their individual interests, needs and strengths.
Keeping your child safe, loved and learning, while building a trusting relationship with them, is what we’re all about, at Kindercare. Once your child has trust in us, they are more ready to learn - and to settle and have fun during their day with us. Our Education program reflects this nurturing partnership with you – because it’s through you that we’re able to discover their unique interests, needs and strengths and help them reach their full potential.
Your child’s learning
Your child will be treated with kindness, and enjoy gentle moments of loving care throughout their day. And, they’ll be invited to participate in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities; active play; quiet corners; conversations; cuddle times; and other opportunities for sensory exploration and discovery. Kindercare’s Education program is all about play-based learning, with Teachers alongside your child to guide their activities, encourage curiosity through provocations and conversations.
In these extraordinary early years, your child is laying down patterns that will impact the rest of their lives. So their relationship with those who care for them - and how they are treated and responded to - is critical
The Benefits of Kindercare’s Education Program
It’s the flexibility, focus on laying the essential foundations, as well as opportunities for movement and exploration in our sensory-rich environment that will benefit your child. To find out more, read on.
Flexibility: the benefit of our framework, as opposed to a structured program, is that our teachers are empowered to observe your child and then plan for their learning, based on your child’s individual needs, abilities and interests. So your child is placed at the centre of their learning - they’re not fitted into a program.
The benefit to your child? Through observation and focused attention, our teachers first take the time to build a strong connection with your child and once they’ve established this close relationship, they’re able to respond intuitively to your child’s cues and support their learning. Your child will feel loved, affirmed and valued, which is so important for their sense of belonging and to develop their full potential.
Framework of Creative Opportunities for Movement; Sensory experiences; Language: when your child is moving, exploring and playing – they’re learning. Care in a calm, predictable environment, with loving teachers who reflect joy in spending time with your child, creates an environment that will delight and engage your child.
The benefit to your child? Learning, social and emotional development, and brain development all happen naturally, because your child feels secure, supported and is having fun. Because teachers are “present” to your child, they respond sensitively to their cues and signals, and listen with ears and eyes, so it’s a harmonious relationship with your child.
Foundations for Love, Learning and Life:
“All learning begins with the body. It has to. It’s our point of reference. And for children, it’s even more so because the body is the brain’s first teacher. And the lesson plan is movement.”
(“A Moving Child is a Learning Child” by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy)
Because approximately 90% of neural pathways are set for life in the first years, when your baby, toddler or preschooler is moving, this is stimulating their brain. The more the brain is stimulated, the more movement the body needs for further stimulation – and this dynamic process is learning. A single movement is not only developing your child’s physical capability, it’s also building sensory perception and forming critical brain pathways.
It makes sense for early childhood to have a different focus to formal schooling, because before your child can focus on literacy and numeracy, their brain needs to automate certain tasks. To achieve this, the brain makes movement a priority. And once movement is automated, your child is free and able to “think”. When your child’s essential foundations are in place, they’re able to succeed at formal learning (literacy – reading and writing; numeracy - maths), when they go to school.
So your child will benefit from Kindercare’s learning program because at each stage of development, your child will be in an environment rich with sensory experiences, with lots of opportunity and space for movement. While your little one is playing, having fun, enjoying new experiences, taking on new challenges and repeating some things over and over, they are free to move, and that’s key to learning.
Social and Emotional Competence:
As a parent, your relationship with your child is the strongest influence on their healthy growth and development. What we also know to be critical for all children is the development of their social and emotional competence, which is why this is a strong focus of our Kindercare’s Education program.
It’s in a child’s early years that brain connections are made and patterns formed which continue into our adult lives and determine our understanding of appropriate behavior (our own and that of others), and how we build and maintain healthy relationships. To develop your child’s social competence and emotional well-being, they’ll be cherished at Kindercare through kind, respectful care, which acknowledges their feelings, values different cultural perspectives and supports your child through intentional, focused attention in a calm, fun-filled environment.
Social and Emotional Development in Babies and Toddlers:
For your baby or toddler, our curriculum is not about “formal education”. At this young age, our relationship with your baby/toddler is the curriculum. The relationship, and a culture of kindness, are our focus. How do we do this?
- Respectful care moments throughout the day – it’s in those moments of “routine” that there are precious opportunities for us to listen to your baby, smile and make eye contact and invite them to participate in what we are doing – like changing their nappy, giving them a bottle – these are times when they have our full attention, so we can build the relationship.
- Rituals – your infant is taking in visual and audio information every moment they are awake. So in an environment where they are treated with tenderness, invited to share in experiences and given time to become familiar with what’s around them, they can relax and trust relationships and rituals. This minimises their stress so they’re able to lay down critical neural pathways that support their social and emotional development.
- Partnership dance in a culture of kindness – every interaction and conversation with your baby is intentional and comes from the heart, with kindness. A true partnership enables your baby to have a choice; to be presented with an invitation to participate, so it doesn’t happen “to” them, but rather “with” them.
Social and Emotional Development in Preschoolers:
Your preschool child needs to be prepared for school, not just cognitively, but also in terms of his/her social and emotional competence.
Find out more on our “You Can Do It” page