“We believe in using a holistic approach by collaborating with children, families, educators’ and the wider community, which shapes the services’ identity and evokes a sense of belonging”
-Killara Kids Philosophy
At Killara Kids we believe children should be the centre of our program. Therefore, we collaborate with children at each stage of the programming cycle to ensure we are continuing to provide child focused activities that are meaningful for the children in our care.
Each week we gain feedback from the kids about what they enjoyed at Killara Kids, what we can improve & what we can do moving forward.
In our daybook we brainstorm about what the children currently enjoy and what ideas they may have for the program. The children may decide to use the IPAD to research ideas that are of interest to them and share them with the educators.
Educators are also able to then build on these ideas and interests by extending and challenging the kids in these interest areas.
Implementing the activities
During the week, Killara Kids usually offers 2 structured activities per day that have been requested by the children. The program allows for spontaneous play opportunities throughout each day as well as many of our activities are readily available for children to use and play with as they please.
Assess & Evaluate
At Killara Kids we also ask the kids for feedback on how our program is going. This also includes our routines, transitions, menu, event planning etc.
This is an example of us engaging the children in a “Milo Time” reflection on one our transition ‘Roll Call/Afternoon Tea Time’.
The educators had been noticing the kids were becoming a bit restless straight after school so we asked the kids what they could suggest. This allows the children to take ownership over our programs and the implementation of procedures that directly affect them.
We have also recently engaged the children in a reflection on the Killara Kids philosophy. This allows management & educators to see what is important to the children, what they want & need out of the service & if we need to look at updating the service philosophy. We were able to ask the children questions such as:
“How does KK promote positivity?”
“What does KK mean to you?”
“What makes KK fun for you?”
“How can we improve at KK?”
“How does KK support you?”
This sort of reflection with the children gives valuable insight and understanding about our role as educators and about what the children at Killara Kids need each morning and afternoon they attend.
At Killara Kids Educators reflect and assess children learning and wellbeing through different means of documentation. This might be as simple as a few photos, it might be a comment in the daybook, it might be an observation or it might be a learning story! Throughout this process children are involved in explaining what they are doing, letting us know what they would like written and sometimes, even writing the documentation themselves.
Ainoa is a 9-year old girl who attends Killara Kids. She was inspired by the painting activity she participated in nd decided she wanted to do her own documentation on the experience. Her documentation is now on display with the artworks and other staffs observations. Killara Kids flexible play settings promotes active citizenship such as this.
Once we have worked through this planning and programming cycle, we start again! This allows our program to be current, a reflection on the current children needs, wants and interests & diverse. No-one wants to be making slime everyday… or maybe they do!
Written by Katie Woods