Our Toddler Section is a shared space of two rooms and an outside environment for children from 15 months to three years of age.  Each group has its own home room  with a ratio of one educator to five children. We have 10 children in the green room with 2 educators and 15 children in the Blue room with 3 educators.

Philosophy

The world is exciting and new for a Toddler, everything around them is there for testing wondering about and investigating.  It is a time of huge physical and language development.  Our image of a young toddler is one who is competent, curious about the world and is seeking an understanding of their identity as an individual.

We carefully consider the toddlers need for firm attachment to reliable and secure educators who act as a springboard for exploration. Young children of this age need to know that their educator is available to Be with them, while giving them wings to explore on their own. Support and understanding of young children’s emotional regulation is essential to supporting children manage the big emotions they feel. To support this relationship children stay with at least one educator that is familiar with them throughout their stay at the service.

Toddlers need to physically explore and investigate the world.  They need to test out materials, practice with tools and be exposed to exciting drama, music and language experiences.  We believe in supporting children’s play by creating rich learning spaces inside and outside.  We believe that interaction with a wide variety of open ended natural and recycled materials create opportunity for enquiry, creativity and learning.  We believe in supporting children’s engagement in the visual arts, music and dance through regular opportunities to play with high quality materials each day.

Rainbow Valley early learning centre Toddler room
Rainbow Valley early learning centre Gladstone Toddler room
Curriculum

Our toddler curriculum extends out of the nursery individualised routines to more generalised group experiences that are predictable yet flexible to individual needs.  We believe in a ‘Rich normality” that is long exposure to materials, experiences and interests of children that support investigation, enquiry and cognitive development.

Our curriculum is focused on building both knowledge and processes for learning.  We pay particular attention to the following areas when thinking about our younger children’s program.

Embedded Learning

This is the temporal part of our planning. It includes the way we structure our day, our Relationships, Care giving times (self care, mealtimes, Sleep rituals) Gatherings times when we come together in small and large groups ( Music, literacy, games).

Regular planned times to support connection to the environment and real life opportunities like, gardening, and helping to set up mealtimes. In these times our interactions support many learning concepts including encouraging language, literacy and numeracy development and understandings, social interaction  and personal support skills.

Rainbow Valley early learning centre Toddler room craft
Rainbow Valley early learning centre Toddler outdore play area
Environments

Our environment is planned to support children across many interests, to provoke thinking and to support many different types of play both inside and outside.  For this reason we have many stable and large learning zones, full of numerous open ended materials that can serve multiple purposes in play.

We carefully consider and adapt our environments  as we see what children are focussing on and what development we wish to promote. We strongly believe that long exposure to areas and materials give children a sense of security, it is also a way to encourage deep investigation, imagination, creativity, problem solving, social skills, and social skills. Some of our environments that we plan for include:

Some of our environments that we plan for include:

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Freeform areas

like sandpits, mud patches,  water stations, sensory trays, and light stations play support learning in many areas. Props and loose parts and tools are provided according to the differing focuses of the space. We encourage scientific enquiry, problem solving,role-play, manipulation and creativity.
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Creative areas

where children are offered access to many arts mediums and tools. These are offered across the inside and outside environments as well as with small group opportunities in our arts studio. Experiences may include, painting, drawing, clay and collage. Exploration in these spaces support learning fine motor skills, ways to represent their thinking about the world and creativity.

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Physical challenges

like riding bikes, climbing and balancing are provided in a many spaces in the environment. These physical challenges are important for developing coordination and fitness but also to promote healthy brain development.

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Manipulative areas

like blocks, and arranging spaces where children are encouraged to design, pattern, compose and manipulate materials to develop creativity and foundation numeracy skills.
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Role play

in areas insides and outside include home corner and small world play.  These spaces provide opportunities for appropriate socialisation and understanding of ones identity.

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Acknowledgement

The educators  and children at Rainbow Valley Early Learning Centre wish to acknowledge and pay respects to the past, present and future traditional  elders of the land in which we work, play and learn.

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