Happy Hippos

Age Group: 0-2 Years

PLAY IS LEARNING

Play is very important for children. Through play babies and young children explore and learn to understand the world around them as they come to communicate, discover, imagine and create.

When children play they are showing what they have learned and what they are trying to understand. This is why play is one of the foundations of our Program. By using it, our Team will guide your child’s play by carefully designing learning activities and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environments.

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?

The program focuses on your child’s learning. Our Team will work with you to get to know your child well. They will create a learning program that builds on your child’s interests and abilities, and keep you in touch with your child’s progress. As outlined by the Framework, our teachers will assist to ensure that:

  • Children have a strong sense of their identity
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Children are effective communicators
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Children are confident and involved learners; and

WATCHING YOUR CHILD’S PROGRESS

We will observe your child’s learning so that we can build on it and plan the next steps. We do this by listening, watching and talking to your child.  We will of course chat with you regularly, and also engage via Fitkidz: Connect! – our online learning portal, and our smartphone app.

Parents provide us with a valuable link to the uniqueness of each individual child. We value our parent input/suggestions into our curriculum and enjoy hearing about special events or weekend activities that may add a unique and different aspect to our daily activities. Please feel free to share and swap information with your child’s room teachers or the Director at any time.

hippo_paving Paving Pathways – This area of our program stimulates cognitive development.  During this stage of development children’s thinking strategies are dominated by information taken in through the use of their motor actions and exploration using their senses.  Sensory play in a variety of forms is used as an important learning tool.
hippo_lang Language For Life – Language for Life activities help develop skills in an environment rich with sounds, sights and consistent exposure to speech and language.  To encourage the development and confidence of language we provide activities such as story time, action songs, group discussions and personal interactions.  We also provide visual aids to help enhance the children’s connection between words and pictures or actions.
hippo_stepping Social Stepping Stones – In this area of our program we aim to promote early social interactions and conversations, develop facial expressions to communicate and support self-identity.  Social and emotional development is the key to successful learning and happiness therefore it is an area of development that we want to encourage on a daily basis.  The current early years learning framework for Australia believes (as we do) that there are 3 words to describe the fundamental characteristics that support and encourage a child’s development and sense of identity.  They are belonging, being and becoming.  Experiencing belonging – knowing where and with whom you belong – is integral to human existence.  Being – childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world.  Becoming – children’s identities, knowledge, understandings, capabilities, skills and relationships change during childhood.  They are shaped by many different events and circumstances.
hippo_build Building Blocks – Building blocks offers experiences to enhance and develop physical strength and motor co-ordination.  Children will learn to explore through sight, sound and touch.  Learning opportunities offered will include building using blocks and mobilo, soft foam shapes, digging in the sandpit and manipulating dough and clay.  It is through the continued involvement in these types of hands on experiences that infants and toddlers will develop and increase their hand/eye co-ordination and general whole body coordination and movement.
hippo_fitness Fitness Foundations – Being healthy physically is a necessary pre-condition to being able to develop in all areas.  Physical health is the basic foundation for children’s learning and development.  Physical development of coordinated motor skills is a large part of an infant’s first year.  Fitness Foundations activities help build physical strength and motor coordination with daily experiences that allow infants to practice fine-motor skills, hand/eye coordination, full body movement, and more.
hippo_construct Constructing Creativity – Creativity occurs naturally within babies and toddlers.  If nurtured creativity will grow and expand throughout your child’s lifetime.  Creativity can be expressed in many different forms.  In the infant and toddler age group we use music and dance as a focal point for creative development as well as tactile experiences such as painting, goop and dough.  We also encourage creative expression through spontaneous activities such as drawing patterns in the sand.
hippo_imagine Inspiring Imaginations – Imagination is at the heart of all creativity.  One way we can help children develop their imagination further is to transform the space they play and learn in, so that children are inspired by their surroundings to engage in play.  Hands-on, sensory spaces encourage children to experience new things and give them the opportunity to play and learn at their own pace, and in their own way.  By letting the children direct their own activities they become more confident about their own creativity, and value it more.  In this spontaneous area of our program we also encourage family involvement.  We welcome your suggestions and want to work in partnership with families to help see all the children in our care reach their full potential.

Thank you for taking the time to read our program information.  We feel that it is important for all of our families to know that we strive to develop and enhance the abilities of each individual child in our care.  As part of our OPEN DOOR policy we absolutely welcome parent comment and discussion.  Please feel free to contact us at any time if you would like to discuss any area of your child’s development.

We look forward to providing your children with a safe, warm and caring environment in which to play and learn, and you with the peace of mind that this will bring.