There are four different age groups catered for at John Street. They are:
- The Farm Yard Room (4 months – 2 years)
- The Octopuses Garden Room (2 – 3 years)
- Treetops (3-4 year olds)
- The Jungle Room (Kindergarten program with a qualified teacher five days a week)
The Farm Yard Room caters for children aged from 4 months of age. Three educators are assigned to this room and there are places for up to 11 children.
This environment is a warm, friendly and relaxed one with indoor and outdoor areas set up to provide a variety of play experiences for the children. The needs and abilities of children vary significantly in this room according to age and educators ensure that attention is given to all, from babies to 2 year olds striving for independence.
Lunchtime is a fun and only occasionally chaotic time as the children sit in small groups at tables and enjoy a cooked meal – the meals are provided by a contracted firm and the Centre has taken care to ensure a high quality nutritious and varied menu is maintained.
Educators liaise with parents to ensure sleep times for children are in line with the usual routine at home. Children who do not have a day time sleep or are not able to sleep are helped to settle for a rest.
Educators in the Farm Yard Room recognise that parents are often leaving children for the very first time and are sensitive to the needs of parents and children at this time – mums and dads are welcome to stay with their children for any amount of time as this adjustment is made. From the outset communication with parents and understanding the individual needs of the children is recognised as crucial to providing a quality care environment.
We have a specialist singing teacher, with early-childhood qualifications, who provides sessions with all of the children across the Centre on a Friday.
The 2 – 3 year old room at John Street is one of increasing independence. The children in this room are assisted, nurtured and encouraged by educators towards achieving this increasing independence through interacting at the experiences provided and throughout the routine times. We know that learning can and should take place at all times of the day so along with the learning experiences provided, educators encourage developing toileting skills and other self-help skills by making routine times a relaxed and integral part of the day. Educators view each aspect of the day as an important opportunity to extend and enhance the child’s knowledge and understanding of their immediate environment.
The educators in this room are sensitive to each child as an individual and assist them to achieve their desired goal whilst maintaining the child’s respect and offering their full support at all times. There is a strong focus on the use of language throughout the day so the children’s emerging communication skills can be supported as they practice their new found skills.
The 2-3 year old children are also introduced to a weekly Music and Movement session on Tuesday mornings. We are very fortunate to have a teacher from Mangala Dance Studio and this has proven to be a very enjoyable and popular time for all involved.
Upstairs in our 3-4 year old room a calm nurturing program is provided where the children have the opportunity to explore their ever-changing world. The educators in the room encourage the children’s developing skills and foster their increasing independence. By focussing on the individual child’s strengths, the activities are planned to encourage and build on existing skills and learn new and increasingly complex abilities in preparation for their move into the Kindergarten Program.
This small room, of only 12 children, enables the educators to spend individual time with all children across the day. This program has a strong focus on the child within a group environment as the children move to become more social in their interactions and their play. The small group enables focus on co-operation, sharing, working together, collaboration and helping a friend in need!
The Jungle Room
(Kindergarten program with a qualified teacher five days a week, throughout the school term)
The Kindergarten room at John Street is a very busy place with children who are playing, exploring, creating, researching, investigating and learning. Research shows us that children from 4-5 learn far more effectively through direct interactive experiences, so we design our children’s programs to be completely hands-on, whilst focussing on each child’s interests, thereby ensuring the child’s individual needs are being met.
The children are involved daily in a wide range of experiences that take advantage of their natural desire to learn through manipulating materials and exploring new ideas. The Kindergarten room at John Street is organised in such a way as to encourage children to act directly with the programmed environment, to gather information and interpret it in order to understand and make sense of their world. The children in this program also have the opportunity to begin exploring their local community through regular excursions within the local Fitzroy community, and for a sport session at a local park.
A competent fully trained Kindergarten Teacher provides a Kindergarten Program during the morning. She is supported by other highly skilled educators, providing space, opportunity and materials to support children’s play and learning, across the whole day.
The educators at John Street are eager to learn as much as they can about each child’s family, cultural background and past experiences and look forward to meeting you and you child.