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Have you heard of Montessori education? Maria Montessori was an early theorist of education. She prioritised independence, and viewed children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepared learning environment. At Mary Mackillop Childcare North Queensland we recognise the importance of a thoughtfully planned, holistic learning environment, implemented to support the unique individual needs of each child in our care.

Supporting the Unique Needs of Each Child in a Holistic Learning Environment 

The Early Years Learning Framework guides our pedagogy, principles and practice. The framework states; “Children’s learning is ongoing and each child will progress towards the outcomes in different and equally meaningful ways. Learning is not always predictable and linear. Educators plan with each child and the outcomes in mind.” We ensure that all children experience quality teaching and learning with an emphasis on play-based learning.

Children’s play is an important context for learning. It allows for the expression of personality and uniqueness, enhances dispositions such as curiosity and creativity and enables children to make connections between prior experiences and new learning. It also assists children to develop relationships and concepts. Additionally, it stimulates a sense of wellbeing. By scaffolding and facilitating inquiry-based learning within the children’s play experiences, educators begin to create an atmosphere that supports children’s learning and development.

Everyday Activities Supported at Mary MacKillop Childcare North Queensland 

In our setting, every day includes interactions, experiences, activities, routines and events that are both planned and spontaneous. Educators identify strengths and interests to choose appropriate teaching strategies. Plus, they design our learning environment to support all the age-appropriate learning needs of the children. Educators design learning outcomes to capture the integrated learning and development of all children. These outcomes recognise the importance of emotional, social, cognitive, physical and language development. They support continuing development of skills throughout the children’s individual learning journeys.

Our philosophy supports a strong connection between a child’s social and emotional development. We provide a safe, positive and nurturing environment – understanding that children need this security for growth and development. Children learn about themselves and construct their own identity – to feel accepted through positive experiences. Giving the children a sense of agency within the classroom environment supports positive relationships. In turn, these then strengthen children’s interests and skills in being and becoming active contributors to their world.

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Overall, giving children the confidence to experiment and explore, developing competence and becoming active and involved participants in their own learning – encourages all skills for development and learning in the years prior to school and is our priority at a Mary MacKillop North Queensland service.

For more information contact Mary MacKillop Childcare North Queensland on 4726 3299 or at childcare@mmcnq.catholic.edu.au