The Little Cottage – Rich in culture and play

Our mission each day is to…

Provide a safe and nurturing environment for children allowing them to explore and self-express in an energetic and dynamic setting that educators and children can learn and grow together.

Our service community and wider community acknowledge the original owners of our land, the Gadigal people, along with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community and their languages. We believe as part of this community, we have a responsibility to maintain a sense of belonging and promote secure attachments with our children and the greater community. Sustainability practises are embedded within our centre in every day practises through recycling, gardening, worm farm, conserving water and electricity and re using recycled materials to educate through play experiences, increase and support environmental sustainability within our community. The Little Cottage connects with the local community which enhances learning opportunities and embraces the world around us, promoting compassion and care for others.

Children are successful, competent, and capable leaners who are active contributors to their own learning. Children’s rights and best interests are paramount to our everyday practices. They are recognized for their ability to participate in meaningful work, have dreams and aspirations, and their need to play. Children are given opportunities to discover, explore, experiment, create, investigate, problem solve, negotiate and express their ideas with support from educators. Children take part in open ended play; co-operative play, individual play, pretend play and risky play. We believe in celebrating children’s play, discoveries, learning and achievements through praise and excitement, with meaningful documentation and reflections.

Parents/ Guardians and families are valued as partners, collaborators, and advocates for their children. All families’ values, rights, opinions, and cultural beliefs are acknowledged and respected, through sharing honest information, ideas, skills and knowledge between families, community and educators. We value the cultural diversity that our children and families bring to The Little Cottage community. We encourage families to be a part their children’s learning with open discussions and provide feedback about centre policies and procedures, child development and/or concerns, and the educational program.

Educators are appreciated for their knowledge, contribution of skills; support to families and their passion to educate children. Our educators are seen as role models for the children as they demonstrate appropriate behaviours and play for children and use open and honest communication, respect for people, places, resources and environment. Educators value one-on-one and small group interactions to bond and nurture children’s needs. Educators are approachable and open to conversations with families. Educators are considered co-learners with the children as they learn and grow together. We believe a team approach promotes positive outcomes for each child’s learning and to create a warm, safe and inviting environment. We strive for collaboration and open communication with children, families, support professionals, and the wider community. All Educators are encouraged to develop professionally with educational courses that motivate and inspire them to continuously improve the quality of the centre and their teaching. Educators critically reflect on the teaching environment, their practices and the children’s learning.

Our Learning Environment is thought provoking and meaningful, that incorporates sustainable practises and the development of the appropriate milestones for children. There is a homely feeling that promotes security and safety for children, families, and educators. The children participate in long periods of uninterrupted play, educator guided experiences and spontaneous teaching moments. Our program is child centred through goals, strengths, interests, and culture. Play is hands on, challenging, stimulating, open ended, calming, and immersive. The Little Cottage supports and implements the Early Years Learning Frameworks (National Curriculum) and the National Quality Standards (ACECQA) through play and teaching. Our learning spaces allow for children to play independently, in small groups or in larger groups to experience the outdoor and indoor worlds around them. Educators embrace children’s creativity by providing engaging environments and using a variety of resources which support the children to develop and grow. We believe that the early years of a child’s life are when a child’s belief system is formed and children reveal their unlimited potential through a holistic approach to education. The Little Cottage educates the mind, body and spirit through hands-on exploration, creative experiences & connecting to the natural world. We put a huge focus on open-ended, mindful learning & hope to inspire this kind of education as a lifestyle.