On 2 December, hundreds of early childhood practitioners from across the state tuned in to hear a panel of early childhood professionals, including early childhood expert Catharine Hydon, discuss strategies to ensure three-year-olds get the most out of their early learning, and how teaching three-year-olds has changed and enriched their teaching practice.
During the seminar, Simpson and District Kindergarten's Jane Bennett and Southern Rise Children's Centre Michelle Muller spoke about children's learning and development being on a continuum, and the importance of practitioners responding to and meeting individuals' needs so that all children feel welcome, safe and confident in their learning.
The panellists spoke about some of the opportunities and challenges teachers and educators face when working with three-year-olds, including as part of mixed-age groups and long day programs, and talked about their approaches to strengthening pedagogy in their own three-year-old kindergarten programs.
The session also focused on practical Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF)-aligned tips for how practitioners can:
- maximise the positive impact of teaching in multi-aged group setting (e.g. three and four-year old children in the same group)
- be responsive and adaptable in programming and planning
- accommodate children's individual learning, rest and relaxation needs within a longer day program
- discuss the benefits of 15 hours of a Three-Year-Old Kindergarten program with local families.
At the session, Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education Sonya Kilkenny MP also launched a set of educational resources now available to services in the 2020 Three-Year-Old Kindergarten roll-out areas. Included in these packs are books, tip sheets, posters and other items to help practitioners effectively support three-year-old children.
These resources are part of a Teaching Toolkit being developed to support all early childhood teams involved in the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten.
The toolkit will include a box of educational resources, professional learning and online content. More resources will be provided in the first half of next year when the supporting program of professional learning and online content is launched.
Services in the 2020 roll-out areas will have priority access to this professional learning and more details will be available in the New Year.
You can watch the session on YouTube:
The panel discussion begins at 26:41 in the video.
You can also download the session as a podcast