“Management and staff warmly welcome you and your family to our centre!”
Pobblebonks Early Learning Centre is a privately owned and family run early learning centre. We look forward to working with you and having the opportunity to care and educate your child/ren.
We are a small family grouped Long Day Care Centre with up to 35 children per day. Children may attend on a full time or part time basis. Extra days are available where vacancies exist.
Family grouping is the name given in child care to groups of children of mixed ages, and is named that because its composition more closely resembles that of a family, than the more popular choice of grouping children in care by age.
An important feature of a successfully grouped program is the understanding that everyday routines, as well as experiences or activities, are not only possible but can be beneficial for children and more interesting for the staff in a family grouped setting.
We firmly believe that the family grouped environment we have developed will provide an appropriate setting to foster all areas of your child’s development and we have taken great care in the planning and setting up of the centre to accommodate all age groups and keep siblings together.
The benefits to children are:
- That language development improves very well in mixed age groups where children act as role models for others with fewer language skills. Toddlers grouped only with babies and other toddlers in child care are exposed to a limited range of language skills. In family groups, the younger child is surrounded with language interactions of various levels and complexity, and as a result, may often develop language skills more rapidly than their peers in age group care.
- That social and emotional development occurs appropriately in a family grouped setting. New children settle more easily and feel secure with help from siblings, and older children. The settled children help guide children who are new to the setting to learn what happens during the day, and in the process develop their own self-esteem and self-confidence. They role model sharing and turn-taking with new or younger children. A less out-going child can relax and interact more comfortably with younger children.
- Fewer behavioural problems are a common feature of family grouping. Children of varying ages do not have to compete for the same equipment as their play interests are often very different, and they tend to interact in more positive social ways. There is less aggression and more nurturing of others. Staff who have experienced both same age and mixed age groups say toddlers are more apt to display negative behaviour when with other toddlers. This is because they are all asserting their independence and only just learning co-operation skills. In family groups children learn more positive behaviours from children with a wider age range. The safety of babies is sometimes raised as a concern about family grouped settings, yet we believe babies in age group care have more to fear regarding aggression or injury from another baby or toddler, than from an older child.
- Children develop a sense of family with their classmates. They become a “family of learners” who support and care for each other. Older children have the opportunity to serve as mentors and to take leadership roles.
- The spirit of cooperation and caring makes it possible for children to help each other as individuals, not see each other as competitors.
- Older children model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving, and younger children are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence.
- Physical and intellectual development is also well provided for in a family group setting, since each child is able to play and learn at their own pace. Children learn to accept and respect others’ abilities and can themselves attempt any experience without embarrassment or a sense of failure. Older children are able to model appropriate play and problem solving to younger children while mastering and extending their own development.
The benefits for staff in family grouping:
- Benefits are not only for the children, staff have a more varied and less stressful work day in the family grouped environment where the workload is evened out as the demands from different age groups vary. Staff and children can relate in different ways depending on the situation and age and stage of the child. Another feature of family grouping that benefits all concerned is that there is no beginning or ending to each year, the evolving nature of family grouping and the continuous booking system that we have in place ensures that our programs operate smoothly all year round.
Our educational program embraces the Early Years Learning Framework and we operate Under the Educational and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and assessed under the National Quality Standards.
Pobblebonks received an overall rating of Exceeding National Quality Standards following our Rating and Assessment visit in July 2017.