Our Philosophy at Toormina Community Preschool is based on the following beliefs in relation to children, families, staff, the learning environment and the community. Our preschool embraces the elements of the Early Years Learning Framework including its principles, practices and learning outcomes. This is reflected through our ongoing commitment to education, training and support. Our preschool acknowledges the traditional custodians of this land, the Gumbaynggirr people and pays respect to Elders past and present.

Our goal is to support children in captivating their natural curiosity and helping it to flourish into a love of learning. We believe children learn and develop through play-based experiences. This is the natural way they become active participants in learning as it enables them to explore their environment, make discoveries, solve problems and work through developmental stages. Through quality interactions and intentional teaching we strive to empower children to become confident and fulfill their life’s journey. We believe children thrive when provided with a wide variety of provisions and experiences which are based on individual and group interests, needs and strengths. We believe it is important for children to explore these provisions freely and regularly. Our day is planned to allow children choices, time and space. We believe children gain a sense of agency from choosing if they would like to play indoors or outdoors and we offer this choice in our daily routine.

We aspire for all children, staff and families to gain a sense of belonging to our preschool and the community. Our children are valued and respected, their voices are heard and their interests supported. We whole heartedly appreciate community contributions and show gratitude in our interactions with the community. We understand the importance of connecting with people and accessing services and agencies to support our children and families. We aim to work in partnership with families in the care and education of their children. We strive to establish strong connections with families and between families to enhance social capital. We value the skills, interests and beliefs of our families and educators and encourage their participation in all aspects of the preschool. Educators are thankful for the hard work of the committee likewise the committee is thankful to the Educators. This is evident in the relationships we build with each other and the mutual support we provide. We embrace that we are a Community Based Preschool and we have many future goals to work towards together. Educators honour, respect and foster the diversity of families and our community. We aim for that diversity to be reflected within the service. We believe all people deserve equal opportunities. We accept, welcome and value the uniqueness of all individuals and families regardless of family structure, ethnic, cultural or socio-economic status. We believe effective communication is essential between all people involved in our service. It needs to be honest and open and respectful of all involved, being sure to maintain confidentiality.

At Toormina Community Preschool children’s independence is encouraged. Opportunities to practice this occur daily. Independence develops a sense of worth and leads to high self-esteem and a strong sense of self, especially when efforts are acknowledged and encouraged. We believe the relationships between the educators and children are warm, nurturing and based on respect and kindness. This is something that we truly pride ourselves on. We believe the educators at Toormina Preschool display positive attitudes, work well as a team, communicate openly and honestly and are influential in helping the children and families feel a sense of belonging. Educators advocate for the children, the Preschool and their job, leading by example and acknowledging the important role they play.

The learning environment contributes to children’s behaviour and development. The environment is aesthetically pleasing and where possible natural resources are utilised. The environment is a safe and secure place where children are protected and guided to take appropriate risks. The program stems from the children’s current interests and also includes ideas of families and educators. We value and respect our natural environment to help children understand they are global citizens. The children are encouraged to explore and care for all living creatures. The preschool embraces sustainable practices and educates and empowers children to work towards a sustainable future. The environment is set up to create a calm, safe and happy atmosphere. This is achieved by providing adequate resources and small areas for children to engage in experiences and relax. This is also achieved through verbal communication with children to discuss ways to stay safe and happy at Preschool. Educators encourage the development of friendships between children and model socially appropriate ways to interact. Learning centres remain fixed for extended lengths of time to create continuity for the children. That way they can feel secure in the fact that they know where to access materials. Our main aims for the children in our care is best described in the Early Years Learning Framework (2009, p.5) ‘All young Australian’s become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.’

Philosophy last reviewed – May, 2013. The philosophy was contributed by all stakeholders including staff, committee, parents and children.