Our Educational Program
The educational program includes a variety of open-ended, play-based experiences that will encourage your child to explore, investigate, and engage in a rich learning environment. We understand that every child develops and learns in unique ways and has unique learning dispositions, strengths, abilities and interests. The learning environment has been designed to inspire curiosity and engage with the natural world.
What a play based learning program looks like at Bubup:
Emerging Interests: We balance intentional teaching with a child-led emergent curriculum, responding to current events in society and children’s lives, and using these topical experiences as the catalyst for learning and discovery.
Music: We use songs in our program not only as a tool in intentional music and movement group times but throughout the day as a means of communication.
Big Body Movement: Our generous yards allow for varied arrangements of equipment to support children’s gross motor skills as their focus of development changes throughout the year.
Sustainability: A focus on supporting children in building a respectful relationship with the natural environment around them aligns with our centre wide commitment to sustainability. Children actively engage in our sustainable practices throughout the day.
Indoor/Outdoor Program: Our flexible environment which provides children access indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the day allows children to regulate as they navigate the space and choose their learning experiences.
Flexible Routines: We provide flexible routines for all children to support consistency and continuity between home and care as well as to allow for children’s choice.
Mealtimes: Mealtimes are treated as a valuable learning experience. Through progressive mealtimes with small groups, we support children to develop a healthy relationship with food and use this time to nurture our child-educator and child-peer relationships.
Rest and Relaxation: Access to sleeping mats and calm and relaxing spaces both inside and outside of each room supports children’s self-regulation and emotional wellbeing.
Early Numeracy: Through open ended learning experiences as well as through our daily routines, children can explore mathematical concepts such as volume, physics, sorting and classifying as they notice and discover the world around them.
Early Literacy: We understand the importance of language development in the early years of literacy and we support this through having purposeful conversations, singing songs and reading age appropriate books.
All educators take an active role in developing, creating and documenting the educational program and children’s learning. The educational learning program of your child’s group are displayed in the learning environment and families are encouraged to contribute and share feedback.
We are proud to offer a number of learning initiatives which support children’s social and environmental awareness, wellbeing and creativity.
Taking care of our planet today for the families and children of tomorrow. Sustainability is a pivotal element that guides and leads Bubup’s programs and practices across all of the centre. Through ongoing staff training and with a commitment to innovative and creative solutions to a wide range of sustainability issues, Bubup is able to exceed the national standards that are required. “The children are consistently engaged in learning projects, excursions and daily tasks that promoted their understanding of environmentally sustainable practices and respect for the environment.” (Page 19, ACECQA 2019 Assessment and Rating report).
Minimising our use of electricity, gas and water provide opportunities every day to model sustainable practices with the children. Solar panels on the roof provide the energy for our hot water system and we are currently exploring the feasibility of adding extra panels to meet our energy needs. The use of fans, blinds and windows help to control the temperature and light requirements of each room and air conditioners are used if required. A bank of rainwater tanks collects and stores water from the roof and this is used for irrigation of the garden. The children, supported by the educators, are able to water areas of the garden such as pots, vegetable beds and planter boxes that are scattered around the grounds.
Bubup operates a zero-food waste system; each day some of the kitchen scraps are collected for the children to make compost for our gardens and all other food waste is collected by a commercial food waste composting service. We actively engage in eliminating single use plastics across the centre from the kitchen to the rooms through use of reusable food containers, eliminate packaging by making our own glue and paint where possible. Recycled paper and card are used for play, art and craft activities. Each room has a two-bin system for recyclables and also landfill items. The use of loose part items, both natural and manufactured, are used for play which supports the children’s learning, creativity, and problem solving as well as reducing the need for single use craft items. Special events such as Xmas, and Parents’ Day gifts are created being mindful of their environmental impact. Families are able to drop off recyclable items at the recycle station at the front of the centre as well as cans and plastic milk bottles.
Families are also encouraged to participate in local and national environmental projects such as Clean Up Australia Day and community tree planting. Cleaning throughout the centre, is conducted using plant based, chemical free products, colour coded microfibre cloths and steam cleaning is used when required. The children are able to explore and engage with the large outdoor play spaces that include cubby houses made from recycled wood plus garden beds and pots that grow a range of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, native grasses and exotic species of plants. This diverse range of plants are used for sensory experiences and provide opportunities for the children to witness the wonder of the natural world and the passing of the seasons throughout the year. Bubup Womindjeka Family and Children’s Centre offers rich and authentic sustainability experiences for all of the children, families and staff ensuring they are taking care of the planet today for the children and families of tomorrow.
A significant component of the Bubup sustainability programme is the unique opportunity presented to the children, of the Bubup Bush excursions. The program provides children with the opportunity to engage with the classical landscape of Australia, the bush. We visit the community created bush garden at Lagoon Reserve, right next door to Bubup so we walk there, holding hands as we leave the centre. The children attend in groups of 4-6, one room at a time and are supervised by educators from their room with 1 educator to 2 children so this is usually 2-3 adults, the kinders attend as a class. The visit is usually from 1-2 hours and led by our Outdoor and Sustainability Coordinator. The bush allows the children to encounter many adventures such as freely exploring the landscape, crunch through dry leaves, climb over logs and trees, view wildlife and enjoy the unique pleasure of being in an open and special place and doing so safely whilst being supervised.
The InterG Project
InterG’s began as The Intergenerational Pilot Project aiming to contribute to making Port Melbourne a more connected community by providing an opportunity for active older adults and young children to meet and develop relationships by participating in a range of activities together in an early childhood setting. Volunteer, active local retirees, who are not related to the children, visit Bubup throughout the week on a day that suits them and they usually stay for 1-2 hours. They engage in a range of activities such as gardening, indoor and outdoor play and as an extra pair of hands for Bubup bush visits Our InterG’s have become an important and unique aspect of the programme at Bubup and their success is measured by the welcoming smiles and looks of sheer delight on the faces of the children when they arrive. InterG’s continues to inspire and direct our commitment to create an integrated and inclusive community whilst ensuring positive learning outcomes for the children and families. The InterG programme was selected as a presentation for the Early Childhood Association national conference in 2019.
Children can be: Same and Different | Strong and Gentle | Fair and Friendly | Kind and Brave
We are proud participants of Star Health’s Being Equal Program; a promotion of gender equality and respectful relationships across all programs within the service. Our team creates an environment of play and learning that empowers children to realise that they can be anything, regardless of gender and ability.
Smiles 4 Miles
We are proud to be part of the Smiles 4 Miles program. Smiles 4 Miles is an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) which works in partnership with organisations to improve the oral health of children, their families, early childhood educators and the wider community. A dentist visits the centre annually for an informative session with the children before a dental check-up for Kinder aged children. Healthy eating and dental health is promoted in the learning program through conversations during mealtimes, whole group learning around fruits and vegetables, and small group learning experiences about what to put in a healthy lunchbox.
We actively seek opportunities for children to be involved and engaged with the community. Our community connections are so important to the ethos of our centre. This includes regular outings as we visit services and facilities around Port Melbourne, including our local parks and participate in community based events. In the Early Years Program, we have a weekly music and movement program, Hey Dee Ho. In our kindergarten program, we have a weekly sports and exercise program, Sports 4 Kinder.
Loose parts are open ended materials that have unlimited play possibilities. They can be natural, such as leaves and stones or manufactured such as plastic caps and fabric samples. Loose parts provoke rich, meaningful play experiences as there is no specific way to use the items. Loose parts supports the development of imaginative play, promotes critical and creative thinking, the creation of transient art pieces, and helps children to build a confident self-identity as it is the child who directs the play and their creations. Loose parts are gender neutral, suitable across all ages (being mindful of safety issues with the younger children) and are friendly to the planet. Items which may have found their way to land fill are repurposed and gathered together at the end of play to be enjoyed another day. The range of loose parts items provide rich sensory and language experiences for the children and build the necessary foundation for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) learning. Bubup has a loose parts library available to all rooms and staff receive ongoing training in the use of loose parts in promoting active learning.
At Bubup Womindjeka Family and Children's Centre we understand the importance of introducing road safety from an early age. Children are our most vulnerable road users. Their unpredictability and their intrinsic curiosity to explore their surroundings coupled with their limited understanding of safety and their developing understanding of sound, distance and speed puts them at risk around traffic.
In 2021, we participated in the Road Safety Inquiry Project posing the question, “How can we make our children safe upon arrival to and departure from Bubup?” This exciting initiative was part of the Starting Out Safely program and was designed to expand our understanding of road safety education. As a result, we have embedded road safety education into our programs starting in the nursery rooms all the way through to our kinder. We also provide information on road safety laws and use of car restraints to all families who utilise the services here at Bubup.