Tasty teachings at Fairley Early Childhood Service

Photos of a child holding green beans and a child reaching up to pick tomatoes from a plant, with the text YWCA Canberra’s early childhood services place great emphasis on embedding children’s interests into their educational programming through an ’emergent curriculum’. Our educators plan activities and projects around the children’s interests, understandings and aspirations, and adapt the curriculum in response to children’s needs. This educational style helps children develop dispositions for life-long learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence and enthusiasm.

Given how much the children at our Fairley Early Childhood Service in Murrumbateman enjoyed their gardening in November for National Children’s Week 2021, the team has continued working with the preschoolers to care for their vegetable garden and grow food from seedlings.

In December, the children harvested some lettuce, which the Fairley team then offered to their families and educators. Throughout January, they enjoyed hand-picking green beans and tomatoes.

The centre cook, Brenda, has been working closely with the preschool children to incorporate the fresh homegrown vegetables into meals, so the children can enjoy tasting their very own healthy food.

Of course, the educators have used this project for much more than just teaching children about growing food. They have used it to help the children learn through their senses, appreciate the life cycles and sources of food, explore their physical wellbeing and have their own input into creating a more sustainable world.

The children have demonstrated great responsibility for their vegetable garden and even recognise when they need to water the garden or harvest the ripe fruits and vegetables.

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