Currawong Early Childhood Service
A convenient, family-centered early learning service
Currawong Early Childhood Service is a 92-place, family-focused practice that provides quality services for our community. We provide education and care for children age six weeks to five years.
We are centrally located in the parliamentary triangle in Barton, on the grounds of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). While we prioritise access for families who work with DFAT, we also provide care for other families.
Our dynamic team of caring, expert educators work collaboratively with our families to provide a service that meets the needs of their children. We believe children are capable and competent learners that construct their meaning of the world around them and use structured play-based learning to facilitate this.
Fees for our children’s services contribute to supporting our community through housing programs, community development, youth engagement, and education to prevent domestic and family violence.
Our team is very diverse, with educators of varying ages and cultures. We have qualified educators from around the world who speak a wide range of languages. Our diverse backgrounds provide children with a wide variety of experiences and cultures to explore, grow and learn from.
Emily has worked in the early childhood education and care sector since 2008. She joined YWCA Canberra in 2016 and took up the position of Centre Director at Currawong in August 2019.
Emily holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Services (now called a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care) and a Diploma in Leadership and Management.
As an advocate for children, Emily is passionate about providing them with the opportunities to be empowered and drive their own learning. Her philosophy is that children are inquisitive learners and that our role as adults is to guide their learning by providing them with tools to extend themselves further.
Based on significant research demonstrating the importance of learning environments, our indoor and outdoor spaces are welcoming, stimulating, and responsive to children’s interests and needs.
Our environments support children’s learning and invite conversations between children, early childhood educators, families, and the broader community.
Inside, we have five defined learning areas configured for:
- nursery (two rooms)
- junior preschool
Each room has learning and play spaces appropriate to the children’s age and development. These spaces include a focus on multiculturalism, self-expression, imagination, and sensory experiences to enable children to learn, grow and develop physical skills.
We encourage indoor/outdoor play with our beautiful and spacious outdoor area. Our established trees provide opportunities for shaded year-round access to this space.
At Currawong Early Childhood Service, we believe in supporting every child in our service to become confident and capable life-long learners who are empowered to make their own decisions.
We develop caring, respectful relationships with children by partnering with families and communities to support children’s growth and development, creating a better future for tomorrow.
The educational setup of our service provides opportunities for children to engage in structured mixed-aged learning experiences through our open-plan shared outdoor area and our community art space. Mixed-age learning and play has significant benefits for children. It allows siblings to interact and gives children opportunities to play and learn from those outside their age group. Older children develop supporting and nurturing behaviours, while the younger ones learn social skills and language, and develop further confidence.
Routines (such as mealtimes, sleep time, toileting, and group times) are an intrinsic part of our program. They provide a sense of consistency and predictability and are used as a framework for the rest of the day.
Through our routines, educators empower and interact with children in relation to their daily experiences. Although we place great importance on the educational component at Currawong, we also ensure ample time for games and free play.
We value children’s voices and input, and base our educational programs around children’s needs and interests.
Our educational program facilitates children’s decision-making while scaffolding their learning, in partnership with families.
We create individualised programs for the children in our service based on a 10-week planning cycle. Through observations of each child, we develop tailored educational plans to support each child’s developmental needs. We provide two comprehensive summative assessments per year completed by qualified early childhood educators.
We have deep connections with the DFAT community. We are regular visitors to the auditorium, where we listen to the DFAT choir and engage in events such as science shows, end-of-year parties and celebrations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories.
We are always seeking new ways to be involved in our community, such as our participation in the Floriade Community program.