A Natural and Child-Directed Approach to 3-Year-Old Kinder

The 3-Year-Old Kinder Room has 10 positions per day for children aged between 3-4 years with two educators, including a Diploma Qualified Lead Educators and a Cert III Co Educator.

The room follows a play-based, emergent curriculum with a flexible routine that includes progressive meals and indoor/outdoor play.

Our project-based work is based on the children's interest, and is a highly effective way of extending their learning.

A child's sense of agency and resilience is developed in the three year old kinder room by providing them with experiences and opportunities to be responsible for themselves and their belongings, helping them manage considered risks and understanding their range of emotions.

The environment is set up for self-selection and to provide opportunities for the children to:

  • Develop skills to build on their relationships and friendships and to learn how to invite themselves into play.
  • To develop their sense of agency and self-help skills, such as filling water bottles, making beds, caring for their belongings, serving themselves at meal times, dressing themselves and toileting.
  • Developing good communication skills and building their confidence and vocabulary so they are able to express their needs and concerns.

Educators establish professional reciprocal relationships with families to provide to provide a holistic approach to their child’s development and learning.

Our Flexible Schedule:

From 7.30am : Drop off & playtime indoors/outdoors
9:00am : Progressive morning tea
9:00am-11:30am :  Kinder program with child and educator initiated learning & Indoor/outdoor play
11:30am : Progressive Lunchtime
12:30pm-1:00pm : Group Time
1:00pm-3:00pm : Sleep/Rest/Quiet time
3:00pm : Progressive Afternoon Tea
3:30pm-6:00pm : Indoor/Outdoor –  Pickup

Learning Approaches

Organic Learning

In the 3-Year-Old Room we focus on problem solving, trial and error experimentation and persistence, which provides children with a base to develop their disposition for learning to use in kinder, prep- and life! Literacy and numeracy skills are developed within both planned and spontaneous experiences. Educators use conversations and activities to integrated pre-literacy skills and draw attention to reading, words, letters and counting and highlight their usefulness and interest.

The Project Based Approach

The project based approach starts out and ends from the children's interests. It constantly extends as long as the children's interest does as well. This approach is dependent on the children, rather than an activity planned by an adult that is noninclusive or ignores children's preferences. It encourages children to scaffold and extend on their own learning, while the educators provide the provocations and tools to do so. The project based approach teaches children how to learn and develop on their interests with guidance from an educator.

"Children like to investigate. They enjoy learning about the world around them. The Project Approach involves children in studies of things that interest them and are worth knowing more about." -IEL, Dec 2015

The Play Based Approach

Play is incredibly important for children, not only because it is an important tool for social, emotional and physical development and wellbeing, and is a child's right, but it is huge source of children's incidental learning and experiencing of the world. MELCC takes a play-based approach for children's development and education, which is supported by the Early Years Learning Framework, which states:

"Playbased learning [is] a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations." -Belonging, Being and Becoming, EYLF Australia

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I love picking my daughter up and she shows me what they’ve done for the day. She is so proud of the papier-mâché volcano that explodes, the igloo with ice and butterfly paintings..one week they were pirates and had treasure hunts!’
— MELCC Parent

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We changed day care mid-year and were blown away by how warm and welcoming MELCC is and how experienced the Educators are. I hadn’t realised what a community it is and our son is thriving!
— MELCC Parent

Alex Cox is the Lead Educator of the 3YO Kinder Room (and also The Educational Leader for MELCC) and Terri Sambrook is the Co-Educator.