C&K is Queensland’s largest early childhood education and care provider, and since 1907 well over a million children have started their learning journey at one of their childcare centres or kindergartens. As leaders and innovators in the field of early childhood education, what sets C&K apart is their philosophy—which values inclusion and diversity and supports the right of all children to a quality early education.
“People often ask us what is different about C&K,” says Kathryn Woods, General Manager of Children’s Services at C&K. “We’re proudly a not-for-profit organisation, and we believe each of our C&K childcare centres and kindergartens is part of the broader community. We encourage children to embrace the idea of being part of that wider community through excursions and visits from local community members, and through our partnerships with other organisations that provide additional support to children and families. We are also very proud of our exceptional National Quality Rating results, which place us well above the national average.”
C&K has its own teaching guidelines Building Waterfalls—a curriculum developed specially for C&K and nationally recognised. Children at C&K services learn through play and through engagement with the natural environment in preparation for school and their life-long learning journey. The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) says play-based learning is ‘a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they actively engage with people, objects and representations’. Children who are immersed in play-based learning environments are supported by educators who pair literacy, numeracy and social skill development with fun.
“At C&K we nurture happy, healthy minds and bodies so that every child can achieve their full potential. We aim to provide each child with a unique learning journey that supports them as they make meaning of their world. We create learning environments where children can feel loved, happy and secure, and have the freedom to think and express themselves,” says Ms Woods.
Educators here value and encourage different perspectives and celebrate diversity and individuality. “C&K will welcome your child as an individual and be respectful of their competence and capability. Our assessments of children’s progress are informed by children’s strengths and by who they are, what they can do and what they can become. Our educators are professionals who seek to understand each child and their learning to make informed decisions about their teaching. We help children build physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development. Children need these developmental areas supported to transition well to school and future learning.”
Children up to 3 years will benefit from C&K’s specialised Birth to Three approach where educators build nurturing relationships with individual children to best understand their needs and to help them reach their potential. “We invest time in building confident, capable and curious children within a supportive environment,” says Ms Woods.
Throughout a child’s time at C&K, educators will be gathering and assessing information and sharing it with parents throughout the year, but also using it to plan for learning experiences that support the child’s development. It helps educators understand how teaching impacts on the individual child and get a better insight into their physical and emotional well-being. “By the time a child is due to go to Prep, we will have a well-informed holistic idea of how to successfully support your child’s transition,” says Ms Woods.
Starting school is a milestone in a child’s life and C&K ensures successful transitions through a team effort involving the child, their family, their kindergarten, the school and the wider community. Each C&K child is also supported by a Transition Statement prepared by educators during the final weeks of the kindergarten year.
C&K is passionate about providing opportunities for children to develop a lifelong love of learning that grows their imagination, resilience and real-world knowledge and skills. There are places available at many of the childcares and kindergartens.
Visit www.candk.asn.au to find a C&K near you!