During the introduction of the Early Years Learning Framework, Top Kids was selected to be visited by the Minister for School Education, the Hon. Peter Garrett MP as it was regarded as one of Victoria’s leading Early Childhood Education Centres. Mr Garrett read stories to Kindergarten students and interacted with the children in our other rooms too. He also congratulated the Management and Staff on the Centre’s excellent take up of the Early Years Learning Framework and for providing it in such a positive and child friendly environment.
Our facilities are purpose designed and built with the input from international research incorporating design elements that are age specific with a focus on safety and comfort while presenting a varied and challenging environment for the children. In particular, our rooms are large, well lit and ventilated and offer access to multiple and differing play areas. These include indoor/outdoor areas as well as specialised areas for active, passive and creative activities
Our programs are the strength of the service we provide. They are researched, developed and reviewed regularly by our Management Team and are implemented by our Educational Leader. In paritcular, our programs are based on Reggio Emilia and Danish Forest School philosophy and practices and also incorporate aspects of Montessori and Steiner Waldorf. Our programs provide children with sequential development from Nursery through to Kindergarten, while focussing on each child as an individual and acknowledging their unique skills and needs.
In addition to traditional areas of academia including numeracy and literacy we also offer specialist programs including cooking, gardening, socialisation and art.
We report on all of our programs and each child’s individual progress through their Portfolios which parents may view and discuss with our Staff and Centre Directors.
Our Staff are recuited from a broad section of the profession, many of whom are multi-lingual and familiar with various cultural beliefs and customs. Staff are selected on the basis of their qualifications, experience and suitability to Centre philosophy. All Top Kids Childcare & Pre-School staff are required to engage in ongoing training and are expected to have skill sets in excess of what is required by government standards. We also provide a greater staff to child ratio than we are required to so that we can offer superior supervision and can easily accommodate their individual needs.
Key members of our team are trained internationally and our centres are monitored by our proprietors on a daily basis. Our Staff undergo a thorough recruitment process before being employed and we do not employ Staff from staffing agencies.
All resources are purchased new unless there is specific reason not to do so. They are researched and evaluated on the basis of safety (i.e. non toxic finishes, dangerous or loose small parts), are age appropriate and contribute to an early learning philosophy while entertaining and providing a satisfying experience for the child. Many of our resources have a sequential complexity and children benefit from the experience as their minds develop.
Resources are selected on the basis of stimulating the imagination while contributing to principles of literacy, numeracy and logic. Our resources are varied in terms of size, colour, texture, complexity and methodology in which they deliver their purpose and are: reviewed annually, replaced progressively and rotated regularly. We strongly promote the use of natural resources throughout our centres and where appropriate, purpose-built resources that offer children experiences that can’t be found in nature. Each of our Centres also has an extensive library and parents are invited to borrow from them so they can assist with picture showing, storytelling and the beginnings of reading at home.
Our Kindergarten program is one of the best available in Australia. It is a two year program with both years coming under the direct supervision of a qualified, Early Childhood Teacher and is supported by a number of specialist assistants who provide children with specific program opportunities.
We also have a number of important incursions and excursions for the 3 year old and 4 year old kindergarten groups which provide them with a great variety of positive experiences and a sense of genuine adventure and discovery. There is continuous individual assessment, support and guidance, ensuring that every child has as much opportunity as possible to discover and explore what the Centre has to offer. In addition to the above, every child is prepared for the challenges of school and by the end of the year, all children are ready to make a well adjusted transition into school life.