Sustainability is embedded in the philosophy of Mundarda Child Care Centre in Seville Grove. Staff at Mundarda consciously reduce the amount of waste the centre produces. If something is broken, they will consider how it can be repaired. Paper use is minimised by using electronic communication as much as possible, such as the use of an app to communicate with parents. Materials for children to build and create with are sourced from family members and from REmida, a creative waste reuse centre.
Energy use is reduced by hanging out washing to dry, using daylight instead of lights where possible and being careful with air-conditioner use. When children go on excursions, they walk or use trains as much as possible, further reducing their impact on the environment. Children learn about natural cycles through keeping silk worms and growing mushrooms and save water by reusing handwashing water on the centre’s gardens.
Throughout the year children learn about and celebrate many cultures through events such as the Diwali festival of light and NAIDOC week. They have also been on excursions to Champion Centre to hear Aboriginal Dreaming stories.
In 2016, Mundarda began their Bush Kinder Program which provides opportunities for young children to spend time in natural areas in and around Armadale, discovering the animals, plants, rocks, soil and other features of our bush – and just having fun!
Mundarda staff sought advice from the City of Armadale about suitable sites to visit, where children could experience the bush, whilst also having access to hygiene facilities. Educators and families at Mundarda are excited about the excursions, which are run in leisurely and unstructured ways.
On their visits children are able to experience the weather and seasons and learn about the needs of plants and animals. The Bush Kinder Program helps to build many skills – from language and vocabulary and gross and fine motor development to developing empathy, ‘helping the environment’ and ‘working together’. Afterwards, back at the Centre, children and staff create interactive displays with collected materials and photographs.
Bush Kinder experiences are recognized as being of high value in early childhood education. They develop a sense of place in young children and can foster a life-long sense of environmental stewardship. Claire Siaus at Mundarda is very happy to be contacted for more information about the Centre’s program. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9497 3091.