You may have noticed this year at our Clovelly campus we have started to increase the frequency of our excursions… Outside the gates of the preschool!
As a society we have become increasingly risk-averse, and within the early education industry, the result of heavy regulatory requirements has made the ‘easier’ option to simply avoid the risks and additional paperwork associated with excursions. However, we are in danger of suffocating our children in regulatory cotton wool and we feel it’s our responsibility as early education professionals to find new and more efficient ways to meet our regulatory obligations without denying our children opportunities to explore the big wide world whilst in our care. Life is full of challenges and we owe it to our children to equip them with the skills to recognise risks, assess them sensibly and react positively. You will have noticed that we have started using digital permission forms and improved communication platforms to reduce the administrative burden of maintaining our regulatory requirements.
“For children, a sense of community plays an important role in the development of their feelings of belonging and security. Children thrive in an environment of mutually supportive and caring relationships. For this reason developing a sense of community within a service is crucial. It is also valuable for children to feel part of a wider community that extends beyond the learning environment. As children grow and develop, connections to the outside world help them to find their place in the world, to develop understandings of how society works, and to recognise and understand the shared values that underpin our society.”
(Early Childhood Australia – NQS PLP E-Newsletter No.47)
The ability to build a sense of community through excursions in early education is so effective that it almost feels like cheating. The immersive experience of an excursion for a child and the educators is often so enjoyable it can be easy to forget the how many boxes experiences outside the gates tick in a short period of time. Without really scratching the surface here are a few of the benefits that children get from going on an excursion:
So far this year we’ve visited local shops, primary schools and businesses, Coogee Beach for the Koojay Corroboree and Burnie Street Park.
So what’s next?…
We’re planning to continue building connections through excursions within our local community and potentially travel further afield by travelling on public transport to some of the fantastic facilities and attractions that we are so lucky to have access to in Sydney’s East.