Childcare centre sets up camp with outdoor sleeping program
WHEN it comes to early childhood development, innovation is key, which is why one local centre is working hard to create new and exciting programs for their cohort of kids.
Educators and managers at Bundaberg's Paisley Park have been working hard behind the scenes of their early learning centre.
From learning about different textures and materials in the natural resources corner, to learning to cook using nutritious ingredients from the garden, the curriculum is both fun and educational at the same time.
So when the centre's director Jodie Tangikara and 2IC Bianca Petersen started to develop new and exciting activities, they knew they had to think outside the box and initiated a sleeping outdoors program.
"There are so many benefits associated with sleeping outside and it allows the children to get in touch with nature and take a moment to listen to the trees blowing in the wind or birds chirping," Ms Petersen said.
"Some kids never really relax but sometimes when you change their routine up a bit, it allows them to really focus on achieving mindfulness and relaxing their bodies so that they can get up and go again afterwards."
The response from parents has been so positive that the centre is now looking to incorporate sleeping outdoors into their regular program.
"Parents love it because it's not something the kids would think to do at home so it's a bit different for them and the kids love it because they think they're camping," Ms Petersen said.
"We're thinking of even placing some tents in the yard to extend the program that little bit further."
In addition to the sleeping outdoors program, the centre have been placing reading in playgrounds around the region, for children to enjoy, whether they attend the centre or not.
Serving as a miniature scavenger hunt, it promotes reading and quality family time.
Children who find the books are welcome to either keep them or hide them again for other local kids to discover and enjoy.
With the aim to educate children about animals of all shapes in sizes and to show their support for the local community, Paisley Park recently started fostering two alpacas named Cressida and Ella, from Splitters Farm.
Through fostering, donations help fund food, medical expenses and essential supplies for the rescue animals.
Weekly excursions are set to commence in the coming weeks, for the entire centre to visit Cressida and Ella on the farm.
The two new additions are not the centre's first adoption, with Jeremy the budgie, Bonnie the blue-tongue lizard, two guinea pigs, chicks and goldfish all living onsite too.