BENEFITS OF MIXED-AGE GROUPINGS
Our Kids early childhood centres cater for children aged 6 months through to 5 years. We believe mixed aged groupings offer many benefits to the children in our care and allows our teachers to capitalise on differences in the experiences, knowledge and abilities of different ages of children.
The Mataki Way centre will have separate areas for under 2s and over 2s as it is a larger centre, but we will still integrate the mixed aged philosophy where possible.
Appropriate, consistent and individualised care and attention is always given equally to the under-2s as it is to the older children at all Our Kids centres.
NURTURING AND LEADERSHIP
In mixed age groupings younger children can participate and contribute in far more complex activities than they would on their own or in groups of their own peers. Teachers ensure the under-2s are allowed the time and space for uninterrupted play, and the freedom to explore and interact with the older children and the environment. Older children can also learn valuable life skills such as nurturing the younger children, leadership and role modelling.
OUR APPROACH TO INFANTS AND TODDLERS
At Our Kids we believe strong relationships are important. Our teachers observe, listen to gestures, body movements, facial expressions, and sounds to recognise and respond meaningfully toward children’s needs and interests. Caregiving routines such as feeding and nappy changing provide natural opportunities for quality time and to promote attachment with teachers.
Our teachers are familiar with research on how the infant brain develops and with this knowledge they support and extend their curiosity by creating areas, providing open-ended objects and experiences that offer opportunities for child initiated learning to help under-2 children learn and grow.