Helena Valley: nomination a step in the right direction for early learning centre

A Step Ahead Early Learning Centre’s Leeanne Rough with Phoenix  Sharp, Bronte Butt and Amy Clarke. Picture: David Baylis           d466914
A Step Ahead Early Learning Centre’s Leeanne Rough with Phoenix Sharp, Bronte Butt and Amy Clarke. Picture: David Baylis         d466914

A Step Ahead Early Learning Centre in Helena Valley has been nominated for a major award in this year’s Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.

Centre manager Leeanne Rough said staff went above and beyond to ensure children received the best education.

“What parents love is that we aren’t afraid to put kids on the bus and take them out on excursions that reflect what they are learning as part of our curriculum,” she said.

“Our Bush Kinder program is very popular as it allows the kids to get away from these four walls once a month and explore their backyard whether at Kalamunda National Park or Lesmurdie Falls.”

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Ms Rough said a new language was taught each month through Lingo Land and the children had developed relationships with older residents in the community.

“We ensure the children have close contact with the elderly once a month from the Regis Aged Care in Greenmount,” she said.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to create bonds as some of our kids don’t have contact with their grandparents and for the residents who may not see or don’t have grandkids.

“The residents and kids love catching up regularly whether it’s to play lego, dance or create a piece of artwork.”

Ms Rough said the industry had changed with child care moving towards more play-based education.

“I love focusing on the hidden curriculum that children bring to your day which is their individual learning that we don’t usually see as an adult,” she said.

“Their outlook on life is magical and they see everything so simply.

“The responsibility of helping raise the children in our care is one we take very seriously and we aim to inspire the children to be as excited about learning as we are.”

Australian Family managing director Paul Clancy said many parents trusted early education and care professionals with their children on a daily basis.

“As the number of children in early education and care and the time spent in care increases, so too does the role of early education and care professionals with their responsibilities extending,” he said.

“There are so many exceptional and committed directors, educators, rising stars and services that we entrust with the social, emotional, physical and educational development of our children that deserve to be applauded for their work.

“The Australian Family Early Education & Care Awards are a wonderful opportunity to thank that special someone who play a pivotal role in the early stages of your child’s life.”

State winners will be revealed on May 23.