Child care professionals play a very important role in shaping children experiences. YMCA Brisbane Outside School Hours Care is about creating endless experiences for children and this includes art, craft, sports, games, cooking and other leisure activities. We support and nurture interests from children and this forms the foundation of our outside school hours care program.
Our role as an educator is to shape their thinking as they share their experiences. This could involve being a role model to the children by following the right practices or being a teacher to facilitate opportunity for growth, learning and developing new skills. Sometimes we are their best friend and sometime we compete with children in games to see who wins! In all, we take pride in shaping children’s experience at YMCA OSHC.
At this age children learn significantly through imitation. As they grow, children are exposed to a range models. They learn from their parents, grandparents, sibling(s), uncles, aunties, teachers and other individuals they come across in their daily life. The child care professionals also play a role in modelling effectively by being a role-model themselves. As child care professionals, we always think about the behaviour we need to follow that youngsters can follow. Their learning commences right in the morning at the breakfast table. Children learn how to use the table manners and get inspired from the staff members as they enjoy breakfast together. They observe the staff members wearing hats and shoes for their own safety and children think about their own safety.
At YMCA OSHC we follow children initiated program. Our role is to facilitate the activities by pooling a range of ideas together. Children bring in wealth of knowledge from their personal background, school and everyday experiences. When children are provided with the opportunity to share this knowledge, it not only develops their confidence, but also enhances their knowledge as children contribute to each other’s learning. Children develop a sense a belonging which is crucial to their identity that shapes ‘who children are and who they can become’.
Care environment at YMCA OSHC are welcoming spaces for children and families. We encourage children to share daily experiences in morning and afternoon sessions. As they share, other children in care learn how to respond to the joyful experiences or empathise with children with gloomy experiences. However some children are quiet introvert in sharing experience and this is when an educator becomes their friend. They adopt an open approach to allow children to express their feelings. This allows children to relieve their stress, sadness and anguish, thereby reducing the burden on their chest.
We play a range of games and sports at YMCA OSHC. Staff members and children compete against each other to determine who is fit enough or intelligent enough in the competition. Although children are the clear winners in majority of the competitions, educators achieve the goal of teaching and developing a range of important skills. At YMCA OSHC we promote healthy eating habits and a number of physical activities. Early development of healthy lifestyle may not only lay foundation for the later years, but the benefit extends to the development of social and intellectual skills.
YMCA Brisbane Outside School Hours Care is an ideal place in shaping good experiences. There is plenty of opportunity for the child care professional and parent/guardians to work in partnership to grow and develop children in the care. We understand the importance of play and leisure in children’s learning and the fact that it is not limited to any particular time or place.
Written By Pradeep Salunke, YMCA St Pauls’ OSHC Coordinator.