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Supporting children to develop their foundational skills

It’s been a busy first year for Gowrie Docklands Kindergarten.

Gowrie is well known to Docklands families given the strong reputation of its long-standing early learning service at 1 Seafarer Lane.

The team at Gowrie established this new kindergarten in February and it was formally opened by Ingrid Stitt, the Minister for Early Childhood in April.

There’s been a high demand from local families for sessional and integrated kindergarten. As well as enjoying the brand-new facilities, families have seen the benefit of the kinder being co-located with Docklands Primary School. Conveniently, it means one drop-off for families and it means younger children being able to develop relationships with older children at the school and develop their familiarity with school spaces and routines too, which then makes their transition to school much smoother.

“We are really pleased how quickly we were able to establish the learning environment and the programs,” Gowrie’s service leader Adam Shrivell said. “There’s already a strong community developed and families have been able to connect with each other too which has been really valuable, especially during COVID. Our close partnership with Docklands Primary School has been key to this.” 

As well as sharing learning spaces and facilities with the school, Gowrie places a strong emphasis on learning in the community. Children go out and about in the community to become familiar with the wider world around them and to create a sense of belonging to the community and to learn from their different interactions in the community.

It is well known that kinder is an important first step for children that sets them up for life. Children develop faster in their first five years than at any other time. At kinder, they are supported by an early childhood teacher and have the opportunity to learn through play and develop their confidence, curiosity and creativity. Children use play to build their language skills and learn about numbers and patterns. They also learn how to get along with others, share, listen, and manage their emotions. Kinder supports children to develop important emotional and social skills.

Gowrie offers a variety of long day childcare, integrated, and sessional kindergarten programs across its services in Melbourne aiming to support the different needs of families. In 2022, Gowrie will be offering kinder programs for three- and four-year-olds. It means children being able to access two years of kinder and build an even stronger foundation.

“The evidence is clear that two years of kinder is really beneficial for children’s development and it is great that we are now able to offer kinder to three-year-olds,” Adam said. “As children move on to school, we now have kinder places available. This time of year is an exciting one as we meet new families, take them on a tour of the service, get to know them and understand how we’ll be able to support their children.”

Gowrie is currently enrolling at both the Kindergarten and at The Harbour for 2022. Tours are available up to the end of term and in the new year. Call 03 8624 1000 or visit the website •

For more information: gowrievictoria.org.au/docklands

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Balance

May 4th, 2022 - Abby Crawford
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