Thursday, August 17, 2006

Orientation for ECP1002.

Today, six of the students from the university went in to the centre to do their Orientation for ECP1002.

I am going to work with the 2-3 year olds. My group leader leader would be Ann, who is a lady in her late 50s (I would presume). I am actually quite excited and am looking forward
to work with her as she is the most senior among all the staff and has had the most experience among all the staff.

I prefer working with older staff as I can draw and learn more from her, and her years of experience, as say compared with a younger staff, or my partners. However, in this round, I do not have a partner, so it would be mostly myself working in the class, and I am quite fine with that. From experience, I find that Ann would probably expect much more from students, but I am fine with that.

This professional experience would focus on the usage of play in the program, as well as understanding the context of where a childcare centre/school is in order for it to
function and how the different factors affect how the centre operates.

During the orientation, we discussed with the Director of the centre about the history of the centre.The centre is located in the vicinity of the CBD, or the city area of

One of the issues she brought up during the discussion was the privatisation of childcare centres. Some of the childcare centres in Toowoomba have been bought up by a education franchise company.

The director felt that childcare services should not be like a line of supermarket franchise chain, as too much structure would render the customised structure of each centre to be
too "structured" like, and lose the "home feel" of what childcare should be like.

However, in my experience, although she has some validity in her claims, I believe that a centre, or a business, has to adapt to its local context in order to survive. The way that a centre charges its fees has to be acceptable within the range of what parents in the current context is able to afford.

Although the director and staff of the centre may have a specific motto, philosophy, and goals in mind, the education program/curriculum that they put into practice has also to be adapted to meet the tastes and needs of the families and children around the environment, depending on the ethnicity and values of the families in that context.

Apart from that, what the staff can or cannot implement or do, depends hugely on the education legislation of the State in place.

In Australia, each state has its own different governing policies which looks after the different areas.So for example, what is applicable in the state of Queensland, is not applicable in other states, such as NSW, Victoria or Tasmania. Every state has its own different education
system, and it is only in the state of Queensland where students finish high school at 17, as in contrast with other states, they graduate at 18 years.

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