Tuesday, July 18, 2006

ECP1001: Day 2 in Preschool Room.

Today was my 2nd day of the practical experience. I almost slept in this morning! However, the only thing I noticed was that I was not as tired as the first day I came in. This I would attest to the fact that I had a very long nap the night before. And as I thought, perhaps the first day would always be the most difficult.

Today I had a look at the childcare centre's programme implementation and policies. It was heartening to be able to have access to information, as it gave me a better understanding and idea of what was expected from the staff, and this included volunteers who came in to do their practical experience. It was a different experience from what I had in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, access to these kind of information is limited, and most centres do not really take kindly even to students who would like to come in to ask about their programmes which are implemented. I thought it would be the same here, but it seemed not. Perhaps in a sense, it is almost similar where the centre may like more children to enrol for the reason of the business thriving, but in retrospect, from what Belle says, it is pretty standardized in the way childcare centres are run.

I feel that in context of Australia, it probably is not how much the children can learn, since all and most schools here run a play based programme. The Australian government subsidizes some of the childcare costs (depending on the level of income earned by the parents), so it is that the costs is probably not that much of a concern? I am not too sure about this since it is only my own point of view. It is a good question that I could pose to the staff, and see what kind of different answers they will give me.

In countries like Australia (and other western countries), childcare is expensive, and is paid by the number of days that children attend. Unlike Malaysia, kindergarten school fees are paid by the month.

I think it is expensive because human labour is expensive, and that there is a minimum wage for every hour that staff come in to work. The minimum wage some of my university mates are earning for part time jobs are about 18 dollars an hour. If it comes to a childcare centre, I would think that it would cost more, as the staff would have to be trained to do the work.

Today we had two children in the class I observed who were not physically as "grown" as the rest. When I asked one of the staff, she said that the children were switched over from the younger classes. The reason for this switching over, as I come again to understand, is based on the fact that not all children come to childcare centres on a daily basis, and only on certain days.

Which explains my next point, about the disinfecting beds. As the children were rotated between the two classes, they did not sleep on the same beds each time.

One of my uni mates told me that, if the beds that are going to be slept on by a different child the next day, it had to be sprayed with disinfectant. Theoretically, it made a lot of sense, but in practicality, it still took a while for it to sink in, as it was not a common practice that I was used to.

By the time I ended my practical today at 4.15 (because I came in at 7.45pm), I was not as tired as I was yesterday. Which IS a good thing. It just shows that my body is getting physically adjusted to it after all.

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