Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Canterbury: 4th week at migrant childcare centre.

I have reached a different stage of my work as a casual childcare staff. This is my fourth week in the migrant childcare centre in the Canterbury area. It is great, as I am paid casual rates (where wages is considerably higher!) and working almost on a permanent block basis as an Early Childhood Teacher at the migrant centre I have been sent to.

This opportunity has enabled me to develop and work on my programming & observation skills for the 2-3s age group. I would definitely just hope it continues to be better from here onwards *fingers crossed*

The thing about developing activities for this age group is that the children are still mostly only babbling, and cannot speak much. They are also developing their Fine & Gross motor skills, so the activities which are planned should be catered for these areas. I would say that a lot of the activities from the Practical Life & Sensorial areas are suitable for children in this age group. However as the centre is not a Montessori centre, I have to find ways of integrating these activities into the programme.

The children really enjoy working with their hands, and materials for the activities are also purposely limited. I have noticed that when the number of learning materials for the activity is limited, the children are able to FOCUS more, and they WORK LONGER & CONCENTRATE BETTER instead of going from one activity to another.
I would say this is the same for example, if one were to go to a food court. If there are too many food choices available, you would not know which one to choose, and may end up not eating anything at all. Also, activities which are put out should "Look Inviting" to them (although they may be the one to mess it up!!!).

Finally, I have come to realise that whether in a migrant, or a anglo-australian childcare dominated centre, parents are all almost alike. They do not like to hear incidences of their children hurting & falling over, so it is most crucial that staff of a centre are vigilant in their supervision of the children when they are out in the playground. Filling in the 'Accident Report" form & having to inform the parent & watch their response to the news is one of the banes of my work that I have experienced so far being in the childcare field.

In my experience of Asian care settings, if these incidences happen to often, parents will feel disatisfied, and may/will pull their children out of the centre. Sometimes due to factors of the children's social connections (the children's friends are all in the centre, and the fact that the child has to adapt to a new setting, or the child always cries in new settings) are reasons why parents may think twice about doing so.

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