Learning through Play – The GSN Programme

Play Based Learning

What is play based learning?

Play based learning appeals to children’s natural curiosity and desire to engage in experiences based on their interests, strengths and developing skills as they make sense of their world around them. Opportunities for large blocks of uninterrupted and unhurried time rather than small amounts of time to explore.

Play based learning supports children’s development by connecting with their individual interests and developmental stages as they explore their natural curiosity of the world around them. Play based learning encourages children to explore, question, challenge, find meaning and learn to solve problems. Including a variety of open ended planned activities and resources as well as self-explore independent play is the key to play based learning.

Why is play based learning important?

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning.”

Fred Rogers

Through play children are able to explore the world around them and challenge their own abilities.

Including children’s individual interests and needs when planning and engaging with the child through activities supports the development of a positive attitude towards learning. Encouraging children to explore their learning further with open ended activities and resources available is the key to extending their learning through play experiences.

In Home Childcare and the EYLF

You may be thinking “But isn’t it just babysitting” – simple answer: no.

Our Nannies are professionals dedicated to supporting children grow and develop. They have studied various Early Childhood courses and professional development training, the best use of this knowledge is to put it into practice. You are not just paying someone to watch your child for a few hours, you are paying for a Professional Nanny to nurture, support and educate your child as they grow in the home environment.

EYLF Learning Outcomes
1: Children have a strong sense of identity 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
4: Children are confident and involved learners 5: Children are effective communicators

GSN Curriculum Design

Our Educator Nannies dedicate an hour each week developing weekly programs of Play and Learning specific to your child/ren’s individual developmental needs and interests. With guidance and support provided by our Programme Mentor Belinda, our Educator Nannies deliver a quality curriculum in the home environment.

Programme Inclusions

Our programme inclusion focus areas have been developed based on guidance from the EYLF Curriculum with a strong focus on Play Based Learning.

  • Exploring Our World
  • Inviting the Imagination in
  • Let’s Get Moving
  • Creative & Sensory Play
  • Fine Motor/Cognitive Play
  • Connecting Through Communication
  • Encouraging Identity & Independence
  • Every Day Essentials
  • Intentional Teaching Focus
  • Child Initiated/Spontaneous Play

Personalised Programme Development

Each child is different and so no two programme’s are the same. Whether it be the child’s interests, developmental stages or learning style. Our Programme is used as a guide to support learning in the home environment, however it is not a strict to do task list, we are flexible and follow children’s guidance on what they would like to do each day, extending on these interests and incorporating intentional teaching in various ways.

The Nanny Fun Bag

Giggles and Smiles Nannying are known for our use of the “Nanny Fun Bag” full of age appropriate resources based off your children’s interests and programme inclusions for the day.

By providing external resources, children have often shown excitement over “what’s in the Nanny Fun Bag today!” and actively participating in activities together.

Whilst the Nanny may bring a bag full of fun activities on the day, if the child shows no interest or wants to do another activity; whether together with their Nanny or independently; we believe in following the child initiated play and extending on their interests at the time.

Fun Days Out – Excursions & Outings

Learning doesn’t have to be just in the home environment. Our Educator Nannies plan purposeful outings for children, whether it be a walk through the park to connect with nature, a trip to the zoo to learn about animals or attending a local play group/library story time to connect with other children in a social setting. Even picking up a few groceries can be a learning experience for children, with our Educator Nannies engaging in conversation with the children it turns an errand into an intentional teaching opportunity. i.e: The Nanny may say: we have a list of items to get today, let’s find them together, how many items are in our trolley, do we have everything?

Record of Learning

Our Educator Nannies utilise the Australian Nanny Communication Diary to record a daily log for families to review as well as the app Storypark for Families to share photos of the play experiences their child has engaged in.

In their hour of planning each week, our Educator Nannies develop the programme on our Weekly Curriculum Planner, documenting proposed play and learning experiences. Following these experiences, our Educator Nannies will often write reflections of activities, observing the child’s development and assessing any areas to focus on extending from the experience.

Each child is assigned a portfolio in which our Educator Nannies maintain their records of learning. This includes a variety of reflections, observations and developmental assessments conducted throughout their placement with the Educator Nanny. We also provide quarterly reviews on children’s learning, this is also emailed directly to families for their reference. Families can request to view their child’s portfolio at any time.

The SAFE Giggles Program

Introducing the SAFE Giggles Program, an initiative delivered by Giggles and Smiles Nannying to support children and families in Nurturing Positive Safety Behaviour. Ensuring families feel supported and children feel safe and protected by those who care for them.

As a Child Safe Organisation, Giggles and Smiles Nannying are dedicated to supporting children and families. Part of our role includes raising awareness and educating children, families, nannies and the community surrounding Child Protection and Child Safe Practice.

We will be rolling out our program over the coming months with Nannies who attended the SAFE Series Workshop training provided by the Office of the Children’s Guardian. Focusing on Nurturing Positive Safety Behaviour through use of the SAFE Series books and our own activities with our Nanny Children.

Interested in being involved in our programme review? Contact us now to have your say as we roll out the Safe Giggles Program over the coming months ready to be formally launched 2020 with our Nannies and their assigned families.