Explore & Develop Conder, located in the southern suburbs of Canberra, is a purpose-built service that caters for children from six weeks to six years of age. We are conveniently located in the heart of the Conder community, adjacent to the Lanyon Marketplace shopping centre and in walking distance to local schools.
Explore & Develop has recently taken over the ownership and management of this location and is now ready to welcome new families.
We provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ environment where children and families feel they belong and are part of our community. Indoors, we provide a calm, relaxed, unrushed learning environment that encourages imaginative play and exploration. Our outdoor areas feature nature play-spaces where children can run, play, imagine, explore and learn.
Explore & Develop’s philosophy is that children are competent and resourceful learners from birth. At Explore & Develop Conder, we seek to extend that learning in partnership with children and families.
As children create connections with their Educators and peers at Explore & Develop Conder, they will gain a sense of belonging to their environment. This will in turn provide a platform and secure base for them to be able to confidently explore and become autonomous. When children gain a sense of autonomy, their self esteem is boosted and transfers into their other areas of learning.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child to Explore & Develop Conder.
Combining care with education allows us to ensure your child will learn in a loving and safe environment. From taking their first steps to being fully prepared for their transition to school, we will be with you all the way. All these milestones are a priority for us to assist not only your child, but you as a family as you undertake the early childhood education journey with us.
Our service has been thoughtfully designed to provide interesting and engaging resources that encourage your child to play, learn and grow. We provide an environment that is stimulating and nurturing, all the while providing appropriate challenge and risk for children.
Families are the first and most influential people in children’s lives. We aim to work in partnership with families and encourage parents to engage with our service through our open-door policy.
We are committed to providing our Educators with an environment that encourages them to be at their best. Retaining excellent Educators is a high priority for us, so you and your family can build strong supportive relationships for the duration of your child’s time with us.
We are committed to offering ongoing professional development, which in turn ensures the programs we offer families are current, innovative and supportive to the needs of children of all ages.
All meals at Explore & Develop Conder are cooked fresh daily. We source local produce and deliver nutritionally balanced meals as part of our everyday offering. Good nutrition is an important part of every child’s development, so we aim to make mealtimes fun and interesting.
We see your child’s education journey to be from birth to five years. Our Junior and Senior Preschool programs offer a curriculum that is aligned to the outcomes defined by the Department of Education.
Transitioning your child to school successfully is a priority to us and it’s important that we assist them to gain the skills to thrive beyond their early childhood education.
Sarah Simpson has worked in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector for over 20 years. As well as being a mum to three children, she has a Diploma in Children’s Services and is currently studying her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Teaching.
Sarah is a Canberra local resident, having settled in the area once her husband was discharged from the Army and commenced working at DFAT.
Sarah loves the local Conder community and area and has a passion for ensuring children are treated with respect, love and care. She believes all children are capable individuals and have a right to voice their opinion on matters that affect them. She also believes in supporting children to become independent and encouraging them to learn new skills that will help them achieve this.
Our aim is to foster a welcoming and home-like ambience, where children and their families feel a sense of security and belonging. The indoor learning environment for this age group is calm and nurturing; with room for children to explore at their own pace. Age-appropriate resources are placed meaningfully at children’s reach to suit their stage of development and pique their interest, allowing for exploration of their environment through play.
Our focus is on relationships, to ensure each child feels safe, secure and supported. In order to achieve this we provide a loving and caring environment that nurtures and respects each child’s individual sleep and feeding routines. We offer a comprehensive orientation process; gently transitioning the child and their family into our care; taking time to build trust and a deep rapport. During this time, we want to get to know families well; learning their culture, beliefs and values.
We offer calming areas, inviting children to rest and create their own pace to the day along with areas aimed to foster independence.
The indoor learning environment is a welcoming space designed to promote a feeling of home, providing children with a sense of wellbeing and belonging to the service.
A variety of natural and open-ended materials are provided for children to interact with, fostering the development of children’s imagination and creativity. As we support independence, we not only build their self-help skills, but also enable them to develop a strong sense of self.
Spaces within the room are adapted to children’s interests and are responsive to their abilities, catering for different learning capacities. Our learning environment offers age-appropriate experiences where movement, cognitive development and imagination are all considered in our curriculum planning.
During the toddler stage many transitions are occurring, and we strive to support families and children as their skills emerge and expand. We work with families to ensure these transitions are well managed and enable toddlers to gain confidence and self-esteem.
The environment and program are vibrant and flexible and responsive to each child and include puzzles, literacy and numeracy activities, construction activities, creative arts, music and pretend play set-ups.
Junior Pre-schooler’s social skills are forming, and they are beginning to appreciate their peers and what they contribute to the world.
They are learning to take responsibility for their routine, their belongings and the structure of the day, developing independence.
In the Junior Preschool room, we continue to build on the foundations that will ensure a lifelong love of learning for all children to become capable and motivated learners through independent life skills, nurturing and growing self-confidence, gross and fine motor co-ordination, literacy and numeracy confidence and developing an emerging understanding of maths and science concepts.
Our Educators focus on encouraging the development of the whole child and utilise the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) as the foundation of our preschool curriculum to achieve this outcome. Our Educators aim to drive a sense of inquiry; scaffolding children in their interests; and move a single learning experience into a sustained interest.
Learning journeys are undertaken in both small and larger group settings and allow the children to think, discuss, question, research and experiment with their ideas and interests.
4 – 5+ years
As a Senior Pre-schooler, your child is now demonstrating their ability to explore concepts; and contribute to their curriculum.
Elements of the Early Years Learning Framework will now extend cognitive learning, fine and gross motor skills, social and emotional interactions alongside literacy, numeracy and STEM concepts.
There will be focus around preparing your child for a formal school environment; such moving towards more critical thinking; taking care of belongings, and self-help skills.
As an Explore & Develop graduate, your child will be school ready and the transition to a formal school environment will be less stressful for you and them.
Our senior curriculum has an emphasis on equity, inclusion, fairness and social justice, as well as fostering social and emotional skills such as curiosity, resourcefulness, independent thinking, problem solving, initiative and perseverance.
Supportive Educators and stimulating environments are provided and children within these rooms engage in hands-on exploration and considered risk-taking, providing them with the tools that will support learning beyond Explore & Develop.
We have created several varied play spaces that are natural and diverse and include a variety of plants and shrubs. Each space not only provides opportunities for children to release energy and engage in physical activity, but also to explore, problem- solve and engage in creative expression.
Explore & Develop Conder provides a texturally rich, natural outdoor environment for children to explore. Visually appealing play spaces provoke the children’s imagination in a variety of ways to challenge their development holistically.
Every child has the right to experience the outdoors, breathe fresh air and enhance their well-being and development through regular outdoor play. Established trees, shrubs, garden beds, rocks, grass areas, edible gardens, and sandpits offer opportunities for open-ended imaginative play and a variety of sensory experiences. These opportunities allow children to strengthen their sense of agency and gain an understanding about their natural world.
Our environment inspires Educators to explore with children, to listen to their ideas, and promote deeper thinking and enquiry. We encourage children to develop a love for and affinity towards nature as they engage in the outdoor environments. Children learn best through hands-on experiences, and this is achieved through the many sensory experiences we offer.
Our generous outdoor space is designed to provide children with freedom to explore and discover. We utilise the outdoor environment as the third teacher, placing value on aesthetics, organisation, thoughtfulness, provocation, communication and interaction.
The care and attention we pay to organising space outdoors stimulates the children’s imagination, creativity, exploration, discovery, engagement and sense of wonder.