The team at Explore & Develop Annandale believe building relationships is the cornerstone of our practice. Our relationships with children, families and community inform our decision making, our philosophy and practice. We work within a philosophical framework of a sustainable future and are guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.
Our Philosophy (Abridged)
We create a culture of meaningful relationships with children, families and the community through the rituals and learning environments that support our community.
We believe children come into our world filled with knowledge. Through their relationships with others, they learn from, learn with and allow us to learn from them.
Humans learn through play. We support children to express their knowledge, communicate their emotions and make sense of the world through play.
We believe that children are infinitely capable and trust in their decisions, we give them the space to express their agency and assess their own risks. We also trust in each other as a team of professionals.
Inclusive practice is informed by a belief that every child has a right to education and to feel safe and supported. We aim to create a culture of inclusivity through the relationships we build with children and families.
We believe that in order to care for our world children need to be connected to the land as Aboriginal people have done for thousands of years. Excursions make our children visible in the community, seeing children venturing ‘out the gate’ to connect with the pockets of green in our urban landscape.
Our children participate in regular walking excursions to parks and local shops. We attend community events like NAIDOC at Glebe Public school and have created books documenting the children’s exploration and expression of Annandale.
Our commitment to sustainability comes from our continued learning from our first Australians. Being a sustainability community is essential to us; our team works continuously to make environmentally conscious choices and include children in these practices. We have a native beehive in our roof top garden, and actively participate in environmental projects including: Take Three for the Sea, The Boomerang Bag Project, Plastic Free Boy, Inner West Eco Festival, ABC War on Waste, Plastic Free July, Redcycle.
We adopt an anti-bias approach and invite all families to be a part of our community. Our team constructs curriculum and challenge each other to confront personal bias to ensure our curriculum reflects the diverse world in which we and children live.
We use tools such as Be You and other research to guide and support our community’s mental health.
We have cultivated a strong culture of critical reflection and continuous learning. Educators regularly speak at professional conferences, including the Early Childhood Australia Conference, Aboriginal Early Childhood Conference, ECEEN conference and Nature Play conference.
Su Garrett has a Bachelor of Arts (Human Movement Studies), Advanced Diploma in Accounting, Certificate III in Children’s Services and is currently studying an Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management.
“It is my goal to provide a learning environment where:
As the Approved Provider and Nominated Supervisor, I am in the service daily and work closely with lead educators in providing a high quality curriculum. Ian and I own and operate Explore & Develop Annandale and work together to support our three children. We are both very active in our local community especially in sport.”
We absolutely Love Explore & Develop Annandale, and have been members of the community since it opened. The care and love that Su and her team give to the children is exemplary. I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made for both of my children’s child care.
Grace and Max have grown so much, in their care, and I will be very sad to say goodbye in December, as my youngest leaves for school. I have never worried about leaving my children in their nurturing care. Max is so excited to go every day and see all his friends and continue interacting with them all on the amazing, ever changing, projects they engage the children with.
I know the waitlist is very long, but it is worth the wait, I can’t speak highly enough of the centre and staff and have recommended many many friends to the centre, with no hesitation.
I will be so sad to leave but we will be back for visits, the kids will insist!
Explore & Develop Annandale is a business which prides itself on ensuring a high standard of care and facilities. The staff are warm and welcoming and the level of care and responsibility starts at the top and is cascaded down to all employees. I feel very comfortable leaving my most precious possession being my little girl in their care.
From the moment I walked into Explore & Develop Annandale for a tour, I knew it was a special place. I saw garden beds and tyre swings, happy children and smiling staff. There was a simultaneous sense of calm and joy. Once my children started attending, I leant that this was no accident but rather a flow on from the passionate, informed and considered leadership of the management, Su and Ian, backed by a carefully selected team. Each person in the centre works towards making it a safe, happy and productive place.
For us, with two children grappling with multiple food allergies and intolerances, this “special” consideration involved individual meal preparation, careful menu consultation, and the management of medications and even a separate suncream. There has been constant communication as the children have grown (and, in some cases, outgrown intolerances.) It has never appeared a burden to staff but rather simply another facet of each child’s uniqueness.
I have seen these same principle of inclusivity extended to children of various special physical and psychological needs at the centre, as well as an embracing of cultural diversity.
I will be forever grateful for having happened upon the centre that day, for the safe haven it has become to our family.
The other day I was speaking with another Explore & Develop Annandale mother who commented that dropping your child at the centre was really like “leaving them with a family member, you can’t wish for anymore than that.” This could not be more true for our family. We have been so blessed to have both our children cared for, loved and taught by Su and her amazing team. In fact, next year there will be a large hole in our lives as we will no longer have a child at the service. Su, Ian, Melanie, Jessica, Mr Chris and all the other staff have created the most enriching, exclusive and loving environment for our children, so much so that I don’t think a better childcare experience could be found.
Thank you so much,
Marina & Adam Robinson
Within our birth to 2-year environment we have 2 small groups of children: Echidnas and Bilby’s
4 educators led by an Early Childhood Teacher
Child-led ritual-based program
Indoor outdoor program
Excursions into the local community
Development of strong relationships with families
Within our 2 – 5 environment we have 3 small groups of children: Koalas, Wombats and Possums preschool
Two indoor environments and the outdoor space are open to all children
Inquiry based program focusing on focus on social and emotional learning
Regular excursions in the local community
Children are encouraged to develop independence in the transition from preschool to Kindergarten
Embedded early literacy and numeracy through real life experiences