Many of the Sutherland Shire Community Based Preschools were the original services that provided Early Childhood Education and Care across the Shire since 1938. These services have been offering quality and affordable education to preschool children primarily in the 3 to 5 year old age bracket.
Over the years these services have changed and adapted to the changing landscape of community needs. Throughout this time the services have worked together and supported each other as colleagues.
The Sutherland Shire Preschool Alliance came about as it became evident that community based preschools needed a more formal endeavour to have a greater voice when advocating to government bodies to ensure quality is maintained for the benefit of the children and families.
Currently there are 15 community based preschools, funded by the Dept. of Education that are members of the Sutherland Shire Preschool Alliance. All member preschools have agreed to the Strategic Direction and Values as these will guide the activities of the Alliance now and into the future.
In the words of Maddalena Tedeschi – Educator Reggio Emelia – REAIE Conference Sydney 2017, –
One of the tools spoken about to achieve this is documentation. Documentation of our values will connect us to each other, the children, the families, the community, funding and regulatory bodies.
Our values need to reflect the depth of what we do so that we, as providers of Early Childhood Education, can be interwoven into the fabric of the community.
We endeavour to sculpture the Alliance into the hearts and thoughts of families and the community.
Our values are the cornerstone of the Alliance.
Community Management and Involvement through internal and external stakeholder structure which fosters strong and meaningful communication.
Relationships with children, families, community, member preschool colleagues, Federal State and Local Governments and Regulatory Bodies.
Play Based Learning that enhances the child’s ability to experiment, problem solve, question, investigate and discover.
Critical Reflection and Documentation that leads to high quality learning and greater outcomes for children.
Advocacy – we strongly believe that positive change is affected by working together in the best interests of children.
The Alliance will work together in the best interests of the children and families of the Sutherland Shire and will act in a manner that will enhance the standing of the early childhood sector and specifically, community based preschools. This involves the full understanding of role responsibilities and obligations combined with collegial practice and collaborative decision making.