mi kids early learning service in New South Wales
Tanya: Hi Melissa. I notice you are a newly participating Be You early learning service. Can you provide some background about your service and team?
Melissa: mi kids is a small family owned early childcare centre that opened in October 2018. The owner/director of the centre had a very clear vision, to change the way in which early childcare is delivered. This means that our centre has specialised educators which include an art teacher and an Inclusion Support Educator that diversify children’s learning experience.
The learning environment is fully inclusive no matter what a child’s needs are. Educators are supported to ensure that our care environments cater for every child’s unique needs and style of learning.
Our team comprises of 13 staff that each have experience and a willingness to continue their education for the improvement of themselves and the mi kids children.
Being a new centre, we are constantly evolving to ensure best practice and to ensure that our beautiful open spaces are being utilised in the most organic and purposeful ways.
Tanya: I love your strong inclusive focus, and your openness to continued learning. How did you first hear about Be You?
Melissa: Upon reflection, our Inclusion Support Educator and our Director realised that the needs of our senior pre-schooler’s readiness were not being met. We had been catering for their physical, social, language growth and aspects of their cognitive development but had not spent enough time supporting them in building resilience.
So, we knew that we had to find a way to build this so we could send our senior pre-schoolers out on their big school adventures prepared to deal with the realities of the world.
With this our Inclusion Support educator began searching for an initiative that could help us teach resilience. In her search she came across Be You and quickly realised it was for us
Tanya: That’s great to hear! So, why Be You for you and your team?
Melissa: Be You offers flexibility, variety, resources, support and tools. With Be You, myself and our Director, with the support of our Be You Consultant, have been able to spend the time doing the relevant Be You modules and piecing together how to use this new found knowledge and get the best from our team.
Tanya: How did you introduce and get started with Be You as a team?
Melissa: The Director and I are in the process of using the Be You Reflection Tool to identify our areas of needs before we move on to creating a plan which will include introducing Be You to our team. We are mindful that in an already very busy environment we don’t want to overwhelm our educators.
Instead we want to empower them with information and tools that will inspire them both personally and in an educational capacity.
Tanya: Agree completely. Do you have any next steps planned?
Melissa: We are hoping that our plan can incorporate a whole community approach, where although our focus will be on resilience, targeting predominantly our senior pre-schoolers, that we involve their parents and our educators to create a mentally healthy community.
We are firm believers that parents are their children’s first teachers. If we can empower them, we can work as a team to help our pre-schooler’s be the best little people they can be and to deal with the ups and downs of school life.
Tanya: Thanks so much for your time Melissa, it has been wonderful to hear your Be You story. Lastly, do you have a favourite resource, or Be You Action, that you would recommend to other educators?
The BETLS Observation Tool is a brilliant resource to incorporate into everyday practice
It provides an insight into a child’s social and emotional learning and how this is possibly impacting their behaviour. It prompts educators to think about where to go to from here.
Also, the Reflection Tool is a great resource when starting out to help a service better understand the areas that they need to focus on. In a centre we often perceive our systems to be “working” because nothing has happened or gone wrong.
But the Reflection Tool promotes deeper thought and highlights that there is improvement and indeed areas that can be “tweaked” and/or completely changed for the betterment of all stakeholders involved.
If mi kids experiences have inspired you, why not register your learning community with Be You.