Centre Philosophy

Highgate Early Learning Centre (‘Highgate’) values people and embraces diversity, particularly the diversity of the children in our care, their families, our early childhood educators and the community. Through collaborative and effective leadership, Highgate strives each day to be a high quality provider of children’s services in line with government standards and regulations. Highgate is committed to regularly reviewing and revising our Quality Improvement Plan with regard to the National Quality Standards.

At Highgate, we believe that children’s learning and development starts from day one and that their early experiences have direct impact on their future wellbeing. We believe children learn through collaboration with adults and peers, through guided participation and observations of others, as well as through individual exploration and reflection.

We believe the strength of our curriculum lies with the dedication of our professional early childhood educators and we respect their commitment to the children at the Centre. Therefore, Highgate provides our early childhood educators with professional development training, resources, and the freedom to create unique learning experiences for our children. An integral part of this is the provision of appropriate working facilities for our early childhood educators and a positive and supportive work culture.

Highgate’s curriculum incorporates the National and Victorian Early Years Learning Frameworks as well as ‘core learning programs’ that are based on our community’s values. Children learn through play and we provide an emergent curriculum that combines children’s interests with intentional teaching practices to maximise the learning that takes place in the early years.

We value each child as a confident and competent learner. Early childhood educators support children to develop key life skills within a caring and nurturing atmosphere whilst fostering a child’s positive sense of identity and wellbeing. Children who have a strong sense of self develop dispositions for learning and a sense of agency where they are able to make decisions and choices, to influence events and have an impact on their world. Highgate’s curriculum offers a range of learning opportunities that foster each individual child’s interests and strengths as well as promoting resilience, independence, responsibility and respect for others.

The physical environment is designed to be aesthetically pleasing with a focus on sustainability and natural resources. The Highgate community, which includes the children, educators and families, work in collaboration to ensure the physical environment, is safe and suitable for all children.

Highgate promotes responsive, respectful and trusting relationships with children. Children are encouraged to engage in meaningful, open interactions that support collaborative learning opportunities. Using the Guidance Approach, children are supported to manage their own behaviour, respond appropriately to the behaviours of others and resolve conflict.

Highgate values reciprocal relationships with families and the community. Partnerships are based on the foundations of understanding each other’s expectations and attitudes, and building on the strengths of each other’s knowledge. Partnerships involve educators, families and support professionals as well as the broader community in working together to explore opportunities to learn from each other.

Highgate is committed to equity and believes in all children’s capabilities to achieve to their full potential. Educators will continually seek ways to build their professional knowledge and become co-learners with the children and the community.