Child care cen­tre goes sus­tain­able

Hastings Leader - - News -

Cathy Sher­wood and Claire Rolls are jump­ing on the eco-friendly band­wagon at Launch ac­tive early learn­ing child care cen­tre.

The pair founded the Pakowhai Rd cen­tre two years ago and say they are pas­sion­ate about pro­vid­ing qual­ity spa­ces for chil­dren, fam­i­lies and teach­ers. Cathy and Claire have de­signed Launch around the con­cept of sus­tain­abil­ity and ac­tive early learn­ers and take an ac­tive role in car­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment and con­tribut­ing to a sus­tain­able fu­ture.

“As a busi­ness, we have both the re­spon­si­bil­ity and op­por­tu­nity to do the right thing,” Claire says.

Re­spon­si­ble pur­chas­ing is some­thing they are com­mit­ted to, which is why they have moved away from sin­gle use plas­tic car­rier bags and are now us­ing wash­able nappy bags for each child’s wet and sandy cloth­ing.

“It is im­por­tant to us that we make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to our fam­i­lies, our com­mu­ni­ties and our en­vi­ron­ment. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re re­ally com­mit­ted and ac­tively work­ing to­wards re­duc­ing the need for un­nec­es­sary plas­tic and pack­ag­ing in our busi­ness.”

Claire says Launch is com­mit­ted to ex­plor­ing and im­ple­ment­ing ways to save wa­ter and en­ergy, re­duce waste, ex­pand chil­dren’s en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion and foster sus­tain­able life­styles. Their ap­proach to ed­u­ca­tion for sus­tain­abil­ity (EfS) for young chil­dren is an ex­pe­ri­en­tial one, pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for child-ini­ti­ated ex­pe­ri­ences that sup­port chil­dren to learn through dis­cov­ery, us­ing ev­ery day teach­able mo­ments.

Launch also of­fers Farm School, a na­ture-based learn­ing pro­gramme for chil­dren aged four to five years.

“It uses a child led learn­ing phi­los­o­phy in an out­door en­vi­ron­ment for chil­dren to learn about na­ture, prob­lem solv­ing and tak­ing small man­aged risks.”

Pos­i­tive learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in­clude learn­ing about wild life, care of farm an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment they live in, flora and fauna, ma­chin­ery and equip­ment and safety around th­ese as well as cre­at­ing a sense of un­der­stand­ing about the world. When a child turns five a cel­e­bra­tion of the child’s jour­ney with fam­ily and friends is at the farm and each child plants a na­tive tree in the Launch for­est as they leave for school.

They say they be­lieve in en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to learn about en­vi­ron­men­tal and con­ser­va­tion is­sues, with em­pha­sis on us­ing nat­u­ral and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, wise wa­ter us­age, power sav­ing, re­cy­cling, worm farm­ing, veg­etable gar­den­ing, waste min­imi­sa­tion and pos­i­tive re­gard for all things, con­sis­tently try­ing to find other ways to re­duce their im­pact.

Launch ac­tive early learn­ing child cen­tre in Pakowhai Rd is now us­ing wash­able nappy bags for each child’s wet and sandy cloth­ing in­stead of sin­gle use plas­tic bags.

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