Feath­ers in cen­tre’s cap

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

CHICK­ENS dressed up in bling might seem a bit odd, but staff at a Coolbellup child­care cen­tre say it is a colour­ful el­e­ment of an early learn­ing pro­gram driv­ing great re­sults.

Meer­ilinga Cock­burn’s Early Learn­ing Cen­tre has been trans­formed over the past five years from a di­lap­i­dated shell into a fa­cil­ity ex­ceed­ing the Aus­tralian Chil­dren’s Ed­u­ca­tion and Care Qual­ity Author­ity’s na­tional stan­dards.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Les­ley Moreschi said the not­for-profit cen­tre’s early learn­ing pro­gram of­fered an in­ter­ac­tive and play-based pre-kindy op­tion for fam­i­lies to sup­port their child’s de­vel­op­ment.

“At the core of the pro­gram is play with pur­pose, a fun­da­men­tal means by which young chil­dren de­velop,” she said.

“We en­cour­age play to broaden chil­dren’s ex­pe­ri­ences, de­velop their imag­i­na­tion, lan­guage skills, strengthen them men­tally and en­hance their dex­ter­ity.”

She said chick­ens of­fered a mean­ing­ful way for chil­dren to de­velop on­go­ing re­la­tion­ships with an­i­mals, with the bling there to help kids tell Olaf, Barry and Hetty apart.

Ms Moreschi said chick­ens taught chil­dren how to be gen­tle with liv­ing things, how to nur­ture and how things were in­ter­con­nected, as well as help­ing to over­come fear of an­i­mals and learn about the im­por­tance of hy­giene.

“Chil­dren have a nat­u­ral affin­ity with and cu­rios­ity for liv­ing crea­tures,” she said.

“Pro­vid­ing mean­ing­ful ways for chil­dren to de­velop an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship with an­i­mals in a preschool can be a pow­er­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.” Jelonek

Pic­ture: Matt www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d460068

Four-year-olds Aubrey Harper-Ul­dum and Henry Ga­jic with a chicken.

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