2021 has been a year of managing challenges, finding solutions and modelling resilience.

The early childhood profession, Australia wide, has had difficulties with staffing because of our reliance on educators from overseas. Nevertheless, SOEL continues to have all of our rooms open in our centres. We have also recruited additional staff to support children over the lunch period.

Staff Wellness

In this second year of the pandemic, wellness for educators, children and families has been at the forefront of our thinking and will continue to be.

As a result, we held out first Wellness Conference. Our first Wellness Conference capitalised on the expertise of our Pedagogy and Training Team with focuses on resilience, mindfulness, emotional literacy, creativity and happiness. Additionally, Sue Crock and Di Murray brought their independent knowledge and experience to support resilience.

The Pedagogy and Training Team also supported the wellness of educators last year through over 100 workshops and staff meetings and over 800 hours of on-the-job training.

SOEL’s journey with wellness includes consideration of our indigenous community, building connections with local groups and continuing SOEL’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

Acknowledgement of Country & 2021 Research Investigation

In 2021 Each centre researched and developed their own Acknowledgement of Country, connecting with place, space and country. Consequently, the blog about the research findings, the research video and the virtual gallery have been informed by the 2021 research. The rhythm of the Noongar seasons acted as landmarks for children and educators.

Our children’s learning has been acknowledged and celebrated directly with families. This was done in 53,000 Storypark stories to 4,000 parents and family members belonging to 1,300 children. As a result, this supports our face to face Dialogues of Learning events for our 3-year-old and 4-year-old Kindy children. These events happen twice a year and work to help strengthen communication with families. Communication about children’s learning, growth, and exploration is vital in what we do at SOEL. Additionally, links with the community have been central to our programmes. These range from connections through fences to regular visits to places of importance to the children in their local communities.

What to Expect for 2022

Our educators are excited about our research focuses for 2022, which will inform our practice now and in the future:

  • Social change occurs when children and educators become superheroes of fairness, social justice, and inclusion.
  • Each family’s uniqueness and stories foster the child’s connection to themselves, each other and the wider world.
  • Becoming through sound, music and dance.
  • Babies engage with their communities in subtle and delightful ways.

We look forward to seeing you in 2022.

Directors

Sarah, Louise, Brett and Genevieve

Building Relationships through Stories

Read about our 2021 long-term research question and how the Kindy programmes have engaged with many ways of telling a story.

2020: A Year in Review

2020 was a year that took everyone by surprise. It was a year of challenges, hardships and growth in unexpected ways. We are so proud of how our educators, families and children handled the unexpected changes 2020 dealt us.

New Year, New Room: What to expect in the first few weeks

Starting childcare and even moving rooms within a centre can be a wondrous time of joy and happiness but, especially if this is your first time using childcare, someone is probably going to cry.