Centre Philosophy

Empowering children’s development through play

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At DEDK, we provide an inviting, warm and nurturing environment where children, families and educators feel a sense of belonging.

As educators, we know a child’s early years are a critical development period forming the foundation for their future wellbeing and lifelong learning.

We are guided by the Victorian Early Years Framework, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics. The following childhood learning theories form the basis of our teaching philosophy:


  • Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Model – social interaction plays a fundamental role in developing cognition and collaborative learning. Modelling and scaffolding are strategies for supporting the intellectual knowledge/skills of learners and facilitating intentional teaching.

  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model – the inherent qualities of a child and the characteristics of different environments in which the child finds himself interacting influences how the child will grow and develop.

  • Bowlby’s Attachment Theory – an emphasis should be placed on the importance of relationships and their influence on social, emotional and cognitive development. Educators need to understand the importance of responding sensitively and appropriately to a child’s unique needs.

Relationships with Children

We view children as individuals who are competent, successful and capable active participants in their own learning. Educators support children to develop agency and self-expression. All children develop at their own pace and in different ways so we empower children with the skills and knowledge to help them develop mutually respectful and rewarding relationships in a diverse and multicultural society.

Family and Community

We understand the significant influence families have in their children’s lives as primary educators/caregivers and the benefits of building a meaningful partnership with them to enable:


  • collaborative efforts supporting the continuity of care

  • respectful, open, honest communication/feedback

  • shared decision making towards the best outcome for the child

  • parental involvement in activities/events at the centre

  • access to additional support and resources relating to other available services in the community.

We follow an ‘open door’ policy and invite families’ participation at any time of the day. We believe that connections with the local community enhance learning opportunities.

Qualified Educators and Tailored Programs

Our educators are passionate, enthusiastic and highly qualified and are committed to developing programs that help children thrive and flourish. We follow the Kathy Walker learning approach to planning where emphasis is placed on intentional teaching tailored to suit the individual child and making learning relevant.

Our educators believe in the importance of play as the lifeblood in the learning process and scaffolding children’s strengths and interests through stimulating intentional and spontaneous play experiences.

We strive to foster the development of crucial life skills covering:


  • problem solving

  • critical thinking

  • determination and resilience

  • creativity

  • intrinsic motivation.

Our curriculum is inclusive of children with additional needs and every child is supported to participate in the program. Educators foster and build on relationships, getting to know each child well and respond to their individual needs, and build on their strengths and skills to ensure they have equal opportunities to participate and learn.

Incursions and events encourage engagement and provide learning opportunities. The curriculum is highly influenced by children, families and educators – we welcome your feedback and input!

Healthy eating and physical activity are embedded in the program. We positively model a healthy lifestyle, which is supported by our balanced, nutritious menu that also caters for the dietary and healthcare concerns of individual children.

Environmental awareness is developed by educators who instil respect and appreciation for the living environment and share knowledge about sustainable practices.

Commitment to Quality

We focus on continuous improvement across seven quality areas under the National Quality System (NQS) and are proudly rated as Exceeding. We also support our educators in attending regular professional development.

Doncaster East Daycare and Kindergarten has a NQS rating of exceeding