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Centre Philosophy

Empowering children’s development through play

We would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri People as the traditional custodians of the land upon which Doncaster East Daycare and Kindergarten (DEDK) is situated.  DEDK has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and parents are encouraged to contribute to its further development.

At DEDK, we aim to provide a nurturing environment where children, families and educators feel a sense of belonging.

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

We are guided by the Victorian Early Years Framework for Australia V2.0, the Victorian Early Years Framework, ACECQA’s National Quality Framework, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics.he United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics. 


Theorists such as Urie Bronfenbrenner, Jerome Bruner, John Bowlby, Abraham Maslow and Lev Vygotsky, influence our daily work with children. Vygotsky’s theory, our major influence, recognises the impact of a child’s family and culture in their cognitive development and that learning is a process of acquiring knowledge, beliefs, and problem-solving strategies through interactions with more knowledgeable adults, teachers and peers. Educators at DEDK work with families and children to extend upon the learning that we believe begins in a child’s home environment.

Relationships with children 

We believe it is important that children form strong bonds with their primary educators. Our educators achieve this goal by ensuring that children are listened to and regarded as active and capable participants in their own learning.  We regard continuity of care for children to be vital, enabling them to build secure, trusting, and nurturing relationships with a small number of educators.  Our educators promote the development of children’s self-esteem, self-management skills and sense of agency, by treasuring and respecting each child, irrespective of gender, ability, race, religion, ethnic or social background. We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle through the provision of a wholesome, varied and culturally appropriate menu and by ensuring children have access to indoor and outdoor play that encompasses nationally recommended guidelines for movement and exercise.

Relationships with families and the Community

At DEDK, we acknowledge parents and guardians as being the most significant people in their children’s lives and regard the establishment of collaborative relationships between educators and families as essential. We strive to provide a culturally safe environment for children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and for children from diverse cultures whose parents have now made Australia their home. Parents and caregivers can assist educators in further developing cultural responsiveness at DEDK by contributing their ideas to our programs. Family members are welcome to participate in centre events and activities and we value open and honest communication with our families, respecting their rights and voices. We endeavor to provide information to families about services available to them within our community and value feedback from families about services and organisations they have found helpful and can recommend to others in our community. 


Our educators are dedicated professionals who are committed to working towards the best outcomes for children and families. We aim to provide educators with professional development from quality sources such as Early Childhood Australia and Melbourne University (Abecedarian Approach Australia) that is research based, relevant to their needs and the needs of the DEDK community. 
We believe in cultivating a team approach where all educators are respected and valued for their contribution to critically reflective discussion - an essential component of our service quality improvement.  
Our educators abide by the Early Childhood Code of Ethics and engage in regular discussion about the Child Safe Standards ensuring that consistent, high quality care is provided to children. 


We know the children attending our service arrive with a ‘virtual school bag’ full of knowledge already learned in their home environments and thus, we believe engagement with children’s families and the broader community provides us with a deeper knowledge of those children. Educator attunement to the individuals in their care enables the identification of a child’s pre-existing understandings and interests.  This knowledge, combined with the additional information gleaned from families, forms the starting point when developing our programs.  

With the provision of tailored experiences, educator interaction, intentional teaching and support during play, we aim to foster joyful engagement in learning, sparking imagination and promoting creativity. Physical activities are incorporated into our indoor and outdoor programs, and promote fine and gross motor development, hand eye-coordination, balance, and a sense of achievement.

Educators seek to instill in children a respect and appreciation for the living environment, and knowledge of sustainable practices with the aim of positively contributing to the future health of our earth. 

Educators involve children in regular reflection and evaluation, allowing them the opportunity to voice personal likes, dislikes, and opinions. Our programs are designed to prepare children for their transition to school and the wider community and assist them to become confident, independent active members of our society. 

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