Head, heart and hands – a story of sustainable growth in early childhood
“Everyone on this planet shares a responsibility to live in a way that embraces life” Gillian Barclay Director Moreland Community Child Care Centres (MCCCC)
The MCCCC believes in fostering a positive attitude towards the environment from an early age. As a community child care centre we have the opportunity to influence the way that our children, our staff, our parents and our community take on that responsibility. The future we hand on to generations that follow will be the result of decisions we make today.
Our choice is to create a future where we care for country, communities and a healthy environment. We are working to create a tomorrow for our kids that is brighter than today.
What have they done?
A couple of keen parents and educators established a sustainability committee for MCCCC in early 2015. In 18 months they have:
- Embedded sustainability into the strategic plan and five year goals of MCCCC
- Assessed sustainability initiatives of other early learning centres
- Switched to a renewable energy provider
- Established a sustainability staff interest group
- Installed solar panels at 2 of the 3 centres
- Conducted site assessments with Positive Charge
- Conducted energy, waste and water audits
- Conducted staff training in sustainability with ResourceSmart
- Included sustainability as a selection criteria for new staff, employed a Sustainability Educator and ResourceSmart Coordinator
- Purchased a Green printer
- Conducted a LED lighting retrofit to one of the centres
- Been nominated for an award!
We are planning to provide a holistic approach to environmental education at the early childhood level. This involves policy, play experiences and strategies for working with children, staff and parents. Next steps include engaging families and the wider community in implementing sustainable practices into our everyday lives.
- Building sustainability into the curriculum for children at all centres
- Running a bush kinder pilot project
- Switching to compostable or cloth nappies
- Planting trees to provide shade in summer
- Minimising waste, championed by Jim the cleaner
- Communicating regularly with parents about our progress
Engaging parents and the broader community on sustainability with fundraisers, fetes, workshops and events