Recognition. Fun by name and serious in its success, Giggles Early Learning has been named a finalist in the 2017 Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards.
Giggles is the only Tasmanian provider to be named in the Early Childhood Service of the Year category.
In her submission, owner and early childhood teacher Linda Wooldrage stated that Giggles works in partnership with families to strengthen the link between the service and the home environment.
Along with Linda, there are five full time educators including Dianne Ferguson who has been with the service since its establishment in January 2009.
“Partnerships with families are paramount to everything else, and you work your way down from there,” Dianne said.
There are currently 65 families attending Giggles, and up to 32 children ranging from age one to five are there each weekday.
“I believe that at Giggles every child is seen for their strengths,” Dianne said.
“It’s easy to be seen as the adult and set the boundaries . . . but sometimes just by asking what do you think we can do and being there to support the child, it enables them to make their own decisions and solve their own problems.”
Linda has been on a recent study tour of services in Europe, learning from kindergartens which implement nature pedagogy, exploring natural learning and visiting forest schools.
“She’s gone to see what aspects of that we can bring back and how we deliver that in our curriculum,” Dianne said.
The Australian Family Early Education and Care Awards are the nation’s biggest awards for the early years education sector, now in their 13th year. State winners will be announced later this month while national winners will be revealed in June.
Finalists are required to demonstrate their achievements in practice and commitment to five key areas aligned with the National Quality Standards, they are: improving the wellbeing of the children, improving the children’s program, improving the early childhood service, ongoing professional learning and development and improving inclusive interactions and partnerships with families.