ResourceSmart Early Childhood pilot
We know that through ResourceSmart Schools, Victorian schools are embedding sustainability into their operations, infrastructure and teaching to help protect our environment, to improve the school’s culture and to support local community efforts. With our stakeholders, we explored ways this can be done in early childhood services during 2013-2015.
The ResourceSmart Schools framework was piloted in nine early childhood services across Victoria. The pilot explored how services can undertake ResourceSmart Schools Core and Energy Modules. Read the summary report on the pilot including cast studies on the nine services below.
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ResourceSmart Early Childhood Pilot summary report
Outcomes of the pilot:
- a completed pilot in nine early childhood services (regional and metropolitan Victoria)
- evidence base of how the early childhood services can embed sustainability (including findings and recommendations for how ResourceSmart Schools can be adapted to early childhood, links to the National Quality Standards, understanding the transition from early childhood to primary school).
- stakeholders who are engaged in and actively supporting the project and education for sustainability more broadly.
Early childhood services involved in the pilot:
|Creative Play Early Learning Centre, Bulleen
Richmond Creche and Kindergarten, Richmond
Beleura Hill Pre School, Mornington
Kinder Haven, Moonee Ponds
Dunkeld kindergarten, Dunkeld
|Gannawarra Children’s Centre, Kerang
Kekeco Childcare, Kilmore
Buchan Kindergarten, Buchan
Poowong Kindergarten, Poowong
Early childhood services are passionate about sustainability. The early childhood participant stories from the ResourceSmart Schools Awards 2014 and ResourceSmart Education Awards 2015 are just some of the many great examples of early childhood services sustainability achievements across Victoria. More stories on the early childhood services sustainability achievements below.
Lorne Kindergarten took out the 'Early Childhood' category in 2015 ResourceSmart Schools Awards. Lorne Kindergarten’s mission in 2015 saw the implementation of their Junior Earthlings Sustainability and Science Program. Junior Earthlings is an original, integrated sustainability and science program that fosters student awareness, engagement and delight in the natural world. The program’s core goal is to enhance children’s understanding that sustainability is more than simply being waste and water wise.
Through an innovative, measurable program that includes excursions, guest speakers and play-based learning, children are guided to an understanding of the environment and their impact upon it, within a framework of scientific and cultural inquiry. Collaboration with educators, local businesses and families provides the opportunity to create a variety of sustainability programs. A new project as part of the program’s ongoing plan is the River Creek Bed where children are encouraged through child directed play to recognise that natural science is profoundly connected to sustainability. Well done Lorne Kindergarten.
Richmond Crèche and Kindergarten
Richmond Crèche and Kindergarten has stood for over 125 years on the same site in the heart of Richmond, making it Melbourne’s oldest kindergarten – and today it’s up there as being one of Melbourne’s most sustainable services’ in an environmental way. The service has been involved in the ResourceSmart Early Childhood pilot.
Jennifer Fowles, Kindergarten Teacher at Richmond Crèche and Kindergarten tells us what the pilot enabled her service to achieve. "The ResourceSmart Early Childhood pilot has provided us with that holistic view of our efforts and we couldn’t move forward without it. Small, but significant, changes we have made, such as switching to hand towels instead of paper towels and sourcing more sustainable products, are now not only viewed as individual achievements but rather a part of our sustainable movement as whole.", says Jenny.
Jenny explains, "the pilot has been an immense help in shaping our visions for the future and offers us an invaluable tool in order to ensure we achieve these visions. We have taken from the pilot many, multi-layered, benefits from having completed our core and energy modules". For more information on Richmond Crèche and Kindergarten's sustainability story, see their case study in the ResourceSmart Schools Early Childhood pilot summary report above.
Early childhood participation in ResourceSmart Schools
Sustainability Victoria welcomes early childhood services wishing to use ResourceSmart Schools to support them on their sustainability journey.
ResourceSmart Schools can offer early childhood services:
- a self-guided framework for education for sustainability using ResourceSmart Schools Online
- recognition through Sustainability Certification – achievement certificates for each Module*
- recognition through Sustainability Certification – achievement sign for Stars*
- rewards through the early childhood category in the ResourceSmart Schools Awards
- curriculum resources and useful links to help your service become sustainable and information to put you in touch with networks, programs and organisations focused on sustainability will be accessible over the coming months.
|*Eligibility for Modules and Stars is the same for early childhood services as it is for primary and secondary schools. As there are no specific benchmarks for early childhood services, services are required to meet primary school benchmarks. This might make it difficult for services to achieve Stars. ResourceSmart Schools has been designed for schools and, although useful for early childhood services, this needs to be considered before signing up.