At North Ringwood Preschool, we respect the environment and the way in which children learn, we connect children with their local community and we encourage creative thinkers and problem solvers who take safe risks. Many of these values in our philosophy resonate with a bush kinder program.
We have developed a bush kinder program for both 4-5 year old groups starting this year, in 2019. As an extension to our indoor-outdoor program, going 'bush' will give children the opportunity for play at a deeper level, a sense of belonging and time to 'just be', as well as the social, emotional, physical and cognitive benefits.
The program would operate offsite at BJ Hubbard reserve, a short walk from kinder, for 2-3 hours each week, year-round. If you would like for your child to participate in the program or would like more information - please contact us on 9870 5418.
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost?
There is no extra cost to attend Bush Kinder, it is included in the 15 hour/week kinder program.
Where is the bush kinder site?
We have council permission to use an area of natural bushland and open recreational space in BJ Hubbard Reserve (Evelyn Road, Ringwood North). Our site is located south of the carpark, convenient to the toilet facilities.
The first few weeks of kinder include orientation sessions, where staff will be getting to know your child and your family. We will also take the time to introduce children to the tools they can use to manage risks when out on excursions - through the dog safety incursion and road safety training. Excursions will increase in duration at the bush kinder site, as children become more comfortable with their new surrounding and responsibilities.
If after speaking with staff, you feel the bush kinder program is not for your family, you have the option to join us 2.5hours into the session, at the kinder premises for the remaining duration.
What happens during bush kinder?
Educators from North Ringwood Pre-School will be on site when you and your child arrive. Once your child is signed in, they are free to play in nature at their own pace, exploring within the boundaries set out. The program will be influenced by the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) and whilst the children appear to be climbing trees or looking for insects, educators will be scaffolding this learning through discussions and affirmations, following the children's lead and encouraging further thinking and reflection.
How does my child get there?
Families will drop off their child at the bush kinder site (BJ Hubbard Reserve Evelyn Road, Ringwood North) at the beginning of the kinder session. At the end of the bush kinder session, educators and children will walk together with their belongings from the bush kinder site to the kinder premises, using the walking tracks and footpaths where available, then continue on with the session.
Ideally we will be making weekly visits to the area, year-round in all weather. Similar to the kinder program, we ask you to dress your child appropriately for the weather (closed toe shoes, sunhats/beanies, sun cream, wet weather gear).
In the unlikely event bush kinder is cancelled due to extreme weather warnings (eg. high temperatures, high winds, etc.) families will be notified by email or SMS at short notice. The session will begin at our kinder building (Lockhart Road) should this occur.
Staff will have access to first aid kits and mobile phones on site and in the event of an incident/illness will follow the same policies and procedures that apply to the kinder premises, including notifying parents/guardians. All staff maintain a current Level 2 first aid qualification, as well as anaphylaxis and asthma management training.
Should your child have medicine that requires refrigeration, there is a fridge available. During enrolment and orientation, please discuss your child's requirements and medical plan with staff.
We have access to a toilet and hand washing facilities at the reserve. As per our Hygiene Policy, children wash and dry their hands before eating.
Children bring their own food to kinder, including snacks, lunch and a water drink bottle. Both the snack and lunch* should be prepared as your child likes to eat it, eg. apples chopped. As we promote healthy eating throughout our program, we ask you to leave treats (sometimes food/celebration food) for home.
You may wish to pack the snacks and lunch separately to make it easier for your child to distinguish between them and to ensure food is spread out over the day for maximum energy. Think 'Nude Food' - reusable containers with compartments or smaller snack pots and food without packaging, to reduce the waste that goes to landfill.
*For more information on snack suggestions- please refer to the Kinder Handbook.
A risk assessment has been prepared for this routine outing and is available on request at the North Ringwood Pre-School premises and bush kinder site.