Growing Green Minds
Chatswood Early Learning Centre’s Commitment to Sustainable Education
Our Sustainability Policy
Experiences in the early years provide an opportunity for life strong learning, that our habits of future years will be influenced by the actions of those around us now who help us to see, to feel, to question and to value our world (NSW ECEEN, 2022) As an education and care community, we can encourage and increase awareness of environmental responsibilities and implement practices that contribute to a sustainable future . Children can be supported to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment. Environmentally sustainable practices should be practiced consistently and involve educators, children and families in order to be successful.
The centre will ensure the environment is safe, clean and well-maintained. Children’s awareness of the environment will be promoted through daily practices, resources and interactions. Sustainable practices will be encouraged within the centre. Educators, children and families will be encouraged to become advocates for a sustainable future.
We will :
• Ensure the centre joins an Early Childhood Environmental Education Network to liaise with other centres and keep up to date on practices and ideas for sustainability. Eceen
• Encourage educators, families and children to engage in innovative practices and appreciate the wonder of the natural world while protecting the planet for future generations.
• Educators will make sustainable practices a part of the daily routine. These include:
»»Sustainable equipment purchases
• Include recycling as part of everyday practice at the centre. Recycling containers will be provided throughout the service.
• Role model sustainable practices.
• Discuss sustainable practices with the children and families as part of the services education and care curriculum.
• Provide information to families on sustainable practices that are implemented at the centre and encourage the application of these practices in the home environment.
• Share ideas between educators, children and families about sustainable ideas, implementation and resources. This can be done at parent meetings, through emails, newsletters and conversations.
• Use a worm farm or composting bin to reduce food waste in the centre. Educators will discuss with the children and families which scraps worms can eat and which foods can be composted. The children will be involved in maintaining the worm farm and compost.
• Role model energy and water conservation practices of turning off lights and air-conditioning when a room is not in use, emptying water play containers onto garden areas,
• Aim to purchase equipment that is eco-friendly where possible.
• Seek to embed sustainable practice in the centre. The concepts of “reduce, re-use and recycle” will become part of everyday practice for both children and educators to build lifelong attitudes towards sustainable practices.
• Use local Council and Government departments as sources of information on sustainable practices used in the local community for possible grants available to put in place water and energy conservation practices in the centre. These may include water tanks, grey water systems, converting toilet cisterns to dual flush and converting to water saving taps.
NSW Department of Environment and Heritage – www.environment.nsw.gov.au