Environmental Sustainability Policy (QA3)

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Woodlands - Environmental Sustainability Policy

National Quality Standards (NQS) 

Quality Area 3: Physical Environment

3.2.3

Environmentally responsible - The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.

 

Quality Area 6: Collaborative Partnerships with Families and Communities

6.1.1

Engagement with the service - Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

6.2.3

Community engagement - The service builds relationships and engages with its local community.

 

Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)

LO2

Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

 

Purpose

Our service aims to help children learn about and implement sustainable practices and foster respect and care for the living and non-living environment.  

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management and visitors of the service.

 

Implementation

Children develop positive attitudes and values about sustainable practices by engaging in learning experiences, joining in discussions that explore solutions to environmental issues and watching adults model sustainable practices.  Children learn to live interdependently with the environment.



Environmental Sustainability and our Curriculum

Our educators will promote a holistic, open-ended  curriculum which explores ideas and practices for environmental  sustainability and helps children understand the interdependence between people and the environment by:

  • connecting children to nature through art and play and allowing children to experience the natural environment through natural materials like wood, stone sand and recycled materials, plants including native vegetation, trickle streams or ponds, nesting boxes, a potting bench with gardening tools and watering cans.
  • developing education programs for water conservation, energy efficiency and waste reduction. 
  • celebrating children's’ environmental knowledge and sustainable activities.
  • involving children in nature walks, education about plants and gardening and growing plants and flowers from seed. 
  • engaging children in learning about the food cycle by growing, harvesting, and cooking food for our service kitchen.
  • using resource kits and information on environmental issues from the Better Business Partnership or resources targeted at early childhood services such as “The Little Green Steps” Resource kits on Water, Waste and Wildlife.
  • enlisting the help of groups with expertise in environmental issues, for example, bush care groups, wildlife rescue groups, Clean Up Australia, to deliver elements of our sustainability program
  • acknowledging and celebrating environmental awareness events like Clean Up Australia Day and Walk to School Day.



The Role of Educators

 Our educators will model sustainable practices by embedding sustainability into all aspects of the daily running of our service operations including:

  • recycling materials for curriculum and learning activities
  • minimising waste and effectively using service resources
  • turning off equipment and lights when not in use
  • using the least hazardous cleaning substance appropriate for the situation, for example, ordinary detergent for cleaning dirt from tables and other surfaces. 
  • composting
  • maintaining a worm farm
  • maintaining a no-dig vegetable/herb garden
  • incorporating water-wise strategies such as drip irrigation and ensuring taps are turned off and leaks fixed.
  • using food that we have grown in meals on our weekly menu
  • implementing environmentally friendly pest management



Partnerships with Families and the Community

Our educators will facilitate collaborative partnerships with local community groups, government agencies and private companies to enhance and support children's’ learning about sustainable practices. We will share their brochures and fact sheets on sustainable practices like recycling, saving water and power and green cleaning with our children and their families. Families will be encouraged to participate in decision making and information sharing about environmental sustainability through our newsletters, parent input forms, wall displays, meetings.

 The NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network has resources which may assist Early Childhood Services to identify and work towards an Environmentally Sustainable Service.  The Network’s website also has links to many organisations and Government agencies that provide information on sustainable practices at http://www.eceen.org.au/links.htm

 

Source 

  • National Quality Standard
  • Early Years Learning Framework
    Climbing the little green steps 2007: Gosford and Wyong Councils
  • Environmental Education in Early Childhood (Victoria) Inc
  • NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network



Review

Date Reviewed 

Modifications

Next Policy Review Date 

October 2017

Updated the references to comply with the revised National Quality Standard

 

September 2018

January 2020

Branding and formatting updated

Policy links added

Service-specific information amended not affecting the delivery of policy

February 2020



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