Riverstone Child Care Centre

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RiverstoneRivoPic11 Child Care Centre is a 40 place long day care centre operated by Blacktown City Council. It is well established in the community and has strong ties to local organisations including Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre, the council library and local primary schools.

Educators take a community centred approach to road safety education. They engage children and families as active participants in road safety education while developing and maintaining links with the community.

 

 

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Educators enthusiastically promote road safety education.  They embed it into their policies, ongoing programming and partnerships with families.  They recognise opportunities for road safety learning that emerge from children’s interests.  They also talk with children and families about the journeys they make and the transport they use.

By doing this, educators learn about children’s travel experiences, their understanding of safe behaviours and the safe travel practices of their families.  This provides the foundation for a road safety education program that connects meaningfully with the lives of families.

Throughout the centre, educators create special spaces to engage children and families in shared thinking and collaborative learning around road safety.

Educators also use these spaces to regularly document children’s road safety learning, knowledge and understanding and share this with families. By doing this, educators build on children’s learning and draw families’ attention to the responsibility of adults to keep children safe.

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Make children’s engagement in road safety education visible to families at your service. Use day books, journals, documentation walls or slide shows to illustrate children’s road safety learning and share Key Road Safety Messages with families. Include children’s thoughts and comments, photos and educator reflections along with road safety information. Talk with families about their everyday travel experiences with children and how you can support their safe travel practices.

 

Educators use excursions to enhance children’s understanding of the world around them, to promote a sense of belonging and to widen community connections.

They regularly go on walking excursions to take part in community events like the annual NAIDOC Week celebrations, family fun days and Koori Christmas celebrations. These excursions support connections with family, culture and place and provide wonderful opportunities for children to actively participate in and contribute to their community. For the centre’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, NAIDOC Week is an occasion to celebrate their history, culture and achievements with the wider community.

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RivoPic4The safety of children on excursions is paramount and educators maintain a ratio of one adult to every two children. Active supervision, particularly holding children’s hands, is the best way to minimise risk on community walking excursions.

Before their NAIDOC week excursion, educators and children talked about all the places they walk to in Riverstone while safely holding hands with a grown-up. Using a Kids and Traffic book template, they created their own community specific “Here We Go Walking, Holding Hands” book together with Kids and Traffic. Reading the book with the childreRivoPic10n before going on a community walk highlighed safe behaviour and encouraged discussion about how we stay safe when out and about.

Community specific books, notes and posters are an ideal way to foster community connections and safe travel behaviour for children at services who choose not to take children on excursions. Use the “Here We Go Walking, Holding Hands” book template and the “Hold my hand and keep me safe” template to make your own resources.

 

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In line with their excursion policy, the centre Director conducts a thorough written risk assessment prior to each outing.  Each risk assessment report takes into account all possible hazards and subsequent risks posed to children and educators.

 

Do your excursion policy and risk assessment procedures meet the requirements of the Education and Care Services National Quality Standard and reflect best practice in early childhood road safety? Use the Kids and Traffic road safety and excursion guidelines (PDF 699kb) to make sure.

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Using photos taken on the community walk and at the NAIDOC Week celebrations, educators worked with Kids and Traffic to put together a book to document the excursion.  Reading the book with children provided opportunities to revisit their adventures and to further emphasise the importance of always holding a grown-up’s hand when out walking. The book also documented children’s connections with the community and provided opportunities for children to explore and discuss culture, traditions and celebrations.

Each family from the centre was given a small copy of the book to share at home. Providing a take-home resource is an ideal way to foster partnerships, highlight children’s road safety knowledge and learning and meaningfully engage families in road safety education. Why not create your own photo stories of community walks and excursions or ask families to email photos of children holding a grown-up’s hand when out and about.RivoPic7

Take a look at the Riverstone NAIDOC Week community walk book for inspiration and ideas.

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