Tiny Explorers Playgroup

At AISPP, we see families as children’s first and most influential educators. The Tiny Explorers Playgroup offers an opportunity for parents and children from 9 months to 36 months to explore and partner together in lifelong learning. Our program is grounded in the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and is inspired by the Reggio Emilia and Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) approaches. The Tiny Explorers playgroup supports the development of children who feel safe, secure, and supported.

Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)

The EYLF is a guide to supporting and nurturing young children's learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. It was developed with the fundamental view of children’s worlds being characterised by Belonging, Being and Becoming. The vision is that “all children experience learning that is engaging and builds success for life”.

Reggio Emilia Approach

At the heart of the Reggio Emilia approach is the belief that children are full of curiosity and creativity. The Reggio Emilia approach originated in the town, and surrounding areas, of Reggio Emilia in Italy. In Reggio Emilia, children are the driving force of their learning process. No two Reggio Emilia inspired communities will look alike, as the differing needs and interests of the children, their families and their educators, will always be the center of the learning.

Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)

“RIE” was founded by early childhood educator Magda Gerber, who advocated for the respect and trust of young children. We not only respect babies and toddlers at AISPP, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique capable human being.

Playgroup Program

The Tiny Explorers playgroup is a community for both caregivers and children. Every session begins with individual catch-ups and time to settle in. The first half of the playgroup is unstructured to allow caregivers time to connect with each other and for their children to explore the various provocations set up throughout the environment. Children at this age engage in different types of play than older children and because of this, our playgroup has a light structure to allow children to get into a deep flow with materials and objects in the environment. A deep flow is connected to uninterrupted play and during these moments the educator in the room will check in with caregivers and share what type of learning their child is engaging in and how to support them.

The Environment

We have designed the Tiny Explorers room using the Australian EYLF Developmental Milestones and inspiration from Reggio Emilia and RIE approaches to ensure our space is a place where children can confidently and safely explore. We see the environment as the third teacher – a place designed to be functional, beautiful and reflective of the children’s learning. We believe it is the child’s relationship with their parent, teacher, and environment that ignites learning. Children will investigate new materials uninterrupted, strengthen interdependence skills, and develop a sense of belonging to our AISPP community.

Parenting/Early Childhood Topics

During the playgroup session, families are invited to be active participants and discover ways to support their children at home and prepare them for the transition to EY2. The following Parenting/Early Childhood topics are shared and explored as a learning community:

  • Creating Interdependence Opportunities
  • Secure Attachment
  • Positive Discipline
  • Breast feeding, Bottles, & Self-Feeding
  • Toilet Training
  • Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
  • Reggio Emilia Approach
  • RIE Approach
  • Types of Play
  • Sensory Exploration

Parent Testimonials

About the Author:

Lindsey Watts


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