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WHAT MAKES A GREAT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN YOUR CHILDCARE CENTRE?

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What is a Learning Environment?

A learning environment is the physical environment available to children within your centre. This includes any indoor and outdoor space, built or natural, which can provide a diverse range of experiences and promotes learning and development. It also includes the concrete materials within that space – furniture, equipment, facilities and resources.

An organised learning environment offers opportunities for different kinds of activities: indoor or outdoor, quiet or noisy, in a group or individually, self- chosen or planned.

Why is having an organised Learning Environment important?

An effective Learning Environment provides children with the opportunity to develop their emotional intelligence, scaffolds their learning and helps them to grow and flourish.

For a childcare centre, having a well organised Learning Environment underpins good practice across all quality areas. NQS Quality Area 3 focuses on the physical environment and ensuring that it is safe and suitable for the children in your care.

As one of the 8 key practices in the Early Years Learning Framework it is essential that you are using all available space effectively and that your Learning Environment is safe, purposeful, organised and well resourced. This space helps to determine how and what kind of relationship happens within it and is pivotal in the quality of the learning experience of the child.

What makes a GREAT Learning Environment?

A great Learning Environment is welcoming, flexible, responsive, safe, invites experiences and offers consistency and predictability for the child.

A great Learning Environment should:

· Support the emerging interests of the children.

· Reflect different cultures, interests, abilities and learning styles.

· Recognise children as active learners and decision makers.

· Encourage children to make choices.

· Offer as sense of belonging.

· Be safe, clean, attractive and comfortable.

· Facilitate children in initiating their own experiences, acquire new skills and consolidate existing ones.

· Enhance child initiated experiences by providing additional resources which can extend their play.

· Ensure access and participation by every child and allow interaction between indoor and outdoor space.

Enjoy the learning experiences with the children in your centre.

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