Guardian Early Learning Centre – Barangaroo is a beautiful childcare centre in Sydney’s CBD. With state of the art facilities, water play area, a wide range of resources, sandpits and reading nooks, it’s a wonderful space to grow, develop and learn. Centre Manager Chloe Flannery heads up the team at Barangaroo, and we take two minutes to find out about her views on early learning, her career background and what she enjoys doing in her downtime.
Who or what inspires you in relationship to your leadership approach?
I draw inspiration from a variety of sources such as the ACECQA website who regularly have articles on the National Quality Standards and reflection tools to think deeply about practice. I also take into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and how I am leading the team to ensure we are always consulting the children in decisions pertaining to them. A leadership role model I admire and regularly consult is Priscilla Carmichael, Guardian’s Curriculum Mentor.
Discuss your professional view on children’s learning.
I believe children are the core of their own learning and they draw from their primary care givers, their environments, their peers and educators as well as the wider community to expand and build on their own view of the world.
What role do children’s ideas and interests have in developing the Curriculum?
They shape the Curriculum, it’s our main Curriculum principal to consult and involve the children in decision making processes. Our activities, projects and environments are developed in line with the interests of each child.
How long have you been working in early education and care? What’s the most rewarding part of being an early childhood professional?
I’ve been in the sector since 2007 and I believe the greatest reward for me is children’s influence for me to be a more knowledge person, they have an innate curiosity to ask questions and seek information, I truly enjoy being an active researcher with them.
When did you join this centre?
I joined Barangaroo in August 2017.
What has most surprised you in your work with children?
Experiencing the many, many ways children communicate or in the Reggio Emilia approach this can be described as the one hundred languages that children communicate their learning and experiences. It’s a personal endeavour to tune into children and their method or medium to communicate.
Can you share a time where you have included children in decision making and embraced their participation in meaningful ways?
Last year a child aged 5 brought an article in from his local courier paper about seahorses dying in the local bay, he was deeply upset by this. Upon discussion within the group about what we could do, the children decided they wanted to clean up the local bay of rubbish to protect the seahorses. They instigated when we would go, invited their families, wrote to the local council to tell them of their work and continued with the project up until now. It has expanded in various ways through parent contribution and all stemmed from that group of children making decisions about what was happening in their local community.
Do you have any unique skills?
I can speak intermediate Arabic and can cross stitch embroider just about anything.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I go to the gym daily and generally like to get outdoors at the weekend kayaking. I love volunteering my time with a variety of charities and social organisations, currently I’m setting up a mothers and children’s play group in Lakemba for refugees. I’m also a keen board game player and attend regularly professional debates in philosophy, religion and politics.
Lastly, what do you love most about the Barangaroo community?
I love the site and its unique history and I’m fascinated by the diversity of the families and children, it encourages me to expand my view of the wider world learning about their cultural backgrounds.
Learn more about Guardian Early Learning – Barangaroo
To discover this fantastic early learning centre in Sydney’s CBD for yourself and to book a tour, head here.