Sustainability at Ashwood Children's Centre
“One of the most significant responsibilities that [early childhood] professionals have is to support children to retain the sense of awe and wonder that they are born with, to add to that a desire to nurture and protect what is beautiful, and to encourage them to appreciate that there are many possibilities for honouring life and wonders that the world holds”
(Stonehouse, A. (2006) NSW Curriculum Framework for Children’s Services).
Practices of sustainability come in many forms at Ashwood Children's Centre, starting with the structural additions of solar panels and water tanks, the removal of the Centre's clothes dryer (aka tumble dryer) and the use of plastic bags to send home dirty washing, to educators' curriculum decision making around program resources, equipment and learning opportunities for all children attending the Centre. Below are just some of the sustainable practices taken as everyday practices at ACC:
All of the Centre's daily washing is dried on clothes lines and clothes airers that chase the sunlight through the day. At night, the airers are moved into the 4yo Kinder room to benefit from the residual heat of the space. It can be a challenge in the deepest, darkest, wettest months of Winter, yet it is a challenge ACC continues to meet in the face of Melbourne's inclement weather
This is one of the water tanks available for children's use in their play outside, both in the yard's sand pit and digging patch, and to water the gardens. If (and when) the tank runs dry, there is no water available for children's use, which creates incredible learning opportunities to engage with children's understanding of water as a resource.
Hand towels 'made' from donated towels are used throughout the Centre by both educators and children
Food scraps are managed in three ways in the Centre:
through the use of Monash Council's Food & Garden Waste Bin collection
into the Centre's compost bin, and worm farms
and veggie peelings and veggie scraps to feed the Centre's guinea pigs - Yindi, Jedda & Alinta - or the Centre's chooks - Ebony & Sky