Seedpods – Sustainability in early childhood centres

Five early childhood centres and Blue Mountains City Council sustainability educators have been working together to produce sustainability education sessions that tackle the classic environmental concerns – waste, water and energy usage, increasing understanding about the natural world and developing a ‘sense of place’ among child care practitioners and children.

Unsurprisingly, each of the Early Childhood Centres has tackled this in a different way and the Advisory Group meetings have been rich forums for sharing different personal and educational perspectives. Establishing vegetable gardens within the different constraints of each Centre has been a useful way in which children understand more about sustainability.

‘Sense of Place’ activities have included Aboriginal art classes, participating in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Blue Mountains National Park, visiting the school gardens for children in transition to primary school, and having local animals and insects exhibits visit the Centres.

Professional development for early childhood practitioners has included input from the New South Wales Early Childhood Environmental Education Network as well as local Indigenous educators.

Evaluation of the Seedpods project has been undertaken using the Appreciative Inquiry method and reported via the Outcomes Hierarchy model required by the grant funding body, the New South Wales Environment Trust.

For further information contact Jasmine Payget, Sustainability Education Program on (02) 4780 5788 or jpayget@bmcc.nsw.gov.au