Here at Explore and Develop Brookvale, we have a slightly more direct approach to Early intervention and how we apply it in our classrooms. We pride ourselves on our Early Intervention Program and ensuring that all our toddlers are thriving and not just surviving in the Koala room (toddler room). Between the ages of 2 and 3, there are multiple developmental areas coming into focus. Whilst all children are different and milestones reached also differ, spotting potential areas of concern early, is key. There is never a situation where Early intervention can have a negative impact, it is simply a case of nothing to lose undergoing the process, and perhaps, a lot to gain.
When we talk about Early Intervention, what we are referring to are the main areas of development: speech (both receptive and expressive) cognition, fine and gross motor skills, core strength, sensory processing and socioemotional development that might require some support in order to reach what we deem to be an age-appropriate level. This could be as small an issue as a child that struggles to enunciate certain words or hold themselves up on the mat (core strength is a key facet not only physically, but it linked to a child’s ability to concentrate age appropriately). We believe that although children can grow out of and learn to cope with these ‘issues’, there is no reason not to undertake the potential support and relief that Early Intervention can bring about. The changes that we have witnessed year in and year out, by our families that have undertaken the program and followed our lead, has been nothing short of phenomenal. As soon as this approach is taken, we see our children transform and thrive. Early Intervention is naturally a phrase that makes most parents feel a sense of worry and fear which is understandable. Here at Explore and Develop we take a very holistic approach to child development and believe that the earlier we can spot any areas of support required, the quicker the resolve and the more likely the child is to thrive in later years. The program has come about through years of our dedicated and passionate Educators who believe each child is different, and identifying those different needs is absolutely key. Looking at the child as an individual rather than them blending into a sea of children, means our educators take stock over time of potential concerns and areas of support required and have a process in place that ensures the very best outcome for the child in question. “Every child is different and we are committed to ensuring that all the child’s individual needs are met in the context of who they are as well as what is happening for them developmentally”. This is our motto in the toddler room at Explore and Develop.
Our educators are well aware of the processes and steps involved; and how overwhelming it can be for parents. We are also aware of what is available out there in terms of support (NDIS and government ran programs as well as countless private services) and how these small steps can affect massive and positive change. We are there to guide parents through this and support them through our program, which has proven to be so beneficial to all children that have been involved. Research shows that if children who are experiencing any number of issues, that if left unsupported, can have a tremendous impact on future learning, for example, children who have unresolved speech issues at age 2-3, will most likely later on have literacy issues. Child development is in constant flow, children are constantly learning, literacy learning begins at birth. Here is an example of how something as small as not being able to concentrate age appropriately can lead to greater problems: Writing is a natural progression that evolves from drawing experiences, if a child is struggling to sit and concentrate, due to core strength, (something that could be seemingly dismissed as age appropriate or normal for a toddler) then this child is unable to learn and develop and progress the skill of scribble and drawing, this will then impact their writing and literacy skills later in life. There are multiple examples of this sort of developmental links and the issue doesn’t have to be a lifelong ‘label’. Research also shows that the earlier these areas of support are discovered, not only the better the overall outcome but the time required needed to assist this area of support is shorter. Children that have gone into the Dalwood children’s services under 3 programs have had a nearly 100% success rate and have not had to return to speech therapy in Preschool years or beyond.
Here at Explore and Develop, we have moved past the stigma that can be brought about by Early Intervention, we have close working relationships with all services involved; speech, psychology and occupational therapy services, as well as working alongside our families throughout the process. We work closely with our families and the children’s services, to have an active role within the classroom with any support a child might be receiving. We replicate it and have our own processes within the classroom that we can work with, depending on what the needs of the child are.
Miss Charly Davis is a Senior Educator and founder of the Early Intervention Program at Explore and Develop Brookvale. Miss Charly has been at Explore and Develop Brookvale for 4 years and is an ardent advocate for Early Intervention, and ensuring children thrive and not just survive in their learning environments. She is passionate about ensuring all children reach their fullest developmental potential.
If you would like to book a tour, please call Charlene on 9939 8336.