Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nurturing a forest (community)

I realised that after spending ages thinking of the title of this blog I haven't actually made any attempt to explain it.

I decided on nurturing forests because it reflects my philosophy that through early childhood practices we can influence the community (and the community should be integrated as well). I started with growing forests but then realised this didn't reflect the roles of the families and communities and what impact they have on their children. The forest concepts represents the entire complex ecological system that is necessary to raise a happy, healthy, confident child (and a inclusive community for that matter).

A very strong interest of mine that has been heightened significantly since retraining into the early childhood field is the concept of community and building a sense of community with those around you. This can be as simple as saying hello to your neighbour (a big step in Sydney ) - we even mow our neighbours nature strip as she is away travelling a lot, smiling and wishing good morning to those on a walk to the other end of the scale where you are involved in volunteering for local community causes.

Other things I think are important are supporting people in need. For example, despite my salary being significantly reduced since retraining I still support the Red Cross by donating for natural disaster relief internationally, I have chipped in for the Queensland flood appeal and I always buy my big issue.....

I recently was annoyed at my parents for not chipping in to the flood appeal (and have told them off). But I realised today my dad has been volunteering for the bush fire brigades for approximately 30 years so he has made a substantial to the community in a cause he is very passionate about (He can't go to a house without assessing it for fire hazards and he is the only person I know who's idea of a good time is fighting huge fires in 40 degree heat). My dad has always done this work and it was major part of my childhood. However the reason it came home today was that today a man was killed by a tree when fighting fires with my dad - suddenly the dangerousness of it all hit home.

How do you contribute to your community? What practices at your centre reflect the impact and influence of child's entire ecological system?

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