Our early learning education team has been boosted with a specialist support teacher through a Covid Urgent Response fund and our children are definitely reaping the benefits.
Nisha Rani, a qualified early childhood teacher, joined our learning centre in Napier at the beginning of this year with funding through a Ministry of Education pandemic-prompted Urgent Response Funding Scheme. She has been developing behavioural plans and strategies for children with specific needs, providing support to teachers and generally helping children with additional needs (and their whanau) to adjust and cope.
Deena Paling, Early Learning Centre Manager, is delighted with Nisha’s input. She says that one non-verbal three-year-old now has words and growing confidence to use them, while another who has struggled with emotional resiliency has come a long way, developing friendships and communicating emotional needs more constructively.
“Having Nisha here means our teachers have more time to teach learning in the centre and be supported. We’re all winning,” says Deena.
The centre has 42 children enrolled, with 85 percent of these full time. There are nine teachers and one chef on the permanent team.
The photo shows Nisha Rani, Education Support Worker, supporting one of our children on new climbing equipment. Purchased with the support of St Vincent de Paul Napier, there are two interchangeable sets for the older and younger age groups.
The equipment is important to help children develop gross motor skills such as hand eye coordination and balance that then influences their fine motor skills. It also helps the inner ear to develop, which in turn improves reading and literacy skills. Plus, it encourages self confidence and self-esteem from conquering physical challenges.
“The children haven’t been off it and if they’re not climbing, they’re using the boxes for their imaginary play. It’s fantastic to have this addition to our learning through play opportunities,” says Deena Paling, Early Learning Centre Manager.
You can learn more about our Early Learning service here