Updated: Apr 15
There are little oases of joy and love that are sprouting up across our communities.
Step into any of the six TG's Child Care and you will wish you were a child again and could stay there. Well-known for its award-winning gardens and philosophy of Playing is Learning for Life, what TG's is doing every day is nurturing growth in the children, the communities and the environment.
For the past 22 years, TG's has been well-loved and recognised by their communities for their high quality of care, education and community engagements. There is clearly magic in the air when you step into TG's and everything you see is a consequence of a conscious dedication to sustainability and growth.
Committed to Sustainability
TG’s business model of sustainability looks at how they impact the environmental, social and economical aspects of each of their six locations. From the moment a child steps into TG’s, they experience the values, attitudes, skills and behaviours that can support them to become environmentally responsible from Day One to beyond.
By building the consciousness that every little thing each person does can impact the environment, children learn that they too can make a difference. TG's builds eco-intelligence in children when they learn how to care for their environment thus ensuring its sustainability and long term future.
The environment also includes the communities. Children expand their consciousness of their world and learn to appreciate their communities as a valuable source of sustainable business and economic support.
So what does sustainability look like at TG's?
Gardens of Joy
It looks like…FUN!
Children use herbs, fruits and vegetables straight from their gardens to cook lunch. This is a miniature farm-to-fork process at TG's, with children helming the caretaking of the gardens! And after meals, food scraps are given to the chooks and worm farms to make compost. No food is wasted from start to end. Educators also discuss with children the use and impact of plastic and how they can initiate litter-less lunches. Children are certainly capable of doing a lot for the environment, starting with right where they are.
At TG's, everyone really works at sustainability and it is a value that is very much embedded in their culture and flows through all that they do. It is a part of how they live, work and play.
This is the TG's Way. It is how children learn respect for each other and cultivate a love of learning that will take them through the school years and beyond as valuable and reliable members of their communities.
The word 'gardens' takes on a whole new meaning and feeling at TG's. The outdoor learning environment is like a ¨Universe in Miniature¨ and it is where educators foster values, attitudes, skills and behaviours that support sustainable development. Children are encouraged to explore nature as part of TG's sustainability practices. TG's gardens and outdoor learning spaces become a safe and secure place for independent and creative young minds to be developed, and where they are encouraged to participate in collective thinking with their peers.
TG's gardens are not a random collection of plants, trees and rocks. They have been specially designed by Trevor Kee, co-founder of TG's Child Care who put in his extensive landscaping and design experience to create these beautiful dynamic environments where children can learn and thrive with joy.
TG's gardens also go through the Panda Test which is TG's way to ensure that their landscape design of the outdoor environment, gardens, creative play spaces, pathways and transition areas use natural materials and resources, making them beautiful and suitable for young children's learning and discovery and also support children's development of eco-intelligence and sustainability.
This puts it in line with NQS (National Quality Standard) standards. TG's actively participates in sustainability by having environmental sustainability practices in the centres (NQS standard 3.3). Educators and children also work together to learn about the environment and this knowledge is practiced through sustainable use of resources as well as developing and implementing sustainable practices (Element 3.3.1-NQS).
Children and educators embody eco-intelligent actions such as the wise use of resources. Everyone has the responsibility to reduce waste, water, energy and toxins. At TG's, taking care of the environment is done through fun, adventure and laughter as they become eco-intelligent through mud play, growing fruit and vegetables, gardening, recycling, worm farm and chook projects. Read more here about TG's award-winning gardens.
Mealtime is Fun Time
At TG's, a meal goes beyond something healthy you put into a body. Children see food in a different way at TG's. They learn where food comes from and how it ends up on their plate.
They actually experience growing their own food in TG's gardens. They are entrusted with the responsibility to look after the plants and learn about what they need and how to care for them. They learn that when well taken care of, these plants in return give back to them in the form of delicious fruits and vegetables that are good for their bodies. This helps children to cultivate a sense of appreciation and responsibility for what they eat. This combination of practical knowledge and humble appreciation become food for the soul.
Meal time then becomes a fun time at TG's. Children get to be involved hands-on right from the moment they plant a seed to enjoying the vegetables on their plates. Curiosity is nurtured every day in the gardens and this continues through to their food preferences. Educators listen to the children talking about their experiences and adventures in the gardens and what they learnt about the food sitting on their plates. This encourages children to make daily achievements with their food preferences. The children are always excited to go home and share these delicious milestones with their family.
The TG's Way does not just stop within the vicinity of TG's. It flows into the lives of the educators and the families. TG's shares healthy delicious recipes in their newsletters along with suggestions for food challenges children can do at home. They can help to wash, sort, and chop vegetables as well. TG's children are very nifty helpers in the kitchen and they are proud of what they have been taught and are trusted to do. This makes mealtimes and cooking moments of fun and joy. Building awareness of eating well and healthily takes place at TG's and at home.
And all with sprinkles of fun, curiosity and laughter thrown in!
Sustainability Built on a Firm Foundation
TG's sustainability values rest on their 3 Foundation Stones - Building Relationships, Understanding Our Gifts and Encouraging Collective Thinking.
TG's understands that sustainability and building a better world for the future of our children does not rest on one single person's shoulders. By having a natural collaborative base of interactions among TG's educators, children, families and communities, TG's is building You, Me and Us Together conversations. Children experience meaningful relationships with the people around them in interactions that involve care, kindness and respect.
TG's doors are open and welcoming to families of different backgrounds and cultures. It is an extended home for many where their gifts are welcomed, nurtured and recognised. A rich mix of backgrounds and cultures enables TG's to foster strong ties with each local community and allows children to expand their vision of culture and society.
The children are encouraged to understand Australia society and culture including cultural diversity, gender equality and democracy for social harmony. From aboriginal festivals to each town's unique festival such as the Lasiandra Festival, TG's is ever ready to be curious, open and take part in the joy and fun of these different cultures.
There is a reason why children and educators see going to TG's as going to their second home. This is their TG's Family. There is a culture of openness and respect where everyone has a voice and is listened to. This is an environment based on Collective Thinking to achieve excellence. Part of this Collective Thinking is also engaging with partners in their communities to provide purposeful learning experiences for the children. Children learn life skills through TG's strong community engagements and socially responsible corporate actions with partners in their communities.
Photo shows TG's participating in Uralla's Thunderbolt Festival. To learn more about TG's partnership with families and communities, read here.
Playing it Forward, Sustainably
Making a difference for a better world starts today. And TG's is also focused on savings and long term community economic support for sustainable business where they are located. When TG's sixth centre was set up in Urangan, they had the help and support of local businesses to get their centre ready for the children to engage in Playing is Learning for Life.
Sustainability practices at TG's are done through play, enquiry, curiosity and always with fun. Every day, children learn about something they can do to protect their environment and they become intellectually and socially eco-intelligent. Children are empowered at TG's to participate and engage with sustainability and the wider world around them through a carefully designed curriculum that acknowledges and values children as citizens of the world and leaders of our future.
A better future starts now and nobody does this better than the children who have the support of their families, communities and educators so they are seen as capable and competent. They can be problem-solvers, conflict resolvers, inventors, artists, designers, construction workers, welfare workers and future architects, politicians and leaders of the world.
Every single child at TG's is encouraged and supported to form meaningful connections with their world through belonging, being and becoming. This is how they reach their fullest potential - when they build meaningful engagements and partnerships with their families and community.
At TG’s, the children are making a positive and significant difference every single day and Playing it Forward into their Future.
TG's sustainability starts today. With every single child. By showering each child with love, care and respect and letting them bloom with their own gifts to share with the world.
TG's Child Care locations and contact details:
61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655
11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350
23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wauchope - Hastings St NSW
33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - High St NSW
223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW
3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446
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