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Sustainability in Childcare

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Sustainability in Childcare
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“Education should teach children to respect the natural environment”

– Article. 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Busy Bees is committed to protecting our environment to ensure a sustainable future for our children. Sustainable practice is encouraged within all Busy Bees Services through educating and making all children, families, and employees aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible within our everyday practice, assisting them to become advocates for a sustainable future.

One of our Busy Bees Services recently took part in a sustainable papermaking activity as part of their outdoor program; the children thoroughly enjoyed the activity and were proud to show-off their very own recycled paper.

Situated on an acre of beautiful natural landscapes in Torquay (Queensland), Busy Bees at Fraser Coast supports children in learning to care for the environment on a day-to-day basis.

The team at Busy Bees at Fraser Coast understands that educating and supporting children to become environmentally responsible is an important part of early childhood. They developed an original activity to promote the children’s understanding of the environment and today we will explore what this looks like.

Sustainability Activity for Children: Papermaking

Melanie has been the Service Manager of Busy Bees at Fraser Coast for the past four years and shares her approach on the latest sustainable practice the team at Fraser Coast has incorporated into their educational program.

When asked why she decided to create an activity that was centralised around the art of papermaking her response was “as part of our sustainability plan, we always look for innovative ideas to be more environmentally responsible. One of our teachers, Miss Juelle, is a highly creative person, passionate about the arts, so she came up with the idea to utilise all the scrap and recycled paper we had at the Service. In re-using and re-purposing our recycled paper to make our own, we are teaching the children how to care for the environment. The more the children are involved, the deeper the level of learning and understanding is, so it was essential for us to embed this new practice in our teaching program.”

How are our children getting involved?

The children are involved with the entire process, including collecting scrap paper, shredding, soaking, blending and adding additional interesting natural items from the yard.

Once the paper is dry, the children can utilise it to paint or decorate and take it home. Or it forms part of our longer-term projects or crafts, such as gift cards at Christmas time.

The children are always so proud of the results; they are so excited to have created their own masterpiece!

What benefits are our child experiencing?

Throughout this journey, our children are becoming socially responsible by demonstrating an increased knowledge of and respect for natural and constructed environments. They also develop an awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment, such as cutting down trees and the amount of waste we produce.

The process behind making recycled paper challenges the children’s thinking strategies as they work with papermaking tools. Here they are discovering what paper works best (ripped or shredded?), how much water is required (lots or a little?) and how will it turn out (pink or green?).

Our families are immensely proud of seeing recycling in practice and come home to excitable chatter.

Each Busy Bees Service has created its own Busy Bees Environmental Commitment Statement to ensure that, as a whole, Busy Bees is working toward providing a cleaner and healthier for all our stakeholders while supporting sustainability. To find out more about how Busy Bees supports the environment, contact your nearest Service.

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