Earlier this year Mildura Early Learning Centre held a week of fun for children, families and the community to celebrate meeting their Achievement Program benchmarks and the healthy changes that come with them.
They were most excited about creating sustainable healthy changes, and their week of celebration was all about demonstrating how these changes are now part of the everyday experience for the centre, with more regular health events and health messages embedded in the daily curriculum.
Mildura Central Early Learning Centre joined the Achievement Program in 2016. They saw the program as a tool to embed health and wellbeing into their curriculum and quality improvement plan, as well as a way to create a healthy environment for educators, children and families.
Ainslee Sullivan the Centre Director said that embedding health and wellbeing into their curriculum has been about making healthy learning fun. “To have fun with this think a little outside the box” she said “we have seen so many positive changes with a more enriched curriculum and the involvement of educators and parents in our centre events has increased.”
A week of healthy fun
- On Day 1 children were encouraged to ‘slip, slop, slap, seek and slide’ with a whole day dedicated to Sun Protection.
- On Day 2 Tobacco Control and Mental Health and Wellbeing were explored through yoga sessions, massage chairs and day passes to the local gym, and educators and parents were encouraged to have a smoke-free day.
- Day 3 brought about a celebration of physical activity and healthy environments with a day for dressing up as your favourite sports and a mini-Olympics set up in a safe, inviting and inclusive environment.
- Oral health was explored on Day 4, with a special visit from the tooth fairy.
- On Day 5 there was a healthy food celebration that included healthy cooking, healthy snacks, adorable healthy food costumes and a special visit from Poppy the in-house nutrition puppet.
There are six Achievement Program health areas for early childhood services : Sun Protection, Tobacco Control, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Physical Activity, Healthy Environments, and Healthy Eating and Oral Health.These are underpinned by a series of benchmarks aimed at creating environments that encourage healthy behaviours.
Healthy behaviours help to lower health risks, prevent chronic disease, enhance learning outcomes and set children up for a life of healthy habits.