Say hello to Guardian Early Learning

Think back to the time you spent at pre-school or kindergarten, and you might recall it being a series of well-ordered ‘times’ – story time; outside time; lunch time; nap time; play time; quiet time; home time. Everyone was more or less doing the same thing at the same time (except for the odd child discovering the flavour profiles of Clag glue!) – which probably made sense from a consistency point of view, but it might not have been the most effective learning method for each individual child.

At Guardian Early Learning, the approach to early childhood education is quite different. Their centres allow children to engage in their own interests, at their own pace, and in an environment that’s designed to foster creativity, inspire curiosity and support discovery – delivering a world-class early learning experience.

With Guardian’s new flagship centre recently opening at The Streets, we thought we’d pop in and find out a bit more.

The Philosophy
Guardian’s approach to early education is centred around meaningful, play-based learning. The curriculum, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, focuses on child-led development, which allows children to be guided by their natural interests and curiosities – whether it’s using building blocks to create a new city, taking a closer look at the world using a digital magnifying glass, or discovering how to change the flow of water using drainpipes and connectors.

The presence of real-world objects and equipment in Guardian centres recognises that children are intuitive and skilful researchers, and encourages them to solve problems in real-life contexts – ultimately building their confidence and initiative, and preparing them for the transition to formal schooling.

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The Space
Guardian’s philosophy of self-directed learning is reflected in their new space at Barangaroo, designed by Collins and Turner (the same firm that designed the building that will soon be home to Matt Moran’srestaurant along Wulugul Walk). The space is conceived as both a continuous landscape for play and a stimulating environment for learning - achieved through undulating landscape surfaces, mirrored ceilings to provide a magical illusion of height, and a variety of sensory-rich experience spaces to inspire curiosity and support discovery.

Within the entire centre, there are no rigid boundaries for children, allowing them to engage at their own pace with the environment of their choosing; nor are the individual spaces defined by age group, encouraging children to interact across groups rather than sticking to their class environment.

To allow children to connect with often-overlooked areas such as nature and sustainability, natural and recycled materials are abundant throughout the centre, and lush gardens are incorporated into both external and internal spaces (with over 700m2 of garden space within the 1400m2 fitout).

The Team
The team of qualified educators at Guardian’s new centre aren’t strangers to each other – they’ve been working together for the past two years at one of Guardian’s previous CBD locations. During this time, they’ve developed a cohesive way of working that makes the most of their individual strengths and capabilities across their years of combined experience in the early learning industry.

The team also recognises the importance of building a local community and partnering with families. At the Barangaroo centre, families are invited to join in on excursions, pop in throughout the day, or take part in the breakfast program - which allows families to join their children for breakfast, meet other families, spend time with the educators, and see their child’s favourite resources, art works and more.

Guardian Early Learning Barangaroo is now open on Level 1, 100 Barangaroo Avenue (enter via Scotch Row). To find out more or book a tour of the centre, visit the Guardian website or call 13 82 30.