Opened in February 2007, the Flinders Early Learning Centre (FELC) is a purpose-built facility specifically designed for children ages 3 to 6 years.
FELC delivers creative Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs through an Emilia Reggio approach to 120 families in a beautiful rainforest setting in Buderim, Queensland, neighbouring leading independent Prep to Year 12 school, Matthew Flinders Anglican College.
In 2023, FELC received a glowing quality assessment and ratings process, exceeding expectations in all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standards by the Queensland Department of Education’s Early Childhood Education and Care.
The department’s accreditation report noted, “FELC’s outstanding result is reflective of the exceptional team, dedicated and inspirational leadership, and a shared desire for genuine connection and positive outcomes for children, families and the wider community.”
FELC excelled in all seven quality areas of educational program and practice, children’s health and safety, physical environment, staffing arrangements, relationships with children, collaborative partnerships, and governance and leadership.
FELC’s early learning programs are taught by four-year university-trained early childhood teachers and supported by early learning assistants with a minimum training of two years. The National Early Years Learning Framework and the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines Curriculum provides a dedicated pathway linking with the National Curriculum, which is in all schools across Australia.
Director Jo Osborne leads the team of responsive early childhood staff who possess a deep understanding of how young children learn. The FELC philosophy values PLAY as an instrument in stimulating and shaping child development and early learning.
VALUES AT FELC
FELC is a place where families, carers, children and teachers are guided by the following values:
- Play-based educational Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs based on current research, e.g. play and enquiry, brain-based learning dimensions of Learning.
- Natural environments that engage the young child’s five senses, provoking wonder, curiosity and intellectual engagement
FELC’s passion for personalising the Reggio Emilia experience has driven the teaching team to create an environment that is inviting, fun, creative and most importantly, child-centred. Light-filled classrooms offer flexible learning spaces, access to outdoor learning areas and rainforest gardens, art studios, writing centres, discovery areas, reading nooks, interactive whiteboards and the latest in information technology.
Through planned and spontaneous play experiences, children form relationships, share, co-operate, develop self-control, test ideas and friendships, extend their range of experience and form associations among things, events and concepts.
The program has developed a balance between child-centred and adult-led play, plus they value extended blocks of time for children to make discoveries, to elaborate on projects, and to evolve a script in symbolic play.
NATURE PLAY AT FELC
At FELC, young learners have daily opportunities to explore and connect with the natural environment through the Bush Kindy program, Flinders Farm visits, and time spent in the community and rainforest gardens.
On their outings and in the gardens, the children are busy – whether planting seedlings, feeding the farm animals, mapping the forest space, considering the natural landmarks and any distinguishing features, and identifying flora and fauna native to their unique place in the world.
FELC’s hugely popular Bush Kindy program sees small groups of 10 children at a time, along with two specialist teachers, explore and engage in the wetlands forest that runs between FELC and Matthew Flinders Anglican College. The visits into the wetlands have enhanced in the children a deep curiosity about the world in which they live, how it works, and their place in it.
LOCATION: 144 Ballinger Road, Buderim, Maroochydore, Queensland, 4556, Australia