|Policy owner:||Children's Services|
|Responsible / contact officer:||Cathy Cahill|
|Review date:||May 2023|
Enhance FDC encourages the awareness of environmental responsibility and implements practices that contribute to a sustainable future. Enhance FDC Educators support children to become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment through role modelling. We practice and promote sustainability through reducing waste, minimising consumption, and protecting and conserving wildlife and natural habitats.
NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
Quality Area 3: Physical Environment: 3.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3
Enhance FDC believes in educating children about being environmentally responsible which is promoted and supported through daily practices, resources, and interactions. Sustainable practice is encouraged within the services and our wider community, assisting children and families to become advocates for a sustainable future.
This policy applies to the Enhance management and team, Educators, children, families, and visitors of Enhance FDC.
Learning about being environmentally responsible starts with everyday practice and routines. Enhance FDC believes being environmentally responsible should be embedded into the operations of the services, rather than being a tokenistic theme that is investigated every now and then. Enhance FDC is committed to protecting our environment to ensure a sustainable future for our children. This involves Practice Mentors, Educators, children, and families working together to protect and respect our environment and the Earth.
Enhance FDC will:
- Network with the local community to keep up to date with current practices and ideas for being environmentally responsible.
- Encourage educators, families, and children to engage in sustainable practices and appreciate the natural environment
- Provide professional development opportunities for educators to learn about integrating environmentally sustainable education into all areas of their program
- Ensure Enhance FDC services and Educators join a preferred provider e.g. The QLD early childhood sustainability network to liaise with other education and care services and maintain currency on practices and ideas for being environmentally responsible
- Where relevant, review policies and procedures within the service to achieve more sustainable outcomes (e.g., using individual hand towels instead of paper towel to dry hands)
- Use electronic communication where possible to reduce paper use in Enhance FDC offices and between families for newsletters, billing, and other communication needs
- Conduct environmentally responsible audits to ensure consistency and continuous improvement
- Source resources and materials from reverse garbage or second-hand stores to use within the loose parts trailer and play sessions
- Incorporate recycling as part of everyday practice at their service. Recycled or multiuse containers will be provided throughout mealtimes and experiences
- Role model environmentally responsible practices
- Discuss environmentally responsible practices with the children and families as part of the curriculum
- Provide information to families on environmentally responsible practices that are implemented at the service and encourage the application of these practices in the home environment
- Share ideas between enhance FDC educators, children, and families about environmentally responsible ideas, implementation, and resources. This will be supported through our communication strategies, including emails, newsletters, and informal conversations
- Reduce food waste in the service through the introduction of a waste reduction program such as a worm farm/composting bin or ‘nude food’ days. Children will be encouraged to consider food waste and contribute to less waste by placing food scraps into separate containers for use in the worm farm or composting bin or to be donated locally to a community garden etc
- Role model energy and water conservation practices: for example, turning off lights and air-conditioning when a room is not in use, emptying water play containers onto garden areas
- Seek to purchase equipment that is environmentally friendly where possible. Educators will reduce the amount of plastic and disposable equipment they purchase and select materials that are made of natural materials
- Use the concept of ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’, which will become part of everyday practice for both children and educators to build lifelong attitudes towards environmentally responsible practices
- Use ‘green cleaning’ products to replace chemicals where possible
- Collaborate with families and the community for involvement in programs that promote sustainability such as take 3 for the sea or clean up Australia day
- Provide colour coded bins for landfill only, organic waste, paper recycling, mixed recyclables
- Continue to consider and review practices that support sustainability in their own environment, specific to their home, community and children accessing their service
|Recycling||• Provide bins and signage for waste and recycled materials|
• Recycle paper and all other recyclable rubbish
• Use recycled water (e.g., for watering gardens)
|Gardening||• Plant vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees |
• Establish a worm farm
• Give food scraps to worms or service pets, or to families to take home for their pet/s
• Provide education to children about activities such as ‘garden to plate’ activities
• Provide opportunities for children to participate in experiences such as seed sprouting, vegetable gardening, cooking with what is grown, and provide education about weeds
|Energy conservation||• Install led lighting where possible |
• Turn off non-led lights when not in use
• Turn off electrical appliances at the outlet when not in use
• Use natural ventilation and insulated blinds/drapes rather than air conditioning when temperatures are not extreme
|Water conservation||• Using half flush on the toilet |
• Turn off the taps and ensure leaking taps are fixed immediately
• Encourage shorter showers
• Teach children to turn off tap when brushing teeth
• Collect rainwater and use in the garden and for water/sand play
• Use water play water on the garden rather than tipping out at the end of the day
• Install water tanks or a grey water system
• Convert toilet cisterns to dual flush
• Convert to water saving taps at the residence
|Nature and wildlife||• Use natural materials – trees, blocks, boxes etc. In arts and crafts and play |
• Educate children about the natural decomposition cycle through exposure and participation in worm farms and composting food scraps
• Plant ‘bird attracting’ plants and install a birdbath
• Plant ‘butterfly attracting’ plants
• Create a lizard lounge
• Collaborate with wildlife educators to assist in educating children
|Communicate||• Provide families with hints and tips in newsletters about how they can become sustainable at home |
• Use scrap paper for art and craft
• Use both sides of paper for drawing
FDCAQ reserves the right to vary, replace or terminate this policy.
|Links to associated documents||Nil|
|Acknowledgements and references||Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE): www.aaee.org.au|
Department of Environment and Energy: www.environment.gov.au
Education and Care Services National Regulations. (2011).
Kearns, K. (2017). The Business of Childcare (4th Ed.).
NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network (ECEEN): www.eceen.org.au
Queensland Early Childhood Sustainability Network (QECSN): www.qecsn.org.au
Revised National Quality Standard. (2018).
National Health and Medical Research Council. (2012) (updated June 2013). Staying healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services (5th Ed.).