You’ll probably see the centre director, Alison Cayley, in the office most of the time. But any chance she gets, you’ll find her sneaking into a room to play with the kids. Find out more about Alison and her approach to educating children.
1. What do you like best about working at Red Apple?
Red Apple is amazing. The educators I get to work with every day are so inspiring, and the families are so warm; Red Apple Vermont feels like home.
2. How is your education program different from other early learning centres?
I’ve been in the early learning industry for over 17 years and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s the importance of letting children lead the learning. When children initiate play, they are more motivated to learn. They don’t play totally freely, of course. The educator’s role is to guide them and support them, celebrate their achievements. We ask them questions and stretch their thinking to higher levels. Play-based learning makes learning fun for the child and at the same time, the child develops 21st-century skills such as extending their inquiry processes, creativity and applying their knowledge to solve problems.
3. What is your favourite activity to do with the children?
Many people may not know, but I love to sing. As the director of the Centre, I miss my time being on the floor with the children. Every day, I make a conscious effort to go into the rooms and sit with a group of children. We talk, we play, but my favourite activity is when I get to sing with them. I believe that music plays a big role in developing children’s minds.
4. Why did you choose to be an early learning educator?
I chose this career not knowing what I was getting myself into. I thought I would get to play with children all day and have fun. But Early Childhood is so much more than that. It is an absolute privilege to be able to watch children grow as independent learners. As educators, our role is to guide them and support them through some of their biggest milestones in life.