Say Hi to Kirby
Kirby operates ‘The Learning Studio’ Family Day Care from her home in Pottsville that she shares with her partner Gus, and her two gorgeous girls. Kirby is a strong advocate for a child’s right to play, and offers a holistic program that nourishes the child’s whole self.
Kirby completed a Diploma of Children’s Services in 2007, and worked in Long Day Care Centres with children 0-5 years before moving to a beautiful Community Based Preschool in Byron Bay.
During this time she began studying (and having babies!) a Bachelor of Education and Early Childhood and is just a few subjects shy of completion!
Big Hearted Care
For Kirby, ‘big hearted care’ means “embracing each child for their amazing unique qualities, and supporting them through their journey with an open, loving heart”. She takes great pride in developing positive relationships with the children and families in her care.
Kirby is also a research and learning junkie!
In her spare time she reads books on behaviour, and brain development, and listens to podcasts that help her reflect on current practices or spark new ideas on caring for the child.
Indoor play opportunities
The playspace is calm and inspiring with a large home corner full of felt food, wooden and metal bowls and spoons, as well as baby dolls which are deeply cared for and wrapped up in their beds after a long day of play. There are many beautiful wooden toys, wooden blocks, cars, loose parts, animals, felt fairies and small handmade crafts for children to explore and imagine with.
Kirby thoughtfully selects toys that are open ended, and presents invitations to play that are reflective of the children’s needs and interests.
Outdoor Environment and links to nature and sustainability
The outdoor space is planned to evoke curiosity and wonder with little hits of magic.
Children love to spend their days playing in the cubby house, eating and picking herbs from the many garden beds to add to their creations in the mud kitchen and sandpit, riding trikes, kicking balls and running around with the grass under their toes!
As Kirby has a keen interest in learning about proprioception and the brain/body connection, there is always an opportunity for children to release some energy and wake up their brain ready for learning!
There are tyres, logs and loose parts for the children to roll and carry around the yard, and they often enjoy balancing on the slack line or hanging off the trapeze.
Kirby embeds small sustainable practices into the everyday such as collecting water from the water tank, turning off lights when they aren’t needed, putting food scraps into the compost tube so the worms can make some soil for them to return to the garden for growing.
Children are part of the process of preparing garden beds, weeding, planting, watering and caring for the gardens. The children enjoy picking passion fruits from large vine canopy overhead to eat.
Kirby lives in a wildlife rich estate that is full of many native birds that visit the garden. It is also common for us to see a Koala or Rabbits!
The plants at the Learning Studio have been planted to attract Native Bees and Butterflies, and the children are forever in awe when these beautiful creatures come into our garden.
Daily and Weekly Rhythms
Daily, weekly and seasonal Rhythms are the anchors that provide security and support the child throughout the day to know what to expect and what is expected of them.
Daily rhythms revolve around unstructured play indoors and outdoors, mealtimes and rest. These daily rhythms are supported by repetitive rituals such a mealtime songs, morning circle, and a rest time song, and help keep the atmosphere calm and peaceful.
Kirby is good at allowing the children time and space to complete tasks, and the environment is unhurried.
Our currently Weekly Rhythm:
Tuesdays – Cooking
Wednesdays – Craft/Painting/Handwork
Thursdays – Care for Garden / Yoga + breathing/tapping
Mealtimes, Cooking and Nourishment
Mealtimes here are a very special time.
At The Learning Studio, children bring their own snacks and lunch, and a piece of fruit or vegetable for the share plate. We gather together to prepare the table with a tablecloth and a little candle lantern.
Children take turns helping to prepare the fruit & Vegetable share plate for morning tea.
We begin our meals with a special song and enjoy chatting to one another whilst we nourish ourselves.
Meal times can be short, or extended, we go with the flow of the children.
Children are invited to wash up their own plates and cutlery, before packing up lunch boxes into the fridge.
These meaningful and joyful daily work tasks empower the children with life skills, confidence and a sense of belonging.
At The Learning Studio, we care for our earth by aiming to use only materials that can be recycled, reused or composted.
The children experience a range of art and craft activities that reflect the season or interests such as painting, sewing, threading, beeswax modelling, clay, and drawing.
We often collect natural materials from the yard, or children bring in items from our local creek or nature reserve to use.
Festivals help children mark the flow of the year, and is a way of connecting us with our larger community.
Family festivals are simply a way of coming together to share what the children have been doing, to share a meal, and bring families together.
Families are invited to a secret Facebook group where Kirby shares photos, videos and documents the children’s days.
Children will also receive a journal lovingly full of special artworks and moments of their time at The Learning Studio.
Details for The Learning Studio Family Day Care in Pottsville, NSW
- Opening hours and days: Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
- Enrolling children from: 6 months to School Age/12)
- Fees per child per hour: Please ask Educator for Statement of Fees
- Minimum hours: 8
- CCS Childcare Subsidy approved
- A maximum of four children under school age each day
- After School Care and Vacation Care available
- Please call: 0266763194 or 0409086506
- Check out our facebook page for more information and a sneak peek
Search Instagram @thelearningstudio.fdc