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Albany gets hi-tech early childhood centre

The Premier of Western Australia recently officially opened the brand-new early childhood centre at Flinders Park Primary School in Albany.

The state-of-the-art centre was designed with specialist learning areas, catering for a play-based learning approach.

Fully equipped with early childhood specific equipment, shaded outdoor areas and soft-fall flooring, the centre is a fun, safe and educational space for the youngest learners.

Built at a cost of $2.5 million, the classrooms have the latest embedded technologies including access to wireless devices and interactive touch screens.

The new centre is also energy efficient with a variety of self-monitoring heating, cooling and light-sensing technology.

While in Albany, the Premier has also announced the next steps for a major redevelopment for Mount Lockyer Primary School, with the forward works awarded to Albany based contractor AD Contractors Pty Ltd. The construction tender will be released later in the year.

The Premier also revealed that construction is underway on a new two-storey teaching block and refurbishments at North Albany Senior High School and Albany Secondary Education Support Centre. Construction is expected to be completed by April 2021.

Construction for an extension of the science building at North Albany Senior High School has been completed.

These works were awarded to local contractor Wauters Enterprises Pty Ltd. The project budget is $9.8 million.

The Premier stated, “I’m proud to officially open these fantastic modern facilities at Flinders Park Primary School. I am sure that staff, families and children will enjoy the beautiful, specialist classrooms that have been designed for the youngest learners.

“We have a significant investment in schools in Albany to deliver the best possible learning environment for local students. It’s fantastic to see works being carried out by local companies, creating jobs for local workers,” he said.

The region’s Education and Training Minister stated,We know that the early years are so important for setting children up for successful learning.  I am confident that the staff, facilities, technology and equipment in this new centre will give students at Flinders Park Primary School the very best start.”

The Albany MLA Peter Watson noted that this is an important election commitment that the government has worked hard to deliver, and this is a huge win for local families.

Free professional development available for ECEC educators to keep children safe online

More support for early learners and educators comes in the form of online courses.

According to another article, professional development supporting the resources from the Playing IT Safe initiative are now available to support early childhood educators to teach pre-schoolers basic online safety through play-based learning.

This initiative is important for the wellbeing of children, and that the platform has the potential to form a strong basis for more humane, kinder and more respectful internet culture.

With workshops arising from the collaboration between the Australian Federal Police among others, the Playing IT Safe web portal hosts play-based activities, games and resources for early learning educators, parents and carers to use when introducing technology and online safety to young children.

The portal’s resources use play to teach children about what the internet is, how messages and photos are shared and who to go to if they feel scared or need help when using technology.

The workshops which support the portal and its resources are essential for early childhood educators to confidently and effectively incorporate Playing IT Safe into their educational and care environments.

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