Children Learn through Play; Gamumbi Early Childhood Education Centre

Article excerpt

CHILDREN not only enjoy nutritional meals at the Gamumbi Early Childhood Education Centre but also grow vegetables and care for chickens.

The community-based organisation takes pride in its environmentally friendly initiatives, which recently extended to installing a water-saving, front-loading washing machine; a new 22,000 litre rain water tank connected to dual flush cisterns, sensor taps installed in the children's bathrooms and gutters and downpipes replaced.

This work, costing more than $25,000, was made possible through a grant via the government's community water grants program.

"We are proud to work with the government to help improve water efficiency," the centre's director Linda Caruana said.

Gamumbi management, staff and families attending the centre see environmental conservation and preservation as an important part of the service provision and curriculum. Its philosophy of 'learning through play' is also evident, with children learning to appreciate and respect the environment.

"The natural environment is a strong feature at Gamumbi," Linda said. "Our children are involved in caring for our organic vegetable patch, where they nurture their own vegetables, using water from our rain water tank."

Chickens at home

LAST year, families and staff constructed a pen for our three resident chickens.

"The kids care for the chickens, ensuring they are fed and have fresh water, and they collect the eggs, which are used as part of the lunches prepared at the centre.

"Involving them has a host of benefits," Linda said. …