Our team has a range of specialists who have worked across early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and the corporate sector. We have particular expertise in curriculum design, leadership, emotional intelligence, team building, major project work, teaching and learning pedagogies, environmental designs for teaching and learning, mentoring, research, submission writing and grant applications and facilitation of planning days and team meetings.
Shona Bass and Kathy Walker are experienced national and international speakers who enjoy a reputation for being engaging speakers who always present a message that is well articulated and engaging; they are renown by their ability to easily resonate with audiences and their appropriate and timely use of humor and anecdotes along side the message. Shona and Kathy are often requested to speak at public events, fundraisers and special events as well as for consultancy work.
Early Life Foundations is committed to collegiality and the development of networks for the good of children and families. Our organisation works alongside other organisations on a range of major projects and collaborate with both philanthropic, corporate and government sectors. Early Life Foundations also supports many small organisations in their mission to provide services and support to children, parents and families.
Enjoy looking through these pages and we invite you to browse the services we offer, our PD brochures, our fact sheets, podcasts and other resources.
We are running 2 great Emotional Intelligence professional development sessions this Friday, May 24! Don't miss out on this opportunity! The first session will run from 9:15am - 12:00pm: "Emotional Intelligence as a Basis for Working as an Early Childhood Educator" ... Regain confidence in yourself as an early childhood professional! How did we arrive at a point where we are so busy taking photos and writing up stories and descriptions of children’s learning that it actually takes us away from teaching and building relationships with children? So much change in such a short space of time! As ECE’s we need to reclaim some confidence and believe in ourselves again – this session revisits our body of knowledge, our professionalism and our expertise. This session will provide practical ideas about practice, philosophy and perspectives on the framework. The second session will run from 1:00pm - 4:00pm: "Being Emotionally Present for the Child" ... Mindfulness and presence in our work and relationship with young children! This session takes a new and refreshing look at building, supporting and maintaining our relationships with children and families as we work as ECE’s. This session uses Family Therapy Models and other theories to deepen our work with children as we scaffold, extend, guide and lead their learning, skills, emotions, behaviour and interactions. To book in, please visit the 2013 Bookings page or give us a ring at (03) 9596 9056.
Our hands-on workshops with the team from Zart Art Play Based Learning have been a huge success with participants this year! Don't miss the upcoming sessions running in the second half of the year - you will not be disappointed! Sessions are held at the Early Life Foundations Centre in Brighton and at Zart in Box Hill. For more info or to book in, please contact www.zartart.com.au or call Mari on (03) 9890 1867 or download our PD brochures from the bookings page.
Do you ever wish you could improve the relationships you have with your colleagues, children, students or clients? Would you like some support and new strategies on communicating effectively and reflecting on how best to work effectively alongside others? Our Emotional Intelligence (EI) half day professional development sessions cover off these issues and provide practical tips. For more info, give us a ring or download the EI brochure from our bookings page.
Want to improve communication between you and your children whether they are five or ten years of age? How do you get them to listen? How do you help them to express their feelings without always having a tantrum? Our next Monday Night Parent session will be held on May 6th at the Early Life Foundations Centre! Join Kathy & Shona for a practical session that will provide you with strategies to help ensure that relationships and communication continue on within the family. For more info or to book in, please give us a ring or visit our online website bookings. For more information, please download our Parent Session brochure from the 2013 Bookings page.
Did you know that we receive emails and calls daily from schools & teachers all across the world? We are very excited to have so many international visitors and so many countries inviting us to share our personalised learning and our systems model for teaching to the whole child right across the world! We often think we have to go overseas to observe what others are doing when in fact others are now coming to us for professional development, study tours and to visit state of the art schools and early childhood programs working with us all across Australia. Please check out our Walker Learning Study Tours and contact us to arrange professional development and to visit to one of our fantastic schools and early childhood programs. Right on your own door step, Australia!
Making choices is a fundamental element of almost every facet throughout our lives. As children grow up into adults, parents are not there so much to guide or help children make good choices that will help keep them safe, and ensure they make appropriate choices. The way we parent when children are young, the things we say, how we discipline, the modeling we provide, all help children to develop more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated behaviours. For some tips to support you, please download our latest Parenting Fact Sheet titled "How to Help Your Child Make Appropriate Choices Throughout Their Life: Promoting Intrinsic Rather Than Extrinsic Motivation" on our Parents page.
Don't miss our upcoming Monday Night Parent Session at the Early Life Foundations Centre with Kathy & Shona! Our next session is focussing on the most effective discipline technique of all time - consequences. This is a very practical session that will provide practical support and examples to support parents with their parenting. Book online or by phone to ensure a place! For more information, please download our Parent Session brochure from the 2013 Bookings page.
Wondering what the WLA is all about? Would you like to see a WLA school in action? There is still time to book into our upcoming Prep - Year 6 Study Tour in Melbourne. On April 22, we will be visiting the amazing teachers & leaders at Sandringham Primary School! Join us for a day of seeing their dynamic learning spaces in action, observing several of their WLA accredited teachers and speaking with their school leadership team followed by our afternoon professional development session. For more info, please give us a ring or book in through the 2013 Bookings page.
We are excited to announce that Kathy will be coming to Adelaide on June 28 to run our most popular Early Childhood Educators Professional Development Session titled "Want Your Life Back?" This ECE professional development session will look at documentation and planning that doesn’t take your weekend away or interrupt your interactions with children! Kathy will present a realistic and practical range of strategies to document and record information that links to the NQF expectations and is useful to share with parents and children but does not require huge amounts of time, ink, photos and writing! This PD session is now open for bookings through our website (Internal PD Session, Early Childhood Educators PD) This session will be hosted by Antonio Catholic School in Morphett Vale, SA on Friday, June 28 from 1-4pm. Please download our Early Childhood Educators PD Brochure or give us a ring for more details. Please book in EARLY as this is our most popular ECE session and places will be limited!
Don't forget to stop by our Early Life Foundations Facebook page. You don't even have to be a member of Facebook to access our page - it is open to the public. We post a variety of photos, quotes, news articles, comments, research and other information daily! www.facebook.com/EarlyLifeFoundations
Be sure to check out our professional development workshops available for Early Years and Early Childhood Educators, created together with the team at Zart Art Play-Based Learning! These practical workshops give new ideas on increasing your own skills on how to use art, craft, natural material and resources to extend and enrich children's open-ended play, creativity, exploration of and use of their imagination through the use of art materials. Kathy Walker and Zart staff will work together to model the range of rich provocations and uses of materials to use in a rich range of open-ended ways to provoke thinking, imagination, creativity, skill development, language and other areas of learning and development. Sessions are running at both the Early Life Foundations Centre and at Zart throughout the year. Give us a ring for more details!
We are very excited to have so many international visitors and so many countries inviting us to share our personalised learning and our systems model for teaching to the whole child right across the world! We often think we have to go overseas to observe what others are doing when in fact others are now coming to us for professional development, study tours and to visit state of the art schools and early childhood programs working with us. We also believe that whilst its great to visit other countries and programs, it is very important to remember that they have been developed in ways that are culturally appropriate for them and often funded incredibly well. What we have here in our own country is culturally and contextually appropriate for our country. Check out our Walker Learning study tours and contact us to arrange professional development and to visit to one of our fantastic schools and early childhood programs. Right on your own door step!
Early Life Foundations is pleased to announced our new collaboration with The Edge Coaching. Debbie Marks, Director of The Edge Coaching, brings her extensive experience in helping women juggling a career and family life and empowers parents to create the lifestyle that works for them. With a passion for people and communication, Debbie provides parents with the support, tools and time to get ahead in their professional and personal lives. Debbie offers an effective workshop program called "The Working Parent Resilience” Program that empowers parents with five key modules to help them maintain their personal and professional momentum. For more information on Debbie's upcoming sessions at the Centre for Adult Education (Melbourne), please visit www.cae.edu.au or www.theedgecoaching.org
Our first newsletter of the year is now available for download! This edition of the newsletter has something for everyone; the comment section addresses how to improve children’s learning outcomes and Kathy’s article for Early Childhood Educators confronts the recent trend to focus on the end product rather than the process. We are delighted to have Debbie Marks contribute to our feature article for parents wanting their work-life balance … balanced! As usual there is lots of information and news in the Walker Learning Approach section. Download your copy today through the "Our Newsletters" page on the main menu.
We are very excited to announce the 2013 Walker Learning Approach National Tour! In 2013 we will be coming to each state to present on culturally and developmentally appropriate play-based and personalised learning! Keep an eye out for more details very soon.
Shona is a keynote speaker at a conference in Mackay this weekend for Early Childhood Educators. She will speaking on intentional teaching & emergent curriculum, realistic documentation & reporting that links with the NQF expectations, and the importance of learning environments that are play-based & open-ended!
Upcoming ECE Professional Development: "Preparing for the NQF Assessment and Ongoing Quality and Practicalities in Your Centre" Join us on Friday, March 15 for this half day PD session at the Early Life Foundations Centre! This session will provide practical tips on what happens in an assessment visit, how to prepare not only the program, but your team. More importantly, it helps to provide a platform for a common sense approach to ongoing sustainable practices of quality once the assessment visit has occurred. A visit to our Demonstration Unit is also included in this session. Book in online or give us a ring for more details!
Kathy was a keynote speaker in Cairns today for Early Childhood Educators on regaining perspective on what is really most important in Education - relationships, not documentation! For more details on our ECE professional development opportunities, please download our ECE PD brochure.
It's not too late to book into our first Monday Night Parent Session at the Early Life Foundations Centre on Monday, March 4! Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever do but it isn’t always easy! In this session we will talk about the complexities and practicalities of working with children's behaviour and we will provide a range of practical strategies to assist parents to create a calmer, more nurturing home environment, and unpack top strategies for managing challenging behaviour. Book in online today! For more information and details, give us a ring or download our Parent Session brochure!
The team at Early Life Foundations provide information and support to a range of groups on many different issues. Managing committees, selection of staff and interviews, staff appraisals, interpretations and support for accreditation and frameworks, leadership mentoring, facilitation of conferences and professional development. Feel free to browse our professional development opportunities or contact us to discuss your needs.
Successful leading involves creating resonance, being able to read accurately how members of the team or organisation are responding or feeling and being in touch with your own strengths and challenges. Leading is multifactorial and involves a range of community members; executives, teachers, parents and children – it may be in large corporate organsiations or small teams working in isolation. The skills of leadership require insight into ones own capacities, skills, emotions and personality. Emotional intelligence provides a platform for personal and professional self-awareness, social awareness and self and relationship management. The team at Early Life Foundations conducts very popular sessions that are based upon an emotional intelligence model and are valuable for leaders, teachers, educators, managers, directors, and anyone who wishes to build upon their skills of leadership.
Framework documents come and go, directives from above change constantly. How do teachers, schools and early childhood centres develop and sustain strong teaching and learning strategies that are consistent across all staff and teams so the children and families are provided with continuity and consistency?
The team at Early Life Foundations has expertise in curricula design and philosophy development. We work with staff and programs to guide and facilitate the development, exploration and establishment of philosophy, curriculum and practices. The process leads to the development of a solid set of shared understandings and consistent practices across all aspects of the community. We offer a range of supports, PD and mentoring, whole day/half day/ retreat sessions, where staff and teams can work on developing their philosophy, teamwork and practice.