On Monday, 11 May Montessori Academy hosted a child development training session to explore the link between child development, the Montessori curriculum, and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and National Quality Standards (NQS).

The introduction to the training session covered important developmental milestones for children, including: social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and creative development.

Key aspects of the training focused on the different developmental milestones that are important for each age group, and the role that play has in helping children to reach their developmental objectives.

The second part of the training session covered theories of play, and how different types of play, such as unoccupied play, onlooker behaviour, parallel play, associate play and cooperative play, affect child development.

“Different types of play are essential to the holistic development of the child. Play allows children to learn to be creative, to think critically, to discover their natural talent and abilities, and to learn from others.

“As our founder Doctor Maria Montessori states: ‘play is the work of the child,’” said Meray Parsons.

Key theories covered in the training session, included: the surplus energy theory, the recreation theory, the instinct theory and the recapitulation theory. Each of these theories explore how play is important to the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children.

The final component of the training session covered the links between developmental milestones, and the EYLF and NQS. For each developmental area, the EYLF and NQS provide outcomes to evaluate how play-based learning enables children to reach key developmental milestones.

“The Montessori curriculum directly links with the developmental outcomes established by the EYLF and NQS because it is focused on the holistic development of the child.

“Everything about Montessori education, from the learning environment, to the didactic materials, through to the role of the educator, is designed to support and nurture children’s development in the most natural and complete way possible,” says Meray Parsons.

The child development training session was facilitated by Tracey Popple from the Community Childcare Co-operative, who is also the Director of Cronulla Preschool.