Emali Early Learning Centre: Creating a place of safety and belonging for SA children

From their earliest days, young children absorb the world around them, shaped not only by their immediate family but also by the wider community. These formative years are a crucial time for fostering a sense of safety and belonging, while feeling valued and understood. Learning by participating and observing our surroundings builds what we know as “community connection”.

Emali Early Learning Centre was established in South Australia with the vision of creating safe and inclusive environments for children. Emali provides opportunities for children to participate in engaging learning experiences tailoring them to suit each individual child, while facilitating new community connections for children and families within their centres. Being locally owned and operated allows Emali to use their established community connection to extend learning beyond the walls of their centres.

This supports foundations for growth and development through real-life experiences for for children from 6 weeks of age through to Preschool.

“We see young children as valuable people within the community and embrace their unique ways of learning about the world around them,” Emali Director, Natasha, says. “By listening to the children’s voice, we understand their individual interests and can implement this into practical and fun learning experiences within our curriculum that is supported by the Early Years Learning Framework.”

One of the many ways which Emali Early Learning Centre incorporates community connection throughout their curriculum is through planned excursions and their extensive, complimentary extra-curricular programs. The experiences set up for the children are as bespoke as each centre itself.

“Our qualified Early Childhood Teachers and Educators draw from a variety of educational theories to create a holistic approach, focusing on incorporating foundations of the school-based curriculum into age-appropriate and engaging activities,” says Emali Director, Trish. “Our Preschool children recently had a lot of interest in topics that relate to STEM based school subjects, so we arranged an excursion, catching the train from Emali Underdale to the National Railway Museum to learn about locomotives and how they work. The children have also been introduced to microscopes, using them to explore different materials during National Science Week.”

Each Emali centre is uniquely designed considering the surrounding community catering to local families and children through their facilities and programs provided.

Experiences like these are consistent across all Emali centres. Some more recent examples have been excursions to local garden centres where children selected plants to grow their own garden while learning about ecosystems. There are also regularly planned cooking lessons with recipes inspired by the different cultures of children attending the centre, teaching them about nutrition and developing skills they will use as they transition into teenagers and adults.

Each Emali centre is uniquely designed, considering the surrounding community catering to local families and children through their facilities and programs provided. Emali Littlehampton, for example, incorporates an on-site barn with animals for the children to interact with while embedding bush kindy into their Preschool program. Likewise, Emali Brighton utilises the local beach, incorporating a wider variety of learning environments and experiences into the curriculum.

“Offering our Preschool program in a long-daycare setting provides convenience for working families,” says Emali Director, Erica. “It also facilitates a smooth transition for children as they graduate from the baby rooms through to Preschool spaces.” This allows the children to become school ready while remaining in a familiar learning environment, alongside other children, Early Childhood Teachers and Educators they have established relationships with, supported by a consistent daily routine and minimising disruption.

Emali Early Learning Centre has 9 locally owned and operated locations in Brighton, Broadview, Findon, Littlehampton, Hectorville, Morphett Vale, Prospect, Salisbury and Underdale, with more on the way. Emali has created a unique community in itself. Being an inclusive place for children and families of all cultures and backgrounds sees their centres and team be a valued extension of the family home.

To find out more about Emali Early Learning Centre and book a centre tour, visit:



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