Best of child’s play

Early education leaders from Shanghai with TAFE's Sandy Pritchard, Forbes Preschoolers Sasha McCarthy, Alice Davies, Sandra Dipu, Eliza Wythes, Amy Shine, Rhylan Gunn, Aria Bernardi, Abigail Skinner and TAFE's Susan Bird.
Early education leaders from Shanghai with TAFE's Sandy Pritchard, Forbes Preschoolers Sasha McCarthy, Alice Davies, Sandra Dipu, Eliza Wythes, Amy Shine, Rhylan Gunn, Aria Bernardi, Abigail Skinner and TAFE's Susan Bird.

A group of Chinese early childhood education and care professionals will return to their home country with new skills and knowledge after undertaking a two-week study tour in the central west.

As part of a partnership with TAFE NSW, members of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and a number of other Chinese students spent two weeks learning from not only TAFE teachers, but industry experts at early childhood centres.

The group spent a day in Forbes, with educators and children at the Forbes Preschool.

Preschool director Amy Shine said it had been excellent to host the delegation, who had visited early childhood centres all over the world. 

The visitors spent a lot of time playing with the local kids, she said.

Knowing how extensively the group had travelled and how many centres they had visited, it was a real affirmation to hear them repeatedly use the word “amazing” about what’s happening here in Forbes.

Ms Shine took the opportunity to sit down with the coordinator and, through a translator, talk about what’s happening in early childhood education.

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TAFE NSW Early Childhood Head Teacher, Susan Bird, said the enthusiastic group thoroughly enjoyed learning what they described as a ‘unique training perspective’.

“They were very interested in learning all about Australian-best teaching practices and training methods. While they acknowledged a lot of the training was vastly different to theirs, they were also excited to draw comparisons with the services they offer in Shanghai,” she said.

“I’m really confident these professionals will implement a lot of what they have learnt while in the central west into their teaching methods in Shanghai and it will benefit hundreds of children,” Ms Bird said.

Director of the Shanghai Early Childhood Education and Guidance Center, Mao Hong said they appreciate a lot of the teaching philosophies in Australian early learning centres and that those are supported by a national framework.

“We see they [educators] are committed to bringing out the best in every student,” she said. “Every child is respected and appreciated as an individual.”