Totom House |
Multicultural Early Childhood Centre

Our Philosophy

Totom House works in partnership with families and children to provide quality care and education through a stimulating environment with a multicultural focus.

Totom House Multicultural Early Childhood Centre aspires to be an outstanding learning community and environment, which values professional excellence, diversity and exceptional relationships. 

Totom House is a community based early childhood centre located in the heart of a busy neighbourhood hub on the land of the Ngunnawal people. We pride ourselves on providing welcoming environments for children and families which consists of open and natural play spaces, multicultural surroundings and friendly atmosphere.

We believe children are capable, confident, curious, creative, active participants and active decision makers. We as educators thrive to be a co-learner and collaborator along with children. We value families’ participation in the centre’s program and management and welcome connection with the local community. Together we support children to become active citizens with rights and contributing members of their local community.

We draw ideas from many theories that support responsiveness to children’s ideas and play, which helps us become aware of teachable moments to scaffold children’s learning. We believe that learning occurs in social contexts, therefore relationships and participations are supported in our program and practice.

The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the philosophy of Reggio Emilia guide our program and practice with particular an emphasis on play-based learning and collaborative programming that builds on children’s ideas and interests as part of our curriculum decision- making. We hold high expectations for children’s achievements. To facilitate their learning, we endeavour to be responsive to children’s ideas and stimulate their thinking. Our educational documentation includes progress of children’s learning as a group which is shared with children, families and educators for their reflection.

We recognise the children’s right to be a child and experience a joy of childhood by attending to their wellbeing; providing an environment where children feel safe, secure and supported. We build and maintain respectful and trusting relationships with each other, recognise and respect children’s values, cultures and beliefs to support children to grow up to shape their own identity, respect others and their environment.

At Totom, well qualified and welcoming educators create a warm and homely atmosphere for children. We develop strong relationships with families and offer flexible curriculums and routines to children with respect and care. As a friendly and small community-based Centre, we strongly focus on the wellbeing of our children and families.

We continually seek ways to build our professional knowledge, reflect our practices, and develop learning communities. We aim to create learning environments with natural enrichment which is sustainable, invites open-ended interactions and a fun learning place for all.


The Core Values and Principles we believe in are that:

Children thrive in an environment where we:

  • provide an atmosphere where they feel safe, comfortable, loved, happy and where they have fun
  • meet the developmental needs of the children in our care
  • help children develop confidence in their abilities and a sense of self worth
  • teach children to respect their environment, and
  • teach children to accept and respect the diversity and cultures of others.

Families depend on us to:

  • be non-judgemental, respect their beliefs, and value their parenting skills
  • value and acknowledge the importance of open communication between staff and families to ensure the best outcome for our children
  • encourage the involvement of families, and
  • assist and support families with their parenting skills.

Our staff:

  • deserve to be valued for their varied experience and qualifications
  • are committed to the implementation of our philosophy
  • accept and support each other through teamwork, and
  • respect the diversity and cultures of children, families and the wider community.
The community plays an integral part by:
  • providing families and staff with information about services and agencies in the community
  • contributing to the understanding of our diverse culture and backgrounds by staff, children and families, and
  • having positive interactions with the Centre.

Our management will:

  • value and respect the staff
  • take responsibility for providing the highest quality care and education
  • ensure the financial viability of the Centre
  • implement the Centre philosophy, and
  • strive for best practice and continuous improvement.
In relation to children, we will:
  • provide a secure, caring and educational environment which ensures children’s comfort and happiness
  • plan and implement a stimulating program designed to meet individual requirements and developmental needs
  • provide a balance of experiences to encourage children to respect their environment and to value diversity in humankind, and
  • provide children with constructive ways to deal with conflict and to actively encourage non-violent play.

In relation to families we will:

  • provide an orientation policy which ensures two-way communication between families and the Centre
  • ensure there are ongoing opportunities for parents to have input into management procedures and programs
  • have a range of communication tools for parents such as newsletters, parent/teacher meetings, surveys and a suggestion box
  • encourage parents to become members of the committee and have input into the program and daily running of the Centre through excursions, celebration days and working bees
  • provide a range of resources for parents, and
  • value, celebrate of respect all families.

In relation to staff we will:

  • monitor staff performance and team dynamics and address as appropriate
  • ensure new staff, students and volunteers have access to the Centre’s philosophy, policies and support
  • provide the best possible working conditions
  • have regular staff meetings and room meetings
  • encourage staff training and development
  • encourage innovation and iniative in implementing best practice, and
  • encourage staff involvement in formulating and reviewing policies.

In relation to community we will:

  • inform families and staff of organisations in the community through displays, newsletters, open days, pamphlets and verbal communication
  • help children develop an understanding of the community through excursions and patronage of local businesses
  • encourage community involvement via donations and incursions, and
  • utilise the support agencies within the community.

In relation to management we will:

  • value and respect the staff
  • offer appropriate training and resources for committee members
  • encourage staff to support the management committee with clear communication
  • regularly review Centre philosophy with committee and staff
  • support the development of new policies, procedures and records
  • maintain the financial viability of the Centre
  • implement the Centre philosophy, and
  • improve our performance through regular review, assessment and accreditation.
© Totom House Inc 2009
Site by Libby Heasman
Logo design by Martine Valentin

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