The Toddle Green Awards were designed to celebrate the amazing achievements of child care centres around Australia in the area of sustainability. We were humbled to receive almost 100 entries, and after poring through the criteria we have selected our four finalists and overall winner.
The Green Awards are brought to you by Australia’s most trusted child care comparison site, Toddle, and our charity partner Millennium Kids, a not-for-profit organisation that helps schools and community groups collaborate on projects that help the environment. One of the judges on our panel was Millennium Kids CEO, Cat Aniere.
‘There are many wonderful initiatives being undertaken through the child care centres, with so many embracing sustainability principles across curriculum areas,’ she shared.
Western Sydney University Early Learning Penrith WINS the Toddle Green Awards!
Located on the university campus at Kingswood in Sydney’s west, Western Sydney University Early Learning Penrith wowed the judges with their incredible commitment to sustainability.
Some of the terrific ways this centre is working towards a greener future include their Bush Tucker garden, pet chickens, water tanks and water saving taps, energy efficient lighting, native trees, a bushfire regeneration program and they’ve even adopted a koala through the Port Macquarie hospital.
Recently the centre was involved in an extensive child-led research project about climate change and bushfire recovery. Many of the centre’s families were adversely affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires in the Blue Mountains and surrounds. Through an arts-based approach the centre is working to develop hope and resilience in the children.
Children have engaged in regeneration, planting native trees to provide shelter and food for native animals and learning about how they can influence the process of climate change and advocacy. This includes some activities relating to Indigenous land management practices that support regeneration. Much of this research will be added to an upcoming book to be published later this year.
Western Sydney University Early Learning Penrith plan to spend their $2,000 Bunnings voucher on some established shade trees to reduce hot surfaces in the playground; adding more raised garden beds and fruit trees; and the purchase of another water tank to capture more rainwater for irrigation.
The four finalists for the Toddle Green Awards
But the prizes don’t stop there - these four centres are the lucky finalists who each take home a prize - a $1,000 Bunnings voucher!
Congratulations to the following four centres:
Leap Ahead Learning Montmorency in Melbourne, Victoria, plans to expand their veggie garden and add some plants that will attract birds and bees; grow some Indigenous food; and add some water tanks. They currently teach the children about sustainability through their local First Nations' People, the Wurundjeri, showing them how to look after the planet in the same way. They make purchases based on sustainability criteria, which means buying products that are often made in Australia and organic.
McGraths Hill Learning Centre in Sydney, NSW plans to build a greenhouse to grow their own produce; and to establish their very own bush tucker garden. This newly renovated centre on five acres has sensor lights, water tanks and timers on their taps to save precious resources. They’ve cut their use of paper right down, care for farm animals such as alpacas, and use natural baskets instead of plastic tubs. They’ve also recently employed an outdoor gardening educator to work with the children on the veggie gardens.
Explore & Develop Annandale in Sydney, NSW, plans to add another native beehive to their rooftop garden; as well as some more native plants to provide a habitat for animals and insects. This centre is committed to nature play, with all ages going out into the parks and bushland to play. The children and their families recently made over 400 boomerang bags from unwanted fabric. They have solar panels, a worm farm and compost, they keep printing to an absolute minimum. They use sustainable materials such as reusable cloths in the bathroom, and avoid all single use plastics.
Leading Edge Childcare Morayfield in Moreton Bay, Queensland, plans to upgrade their vegetable and herb gardens; introduce stingless bees; and set up a community garden out the front of the centre. This centre has sustainable practices within all aspects of their curriculum. They teach the children about the local Indigenous Australians and how we must also show the same respect by caring for the land so that the animals, trees, beaches, rain forests and bushes can continue living for our children's children to enjoy in the future.
A huge thanks to the centres that entered the Toddle Green Awards. It’s so inspiring to see the incredible things that these centres are doing in order to teach the next generation of Australian children how to care for the planet.
Raising money for a good cause
If you want to help support Millennium Kids - a not-for-profit organisation that helps schools and community groups collaborate on projects that help the environment, visit the Toddle Shop where you can buy stickers, posters and storybooks.
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