The Kids Foundation’s SeeMore Safety might spruik lessons about how to keep safe around the home, but teachers say his lessons go further toward building resilience and independence in pre-schoolers and their ability to spot and manage danger.
Pupils at Black Hill Kindergarten had their first lesson with SeeMore Safety and Kids Foundation educator Michelle McCahon on Wednesday to learn how to identify dangers around the home, and heard stories and played games that reinforce the safety message.
“This is not just safety, but recognising dangers and letting someone know about it, which I think is a good way to give children independence and resilience and to understand what’s safe and what’s not,” said Black Hill kinder teacher Tristan Backshall.
“SeeMore Safety works in well with our program here at kinder because we do specific things like road safety and fire safety … and this ties in with being safe and responsible at home and at kinder.”
The Ballarat-based foundation has received funding from the RACV to expand the program to 2000 kinders across Victoria, and this year every Ballarat kindergarten will take part.
And in a further boost to the program, last week’s Federal Budget provided $1 million over two years to provide the safety program to 5000 kinders across Australia.
KIDS Foundation managing director Susie O’Neill said families with preschoolers who took part in the program made changes to their health and safe practices around the home.
“Research clearly demonstrates that when children are given the right learning opportunities and experiences, they build a foundation of knowledge that equips them with capabilities they need to become competent risk-takers and manage their safety,” she said.
“Research tells us that bubble-wrapping children, helicopter parenting and safer playgrounds is not helping reduce injuries. KIDS Foundation educates young children through programs that develop a child's own sense of safety risk assessment where they learn to act safely with understanding.”