The Seedlings Program

 

WHAT - Council supports early childhood education and care services (that is, kindergartens and childcare centres) to include sustainability education in their curriculum and to reduce their energy use, water use and waste generation. 

 

WHY - This program provides the support that these organisations need to reduce their impact on the environment. It is also an opportunity to link in with the children, families, clients and the broader community to increase their environmental education and to promote the behaviour change initiatives.

 
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Meet Verity

Verity McLucas is our Seedlings Program Manager. Verity's passion for working with children and educators is inspiring and infectious.

In this article Verity shares her passions and her insights on sustainability and Seedlings. 


The latest news

Early Years War on Waste

The Seedlings program is upping the war on waste. In November, there will be a waste session for educators to learn about everything from reducing consumption, the impact of using certain materials, what happens to waste once it leaves their service, and much, much more.

The Seedlings program is also running two pilot waste excursions for kindergarten children to the Ravenhall Landfill site, which receives 5,000 tonnes of waste from around Melbourne every single day. Here, children will see where waste from their bins ends up, and the impact it has on land use, air quality, and global warming. The children will be encouraged to work out ways they can reduce the amount of waste coming to landfill sites, both at their service and at home.

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Albert Park Kindergarten – The Butterfly Effect

As part of the renowned ‘Of Nature’ exhibition at Gasworks Arts Park, an inspiring installation by Albert Park Kindergarten documents their journey toward sustainability. Titled ‘The Butterfly Effect’, their story is punctuated by dozens of handcrafted butterflies made from hessian and non-toxic paint, hanging from twine and wooden branches. Their story emphasises that small causes can have a big impact. They’ve learnt that by working together with the children, families, staff, council and the broader community, that they can achieve their dream of becoming a carbon neutral kindergarten, with minimum waste output, minimum water use, and genuine sustainability education embedded in their teaching practice.

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ALBERT PARK KINDERGARDEN

When it comes to sustainability Albert Park Kindergarden like to dream big. Their current dream is carbon neutrality. 

Read about their journey here

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The IMPACT

With the ongoing support of the Seedling Program the services are reducing their energy use, water use and waste generation. Here are four services that achieved outstanding results between 2016 - 2017. 

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  • Albert Park Kindergarten:

    • Water use decreased 64%

    • Gas use decreased 76%

    • Electricity decreased 24%

  • North St Kilda Children’s Centre:

    • Gas use decreased 50%

    • Water use decreased 38%

  • Bubup Womindjeka Family and Children’s Centre:

    • Water use decreased 63%

  • Goodstart Elwood

    • Gas use decreased 45%

Our centres partnership with City of Port Phillip as a member of the seedlings program has had a significant impact at our service. The mentoring provided by Brett and Verity supports our service to continue to learn and grow. With their guidance we have not only become more sustainable, we’ve strengthened program, community engagement, and developed the skills needed to turn dreams into reality. Every day the Seedlings team comes to visit is a great day for us all and there is always something new to discuss and discover.
— Jenny Whelan, Albert Park Kinder’s Director