NSW Early Years Nature Connections hold Gatherings approximately four times each year at different services who take children ‘out the gate’.
The Gatherings are held on Saturdays in and around the Sydney area and are open to all, but are mainly aimed at practitioners who want to find out about taking children out into nature, see the sites, hear from other practitioners about their pedagogies in nature and how the programs operate.
Most importantly, the Gatherings are a time to network and share knowledge. We contact all people on our mailing list about the Gatherings and through our Facebook page.
On 5 March 2022, NSW Early Years Nature Connections held our inaugural conference 'Nature Play - Not a passing fad', at the Randwick Community Sustainability Hub. The purpose of this conference was to inspire and connect early childhood educators who take children 'beyond the fence' of early years services.
We aim for our annual conferences to always be affordable for those educators who need to pay their own way, and be kept small to promote networking. We are a Not for Profit organisation so ticket prices go towards creating more opportunities for NSW EYNC members and the community.
Our conference is a day of learning in and with nature and hearing from Australian academics and early childhood practitioners. A broad range of activities facilitate learning and discussion amongst educators who are new to nature play pedagogy, as well as extend the thinking of those who have been visiting the bush /beach with groups of children for some time. Like our Facebook page to keep up to date with new conferences.
NSW EYNC aims to develop many more sessions to support our community of educators and share news of any relevant opportunities taking place across our networks.
Some of our recent Professional Learning sessions have been developed in collaboration with AAEE NSW (Australian Association for Environmental Education NSW).
For anyone interested in participating, hosting or sharing such events, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via our Facebook page.
Outdoor Learning Centres
There is a growing list of childcare centres, services and playgroups developing their Nature Pedagogies across the state.
This practice comes in many forms for these established centres and groups, and can involve: connection to nature in an urban landscape, connection to shared community spaces, connection to Indigenous perspectives of land, water and skies and extended excursions. In each setting, pedagogy is developed around both place and relationships.
We are developing this list and hope to add more information as we go.