ECEC Provider in Focus - The Rumpus Room
The Sector > Provider > General News > ECEC Provider in Focus – The Rumpus Room

ECEC Provider in Focus – The Rumpus Room

by Jason Roberts

November 19, 2022

The Rumpus Room is an established early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider with a network of six services located in and around Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.  


What is the history of The Rumpus Room group?


The Rumpus Room Group was established in 2013 by Richard and Lea Rule. 


“Our dream has always been to develop learning centres of beauty and excellence,” Richard said, “To create an environment focused around children in their formative years, where each day brings learning experiences through self-discovery and shared adventures.” 


“Places children can’t wait to come to each day because they cater for all their interests and needs, from babies through to school transition.”


Since opening their first centre in Broadmeadow The Rumpus Room has grown to six centres across the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas with a staff of over 120. 


What is The Rumpus Room’s vision and approach to early learning?


The Rumpus Room teams are focused on promoting the wonder, delight and intrigue of creativity in their programs. Their aim is to bring children to their full potential by creating an atmosphere of love, acceptance and fun.


Both Richard and Lea are intimately involved in setting expectations around program content, quality and delivery and believe strongly in the value and importance of a community focused approach to learning. 


A culture of treating each child with respect and encouraging quality learning interactions, not just simply supervising, is central to the Rumpus Room approach. 


Their educational approach is play based, featuring inquiry based learning, and co-constructed learning where children and adults shape the learning together with a focus on developing children’s metacognitive competency (learning how to learn) over time. 


Are there any unique aspects to The Rumpus Room offer?


Yes, there are. 


At the heart of The Rumpus Room’s success as an ECEC provider is a deep seated and embedded culture of positivity and respect for everybody involved in their community from children to parents to team members. 


This is reflected in how the provider and its staff members engage with children, how they lay out their services and most importantly how they engage with their staff right from the get go. 


For example, a singular focus on onboarding and inducting new team members is considered essential and a special time for new recruits’ journey. They are opportunities to connect, share and learn that are core to the Rumpus Room way. 


In addition, the Rumpus Room has a no uniform policy. This is due to the fact that Richard and Lea couldn’t reconcile why imposing a uniform mandate for their educators was equitable, and necessary, when teachers in schools were not expected to wear uniforms at all. 


And from a valuing perspective staff have been receiving above Modern Award wages for nearly a decade. 


Although it is very difficult to measure some of these less tangible qualities it is them that underpin why the Rumpus Room’s ability to maintain consistently high enrolments and retain staff members over time has been so strong and will continue to support the organisation into the future. 


What is The Rumpus Room approach to educator identity and development?


An important focus of The Rumpus Room team is developing and nurturing the professional identity and capability of all team members. 


This extends to not only encouraging upskilling educators through supported vocational qualification pathways but also by creating an environment where team members are able to work to their strengths, to lean into their natural skills, passions and interests. 


This combination of formal and less formal professional development creates an atmosphere of ‘heart led practice’ where educators have agency to be heard, have real impact whilst still growing and developing personally. 


Other important initiatives that foster professional identity and professional development include fostering connections between team leaders and their counterparts at feeder schools within the community and encouraging staff to submit articles to ECEC peak body newsletters that reflect their lived experience of pedagogy and inspire confidence, meaning and network creation. 


“By empowering our educators to be the best they can be, we have the best possible combination that ultimately benefits everybody, them, the children, the families and the border community,” Mr Rule added. 


To learn more about The Rumpus Room visit the website.

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