ECEC provider in focus – Explore & Develop
Explore & Develop is a franchise model of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services where services are individually owned and operated in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Franchise owners are selected based on their dedication, skills and passion for ensuring that every child gets a great start in life.
What is the history of Explore and Develop?
Explore & Develop was co-founded by Jenny and Stephen Mays and Alan Grant. Mr and Mrs Mays developed the first of the Explore & Develop early childhood education and care services in Frenchs Forest in 2005.
Where are Explore and Develop services currently located?
Explore & Develop has 25 services in NSW and one service due to open in the Canberra suburb of Conder in March 2023.
What is Explore and Develop’s vision and approach to early learning?
Explore & Develop educators, leaders and owners believe that children develop “at their own rate and in their own time.”
As such, the provider aims to offer daily programs that reflect a calm, relaxed and unrushed environment for growing and learning.
Children are supported to reach their full potential through opportunities for learning which are enriching, meaningful and real through emergent educational programs.
Constructive play is valued as a tool for learning, allowing children to explore, discover, make and create using their imagination.
Children attending Explore & Develop services are encouraged to view themselves as lifelong learners.
Are there any unique aspects to the Explore and Develop offer?
Yes, there are.
“Explore & Develop is not a monolithic corporate ECEC organisation, dictating to its services from above,” a spokesperson shared.
“Instead, each of our 26 services are individually owned and operated by passionate professionals, who are on site daily. We strongly believe that each Explore & Develop service should have its own identity that is shaped by the Approved Provider, their team, families and the local community.”
“Each Approved Provider is encouraged to create their own learning environments for children that reflects Explore & Develop and their local community values. We take a partnership approach to our work and believe that this is an essential part of a high-quality learning environment.”
What is their approach to educator professional learning?
Explore & Develop offers employees in-house guidance from its team of owner/operators, nominated supervisors, educational leaders and operations managers who have extensive experience in the ECEC sector.
A number of leadership and management programs are offered including:
- Supporting, managing and guiding the team
- Embedding group values
Explore & Develop also offer fully supported and funded traineeships, partnering with key registered training organisations. Each trainee is mentored and assessed in their service by a qualified Explore & Develop Operations Manager.
An annual conference and regular integrated service tours also support educators and leaders to grow as professionals. A Pedagogy in Practice booklet has been developed to showcase the range of innovative approaches used in Explore & Develop services.
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