Trickle down effect

I am loving water walls at the moment.  I’m not sure where the idea originated, but it is certainly spreading and I keep seeing different versions here and there.

I have an additional reason to love this one.

The proud educator who supplied this picture mentioned her husband had made it. With the usual thrifty approach of early childhood educators, the frame was whipped up out of a $30 piece of wire mesh and some spare timber from the garage.

I have written about the issue of the shortage of men in early childhood education.  This time I want to acknowledge the valuable contribution often made by men in this way.

Our kindergarten working bees are often well attended by fathers who come in with their tools, and their skills and their male strength and energy to rebuild, maintain and repair the building, furniture and grounds.

One of the great strengths of Family Day Care is that it is often a shared enterprise between a couple. The men who provide direct care in FDC may be few in number.  But the men who help to make their home into a wonderful place for children are more numerous, often unsung by all but their grateful wives, and almost certainly paid less for their efforts than even the lowest paid childcare worker.

We recognise that early childhood education is not just about direct care, and not just about teaching. It is also, centrally, about facilitating learning.  It is about designing activities and environments in which children are drawn into learning. Building the spaces and equipment for children to use is an important part of this.

Men who build water walls are contributing a lot to early childhood education. And many of them are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

Thanks guys.

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6 responses to “Trickle down effect”

  1. Kylie says :

    So true. Without the support from our husbands/partners many of us in FDC would find it a lot more difficult to provide a wonderful environment for the children in our care.

  2. Greg says :

    You bring up a good point & I totally agree, but would like to take it even further. The family members of those dedicated professionals who spend much of their own time & money preparing for & doing work-related business are also forgotten about. I know I wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do without the understanding & support of my wife & kids. My perspective is from LDC, but no matter what the setting their are those who contribute directly & indirectly to all that we see & do with & for the children.

    Thanks for highlighting this for the rest of us.

  3. Gemma says :

    I have been doing FDC for only 10 months and i would have to say without my husbands help, love and support it wouldnt have got off the ground. I just have to ask for shelves, bathroom steps etc and he makes them. He helps me with photos and computer work, and is also a co-carer. And guess what i will now ask him to make us. The Water Feature. You have a great site with some great ideas. Thanks

  4. Michelle says :

    You are all absolutely right. Our husbands, children, and extended families support us in so many ways. Thank goodness they believe in what we do!

  5. Tina Peterson says :

    I wish I had someone who could build something like this for us. I do have to say I have one FDD who will come in and change my tire if I need it or spend a couple hours fixing a badly plugged drain! I don’t know where I’d be without this wonderful dad!

    Would you tell me how you hook the funnels, etc to that wire mesh? I need something that is portable and easy for 4-6 year olds to design their own waterwall.

    Thanks! Tina

    • goccediacqua says :

      We used plastic ties from a hardware shop. But they do not come off again. If you want the children to be able to redo it, I suggest you try aluminium wire. This is soft and easy to handle, but still strong.
      It is a little pricey though.

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