Junior Room

18 months – 2.5 years

Welcome to the Happy Valley Community Children’s Centre’s Junior Room. This is a brief summary of the expected learning experiences for your child while in our care at Happy Valley Community Children’s Centre.

For the full summary, please download our Junior Room Information Booklet.

The Junior Room environment allows children to be cared for between 18 months and 2.5 years of age (or until they are developmentally ready to transition into the Kinder Room). In keeping with our Centre’s philosophy, we believe that developing supportive, trusting relationships between families, children and Educators are of vital importance and this is reflected in the way the Junior Room operates.

For most of the day, there are four educators to approximately 16-21 children. Educators read stories, sing, dance, role play, and explore the environment with the children of all areas of development indoor/outdoor providing support and comfort.

Learning Experiences

For each child in the Junior Room, we encourage and observe their learning experiences across five categories: physical, social, emotional and cognitive and language as per the Developmental milestones, the Early Years Learning Framework document and the National Quality Standards.

Children of this age learn how to play with other toddlers and engage in parallel play (where they don’t interact but play next to one another). As they reach two years of age, they may learn how to engage in imaginative play and beginning curious and energetic interactions. As they develop their abilities to play and cooperate collaboratively, educators support children to find fairness by role modelling verbal and non-verbal language to develop strong social skills.

Children are emotionally beginning to understand empathy which can be seen through their play and offering support to each other when upset, mimicking the actions of adults assisting another in distress. Children might show anxiety when separating from important people in their lives, seeking comfort when upset or afraid.

In this area, children are recognising repetitious actions that lead to interesting and predictable results. Children are beginning to recognise similarities and differences between themselves and their bodies when showing knowledge of gender roles and stereotypes, engaging in make believe and pretend play. Children’s desire for knowledge at this age is prominent and can be observed through number recognition, cause and effect and recognition of common objects to name a few of these skills.

As they reach the age range of this room, it is common for children to say many words. Primarily, they are naming words, constructing one-to-two-word sentences and reciprocating and imitating another person’s language. The enjoyment for rhymes and songs is seen and children begin to recall songs with actions and movement. An explosion of vocabulary and use of correct grammatical forms of language also commences.

Children are beginning to discover their abilities and you can observe them being able to walk, climb and run and feed themselves with their hands/utensils. They develop strength in their limbs enabling them to run, climb, kick and can squat to pick up objects. As they reach 2 years old, they begin to recognise obstacles and interact with objects, like catching balls (rolled to them), using pencils to scribble in circles and lines. Children interact with doors, attempting to open them as they begin to understand the concept of cause and effect. Music and movement are a way for children to express themselves and learn different gross motor skills.

Learning Outcomes

There are many examples that reflect the learning outcomes suggested for the age groups within this room. For specific examples that relate to the five learning outcomes, please see the Early Years Learning Framework document, Belonging, Being, and Becoming, on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority website.