Chapter two provides educators with a health and sustainability checklist to consider ways to make early years settings more sustainable. One of the key areas of sustainability in the early years involves food practices, nutritional policies, and food waste. We live in a capitalistic, hurried society with limited opportunities to think about the food we are eating and where it comes from and how to dispose of it.
It is essential that children learn about the food they are consuming and understand sustainable practices for future generations. Educators play a powerful role in modeling sustainable food practices. Early years settings provide opportunities to recycle food waste through a variety of means. Practices may include green bins, composting, or food waste for sensory learning.
Watch the following video to learn more about the importance of regenerative food systems.
Read the following link to learn more about food waste in Canadian households:
More Than Human Others
For many decades Euro-Western learning has been solely focused on the role of humans in food production, limiting the understanding of the role more than human actors play in supporting the health and well-being of all living things. Children view the world through a different lens than adults, providing inspiration through opportunities for co-learning about the environment and the resources around us. It is through these enriching experiences that we discover new ways of being together where we learn to respect the spaces in which we are present.
Read the following chapter to understand the role more than human actors play in supporting nutrition, sustainability, health, and wellness:
CECE Standards of Practice
A. Responsibilities to Children
RECEs make the well-being, learning and care of children their foremost responsibility. They value the rights of children and create learning environments where all children can experience a sense of belonging and inclusion. RECEs foster children’s joy of learning through child-centred and play-based pedagogy.
RECEs respect and nurture children’s first language and/or traditional language and culture. They demonstrate a commitment to address the unique rights and needs of Indigenous children and their families. They respect each child’s uniqueness, dignity and potential.
Educators in the early years have been learning more about connections to the land and realizing the important role this plays in their work with young children. Children are the future citizens on the earth and attention must be paid to the responsibilities educators have to ensure children learn about their connection to the land and its diverse ecosystems.
Watch the following video to find out more about Humber College’s two-eyed and land-based play and co- learning with children: