Greening Childcare Spaces – Calling for Expressions of Interest

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20120508-154643.jpgResearchers from the School of Education at Deakin University, Melbourne are looking for a horticultural and/or landscaping professional who would be interested in working on a project called Greening Childcare Spaces. This is a trial project, exploring the benefits of ‘greening’ a small outdoor play space for babies and toddlers, within a childcare centre in the Springvale area, run by Mission Australia. The consultation and ‘greening’ parts of the project are planned for August and September, and a small amount of funding is available as part of the project, for horticultural and landscaping materials and work. It is based on research showing the importance for young children of having contact with the natural world, and the benefits for children of having access to green environments.

This project will be led by a postgraduate student with support from the Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) through the Nursery Industry Research Linkage Program. This program has been established by industry to encourage research in key areas including urban horticulture, biosecurity, plant production and plant physiology in line with the Nursery Industry Strategic Investment Plan 2012-2016. Students involved in this program are encouraged to interact with the nursery industry for the duration of the project and are expected to provide the NGIA with a written report and/or presentation of results at the conclusion of their research. This is a great opportunity for students interested in working with an exciting and forward thinking industry.

The School of Education at Deakin University are planning a larger follow-up project in 2014, with the ultimate goal of developing specialist expertise in greening childcare spaces for both early childhood and horticultural and landscaping professionals.

If you are someone who can work in collaboration with others, and are interested in working in a new area and developing expertise in working in childcare spaces, please contact Dr Anne-Marie Morrissey, School of Education, Deakin University on 03 98900793 or email morram@deakin.edu.au