A research-based childcare design at the Boating and Fisheries Patrol on Mooloolaba Spit at Sunshine Coast.
Taking cues from Australian indigenous culture and the land upon which the site occupies, the Nova Childcare expresses a deep connection with nature, honouring the land, water and sky. This connection arises from indigenous Dreamings or stories that use natural elements to weave a moral narrative, which is experienced as a journey throughout the childcare.
The childcare provides a sensory-rich and natural childcare environment for 100 preschool children aged 0-6 years and 17 educators using solution-based design theories. These include cognitively stimulating environments, the Montessori Method and the Attention Restoration Theory, which facilitate teaching and learning by promoting movement through space, and creating a sense of balance, order, comfort
Such an environment reduces children’s dependence on electronics and technology, nurturing their cognitive and physical growth and development. This comes as recent research shows that an increasing number of preschool children own and use a smartphone, with more parents using smartphones to occupy their children. Prolonged use of devices has shown cognitive effects in the brain of preschool children, affecting their ability to learn language and literacy, as well as increasing the likelihood of social-emotional delays and physical effects such as obesity.
Jessica strives to bring conceptual ideas to life, and she is particularly interested in expressing narratives through space and form. Jessica is passionate about the health and wellbeing of spatial users, and enjoys developing ideas through model making. Her background in healthcare and education has nurtured a deep empathy for people and the way the built environment can impact on their experiences.