Why is our Centre special to us, and how is it different from others in the community?
The Centre has a Management Committee made up of the Director, a staff representative and parents of the children. The Committee meets once a month to talk about the Centres finances, maintenance issues and general decisions concerning the direction of the Centre.
All of our key staff have a qualification ranging from a Cert 3 in Children’s Services, Advanced Diploma in Children Services and Teaching Degrees. We encourage training and professional development for all staff.
We run a “Universal Access Preschool Program” 4 days a week from 8.30-4.30. Child Care can be booked before and after this time. Children are eligible for 15 hours of preschool funding for the 4 terms before going to school. They can also have a combination of preschool with us and with a stand alone preschool program.
State regulations for child to staff ratios suggests that 1 carer be provided for 5 babies, 1 carer for 10 toddlers and 1 carer for 10 preschool children. We pride ourselves on being able to provide care of a high quality offering 1 staff for 3 babies 1 staff for 5 toddlers and 1 staff for 6 preschool children.
We run a relationship based program where each child and their family have a primary carer who makes connections with the children and helps them settle into care. Using small groups and predictable routines the staff can have meaningful learning opportunities with all children.
The Centre has always had a rich history of employing both men and women, and staff from a variety of cultures. This makes for an interesting and community feel. Staff not only are qualified but have different life experience, skills, strengths, perspectives and attitudes.
A Natural Environment
One of the things that parents and visitors comment on is the large outside play areas in both the babies and over twos sections. Well established trees provide a great deal of shade to play under and during autumn they provide countless leaves for the children to collect, use in play and in art experiences. Large rocks, stumps of wood, bark chips, dirt, bushes and grass provide a rich haven for educational discovery. Children, with the help of carers, dig for worms and lift up logs to find bugs and lizards.
The sand pit in the over twos section has a gazebo built with sliding blinds that can be bought down to shade from the rain, thus giving the children the opportunity to play in the sandpit while it is wet. A large wooden fort can be transformed into private and thought provoking space with the help of tarps and material cloth.
The baby room has recently been refurbished and has many interesting place spaces, including a sensory path, garden beds and shaded areas for play.
Our Diverse Programme
Children in the over 2’s section spend a lots of time outside. As part of our programme, children prepare meals and snacks, compost food and set up and maintain the garden beds.
All children are given the choice of indoor or outdoor play almost on a daily basis. This gives the children positive choices for the kind of play they want. Children are able to visit siblings in other rooms and the sliding door between the toddler and kindy rooms is opened daily in the morning for breakfast and the beginning part of the day.
All staff have cameras and throughout the day staff take photos of children which are displayed in a variety of ways including the children’s portfolios.
The Wider Community
Parents are encouraged to be involved in a variety of ways. We understand that parents have their children in care mostly for work and study purposes and don’t have much spare time. The monthly management committee is a great way to meet other parents and staff and be involved in decision making of the centre. We also have smaller sub committees who work on specific projects. Our sustainability committee meets once a term to discuss happenings, grant opportunities and to keep us on track with our sustainability focus.
We receive our fruit and vegetable from a local businesses and we often go for walks in the community.