We believe that the value of play is of utmost importance to children as it is their way of learning about their world. While children play they are able to experiement with new ideas, test theories and their understanding of concepts, express their creative ability, release their emotions and share their feelings. While engaging in play children are developing across all domains and creating the building blocks for their future.
We partner with you to provide a safe, quality, family-centred learning environment where every child is respected and nurtured. We continually develop our skills and explore new ways to enrich your child’s early learning experience.
Indoor and outdoor play based experiences are an integral part of our program. Educators plan a diverse range of experiences to create opportunities for your child in both structured and spontaneous play.
Our programs are inspired by the wisdom and teachings of early childhood theorists and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), and aim to develop children’s emotional, social and cognitive intelligence.
The Kindergarten curriculum continues to emphasise play based learning, however offers additional intentional learning times where the focus is on literacy and numeracy, socialisation, self-regulation and independence.
What led you to a career in the childcare industry?
My adventures in Early Childhood Education began in 1987 when I completed my Diploma, or as it was known back then, my “Certificate of Applied Social Science”. After a brief stint working with vulnerable families in residential care, and then working as a nanny for the “rich and famous”, I came to the realisation that Long Day Care was what I loved to do and where I belonged. At the age of 24, I opened a Centre in East St Kilda which I operated for the next 17 years. Upon selling this, I joined the “Koala family” managing a number of their services until I made the “big move” to Warrnambool 3 and a half years ago. Around about 18 months ago, we had the opportunity of becoming a part of the Story House Early Learning journey!
What are your favourite memories within the workspace?
One of my favorite parts of my role is our engagement with the local community. Its a great feeling to feel that we are able to contribute back in any way to some of the local causes and charities. This year through the our Christmas bake sale, we were able to donate $404 to food share Warrnambool to assist them in the making of Christmas hampers for families in need, as well as another $404 for MacKillop Family Services to spend on toys for foster children in their care. This was a definite highlight of the year for me.
Who Inspires you and why?
During my time with Story House, I have had the privilege of attending 2 Story house Early Learning Conferences. These conferences are a great opportunity to connect with other service managers, those who work “behind the scenes” in support office, as well as the opportunity to build our knowledge through guest speakers and trainers. One of the highlights for me was listening to the amazing Julie Cross not once but twice. As a motivational speaker, Julie is unique. She believes in the power of authenticity, of telling it “how it is”. Her approach and personality leave a long lasting impression on those who are fortunate enough to hear her speak. She encourages all of us to find a little “sparkle” in our lives.
What are you passionate about?
Early childhood education, animals, nature, reading, cooking and going out for coffee!
What type of leadership style do you have?
As a service manager, I believe it is my role to build a rapport with the educators, children, families and the wider community to further develop a high quality service. As a leader, I am strong in my beliefs, but am willing to listen to others, have an understanding and compassionate personality, have good communication skills and am willing to do what I ask others to do.
What makes your service such an amazing service?
The people. Whether it be the children, the educators, the families or everyone else I come across in my day, the people are the standout reason why this is an amazing place to work.The fact that the service is located in a stunning, state of the art building is a bonus!
What are your goals for the service over the next 12 months?
To continue to grow as a service and as a team, as well continue on building our relationships, not just with the families who use our service but also with the greater community.
Our centre welcomes families from surrounding suburbs including Warrnambool, Dennington, Allansford and Bushfield. We offer a state-of-the-art facility boasting beautiful environments, spacious play areas, and modern educational materials.
Our aim is to provide a secure and happy environment where children can develop their intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and language skills to become competent and confident individuals. And for you to feel safe knowing that your child is receiving the best possible care.
Koala Childcare is the largest early learning service in Warrnambool, located in the heart of town on Lava Street.
Housed in a beautiful heritage building that was originally built in 1935 as St Joseph’s primary school.