Sydney Archdiocese commences $15 per day NFP preschool to boost portfolio

by Freya Lucas

July 09

The portfolio of education sites owned and managed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has expanded with the recent opening of the Groups first not-for-profit (NFP) preschool. 

 

St Therese Catholic Preschool caters for up to 40 students, and is located next door to St Therese Catholic Primary School at Sadlier-Miller. Staffed by highly experienced early childhood educators and focus on learning through play, families are able to access the service from $15 a day.

 

Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services (SCECS) Director Franceyn O’Connor said the program at St Therese Catholic Preschool has a focus on children exploring, interpreting and solving problems through play.

 

Staff from within the broader school community and SCECS were “very excited” about moving into the preschool space, with Ms O’Connor saying “Those five years from birth are crucial in a child’s development and families can rely on us for support when their children are very young.” 

 

“We’re very proudly Catholic, and a Catholic teaching framework will underpin our daily interactions with children and families. We’ve built our centre to be as sustainable as possible, inadvertently teaching our children how important it is to look after God’s creations,” Ms O’Connor said. 

 

Community involvement within the preschool is fostered through partnerships with CatholicCare, the primary school and parish will support and enrich the preschool service, she added. 

 

The preschool also provides opportunities for students from the University of Notre Dame and Australian Catholic University enrolled in a birth to 12 teaching degree to complete work placements at the preschool, where they will observe what religious education looks like for three to five year olds. 

 

Principal of St Therese Catholic Primary Michelle McKinnon outlined the way the school will work in consultation with the preschool’s director to ensure they collaborate where possible to create strong community links and support for families, and the preschool also offers early identification for children with diverse learning needs including gifted tendencies, at the preschool.

 

SCECS will open a second preschool in Auburn later this year. SCECS also runs out of hours school care services in 12 locations, with another eight to open in 2020 due to demand.

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