Trains and progressive picnics make Exceeding magic at Dungog Community Preschool
Dungog Community Preschool has recently been awarded as Exceeding the National Quality Standard, with authorised officers noting the small routine elements, such as waving as the daily passenger train rolls by, as contributing to children’s sense of belonging in the service and its community.
The service, which is housed in a former railway barracks, was described by local publication Dungog Chronicle as having “a distinct country Hamptons style” with an enclosed verandah and outside areas which are regularly set up in engaging ways for the children.
“It’s all about providing a space that is very welcoming, is like home, but brings the educational aspect as well,” preschool Director Sam Delafontaine told the paper.
“For us it shows that we do know what we are doing, we are a presence,” she added.
Morning tea at the service is enjoyed as “a progressive picnic” where the children choose when to eat within a certain time period. Lunch is held with all children and staff seated together to share the meal.
Early literacy is a dedicated focus area for the preschool, which is managed by a voluntary management committee and operates from 8.30am to 4pm weekdays during school terms.