Apollo Bay Kindergarten welcomes families and educators on official first day
Families were welcomed to the official first day at the new Apollo Bay Kindergarten last week on 3 February, with 45 new enrolments across an integrated three and four-year-old program in a brand new service.
The 21 three-year-olds and 24 four-year-olds were part of the excitement of the new service, which signals a new start for the popular community preschool, being given new life thanks to a partnership between Colac Otway Shire Council and One Tree Community Services.
The kindergarten’s transition from local committee management to a not-for-profit service provider has been rewarding, Deputy Mayor Cr Graham Costin said, with the range of services expanding to include a Maternal and Child Health consulting space, which is receiving “overwhelmingly positive feedback” from parents.
“This is an exciting time for the Apollo Bay Kindergarten,” said Shellie Taia, Kindergartens General Manager One Tree Community Services.
“Even though there were close ties and many years of history at the old site, the teaching team is very excited to be in a brand-new service that offers many opportunities for the children and for teachers.”
Many of the resources from the previous site have transferred over, making everyone feel at home, she continued. The new site has taken the preschool from an ageing building with a maximum capacity of 24 children, to a modern space offering two kindergarten rooms each with capacity for 33 children.
“Council, One Tree Community Services and the Apollo Bay Preschool Committee have worked very well together to plan and implement the kindergarten’s transition from local committee management to a not-for-profit service provider,” Cr Costin added.
During the first term, the teaching team will focus on transitioning children into their new environment. Once the children have settled in, the teaching team will use a play-based learning curriculum that allows the children to take ownership over the program and learning spaces.
“The kindergarten rooms have been thoughtfully set up for child-led learning,” Ms Taia explained. “There are plenty of opportunities for kindergartners to select equipment and materials, extend their learning, challenge themselves and be curious.”
The One Tree team has set up tabletop activities, relaxation and respite areas, arts and crafts, sensory experiences, imaginative engagement areas and natural materials both inside and out.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for One Tree and our team has thoroughly enjoyed working with the community during the transition. We’re looking forward to seeing how the teaching team, children and community make the new space their own,” Ms Taia added.
For more information on Kindergartens in Colac Otway Shire, please see here.
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