Elite private school develops commercial arm to open ECEC services
The Sector > Provider > General News > Elite private school develops commercial arm to open ECEC services

Elite private school develops commercial arm to open ECEC services

by Freya Lucas

August 08, 2022

Scotch Enterprises, a commercial subsidiary of elite Adelaide private school Scotch College, has lodged a planning application for an early learning service in Mount Gambier. 


Mount Gambier is a regional South Australian community on the Limestone Coast, approximately 450 kilometres from the Adelaide CBD. The application submitted by Scotch relates to a Beyond Early Learning centre to be built on Suttontown Road, catering for children from six months through to school age. 


Beyond Early Learning Head of Operations Tania Darling has been involved in the College community for more than 23 years, having spent nine years as the Director of Early Learning at Scotch College before undertaking her Operations role and being tasked with the creation of new early learning centres with a focus on wellbeing for children in the early years.


While demand for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in the region is high, with waitlists of more than 12 months in many instances, Ms Darling acknowledges that staffing the service may be a challenge. 


“…it doesn’t matter where you are, staffing is a big challenge in childcare and it will be more of a challenge for us in regional areas. We know that, we’ve thought about that and we have plans around that,“ she told local news source Border Watch.


“At the end of the day, there are limited educators so for us, it is about providing an opportunity for them to be able to work in an environment that not only supports them professionally but supports them personally and gives them the tools to care for the children in a way that really is satisfying for them, and for them to be part of a culture that is really wonderful.”


While the process is still in the early stages, Ms Darling told the paper that nature play would be a big focus of the service, and that children’s wellbeing would be enhanced by access to the outdoors. 


“Our centres will be very much designed around the children having access to the outdoors for the most part of every day,“ she said.


“There will be no differentiation between the indoors and the outdoors, it will just flow and children will be able to self manage where they think they need to be during the day.“


The Beyond Early Learning approval process is still in its early stages, with Scotch Enterprises currently seeking its Approved Provider License through the Education Standards Board, and the development application in Mount Gambier still needing approval.


To read the local coverage of this story please see here

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