Provider in Focus - Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre
The Sector > Practice > Preschool > Provider in Focus – Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre

Provider in Focus – Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre

by Freya Lucas

March 31, 2023

Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre is a community-based, not-for-profit preschool in New South Wales, with 63 approved places for children aged between three and six years of age. 


The association continued to establish itself and formed a constitution. It was decided to call the proposed nursery school “The Thornleigh-Pennant Hills Children’s Memorial Centre” as a public memorial to the War (and therefore also to qualify for concessions from the Tax Department).


In March 1945, an Appeals Committee was formed and the local population raised £1,350 ($2,700). By 1946, land in Warne Street and an old army Nissen hut were bought with further funds raised by the parents and citizens and £500 ($1,000) donated by Hornsby Shire Council


The first stage of the original building was opened on Saturday 8 March 1947, by noted author Ruth Park, who later presented a parcel of children’s books to the Library. 


The Children’s Centre was officially opened on 18 May 1948. There were 18 children enrolled and practically no equipment beyond tables and chairs, a sandpit and a swing. In those days, children brought their toys from home to play and rested on mattresses on the floor. 


A comprehensive history of the service from 1948 – 2018 is available here


What is the Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre vision and approach to learning? 


The preschool is committed to providing a happy, safe and supportive and challenging environment where children learn and develop through play. 


“We aim to help each child make the transition to formal education and gain the social and personal skills they will need to handle whatever life brings them in the future, at school and beyond. We continue the dream of parents who 70 years ago established this high quality learning preschool,” information on the preschool’s website notes.


The preschool believes that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important when it comes to establishing a basis for learning. 


“Opportunities presented at this early stage will influence development for the rest of the child’s life and play is an integral part of this learning process,” the preschool notes. 


To support this, the Children’s Centre offers a play-based learning program designed to stimulate and encourage children’s love of learning in a challenging but safe environment. Educators believe that happy children are more receptive to new ideas and mental stimulation, and therefore staff hope to foster a caring and supportive environment where the focus is on the processes involved in children’s play, rather than on the relative success of the finished product.


Parents and carers are viewed as valued partners in the development of their children and the running of the preschool.


Are there any unique aspects to the Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre offer? 


The physical environment at the Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre is one of the service’s greatest assets. 


“We are lucky to have a huge double block for outdoor play that is naturally shaded in summer. Great care is taken daily to provide a stimulating and creative learning play-space which is inviting and encourages children to enter it. Natural elements such as the deciduous and flowering trees, and numerous garden beds also form an essential backdrop to this enchanting space,” the preschool notes.


“The space engages with the children’s natural curiosity and they are encouraged to explore, question and discover. We allow children to initiate their own play ideas with the help of provocations, visual images and  equipment, and take great pride in the variety of inside and outside play materials that we provide.”


Each preschool day is divided into periods of inside and outside time. The activities provided are diverse and aim to cater for all the children’s needs and interests. Children are free to explore and interact with a variety of materials and experiences.


To learn more about Pennant Hills War Memorial Children’s Centre, visit the website.

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button