ECEC Provider in Focus: Eden Academy
The Sector > Practice > Long Day Care > ECEC Provider in Focus: Eden Academy

ECEC Provider in Focus: Eden Academy

by Freya Lucas

May 12, 2023

Eden Academy is a long day care provider with 33 services either open or under development in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. 


What is the history of Eden Academy?


Eden Academy was co-founded by Chris Sacre and Sean Collins, who believed they could create an early childhood service for children and families which “felt like an extension of their own home” based on their experience of working in the sector for more than ten years. 


“There were probably a couple of moments in my life that really defined the reason to do our own childcare centre, and one was actually taking my own daughter to a childcare (sic.) centre in Melbourne and seeing the trauma that she faced in that first week,” Mr Collins said. 


“From that, it really led me to the strong belief that a child’s experience in childcare shouldn’t be too far stretched from what they are having at home.” 


Where are Eden Academy services currently located?


Eden Academy has four services in South Australia, with a further two slated to open later this year. New South Wales has two Eden Academy services, five in Victoria, with an additional two in development, and 11 operational services in Queensland, with a further five to open later in 2023. 


What is Eden Academy’s vision and approach to early learning?


Eden Academy views education and care as a holistic experience, and embraces the role that the community plays in educating and caring for a child. Learning days at Eden are framed with ‘purpose and objectives’ ranging from ‘time on the grass’ to ‘experimenting with sound’ as well as broader goals such as pen skills and yoga. 


The organisation’s website notes that children attending Eden Academy services are guided by activities that will encourage age-appropriate development, under the guise of freedom and play.


Are there any unique aspects to the Eden Academy offer?


The co-founders have placed an emphasis on creating a “home-like” feel to their services, saying “we weren’t going to build institutional-looking facilities”.


As such, Eden’s indoor spaces are crafted with features typical in a home such as wooden floors, feature wallpaper, and natural finishes. Open-plan classrooms flow into the outdoor environments for easy indoor/outdoor play, and Eden aims to provide learning environments that represent the real world. 


Eden Academy also aims to provide children with an environment where they can learn to replicate the life skills and routines they will encounter in everyday life. 


“Eden as a word really represents someone’s first time in life and we’re personally the first opportunity to provide for them outside of their home, so for us it really gives us a great opportunity to set them up for the future,” Mr Collins said. 


What is Eden’s approach to educators and their professional development?


Eden Academy places a heavy emphasis on their staff’s experiences throughout their careers at Eden saying “at Eden Academy, family is paramount to us. We think about that in every decision that we make and our staff are just an extended family for us. So we make sure that our staff feel connected and loved as part of their whole journey with Eden.” 


Leaders are encouraged to build relationships with their educators by being active contributors to the online community group, where they share shoutouts to recognise the hard work happening at Eden centres across Australia. 


Staff are also encouraged to share their feedback directly with Mr Collins and Mr Sacre to keep the communication between the centres and management open. 


“You know, Sean and I aren’t perfect, we’re two family guys running a childcare group and hopefully, everyday we just make it that much better,” Mr Sacre said.


To learn more about Eden Academy, visit the website or the dedicated careers page for current opportunities. 


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