ECEC Provider in Focus: River Region Early Education
The Sector > Provider > General News > ECEC Provider in Focus: River Region Early Education

ECEC Provider in Focus: River Region Early Education

by Freya Lucas

May 03, 2024

River Region Early Education (formerly Deniliquin Children’s Centre) provides preschool and long day care services in the Victorian communities of Deniliquin, Barham, Blighty, Wanganella, Bunnaloo and Pretty Pine.


What is the history of River Region Early Education? 


River Region Early Education has been providing early childhood education to the communities it serves for more than 70 years. 


The origins of the service go back to 1951, when Deniliquin Preschool began operations from a local hall. A purpose built preschool facility opened in 1971, with the addition of a second room in 1987. 


In 1999 the committee obtained funding to form a mobile preschool service, which commenced in 2000. At the same time the Deniliquin Occasional Care committee received a grant to build a new premise for Occasional Care. Part of the preschool’s large playground became the site for the new building.


Within six months of opening the Occasional Care service became a licenced long day care provider, with places for 24 children. Renovations soon allowed the service to expand to 28 places. At this point the committees of the three organisations involved in service provision merged to make one Management Committee, and the Deniliquin Children’s Centre (DCC) was incorporated in 2000.


​In 2004 the committee responded to the need for extended hours care in the preschool, offering this as an option for 15 children each day. In 2005 the Toy Library was merged into the auspices of Deniliquin Children’s Centre to ensure its long term viability, and to increase access for rural and isolated families to the service. 


Major refurbishments of the preschool took place in 2010, with the extension of the licence to 49 places in 2011. 


A purpose built facility was constructed in 2018, increasing the licenced places to 55. The constitution was reviewed, and due to increasing turnover, the organisation moved from an association to a company limited by guarantee in July 2021. 


In 2021 the Board of Management of the Barham Early Learning Service (BELS) approached the DCC Board about taking the service under their organisational umbrella.


The Barham Early Learning Service was integrated with the Deniliquin Children’s Centre in March 2023. At this time the name of the organisation was reviewed to represent all of the communities that it services and provide opportunity for growth into the future.


In 2024 the organisation name was formally changed from Deniliquin Children’s Centre to River Region Early Education.


What is the River Region Early Education vision and approach to learning? 


River Region Early Education has a deep commitment to the value of early childhood education, and understands the ripple effect early childhood has on children, families and communities. 


“We recognise that it takes a village to raise a child and we work collaboratively to support children’s inclusion, learning and wellbeing,” information on the River Region Early Education website notes.


This village believes that:


  • Children are capable, and inspirational,
  • Families are the foundations of children’s learning, and
  • Educators are nurturing, empathetic, and passionate.


Core to the River Region Early Education belief is that early education is about igniting a passion for lifelong learning.


Their approach to teaching is collaborative, reflective, and intentional. It puts children at the centre of learning and celebrates play and the natural environment, in all weather, to support children to be curious, collaborate and be adventurous. 


River Region Early Education is committed to providing safe spaces where children have a sense of belonging and can connect and contribute to their world. 


The provider believes that childhood is a time for joy, and that its role is to help each child feel valued and confident that their voice is heard.


Are there any unique aspects to the River Region Early Education offering? 


The programs and services offered by River Region Early Education are inspired by its local natural landscape, which is one of farming and open spaces, shaped around waterways. 


The services welcome all, and approach all aspects of its service provision with integrity, valuing social responsibility, respect for the environment and continuous improvement. 


What is River Region Early Education’s approach to educators’ identity and development?


River Region Early Education offers educators the opportunity to develop their careers as well as their knowledge and skills, through our extensive professional learning plan as well as mentoring and support.


The provider believes in nurturing educators to ‘ensure that they feel joy as well as bring joy to those around them.’


Learn more about River Region Early Education here

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