the children's centre

About Us

The Children‘s Centre is located in Mulgrave. It was created in 1994 to support employees with families, and to provide families in the local community with high-quality and reliable childcare.

We currently have 115 places and provide care and educational programmes for children aged from three months to five years old. Seven dedicated rooms – Possums, Bilby, Duck, Parrot, Wombat Turtle and Dolphin – cater to different age groups and stages of development. We are open from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and close only for two weeks over Christmas and for public holidays. 

Our team of 50 qualified and trained staff have a wealth of experience in childcare and early learning programmes. We are very proud of the low turnover in our team, which means we can provide a consistent and stable environment, in which your child can thrive. Our Educators and teachers undergo continual training, which enables them to develop innovative early childhood programmes that best meet the needs of each child. Educators have adopted the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework into current practices and programming.

Contact with Parents

Families are welcome to meet regularly with Educators to discuss their child‘s learning and development. We positively encourage interaction to provide the best possible network of support. Several times throughout the year we hold parent information evenings where Educators and families discuss the running of each room and contribute to programming. We also regularly invite parents to hear guest speakers present on specific themes of interest, such as sleep education, school readiness, behavioural guidance, and health and safety awareness.

Families are welcome to make an appointment with the room eduactors to discuss their child‘s progress and overall development. This is an opportunity for Eduactors and parents to collaborate on their child‘s interests, strengths and family values. The centre provides termly newsletters and centre event calendars which keeps families up to date with happenings and developments in each room.

Meals

Meals are prepared and delivered three times a day by our qualified chef. Our chef works closely with a nutritionist and dietician to create specific child-friendly and seasonal menus for the centre, and a vast range of meals are available to cater for the specific meal requirements of each child. The children‘s centre chef incorporates The Get Up and Grow guidelines in the meal planning to ensure a healthy and delicious variety is offered. 

Early Learning & Additional Programmes

As well as development programmes for each room and for each child, the centre incorporates specialist programmes including languages (French, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish), Yoga, Art / Craft days, PMP, environmental awareness, music and movement and cooking. These are available to all children at the centre at no additional cost to parents. Programmes are delivered by trained staff in fun and practical ways that encourage children to develop skills and knowledge in areas they may not be exposed to at home.

We welcome parental input into these programmes; if you have a skill, passion or profession that can be shared with the children, we warmly welcome you to discuss it with the staff and arrange a special visit.

Orientation

Orientation to the centre is carefully planned to allow for a smooth, slow and stress-free transition. Feeling secure and safe is vital to the settling-in period for each of us. Before children start full days, we invite parents to accompany them on two-hour morning visits at no cost. We have found that this orientation process works exceptionally well because it allows for children, families and staff to build trust, security and a foundation for early learning.

Fees

Fees for the centre are outlined below; our fees have been set to provide high quality care and educational programmes. Childcare benefit and childcare tax rebates are available at the centre; parents should access fee subsidies through the Family Assistance Office and the Taxation system.

From 4th July 2016 our fees are: Weekly $575.00; Daily $115.00 per day 

 

Our Philosophy


NQS Quality Area/s: 1.1, 1.2, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.2

Legislation: Education & care services National Regulations, Early Years Learning & Development Framework (EYLDF), National Quality Standards (NQS)


The children’s centre was initially established with a commitment to support employees with work and family responsibilities and has since grown in response to the needs of the community.

We recognise our multicultural community and strive to embrace diversity and differences with care, honesty and respect.

We acknowledge that parents and families are the first and foremost educators of a child, with every family actively adding uniqueness and flare to each child’s educational journey.

We support children to achieve their full potential in life, by equipping them with the tools to be resilient and confident individuals who show compassion and understanding of others.

We deliver inclusive and dynamic programs which are reflective of the individual, whilst respecting the rights of the child and remaining true to the centres curriculum.

We stand for being a centre of learners, amongst educators and children, valuing and encouraging the journey of personal growth.

 

Centre Recognition

The children‘s centre has been awarded as a Smiles for Miles services. There are three key messages promoted through the Smiles 4 Miles program:

  • Drink well - tap water is the preferred drink, limit sugary and fizzy drinks and plain milk preferable to flavoured
  • Eat well - enjoy a variety of nutritious foods, limit sugary foods especially between meals and enjoy healthy snacks
  • Clean well - brush twice a day with a low fluoride (children‘s) toothpaste, encourage flossing and develop good oral hygiene practices at an early age

Staff have incorporated these positive steps in the everyday programmes of each room, which has allowed us to become an awarded service. You can learn more about the programme by visiting  www.dhsv.org.au/smiles-for-miles/

 

As a centre we are undertaking the Healthy Together Victorian achievement program, which is a Healthy Together Victorian initiative. It supports early childhood education and care services, schools and workplaces and workforces to create healthy environments for learning, working and living. A health promoting service approach is an internationally recognised best practice approach for enhancing health, learning and development outcomes.

The Achievement Program can help services adopt a health promoting service approach through coordinating action across six components:

- Healthy eating and oral health: Promote a healthy diet and good oral health, which are important for children‘s growth, development, health and well being.

- Physical activity: Engage children in physical activity and active play, which have a range of physical, emotional, social and devlopmental benefits for children.

- Sun protection: A balanced approach to UV exposure helps ensure children have healthy vitamin D levels, while minimising the risk of damage to skin and eyes and skin cancer.

- Tobacco: Protect children‘s health by creating a smoke free environment in which they can learn and play.

- Mental health and wellbeing: Provide an inclusive and empowering social environment for children to develop their resilience, and social and emotional wellbeing.

- Safe environments: Prevent injury and promote personal safety to create a safe place for children to develop and learn.

To learn more about the program please visit: www.achievementprogram.healthytogether.vic.gov.au

We are proudly committed to being a Sun Smart service. The Sunsmart program, jointly funded by Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic Health) since 1988, leads the world in UV protection. SunSmart recommends that all early childhood education and care services and schools implement a SunSmart policy to ensure a healthy UV exposure balance.

 

Our centre is recognised as being an Asthma Friendly Early Childhood Education and Care which is a program that is run in various Asthma Foundations across Australia. The program aims to recognise children services that make an extra effort to provide a safer environment for children with asthma by awarding them Asthma Friendly status.