Families at our beautiful Caldarra Avenue centre enjoy strong communication and collaborative partnerships with our Educators, leading to a dynamic, broad and engaging learning curriculum for the children.
Our team is welcoming, kind and motivated by the genuine care and love they have for the children. They build a great rapport with all children and families. We have many families who return to Caldarra Avenue when new siblings come along.
Here is a sample of the feedback families share with us:
"The educators are so lovely and nurturing. They always have great excursions and interesting activities happening at the centre."
"The Educators really care about my kids, are friendly and genuine The activities they do are wide-ranging and fun. They do a lot of incursions and excursions. I receive lots of feedback from the Educators on our kids development."
"I am very happy with how we are kept updated on what the children are learning. I like the different activities and excursions to keep my child busy."
Some of our Caldarra Avenue Educators have been with us for many years. One of our Educators who cares for infants in our nursery has been with our Caldarra Avenue centre for more than 20 years and with Council Children's Services for 40 years. She is highly regarded for the nurturing and individualised care she provides to young babies.
The centre is led by a passionate early childhood teacher who has worked in the early education and care sector for 10 years and is currently working towards a Masters of Educational Leadership. She is extremely passionate about children’s early years, and ensuring that all children are provided with many opportunities to grow, learn and develop. She leads a wonderful team with a wealth of early childhood experience.
Our Educators are a diverse group and their individual talents and specialties help to create a very engaging and dynamic learning curriculum.
Educator talents include sports (soccer, volleyball, netball, dancing and gymnastics), lifeguard skills, creative arts, musical talents, cooking and sustainability. One of our Educators is also a member of Council's Children's Services Curriculum Group which examines best practice curriculum planning for children in our services.
Importantly, our Early Childhood Teachers possess a thorough knowledge of child development and an understanding of how children learn.
We have a number of Educators who have been with our centre for many years, having followed children on their journey from infancy to kindy graduation and transition to big school.
Family Communication & Partnerships
Families enjoy regular insights into their children's learning via a safe and secure communication app called Educa. Educa allows families to view and share learning stories, photos and videos, and collaborate with Educators about their child’s development, from the comfort of their phone.
We develop close partnerships with families, who have the opportunity to join us for special events including morning and afternoon teas, cultural events and celebrations, performances and shows, excursions and social events for families to meet other families. These occasions enable families to build a connection with us and other families at the service.
We encourage family input into the children's curriculum. Families are also invited to share in experiences at the centre through activities such as reading stories, gardening and discussions about occupations with the children.
Caldarra Avenue has many siblings and its routines are flexible to ensure siblings can spend time together during the day. For example, an older sibling may wish to spend time in the nursery with a younger sibling to enjoy meal time together.
Location & Community
Based in the heart of Engadine and a short walk to the Engadine train station, Caldarra Avenue has been providing high quality care and education to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers for many years.
The centre takes full advantage of its central location, with many excursions to destinations including:
- Engadine Library
- Local public schools
- Local post office, shops, park and Chinese Restaurant
- Train rides
Excursions are a regular and important part of the children's holistic learning program.
The children also enjoy visits from various community organisations such as the local fire bridage. Council's Engadine-based Family Day Care Educators and the children in their care are also regular visitors to the centre to enjoy special events and incursion activities.
The children enjoy a large, modern and well-shaded outdoor space to promote their learning and development including:
- two stages (for impromptu 'concerts and performances' and quiet reading)
- a permanent Teepee
- large sandpit with surrounding sandstone rockery
- a large freestanding musical triangle
- three vegetable gardens for the children to participate in planting and harvesting
- a dry water creek complete with plants and pebbles
- chalk boards
- a beautiful garden incorporating herbs and spices
- daily Munch & Move/sporting activities
- natural grass
The outdoors features the latest in playground innovations and was designed to capture the learning and developmental milestones of the children. It is the ideal space for building children's gross and fine motor development.
Our indoor environment is warm and engaging, with various learning centres reflecting the current needs and interests of the children.
Designated spaces allow for:
- reading and literacy
- craft, painting and drawing
- dramatic and creative play
- group and story time
- problem solving and puzzles
- loose part play
- natural material exploration
- emotions and feelings
- many other learning experiences offered to the children each day.
Caldarra Avenue, like all Council centres, embed sustainable practices and education into the children's learning. The sustainability program, developed in close collaboration with Educators from all Council centres, includes a fully functioning vegetable garden, worm farm and compost.
All Council Early Education Centres deliver a curriculum which provides children with academic and life skills education. We promote the development of language and literacy, numeracy, social and emotional skills, physical development and cognitive growth.
Many parents want to see their child write their name and hear them count and our curriculum provides children with the platform to develop these types of skills, along with many others.
Academic skills include literacy and numeracy concepts and learning experiences, for example:
- recognition of numbers, letters, shapes and colours (early numeracy and literacy skills)
- vocabulary expansion
- writing and drawing
- developing pencil grip and fine motor skills
- experimenting and hypothesising (early science)
Life skills focus on the following aspects of social and emotional skills development, including:
- emotional resilience (self regulating emotions, expressing emotions appropriately)
- self help skills (caring for belongings, tying shoelaces, putting on clothing such as socks and jumpers, encouraging independence)
- conflict resolution skills
- learning to share and take turns
- cooperating and collaborating with others
- learning to adapt to changes in routines
- knowing when and how to ask for assistance
- empathy and caring for others
- developing problem solving skills
- toileting independence
Education, including academic and life skills, occurs from the moment a child walks through our doors. Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers experience age appropriate learning on a daily basis, encompassing:
- language and literacy
- mathematics and engineering
- science and technology
- arts and crafts
- sustainability education - learning about nature and the environment
- music and dance
- physical activity promoting gross and fine motor skills
- cultural experiences
- sensory experiences
- free creative play
- community excursions and engagement
The children learn through play and our Educators plan intentional, play-based learning experiences and investigations that incorporate children’s learning goals. For example, setting up a pretend play ‘restaurant’, complete with menus, cook books, notepads and money extends the children’s social, literacy and numeracy skills.
ELLA Language Program
Caldarra Avenue has successfully gained entry to the Early Language Learning Australia Program (ELLA) - a fun, digital, play-based program for preschools to teach children a language other than English in their year before school. Caldarra Avenue is introducing the centre's four and five year old children to the French language. The children are learning French through apps. ELLA is part of the Australian Government's commitment to supporting language study in Australia.
Transition to School
Caldarra Avenue enjoys a strong connection with many local primary schools in Engadine. Our school visit excursions strongly support the children starting primary school. Our Educators have regular contact and discussions with local school teachers to ensure the centre is meeting the school preparation needs of the preschool age children in our care.
The children enjoy ‘lunch box days’ (to help little fingers master the skill of opening lunch boxes and containers) and school uniform dress up days. These role play and pretend play experiences include play areas with school uniforms, backpacks, lunchboxes, play food and writing materials for children to participate in.
We consult closely with parents on school readiness and transition to school. Every Council centre completes ‘Transition to School' statements for each child attending school the following year. These are shared with families and the child's school (with parent permission).
We also host Transition to School evenings with a local School Principal and Kindergarten teacher, to provide families with an understanding of the expectations of new school starters, and to share the daily school readiness experiences the children engage in at our centre.
Free Cloth Nappy Service
All Council centres provide an eco-friendly cloth nappy service to babies and toddlers, at no additional cost to parents who use our service.
The modern cloth nappies are reusable and professionally laundered. The fabric, fit and comfort of the modern cloth nappies are a far cry from the cloth nappies our parents would remember.
Council's cloth nappy service has saved more than 5,000 kilograms which is equivalent to 5.1 tonnes of landfill in six months alone.
Care routines are planned and adjusted in consultation with families to take in to account the unique needs of each child.
Educators respond to children's emotional and physical needs through building a two-way communication with each family. Families provide information on their children's rest, toilet training and eating needs, which Educators use to plan meal times and routines for each child.
Our highly trained staff respond to children's verbal and non-verbal signals throughout the day and provide comfort through developing strong bonds with each child.
All Council Early Education Centres employ trained cooks to prepare fresh, nutritious meals onsite for the children each day. All meals are included within our fees. This includes:
- breakfast cereals and milk
- morning and afternoon teas which can be a mix of vegetable platters, homemade slices, fruit plates
- lunch (hot meals such as pasta bakes, stir fry, vegetarian frittatas and homemade pies)
- late afternoon tea and snack including sandwiches and fruit pieces to tide children over to dinner time
- fruit bowls available through the entire day
We also cater for children with allergies such as gluten, dairy, egg & rice allergies. Our cook has been preparing meals for the children at Caldarra Avenue for the past five years. We love that she makes every child feel included - regardless of a child's allergy everyone sits down to enjoy the 'same' meal. Her work extends beyond the kitchen too - she is also helping the children to grow an edible garden at the centre.
Caldarra Avenue follows the NSW Health Nutritional Guidelines, providing a minimum of 50% of children's Recommended Dietary Intake each day.
A parent was keen to share her experience at Caldarra Avenue:
“I’ve just started back at work full-time and knowing that my baby girl is going to be under Sue and Shari’s care at Caldarra Avenue really gives me the comfort and assurance that she will be well looked after and loved. Sue has been very reassuring and is all ready for our daughter to start care. The team’s excitement certainly takes away the separation anxiety from mummy knowing she is in the best place and will be well loved by so many Educators. Also a special thanks to Shari – we appreciate her hard-work and dedication for bringing so much joy to the children’s childhood and memories at the centre.”
Enquiries can be directed to Children's Services on 9710 0466 or ChildrensServices@ssc.nsw.gov.au