Waratah Street is a quiet, smaller-scale centre situated next to beautiful Gunnamatta Park. It caters for a small group of 40 children daily.
Families love its community feel and the many excursions the children experience. Our Educators take full advantage of the centre's prime location and natural surroundings, taking the children on many educational excursions and experiences.
Here is a sample of the feedback families share with us:
"The Educators show genuine care, concern and affection towards our daughters. Each small step of achievement in our daughters' development is something that receives focus from the staff in a highly positive and reinforcing way. It really feels like they treat our children like family. More important than anything else, our girls love going there and love the environment created by the staff and love the staff."
"The Educators are lovely, very caring and supportive. The environment is excellent and so is the location. I really enjoy how the staff are constantly looking at improving the experience of the kids by taking them on excursions and the like. The school readiness has been great too."
"The Educators are amazing- extremely helpful when I ask for anything, including information on how my daughters day went."
Waratah Street is led by a highly experienced Centre Director.
Families value our warm and nurturing Educators and the genuine care they have for the children.
Our Educators possess a thorough knowledge of child development and an understanding of how children learn. One of our team is a member of Council's Children's Services Curriculum Group which examines best practice curriculum planning for children in our services. Also among our team are sustainability enthusiasts who bring environmental awareness and education to the children's program. The promotion of wellness and wellbeing is also a focus, with the children experiencing yoga and relaxation experiences.
Family Communication & Partnerships
Waratah Street families receive 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 enjoy wonderful relationships with our centre families, many of whom actively contribute to the curriculum. Some of the children's parents share cultural knowledge (through dance, language, art, craft) and some also join us on excursions. We host many family events at the centre to help families connect and build friendships with others - Easter celebrations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas parties and discos.
The children's daily program is flexible to allow siblings the opportunity to spend time together throughout the day.
Location & Community
Waratah Street is located a minute's walk from Cronulla train and is close to many local primary schools including Cronulla, Cronulla South and Burraneer Bay Public Schools and St Aloysius.
We make great use of our beautiful local environment to extend the children's learning. We ensure the children learn beyond the four walls of our centre, with much community engagement within our curriculum. We visit the local park where the children choose a tree to sit under and read a book with an Educator and small group of children. We visit the fruit shop where the children decide what they would like to eat during the week. We take the ferry to Bundeena for picnics. We enjoy an annual excursion to Sydney Aquarium. Other educational experiences include visiting local schools and story time at the local library.
We strive to make every moment count as a learning experience and we make great use of practical opportunities to do this. For example, on excursions where we travel by train the children will count train stops and together we read signs.
The children enjoy our spacious, multi-level playground featuring natural shade from treetop canopies. Our well-resourced outdoor space features a large shaded sandpit, climbing and balancing equipment and a great open space for games.
Our outdoors is large, and it’s what we do in this space which is important. We have a dedicated outdoor learning curriculum, where the same amount of intentional and spontaneous learning occurs as it does indoors. The outdoors is divided into learning environments (e.g. creative play, dramatic play, construction) where our Educators create games and facilitate play-based learning. We actively play and engage with the children during our many hours of outdoor fun and learning.
We play lots of group games and sports such as soccer, we climb our tree ladder, engage in arts and enjoy sensory experiences. The children and Educators also take care of our two veggie gardens - this year we have grown tomatoes and the children have learned to make tomato relish!
Our veranda is ideal for enjoying meals and messy craft and play, along with beautiful views of Gunnamatta Bay and park.
Our indoor rooms are large and bright with many learning areas based on the children's current interests and developmental milestones including:
- language and literacy
- mathematics and science
- problem solving
- creative arts
- creative and dramatic play
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 all important life skills.
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.
OT, Speech & Vision Screening
We offer occupational therapy, speech and StEPS vision screening throughout the year.
Transition to School
Waratah Street offers an excellent Transition to School Program featuring:
- Strong connections with local primary schools, including Cronulla South Public School. We visit 4-5 times annually to spend time in the classrooms, engage with the teachers and visit the canteen. We also attend special events (e.g. Easter hat parade). We also enjoy regular excursions to Cronulla Public School and St Aloysius.
- ‘Lunch box days’ (to help little fingers master the skill of opening lunch boxes and containers) and school uniform dress up days at the centre. 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.
- Routines which allow for increased work in small groups and intentional teaching opportunities to prepare children for their transition to school. Children starting primary school the following year engage in school readiness group time each day to work on sit-down projects (e.g. science, sea life) and school activities e.g. educational games, counting, memory, fine motor skills such as cutting and pasting.
- Tailored group time activities based on planned activities and current interests for preschool age children (not attending school the following year).
- Our Early Languages program, excursions and incursion programs that assist children in the development of skills for primary school.
- Independence building skills - all children hang their own kindy bag on their named hook or locker, the same task Kindergarten children must achieve daily.
- Transition to School sessions for our centre families, with information shared by local Kindergarten teachers to ensure parents are familiar with the expectations of new school starters.
- Close consultation 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).
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 nutritious meals 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, tacos and homemade sausage rolls)
- late afternoon tea and snack including sandwiches and fruit pieces to tide children over to dinner time
Our centres follow the NSW Health Nutritional Guidelines, providing a minimum of 50% of children's Recommended Dietary Intake each day.
Enquiries can be directed to Children's Services on 9710 0466 or ChildrensServices@ssc.nsw.gov.au