​St Catherine’s School’s Early Learning Centre is committed to excellence in early childhood education and care. We celebrate the natural wonder and curiosity of children and foster a life-long love of learning.

Play Learn Grow

The Early Learning Centre (ELC) – Campbell House: The llhan Family Centre, is an historic yet state-of-the-art learning environment for three to five year old boys and girls.

Our beautifully designed learning spaces inspire children to wonder, question, discover, imagine and create. The indoor learning spaces are complemented by a spacious outdoor learning environment where an emphasis is placed on nature based experiences and environmental education.

The redevelopment of the ELC playground is a shining example of our School’s endorsement of the importance of high quality outdoor play. The innovative design due for completion in October 2016, will create a more natural, inviting play area for our children which will promote sustainable practices and connections to the natural world.

The Early Learning Centre is only a short walk to our outstanding Junior School and Senior School facilities, which our young learners have access to throughout the year.

Attend an Open Morning or Personal Tour

A good way to learn more about our ELC is to attend an Open Morning or personal tour. Our Open Mornings are run throughout the year and offer a tour of our ELC guided by staff, an opportunity to meet the Principal and other relevant staff members.

Alternatively we also offer personal tours at times convenient for you. Book a personalised tour online or contact our Registrar who can answer your questions.

Our Philosophy

Every child at St Catherine’s Early Learning Centre has the right to exceptional education and care.  We value and respect all children and foster a love of learning. We believe that each child is capable and competent. A sense of wonder and curiosity is fostered in each child through creating opportunities to play, explore, investigate, discover and be active participants in their learning.

Relationships are integral to creating a sense of belonging within the Campbell House community. Relationships with others build a child’s sense of belonging and identity. We acknowledge that children firstly belong to their families and bring with them their own history and culture to share with other children, families and educators. Respect for diversity is promoted within our community.

Much care and consideration is given to the learning environments, both indoor and outdoor, to provoke and inspire everyday encounters. Importance is placed on the beauty and aesthetic of the learning spaces, materials and experiences. There is a commitment to the natural environment whereby children form an appreciation of and connection with the world around them. Children are encouraged to develop sustainable practices and become informed citizens of the world.

We consider parents to be our partners in their child’s learning and development and are welcomed participants in the early learning programs. Together, children, families and educators form our community and work together to provide the best possible learning opportunities for the children.

Educators recognise and respond to the unique qualities of every child. Together we become co-learners with the children, families and the community. Educators are also responsive to children’s ideas and play to develop ongoing projects, stimulate their thinking and enrich their learning.

The Reggio Emilia Approach

Underpinning our philosophy is an image of the child as being competent, full of possibilities and a protagonist in his/her own learning. In educational terms the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia has firmly established a world wide reputation for forward thinking and excellence in its approach to early childhood education. It is distinguished by a deeply embedded commitment to the role of research in learning and teaching. It is an approach where the expressive arts play a central role in learning and where a unique reciprocal learning relationship exists between teacher and child. Beautiful environments and materials welcome the children to learn. Children create their own knowledge through exploration, using the many ‘languages’ of childhood: painting, drawing, music, sculpture, construction, words and many more. Creativity and learning are considered parts of the same process.

Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework

The aim of this document is to extend and enrich children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school. The Framework draws on conclusive international evidence that early childhood is a vital period in children’s learning and development. The Framework forms the foundation for ensuring that children in all early childhood education and care settings experience quality teaching and learning. It has a specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development. The Framework has been designed for use by early childhood educators working in partnership with families, children’s first and most influential educators.
Fundamental to the Framework is a view of children’s lives as characterised by belonging, being and becoming. From before birth children are connected to family, community, culture and place. Their earliest development and learning takes place through these relationships, particularly within families, who are children’s first and most influential educators. As children participate in everyday life, they develop interests and construct their own identities and understandings of the world.

Our Classes

Much care and consideration is given to learning environments in our ELC, both indoor and outdoor, to provoke and inspire everyday encounters. Importance is placed on the beauty and aesthetic of the learning spaces, materials and experiences. There is a commitment to the natural environment whereby children form an appreciation of, and connection with, the world around them. Children are encouraged to develop sustainable practices and become informed citizens of the world.

The Specialist Program

Our ELC offers specialist classes in Music and PMP (a perceptual and motor skills program). Children enrolled in our three year old (3YO) program, attending three days per week, will therefore attend some specialist classes, but not all, depending on their days of attendance. Our four year old (4YO) program children participate in all specialist classes and also enjoy French in Term 4 as well as a year long Friends Program with our Year 4 students. All children also make weekly visits to the Junior School library, with their teachers.

Enrolments

Our ELC is licensed to provide education and care to children from three years of age. Children commencing in the 3YO program at St Catherine’s ELC must have turned 3 years of age by January 31 in their year of attendance. Our ELC Enrolment Policy outlines the criteria for enrolment, the process to be followed when enrolling a child, and the basis on which places within the program will be allocated.

All children will attend an interview with the Head of ELC and Junior School prior to their commencement. Children attending the 3YO programs can attend either three days per week or five days per week. Children attending the 4YO programs all attend five days per week.

To enrol your child in our ELC please contact our registrar, Ms Amanda Bennett, on (03) 9828 3917 or email admissions@stcatherines.net.au

Our ELC Educators

Our educators recognise and respond to the unique qualities of every child. Collectively we become co-learners with the children, families and the community. Educators are also responsive to children’s ideas and plan to develop ongoing projects, stimulate their thinking and enrich their learning.

Exceeding National Quality Standards

St Catherine’s ELC was one of the first early learning centres to be assessed and rated by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) as ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’.

Our ELC received an outstanding report in regards to all seven areas of the National Quality Standards, which apply to all early learning centres, kindergartens and childcare pre-schools within Australia.

Parents as Partners

Parents are valued and welcomed participants in the Early Learning programs. We consider parents to be our partners in their child’s learning and development. Together, children, families and educators form our community and work together to provide the best possible learning opportunities for the children.

Hours of Operation

St Catherine’s ELC operates five days per week, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8.45am and 3.00pm.

Out of School Hours Care

Out of School Hours Care is provided by Camp Australia and is available from 7.00am until the commencement of the ELC program at 8.45am. This service is also available in the afternoons from 3.00pm until 6.00pm. The Out of School Hours Care Program operates within the ELC building in a shared space known as the Piazza.