Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Preschool located?
40 Nelson Street, Barnsley, NSW 2278

What ages do you cater for?
3 – 6 year olds

Can I be added to your waitlist?

Interested families should join our waitlist as soon as possible for preference when their child is of enrolment age. We encourage any family interested in our centre to visit us (children are welcome) for a preschool tour with our Preschool Director. We make it easy to book tours online here.

What are your hours of operation?
Monday-Friday, 7:30AM-6:00PM

We are closed on public holidays and from Christmas to New Years.

Are meals and snacks included in your fees?
Yes, enjoy! See more on our Food + Nutrition page.

What is the basis of your preschool curriculum?

At Sustainable Play Preschool, our curriculum has a strong focus on fun, play-based learning experiences which are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework. Our Curriculum is led by University qualified Early Childhood Teachers and the implementation of these curriculums are supported by tertiary qualified Early Childhood Educators. Every learning experience provided at our service takes a holistic approach to education, child development and aims to provide the best learning outcomes for each child.

What is included in the daily fee?

Our Preschool supports the learning and development of children of Preschool age, 3-5 years and conveniently operates Monday to Friday, over long day care hours, 7:30am – 6:00pm, only closing on public holidays.

We provide healthy, delicious, plant-based meals, all made on-site, daily.

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is provided at our service for eligible families and may result in subsidised fees. Find out more here – humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/child-care-subsidy

What is the difference between Sustainable Play Preschool and a Montessori Preschool?

At a Montessori preschool, the educators and learning environment are informed by the Montessori methodology developed Dr. Maria Montessori.

At Sustainable Play Preschool, our educators and learning environments are rooted in holistic education, based on the teaching philosophies of multiple early childhood theorists including Reggio Emilia, Rudolf Steiner, Magda Gerber and Maria Montessori.

Educators at Sustainable Play Preschool are guided by this holistic philosophy to prioritize establishing secure relationships with our preschoolers. It is only when children feel safe and secure in the environment, that we grow from there to encourage learning.

“Relationships play a crucial role in learning and supporting children in developing a sense of belonging.” – Sustainable Play Preschool Family Handbook 2021 (page 5)

Why is Early Education important?

“A child’s participation in an organised early childhood education program assists in the development of their cognitive abilities, and also helps with enhancing social and emotional skills while interacting with their peers.

Research strongly supports the benefits of enrolling children for 600 hours in the year before school, so they arrive at school ready to participate in ongoing learning.

Early childhood education helps children by:

  • creating a life-long passion for learning
  • helping them develop social skills
  • encouraging the development of fine motor and sensory skills
  • fostering language development and vocabulary
  • priming children to be creative
  • equipping them to cope with problem solving.”

education.nsw.gov.au/early-childhood-education/whats-happening-in-the-early-childhood-education-sector/early-education-matters

How do you assist children in 'school readiness' and a smooth transition to school?

The years before school are crucial for children to develop the skills they need for school and life. At Sustainable Play Preschool we aim to create reciprocal relationships with local schools and invite kindergarten teachers to attend our service to get to know children who will be attending their schools the following year. 

Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to visit local schools and practice practical skills for school, such as lunchbox days. We support children in developing strong foundations for learning and ample opportunities for practicing skills such as; fine and gross motor skills, turn-taking, sharing and playing cooperatively with others, recognising shapes numbers and colours, pencil grip, recognising their own name, articulating their needs, using manners, listening to others, following instructions and responding to questions, reciting songs, rhymes and retelling stories, recognising, labelling and regulating emotions.

We also support the development of independence and self-help tasks such as personal hygiene and the ability to recognise and care for their own belongings.

Why do you encourage outdoor play?

Playing outdoors encourages children to connect with nature and the environment around them and provides opportunities for children to learn about the natural world. Children can learn how plants grow, the changing of the seasons or animal life cycles. Opportunities for children to spend time playing outdoors can help their motor, sensory, social and cognitive development. Playing outdoors is fun and promotes happy, healthy and strong children.

“Swinging on tires and playing on monkey bars has been replaced with longer class periods and fine motor exercises used for training the brain have been replaced with bright screens and the swipe of the finger. While technology is still important for children to learn, too much is preventing our kids from transitioning from right-brained thinking to a left-brained education system (organisation, reasoning, problem solving, expressing thoughts on paper).”

“What we have found is that the more children are removed from free play and opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, proprioceptive and vestibular systems, the more prone they are to sensory and behaviour issues in the classroom”.

ilslearningcorner.com/2016-05-angela-hanscom-balanced-and-barefoot-how-unrestricted-outdoor-play-makes-for-strong-confident-and-capable-children/

ted.com/talks/angela_hanscom_the_real_reason_children_fidget_and_what_we_can_do_about_it

“Children who do not have opportunities to play particularly outdoors and with other children demonstrate increased evidence of anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness and narcissism” Peter Gray – psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/1195/ajp-decline-play-published.pdf

“Diagnosis of children with an anxiety disorder has skyrocketed to 25%” – Sheldon Cohen, 2013

What makes Sustainable Play Preschool, 'sustainable'?

Sustainable Play Preschool is equipped with solar panels, rainwater tanks, worm farms and effective recycling – but that’s not all!

As a service we provide only plant-based meals, meaning all food scraps are able to be composted on site. We purchase resources locally to support local farmers and businesses as well as reduce mileage traveled by our goods used. We buy in bulk to minimise packaging and waste. We purchase recycled or FSC certified paper products – opting for reusable whenever possible. We clean and sanitise using products that are environmentally conscious.

In gathering resources, we try to make things ourselves when possible, we purchase items second-hand, and we advocate for repairing damaged items onsite. We collect natural items found in our environment to use in our nature play curriculum and as loose parts play. 

Our educators implement intentional teaching strategies and lead by example to inspire children to become environmental advocates. Educators engage in sustainable practices and teach these routines as a core element of our educational curriculum. Everyday at our preschool, children are composting, implementing energy and water saving practices, caring for the environment, growing their own food, harvesting fruits and vegetables, saving seeds, and engaging in garden-to-kitchen experiences when possible.

Why do you promote risk taking?

“Risky play can be defined as a thrilling and exciting activity that involves a risk of physical injury, and play that provides opportunities for challenge, testing limits, exploring boundaries and learning about injury risk” – Sandseter 2007; Little & Wyver, 2008.

We believe that educators and parents need to weigh up the risks versus the benefits of risk taking in the early years. There are so many benefits of taking risks for children’s agency, learning and wellbeing, together educators and children consider and reflect on if particular risks appropriate to further develop their skills and development.

Assessing and taking risks allow children to follow their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons enabling children to experience positive exhilaration of thrill, overcoming fear or the unknown  and the sense of achievement when the risk has passed. We believe that children who have opportunities to effectively assess and manage risk at an early age will be better equipped to deal with risk as an adult.

How does Bush Kindy fit into the preschool curriculum?

While still in the development stage, our Bush Kindy program is roughly based on the concepts of Nature Kindergartens and Forest Schools in the United Kingdom and is becoming an important part of our preschool curriculum. Our regular Bush Kindy program allows for risk taking and exploration, promotes an attachment to nature and the land. It facilitates play and problem solving and develops survival, resilience and self-regulation skills all while exploring and connecting to the local community and bush land.

Do you accept unvaccinated children?

Children are required to be fully immunised before being able to attend the service.

Below are statements from the NSW Government Health website to help you to understand our legal obligations in relation to immunisations:

“The only unimmunised children who can be enrolled in child care after 1 January 2018 are those who are on a recognised catch-up schedule (provided that the appropriate documentation has been provided), or those who are unimmunised due to medical reasons as described in the Australian Immunisation Handbook) (provided that the appropriate documentation has been provided), or children who are too young to be immunised (under 2 months of age).

Children who are unimmunised for a disease may be asked to stay at home if there is an outbreak of that vaccine preventable disease in a child care centre.

Vaccination is not compulsory and parents will continue to have the choice whether or not to vaccinate their child. However, conscientious objectors can no longer enrol their children in child care and will need to make alternative arrangements.” 

Read more on the NSW Government Health site here.

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