In September 2021, Georges River Council’s newest childcare centre – Oatley West Early Learning Centre is turning one.
From a start of 57 children to a thriving Centre filled with 111 happy faces and another 250 future enrolments in waiting, the Centre is now one of the most popular early learning centres in the area.
The Centre accepts enrolments from both local residents and workers, caring for children from birth to school age.
The resources within the Centre were all individually selected for their ability to be multi-used, sustainable and where possible, were locally sourced.
The affordable early learning Centre is decorated with a public art piece at the entrance, by artist, Karri McPherson, demonstrating the Centre’s fresh, modern and creative approach to early learning.
The Centre opened its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020.
With a sound service model and financial framework, the Centre generously waived the first month of enrolment fees through Council’s COVID-19 Social and Economic Recovery Plan, so families could obtain free and essential childcare during these challenging times.
Centre Coordinator Germaine Braun said, “The dedicated team of Educators provides focused activities for children on topics like sustainability, inclusiveness, connection and wellbeing.
“They promote learning through play and draw on various approaches to support children in achieving their learning outcomes.
“The Centre formed an innovative partnership with Council’s Library Services to establish a pilot program known as LibraryGo, where families receive a fortnightly library delivery for reading times at home. The feedback was unanimously positive.”
There are six early learning centres owned and operated by Council, caring for approximately 440 children and families.
A new Child Protection Action Plan was also implemented this month, guiding Council to be an inclusive organisation for children’s voices and ensure the safety and protection of our youngest citizens.
Georges River Mayor Kevin Greene congratulated the Oatley West Early Learning Centre’s remarkable year of achievements, especially during the unprecedented global pandemic.
He said, “As a government agency committed to assisting local families and workers to balance work and family responsibilities, Council has for many years promoted a family-friendly community environment.
“The provision of six early learning centres is a practical demonstration of that commitment.
“Our Educators deserve praise for their hard work to establish a positive and nurturing environment for all children.”