- Program Details
- Useful Information
- Contact Us
Eltham Preschool acknowledges the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which the preschool is built.
We are a not for profit centre that has been providing 3 and 4 year old sessional preschool to the children of the Eltham community for 60 years. Our programs are delivered by nurturing and qualified educators in a bright, welcoming and inspiring playroom and two beautiful outdoor play areas. If you would like to visit, please call 94392889 to arrange a time for a tour.
“Our programs balance a warm sense of community, joyful learning, independent thinking and creativity in a sustainable, natural environment.”
Eltham Preschool is located in central Eltham and is in walking distance to shops, cafes, supermarkets, bakeries, chemists, the post office, banks, the library, train station and parks. We enjoy regular outings within the local community.
We have a spacious building that is further extended by a veranda enclosed with cafe blinds, creating inside play with an outdoors feel.
Our playgrounds are large and leafy with lots of shade, providing numerous areas for your child to explore, discover and be creative. Special features include a bike track, a large covered sandpit with deck, bridge and river (fed by our own tank water) and our ever popular fire engine.
Eltham Preschool is excited to offer a Bush Kinder program
Bush Kinder is a type of preschool education for children held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children spend regular, long periods of unstructured time playing, exploring and learning in a bush or natural environment.
Children in the 4yo program attend Bush Kinder each week, on Friday mornings, starting from term 2, at a nature site in our local community.
Bush Kinder is an extension to our indoor and outdoor program at kinder and becomes a special part of a child’s total kinder experience at Eltham Preschool. We have developed a model to suit our community’s and children’s specific needs. It recognises the place the bush has in Australia and the significance of the land in aboriginal culture.
Bush Kinder in Australia is inspired by the Forest schools that have been operating successfully in Northern Europe for over 50 years. Successful Bush Kinder programs have been operating in several Victorian preschools over the past few years.
There is mounting evidence of decreasing opportunities for children to play outdoors in nature and this links to concerns about children’s health and wellbeing. There are well documented diverse benefits of nature play including increased confidence, motivation, imagination and concentration; increased social, physical and language skills; deeper conceptual understandings; an authentic connection and respect for the natural environment and sustainability; and enhanced family and community attitudes towards natural play spaces and risk management.
We are proud to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of this land. We continue the vision of a community who in 1956 established our preschool for future generations, as part of the Eltham War Memorial children’s centre complex. We are a community of children, parents and educators who want something special for their children and themselves. Our program balances joyful learning, independent thinking, curiosity, creativity, and imagination in a sustainable, natural environment.
We are committed to:
Child Centered Practice
- Early childhood is a unique and critical period in a human life to be honoured and treasured. We acknowledge the right of every child to learn, to feel positive about who they are and to become a valued member of our kindergarten community.
- We consider children to be capable, curious and active contributors to their own learning. Our approach is holistic, supporting children to develop social skills, self-confidence, resilience and positive dispositions to learning.
- Our programs are flexible and enquiry based with a balance between guided play and child directed opportunities to nurture children’s theories, planning and creative expression. We have a strong focus on extending a child’s natural abilities through visual and language arts and strengthening our connection with nature and the environment.
- A sense of wonder, belonging to and love of all natural and living things is critical for young children to develop lifelong respectful and proactive attitudes to our environment to ensure our sustainable future.
- We value the outdoor environment and believe that children benefit from experiencing the seasonal changes, opportunities for physical development and time to play in a garden.
- Eltham Preschool is a place where children, parents and educators can feel a sense of belonging to our caring community and friendships are grown. We celebrate diversity and embrace each child’s individuality within an environment of respect and trust. Families are welcomed and encouraged to share their values, skills and traditions to enrich our children’s learning.
- Parents and educators, aim to build strong partnerships to manage the centre effectively, through a process of consultation and collaboration.
- Connections with the wider community are valued to enrich teaching and learning.
- Our experienced, qualified and skilled educators strive for excellence and continually seek to improve and inform best practice principles for all aspects of our work.
- To guide our practice, we embrace the Victorian and National Early Years Learning Frameworks.
- We are focused on maintaining professional principles and knowledge, reflecting on our practice and being open to current research and new ways of thinking.
Eltham Preschool is a place where children, parents and educators can feel a sense of belonging to our caring community. Families are welcomed and encouraged to share their values, skills and traditions to enrich our children’s learning. We celebrate diversity and embrace each child’s individuality within an environment of respect and trust. Connections with the wider community are valued to enrich teaching and learning. Excursions, incursions and community interaction to support learning are a regular part of the program. High staff-to-children ratios mean children are able to establish meaningful relationships with educators and pursue different indoor and outdoor interests without time constraints.
Our Learning Environment
We believe in providing a learning environment that is stimulating and sensory rich in possibilities. Our programs are flexible and enquiry based with many varied opportunities to nurture children’s theories, discussion, planning and creative expression; with a strong focus on extending a child’s natural abilities through visual and language arts and strengthening our connection with nature and the environment. Aspects of interdependence and biodiversity are incorporated as we learn about the seasons, gardening and animal care. Our expansive play spaces are set within a natural environment and include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water and other elements from nature. These spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature.
Our commitment to education for sustainability
Eltham Preschool has a very strong commitment to the environment and education for sustainability. The aim of education for sustainability is to promote a sense of responsibility, respect, empowerment, active participation, enquiry and social change to make a positive difference.
Our curriculum focuses on:
- our shared Aboriginal history of connections with the land and reconciliation;
- biodiversity- nature connections, gardens and animals;
- environmental health- eliminating chemicals and pesticides;
- slow food – growing our own food, respecting the natural rhythms of seasons and food traditions;
- resources – responsible use of water and energy, waste minimization, fair trade and the sharing of resources;
- living in peace with each other and nature.
Education for sustainability has strengthened our relationships with the children, families and community. It has also given Eltham Preschool a reputation of being a leader in early childhood education for sustainability and the recipient of awards and contributed to our proud achievements.