Community Minded Kids

Manly Vale ELC

Early Learning Childcare centres across the Northern Beaches joined forces in a recent push to support the children’s charity Variety and a young girl with brain cancer.

COVERED. found out that the teamwork and care over the recent charity event underpins the whole approach of these special centres.

A total of 11 childcare centres were involved in organising the Family Fun Day at Mona Vale in April for Carys Bradshaw, who suffers from a rare form of aggressive brain cancer.

Money raised went towards a trip for Carys, who attended Greenwood Brookvale Childcare Centre before starting school, to the UK to take part in a breakthrough treatment trial.

Caitlin O’Reilly, manager of Collaroy Plateau Early Learning Centre (ELS), was a driving force behind the major event. Caitlin has been involved with Variety for a number of years. “We all felt that the Variety charity’s values really aligned with our centre philosophy and core values,” she explains.

ELS Redman House 1 & 2, ELS Manly Vale 1 & 2 as well as ELS Forestville and ELS Mona Vale took part alongside several other childcare centres on the  peninsula. “Each centre has its own unique philosophy appropriate for their setting, however we all have the same fundamental approach,” adds Caitlin.

Collaroy Plateau has up to 12 babies a day, between 10-15 toddlers and 20-25 preschoolers. The preschool room is divided into Junior preschool and Senior preschool with 10-15 kids in each group.

Caitlin says it’s important for the children to have a strong sense of belonging, and to feel comfortable to explore and develop. “The most important way I believe a child can settle in the centre, is through consistency in educators and routines and a strong orientation program. I strongly encourage families to come in for plays prior to a child starting, so they are familiar with the setting, the educators and the routine.”

A range of extra-curricular activities including mighty mites, kindy-tennis and Leaps ‘n’ Bounds, are provided, in addition to day-to-day activities and experiences that vary depending on the interests of the children. They can also take part in yoga and dancing, as well as Spanish lessons.

The school readiness program focuses on promoting independence and ensuring children are emotionally and socially ready for the transition to school.

The pre-school room children also take part in community-based excursions by catching the local bus to the library for storytime, visiting the local shops and going to the aquarium.

At the Collaroy Plateau, Manly Vale and Redman House centres, staff believe they can really make a difference, “By providing a warm and friendly environment, happy and welcoming faces of staff and strong relationships with families that help promote a child’s confidence and sense of ‘being’ in our centres,” says Caitlin. 

ELS Collaroy Plateau
ELS Redman House 1 & 2 - Dee Why
ELS Manly Vale 1 & 2