With a huge focus on community engagement and an open door policy for all families – Nth Cheltenham Preschool is passionate about the next generation. We had a chat to Annette Gardiner about how they support their children and families and introduce them to the services around them in safe and exciting ways.

From trips to the local supermarket to learn about healthy eating choices to walks to the local Primary school to ease the challenging transition between kindergarten and school, North Cheltenham put a huge emphasis on experiencing the community and meeting the local people around them. In an exciting new addition this year, North Cheltenham have paired up with Freedom Aged Care in a “Grandbuddies” program, where the group meets with the older generations each week to sing songs, play games and learn about the importance of safety. As children and senior citizens can often be segregated, this is a great representation of inter-generational community building that warms your heart!

As local excursions are important to the North Cheltenham staff, so is the practice of Safety. Before, during and after each excursion, whether it is a long walk or just to the school next door, the children learn and practice road safety. The importance of keeping safe on walks around town is emphasized in every excursion to ensure that whilst children have a healthy interest in the world around them, they are able to explore in a safe and sensible way!

With a child, comes the whole family and the staff at North Cheltenham work hard to maintain kind relationships with all families at the service. An open door policy means that if a parent or family member wishes to help out with the service, have a chat or ask for help, they are welcome to come in at any time, without notice. This is particularly helpful for families experiencing vulnerability as this open communication with families helps the staff to provide resources that will aid the child and/or the family. With a number of external community relationships, the team have access to a variety of support services, including resources for families with English as a second language to ensure that communication can flow.

Annette and Shelley have been working together as a great team at North Cheltenham Preschool for years and are excited to keep their passion for the children, the families and the community going into the future.

“We’re here because we’re passionate about the children. It shows through in our everyday practices. The children are happy, calm and relaxed, because we are as well and it reflects in the children’s behaviour”

For information on enrolments for North Cheltenham Preschool click here