With a huge focus on the child’s development and lessons in sustainability, located in a homely and inclusive environment plus support for families that are less fortunate – Parkwood Green Preschool really is a service that offers it all. With a large service comes a variety of different session times which means they are able to meet the needs of every family. We had a chat to Melinda Falzon and Kate Bader, the hard-working centre directors, about the most important things #TRYParkwoodGreen has to offer.
“As a service we have a very warm and nurturing environment. I’m really proud that we have a very inclusive environment so families and children do feel welcomed when they come to the service” explains Kate.
With the service decorated with family photos, homages to different cultures with a big focus on indigenous culture and even pinned newsletters in different languages, this service makes every child and every family feel comfortable and at home. The inclusion of second hand furniture adds to the warm atmosphere but the intention is to teach sustainability and recycling. Alongside the veggie patch, worm farm, water saving and many other sustainable practices, the staff make recycling into a fun activity. With donated furniture, rubbish, materials and goods – each group were able to make recycled gifts for their loved ones such as pot-plants out of plastic bottles or keychains out of wood.
Parkwood Green knows how important the Kindergarten years can be for a child’s development which is why the staff work hard with the family to create achievable goals to show the child’s progress throughout the year. Whilst working towards academic goals such as literacy and numeracy, they also work towards the social development, independence and resilience of a child.
“We are not a centre that dictates” says Melinda. “We want to achieve what’s best for the child so ultimately working with the parents is the best way to do that. There are policies and procedures that we follow but within that we can individualise these goals to each family and each child to meet their needs” adds Kate.
The staff develop a close relationship with each individual family and are there to offer support to families that are experiencing hardship and vulnerability. The staff provide help to families, recommend support services and safe steps that they can take towards a more positive future. With a wide range of close community relationships, Parkwood Green have a large number of resources they can call on to help aid disadvantaged families. The staff ran a Winter Appeal this year where the public could donate pillows, warm clothes and food to the service which was then provided for any families to take what they needed. At the end of the appeal, the items that were left were donated to St Vinnies.
To see the huge range of session times and read more click here.