Located in the beautiful greenery of the Dandenong Ranges, perched on the hillside overlooking the lush giant Mountain Ash trees is The Patch Kindergarten. One of TRY’s newest services, The Patch offers a play based program that is open-ended, and responds to use children’s own interests and skills to explore and develop creativity. The centre offers a really strong focus on emotional wellbeing, working with the children to create a safe space to learn and grow.

We spoke to Jo, the centre’s teacher who offered us an insight into The Patch Kindergarten.

“Our aim is to foster a close relationship with the adjoining primary school, who have invited us to use the Forest School, art and music rooms, where primary children work with the kinder children to learn about nature and the importance of sustainability, as well as working with the children to develop an understanding of the traditional owners of the land”

The staff at The Patch Kindergarten spend a lot of time helping children to develop emotional regulation, resilience, confidence, independence and social skills. The children learn life skills, develop independence and confidence for successful lifelong learning.

The centre, with its fantastic location and abundance of resources is soon starting Forest Kinder to align with the primary school’s Forest School and will allow the children to be involved with growing gardens and caring for plants, a skill that will continue to develop through the transition to school.

Jo spoke to us about the strong sense of community in the area. Being in a semi-rural location, everyone in the community continually helps and supports each other. With regular community events such as the school’s fete, in which the kinder will be involved, there is a beautiful community and family interaction that is ever so present.

When we asked what she was most proud of, Jo spoke of the centre’s inclusive environment and beautiful spaces that will allow for the children to really develop their skills and grow.

Find out more about The Patch Kindergarten here.