New Apollo Bay Kindergarten welcomes families on first day
Published on 04 February 2022
Yesterday, families were welcomed to the official first day at the new Apollo Bay Kindergarten, which has 45 children currently enrolled (21 three-year-olds and 24 four-year-olds) to experience an integrated 3 and 4-year-old program that offers fantastic benefits to children, including combined age group learning from peers.
“This is an exciting time for the Apollo Bay Kindergarten,” said Shellie Taia, Kindergartens General Manager from Council’s service delivery partner One Tree Community Services. “Even though there were close ties and many years of history at the old site, the teaching team is very excited to be in a brand-new service that offers many opportunities for the children and for teachers.”
Ms Taia said that many of the resources had been brought over from the previous site, making everyone feel at home, albeit in a larger format – from an ageing building with a maximum capacity of 24 children, to a modern space offering two kindergarten rooms each with capacity for 33 children.
“Council, One Tree Community Services and the Apollo Bay Preschool Committee have worked very well together to plan and implement the kindergarten’s transition from local committee management to a not-for-profit service provider,” said Deputy Mayor, Cr Graham Costin. “It’s rewarding to see this excellent Early Years Hub opening its doors to the community, including the inclusion of a Maternal and Child Health consulting space, which is receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents.”
During the first term, the teaching team will focus on transitioning children into their new environment. Once the children have settled in, the teaching team will use a play-based learning curriculum that allows the children to take ownership over the program and learning spaces.
“The kindergarten rooms have been thoughtfully set up for child-led learning,” said Ms Taia. “There are plenty of opportunities for kindergartners to select equipment and materials, extend their learning, challenge themselves and be curious.”
The One Tree team has set up tabletop activities, relaxation and respite areas, arts and crafts, sensory experiences, imaginative engagement areas and natural materials both inside and out.
“One Tree is very proud to be the service delivery partner at such an exciting time for the Apollo Bay Kindergarten,” said Ms Taia. “It’s an incredible opportunity for One Tree and our team has thoroughly enjoyed working with the community during the transition. We’re looking forward to seeing how the teaching team, children and community make the new space their own.”
Council also wishes to acknowledge the State Government for its investment in the Early Years Hub in Apollo Bay, which included a contribution of approximately $350,000 from Council for the inclusion of a Maternal and Child Health consulting space.
For more information on Kindergartens in Colac Otway Shire, please refer to: www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/kindergartens.