Ushering in a decade of learning

7 August 2019|Community News| Off Comments off on Ushering in a decade of learning|

FOLLOWING a decade of collaboration, the partnership between Dominic College and Discovery Early Learning Centre is continuing to thrive, with plans for expansion now on the horizon.

Dominic College initiated its kindergarten in 1998, wanting to provide high-quality, accessible and affordable education for pre-school children in an environment of lived Christian values.

College land in Tolosa Street was initially sold to a childcare developer in 2004, but over the next five years, building works failed completion.

The college exercised its right to re-purchase the land and entered into an agreement with Discovery Early Learning in 2009 to lease the facilities to them.

Dominic Early Learning Centre director Trudy Peterson said the programs and curriculum had grown exponentially with the addition of the Outside School Hours Care and Holiday Programs.

“The service has grown and changed over the years to meet the needs of the local community and the families who attend Dominic College,” she said.

“The centre opened with 35 children and now cares for 110 in Long Day Care, 45 in Outside School Hours Care and up to 200 during Vacation Care.”

Experienced and accredited staff have grown in number from 10 employees to 65 today.

Work experience students and VET placement old scholars from Dominic College and Guildford Young College add to the partnership.

Mrs Peterson said she felt blessed to be able to work so closely with the Dominic College community.

“Our partnership enables the college to deliver quality education to families from birth to grade 10,” she said.

“It is a pleasure to work with such a professional, dedicated school community.”

Dominic College principal Beth Gilligan said Dominic College and Discovery had ongoing plans for the next 10 years and the centre was a focus of the college’s Master Planning.

“We are planning a new purpose-built outside-school-hours care facility,” she said.

“These extensions will ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality of care in new state-of-the-art facilities in an Early Years K-2 context.”

Ms Gilligan said the biggest benefit she had seen in the partnership had been the smooth and comfortable transition of Dominic Early Learning Centre children into the college.

“Dominic is not seen as a new and different environment by the children,” she said.

“Many of the challenges of adjusting to kindergarten disappear because the children are so used to being a part of the college through their regular programs and interactions with us.”

Dominic College staff are given priority of access to the Dominic Early Learning Centre for the care of their own children when they return to work from maternity leave.

“The benefit of having on-site child care has been a huge benefit for our staff, both male and female,” she said.

Caption: Original Dominic Early Learning Centre students in 2009, from left, Rachael Glidden, Gabriel Tichanow, Lucy Schiebel, Taylah Bernes and Michael King with Discovery and Dominic leaders.

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