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Deciding on the right kinder for your child is an important decision. This is your child’s first foray into formal education and it’s imperative they, and you, have a great experience that sets them up for the school years ahead.

Why is choosing the right kinder important?

A child’s educational journey often begins in the kindergarten years, and these are amongst the most important in a child’s life.

“During the period from birth to eight years, children experience more rapid brain development and acquire more skills and knowledge than in any other period in their lives” (Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, 2009).

Therefore it is important to choose a high-quality kindergarten program that reflects the values of your family, and supports your child to achieve their full potential and develop a life long love of learning.

Why is play based learning important?

“Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children, they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn.” (Belonging, Being, Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009).

At Little St. Margaret’s we value the importance of play in children’s learning and our curriculum reflects this through a play-based approach.

Is Little St. Margaret’s a private or government kindergarten?

LSM is an independent, non-denominational, not-for-profit Kindergarten. The service is operated and managed by the Little St. Margaret’s council comprising of parent-elected council members and Directors. It is a one-of-a-kind service that provides sessional kindergarten and extended care programs.

What makes LSM stand out from other early childhood services?

The intimate and homely atmosphere at Little St. Margaret’s is created by the physical surroundings of a period building combined with small class sizes and high educator to child ratios. There is a strong sense of community belonging at Little St. Margaret’s as a result of families, children and educators working in close collaboration. A specialised team of highly experienced educators provide the highest level of kindergarten education and care. This has been reflected in the Australians Government’s National Quality and Assessment & Rating Report (2012), where Little St. Margaret’s received the highest possible rating of “Exceeding National Quality Standards”, recognising its standing as an Australian leader in Early childhood education.

Why are class sizes important?

Small class sizes provide the benefits of a secure, intimate, nurturing and stimulating environment. Class sizes at Little St. Margaret’s are significantly lower than comparable services, therefore educators are better able to support each individual child to develop emotionally, physically, intellectually and socially. As a result of the higher than average educator to child ratios at Little St. Margaret’s, each child has the ability to choose their own learning path to achieve their educational goals.

How does Little St. Margaret’s prepare my child for school?

Educators at Little St. Margaret’s work closely with families throughout their kindergarten years, discussing school readiness and how to best support and prepare children for the formal years of schooling.

Our 4year old kindergarten curriculums have specifically designed transition-to-school programs which ensure the smooth and successful move from the kindergarten to school environment. Aspects of these include: school orientation visits, Prep teachers visiting kindergarten, parent/teacher interviews, written Transition Learning and Development Statements, “School Fun Day” at kindergarten where children wear their school uniforms etc.

Does Little St. Margaret’s offer incursions and/or excursions?

Little St. Margaret’s strongly values connections with the wider community and believe that real life experiences which allow children to engage first hand with the world around them are critical to their learning. Therefore a variety of incursions and excursions are planned throughout the year. Depending on the particular interests and needs of the children some of these may include:-

Incursion (all children): - Puppet shows, Wildlife visits, Drama workshops, Music & Movement experiences, Health & Nutrition/Dental visits, Librarian story-times, Indigenous and Multicultural presenters, sustainability and environmental topics.

Excursions (4yr old only):- Melbourne Museum, Farm, Zoo, Botanic Gardens, Traffic School, Woodwork, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Scienceworks.

What specialist programs does Little St. Margaret’s offer?

Little St. Margaret’s offers a range of specialist programs within the kindergarten curriculum. These include:

  • Weekly session with a Specialist Music Teacher
  • Weekly excursion to the local Park
  • Letterland
  • Library / Literacy
  • Show n’tell
  • Nutrition and cooking experiences

I’ve heard a 4 year old place isn’t guaranteed following 3 year old kinder, is this true?

No, this is not true. Many years ago the kindergarten operated under a different enrolment system, whereby some children missed out on places in 4yr old kindergarten because there were more 3yr old places than 4yr old places. This has been amended and now and all 3 year olds are guaranteed a place in 4 year old the following year.

When can my child start in 3yr old or 4 yr old kindergarten?

As per Little St. Margaret’s enrolment policy, children can commence in 3yr old kindergarten on the provision that they have turned 3yrs of age by the 31st January in the year they attend. Children can commence in 4yr old kindergarten on the provision that they have turned 4yrs of age by the 30th April in the year they attend.

Parents are advised to consider and discuss with the educators which year they intend for their child to commence school. This will assist parents in making the decision of when to start kindergarten.