For more than 80 years, Gowrie NSW has been at the forefront of early childhood education in Australia.
Set within the context of innovative spaces alongside nurturing educators, our early education and preschool programs encourage children to grow to their full potential.
If you're embarking on the journey of enrolling your child in preschool, you'll find some helpful information below to make the decision an easier one.
What is Preschool?
Preschool is like the entree to 'big' school. It's a teaser to the 13 years of formal education your child has ahead of them.
But preschool is vastly different from big school in so many ways.
Preschool is where children form their first friendships with peers and develop bonds with adults outside of their immediate family. At preschool, children learn through play, making new discoveries every day.
What is the Best Age to Start Preschool?
Preschool programs generally cater to children aged 3-5. Most children will go to preschool when they're 4 or 5 although some curriculums also cater to 3-year-olds.
Different Australian states have different starting ages. In the year before they start school, children who turn four before 1 August in NSW or 1 May in ACT can attend preschool.
What Do Children Learn at Preschool?
Every child will walk away from preschool with different experiences and learning. That's the beauty of preschool. It allows your child to follow their interests and immerse themselves in play-based learning at their own pace.
During a typical day at preschool you could expect your child to do the following types of activities:
- playing with puzzles and games
- art and craft such as painting, drawing
- building with blocks
- role-playing activities and dressing up
- sensory play with play dough, clay and sand
- reading books
- dancing and playing music
- running, jumping and playing outside
It's through these activities (check out our parent and carer resources for more ideas) that children learn. They learn by exploring their environment. By collaborating with their peers. They learn how to communicate and develop their social skills.
Their vocabulary grows, as do their fine and gross motor skills and so much more.
Gowrie NSW's Preschool Programs
Our preschool programs help every child to flourish. We respect the important connections between home and the centre and encourage the young children in our care to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world.
Our child-centred approach draws on indoor spaces, the natural environment and the peer network to create learning experiences that are enriching and fun.
Indoor Learning Experiences
Our classrooms use soft colours and natural materials to create warm and calming learning spaces.
The children have access to puzzles, games, blocks, books, craft resources and more to enhance their learning activities.
Imaginative play is actively encouraged and every child is respected for the unique interests and personality they bring to the classroom.
Outdoor Learning Experiences
The outdoor learning environment is central to our preschool program. Leafy and green, we provide the children with opportunities to learn about and engage with the natural environment.
From sand and water play to climbing and swinging, the outdoors is the perfect playground for our play-based learning approach.
Group Learning Experiences
The benefit of preschool is that it gives your child the opportunity to interact with their peer group. We encourage the development of social skills, collaboration and communication by planning group learning activities. These might include musical activities such as dancing and singing, storytime or show and tell.
The Benefits of Preschool
There is no requirement to send children to preschool, however, preschool helps a child's development in so many ways.
Some of the benefits of preschool include:
- helping with school readiness and the transition to kindergarten
- improving communication skills with other children and adults
- building early friendships
- increasing autonomy, independence and confidence
- developing gross motor skills, such as jumping and climbing, and fine motor skills, such as drawing and cutting
As educators, we understand the importance of the preschool years. It is our job to foster a love of learning in a fun and nurturing environment.
The Different Types of Preschools
There is no one type of preschool or preschool program in Australia. Some follow particular child care or educational philosophies such as Reggio Emilia. Others, called sessional preschools, may only run for a few hours a day.
At Gowrie NSW, some of our preschool programs are offered within our early education and care centres - the benefit of our pre-school programs within our EEC's is that your child is accessing a readiness for school program, with the added bonus of long daycare hours.
We also have dedicated pre-schools that operate school hours (usually 9 - 3). These are funded under the 'Free Preschool' NSW State Government initiative, and most 3 - 5 year old children are able to access two free days of preschool per week in the year leading up to school.
Inclusion and Care at Gowrie NSW
Gowrie NSW is proud to deliver the NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency as part of the Inclusion Support Program.
We work within our centres to identify barriers to inclusion as well as the strengths of our service.
We are proactive in analysing and improving policies, programs and practices that can support inclusion and children with additional needs.
We also work closely with parents and families to ensure that the needs of each individual child are met.
Our Preschools in NSW, Australia
Our preschools operate across NSW and ACT.
Learn more about our centres to discover how Gowrie NSW can nurture your child's potential.