Discovering The Green Elephant - One of Sydney's Most Incredible Child Centres
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By: Ayesha Khan, ellaslist
We know it’s not easy to leave the care and education of your little ones to someone who isn’t you. You face a little inner battle every time you drop off your little one at the day care. Little do you know, your child has forgotten about you the second they turn their backs and run up to the caped crusaders (aka day care carers). Suddenly your little angel has no trouble understanding instructions, eating food without splattering it in all directions and taming their tantrums to bare minimum. The magical powers of the day care educators are almost enviable. We wish we knew how they do it!
Nowadays many early learning centres are adopting fancy shmancy learning frameworks. So the question is, what actually sets a good day care centre apart from the rest? We decided to explore The Green Elephant Early Learning Centres located at Rosebery and Waterloo and quickly discovered for ourselves why it recently received an overwhelming ‘Exceeding’ evaluation from the National Quality Standard (NQS) and has been voted in the Top 7 Most Incredible Childcare Centres’ around the world.
Home away from home
We toured both services and met with Centre directors Claire and Kelly. We also met with owner Effie who runs both centres with her family (her brothers and husband). There’s a special charm to both these centres , a warm homely atmosphere that sets it aside from other more institutional centres. The centre is beautifully laid out with excellent attention to detail. It was designed by Effie herself, and it truly does reflect the love and care she has put in it.
The new open concept
We walked through the main secured entrance into a large space, which has been divided cleverly into different areas for each group (secured and gated area for the two nurseries, open yet secured place for the older kids) without the feeling of confined spaces. The centres boast a relaxing garden theme guaranteed to calm even the most excitable little tykes. The stimulating programs are designed to encourage learning through play, be it with fun arts and crafts, active gymnastic play or just letting imagination run wild as the little ones get creative in the amazing large sand pits.
Feast fit for little royalty
We love that the centres have a top-notch food program for the kids. A highly-qualified chef is personally in charge of cooking up the most delicious and nutritious meals for the kids. We thought the open kitchen concept is super cool. Kids get to interact with the chef and are served their meals in one large communal dining area. Their menus sound better than anything we get at lunchtime. Lucky kids!
Picking up life skills
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the centres is the emphasis on encouraging the kids to develop key life skills and interact with the community around them. Effie led us through the wonderful sustainable gardens at both centres . A talented gardener visits every week and takes the kids through demonstrations on how to care for the herbs and vegetables planted in small garden beds around the centres. The kids even learn how to use the compost bin. What a great way to develop green thumbs early on.
The directors and their teams also work with the kids to set up small stalls, where they become little shop keepers and sell herbs, vegetables and worm juice to parents. The best part is the kids get to choose where to spend their earnings, such as visiting the local bakeries to buy fresh bread for the service or visiting the local cafes to choose their own fresh juice, and saying hello to the community. What a fun and creative way to develop a foundation of life skills.
Knowing kids are with the best
As Effie guides us through the rest of the centre, there’s no doubt she is a true favourite of the kids. All the children seem to adore her and the rest of the team. There are laughs and giggles and high-fives wherever we go. It’s quite obvious that the centre focuses on open communication and teaching kids to express emotions. At The Green Elephant Early Learning Centres kids get the complete “family like’ atmosphere feel and parents can be 100% confident that the kids are in great hands!
What you need to know
Address: 55 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery, NSW, 2018
Tel: 1300 353 742
Email: [email protected]
Address: 15 Allen Street, NSW, 2017
Tel: 1300 353 742
Email: [email protected]