The Early Years are the most incredible time of development and, for those of you making important decisions about preschool and beyond, we welcome the possibility of teaming with you through these ‘wonder-full’ years.
Since its humble beginnings over 30 years ago, Williams House Kindergarten has established a solid reputation in the holistic care, wellbeing and education of the pre-schoolers that have come through our doors. With the support of a progressive school leadership, our Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) based programs have been developed to acknowledge that Kindergarten is a time to recognise all that is valuable about the ‘now’ –the ‘now’ of children’s ideas and skills and the ‘now’ of what children can bring to their own learning and emotional development – while gently challenging and extending our children’s capabilities. Our programs also acknowledge the role that ‘environment’ plays in inspiring confident, creative investigation and exploration of ideas.
We are proud of our dedicated team of educators, the care taken with our learning environments, our innovative programs and, most importantly, our record in partnering with families in supporting their children through a key period of transition.
Williams House offers a day care option to our families. This includes quality full and half day options for 3 to 5 year olds, designed to support families who have children attending our sessional programs.
Pre Kinder or 3YO? While we understand that from a community context '3YO Kinder' is a very familiar term, the reality is that most children are turning 4 during this year. So our preference is for 'Pre Kinder'.
Regardless of what it is called, the value of this year remains the same. Pre Kinder is that first independent step into a sessional program. It provides an opportunity to be consistently with the same educators and the same cohort of children over the course of the Pre Kinder year.
Gentle routines support children towards independence appropriate to their tender years. They learn to manage and organise their belongings, they learn to follow instructions and to know what it means to be part of a group.
There is access to all of the beautiful resources of the centre, the playgrounds and, or course, a wonderful indoor space that invites open-ended and imaginative play in an environment that speaks of comfort and 'homeliness'.
Our requirement is that children have turned 3 before the end of January in the year in which they are to attend Pre Kinder, but we are always open for the conversation around 'which year' might be the best one to commence the Early Years trajectory through Williams House.
*Please note that children can access our Possums programs from the day they turn 3 years old, and for many families of younger children, this has been a wonderful bridge into our service prior to the actual Pre Kinder year.
Pre School at Williams House is an important and magical year that leads into Prep.
We proudly offer elements within our 'Rated Exceeding' program that add a richness of experience without compromising the importance of a gentle 'flow' in all we do. These extras, unique to our Kindergartens, include weekly library visits, Japanese classes provided through a State grant, Music provided through Christian College specialists and the 'jewel in our crown' - regularly scheduled time in nature through our Bush Kinder and Beach Kinder programs. All of these elements emphasise a play-based approach.
Our up-to-date physical spaces allow for direct access to beautifully presented indoor and outdoor programs, carefully curated resources, a focus on loose parts and on natural surrounds.
We prioritise children that will eventually transition to Prep at Christian College, however each year we are also able to offer a number of community places to complete our Kindergarten cohort.
Our link with Christian College's Junior School also allows us a bonus connection with their facilities. We particularly value the access to the oval and playgrounds as well as the gymnasium. At certain times during the year we also may connect with other campuses, such as Middle School and Back Creek Farm.
We welcome your enquiry to our beautiful Pre School. We are also happy to guide your decision around the optimal year for your child to engage in their Pre School year.
*Please note that all of our fees are supported by the Child Care Subsidy for eligible families.
Commencing in 2015, Christian College Geelong was one of the first organisations to initiate ‘Bush Kinder’ in our region. Over this time, we have provided access to spaces that allow regular opportunities for children to participate in a Bush Kinder experience. From the initial pilot project, Bush Kinder has flourished and become a much-valued part of both Williams House and Butterfield House Kindergartens.
Through this program we connect children, their families and other professionals in the field, to the brilliance of regular, unstructured time in nature.
In essence, our commitment to authentic nature pedagogy includes the following:
- We acknowledge the role of professional expertise in understanding and connecting children to nature.
- We understand the importance of immersing children in authentic experiences that include sensory, visual and aural opportunities in nature.
- We provide for intentional teaching moments, sharing of knowledge and increased confidence in understanding our planet.
- We do not treat nature with tokenism; we consider it in all aspects of our programs; inside, outside and beyond.
Time in nature, put simply, gifts us with so much including a sense of wellbeing and is a proven contributor to fine and large motor development. It enables us to get to know planet earth, to love it and ultimately to do what we can to protect it.
If you would like to know more, please contact Butterfield House or Williams House. We are excited to share from our knowledge and our experience.
Williams House Kindergarten was rated 'Exceeding in ALL Quality Standards' by the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority.
Director - Williams House Kindergarten and Butterfield House Kindergarten + Care
Williams House Kindergarten acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.