Frequently Asked Questions
Preschools provide an educational program in a dedicated preschool setting catering for children aged between three and five years of age. Educational programs are provided, based on the developmental needs, interests and experience of each child. These services are primarily for children in the two years before they commence full-time schooling and open school hours.
There is consistent international evidence that children who have participated in high-quality preschool education programs gain significant long-term benefits from what has been termed the ‘preschool advantage’
- Higher levels of completed education and subsequent employment;
- Greater stability in relationships and lower rates of mental illness
Most families choose to send their child to some type of early education and care service in the years before they start formal schooling. Preschools generally operate during school terms and for hours similar to schools. They are often managed by parents and community members, so are reflective of their local communities. Preschools have a strong links to their local schools and support children to transition successfully to school.
In Clunes, we have a long running preschool service that is owned by the community and managed by parents and community members. It has operated from the building in Smith Street for over 25 years and provided care and education for two generations of local children.
- A high quality play-based curriculum based on the national Early Years Learning framework implemented by an early childhood teacher and qualified child care workers.
- An emphasis on emerging social skills and supporting children’s emotional competence.
- A spacious, safe and well equipped playroom and outdoor area.
- Support for children as they transition to their local school.
- Programs for children with diverse needs
Located in a charming rural village just 15 minutes from Lismore and Bangalow, Clunes Preschool provides high quality early childhood education to the local Northern Rivers community. Most commonly, we have families from neighbouring suburbs such as Eltham, Nashua, Eureka, Booyong, Federal, Corndale and Rosebank; though we occasionally receive preschool enrolments from towns a little further away, like Alstonville, Wollongbar or Lismore.
- Are interactions between adults and children responsive, affectionate and respectful?
- Are there qualified and experienced educators?
- Do the staff-to-child ratios allow staff to interact with children in a calm and unhurried way?
- Is there an intentional curriculum that involves active engagement with children?
- How do the staff promote early literacy and math skills?
- How do they teach social, emotional and regulatory skills?
- How do they respond to cultural diversity?
- Are there high standards of safety and child protection?
- Do families, children, and visitors feel welcome and valued?
Children starting preschool for the first time must be at least 3 years of age. Four and five year olds in preschool are subsidised by the State government. We recommend that children enrol for at least 2 days each week to get the most out of preschool.
Yes. Clunes Preschool provides high quality early childhood education programs catered to the needs of each individual child. This will help your child to develop the skills and attitudes necessary for the transition to full-time school. We have a focus on emerging literacy and maths skills and on developing a strong foundation for building relationships with peers at school.
No. We recognise that all children develop toileting skills at different ages. Children start preschool at all different stages of this process, from not using the toilet at all to fully independent. The teachers can help your child to become independent in toileting – please discuss your child’s individual needs at enrolment.
Under Federal government legislation, all preschools and other care centres need to keep on record for each enrolled child EITHER:
- an up-to-date immunisation record (available from Medicare Online, your local Medicare office, or by phoning 1800 653 809), OR
- a Vaccine Refuser form from your GP
Under this law, our preschool is unable to accept any child for enrolment without one of these forms.
Some children sleep in the afternoon at preschool; others don’t. The teachers make a quiet place for children who wish or need to sleep, and offer alternative relaxing activities for those who don’t. Please discuss your child’s individual needs with us at enrolment.
We ask families to supply a nutritious morning tea and lunch for their children to eat while at preschool.
We believe that every child has the right to high quality early childhood education and are committed to the inclusion of children with additional needs. The teachers work with families to identify and support areas that may be challenging and work alongside early intervention services, health professionals and our local schools to ensure that every child is supported. Please talk to us at enrolment about your child’s individual needs.
You can be involved a little or a lot – it’s up to you. Some ways that families are involved include: being part of our management committee, being a rostered volunteer while preschool is running, coming in to teach a special class or demonstrate a skill, and helping at working bees or fundraising events.