Kew Early Learning Centre – Frequently Asked Questions


Program structure

1. What are the schedules offered in the Carey ELC program?

Three Year Old program (3YO)

Two full days (Wednesday and Friday)
Three full days (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)
Five full days (Monday to Friday – very limited places) 

Four Year Old program (4YO)

Three full days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Three full days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
Four full days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
Five full days (Monday to Friday – very limited places)

All sessions are from 9.00am to 3.00pm.

2. How many children attend ELC and how many staff are in each room?

There are usually 20 children to a class with two staff members in each room. 

There are 22 children attending the five-day program and 20 children in the four and three-day program on a rotational model. Two staff members work in each room.

3. Do you have before and after school care for the ELC?

Both morning and afternoon extended care is available to ELC children at Kew. Morning care is available from 7.45–9.00am and afternoon care is available from 3.00–6.00pm.

After-school care for the ELC operates out of the Fairview building, accessable via Sackville St. Children are taken across at the end of the kindergarten day. Registration and booking must be made in advance. Read more about After School Hours Care.

4. Does the ELC operate during school holidays?

The Carey ELC is closed during school holidays. There is no onsite holiday program at Carey Kew.


5. What learning and play opportunities are presented to the children?

Outdoor play occupies half of all children’s day in 3YO ELC. Our engaging natural playgrounds encourages inquisitive play and many opportunities for learning. Outdoor play is encouraged throughout the seasons. Different zones are setup around the room and include a sensory table, role play, drawing, art, puzzles and construction. Cooking is conducted in small groups. Learning is frequently taught through story and play.

The curriculum for the children in 4YO ELC is created by the staff based on the children’s interests and knowledge combined with our staff’s knowledge about what is important for the children to learn. Literacy and numeracy are important aspects of the 4YO ELC year. Teaching is delivered through play, small groups and intentional and instructional teaching using the Victorian Early Years Framework as a basis. A daily schedule is prominently placed outlining daily activities while also teaching the concept of time. Outdoor play features for a large part of each day and is encouraged throughout the seasons in our creative natural playgrounds. Social justice is also taught to children in ELC, for example through attending in pyjamas for a day to gain an understanding of and support those sleeping rough with the Melbourne City Mission.

6. Do children have specialist lessons in ELC?

Music, Art and Library specialist classes are delivered to all ELC students. Some of these are delivered in the ELC room whilst others are delivered in small groups of 10 with visits to the subject rooms accompanied by the ELC teacher and the specialist teacher.

The ELC has a dedicated library presenting the opportunity to borrow books and participate in story time. This library also offers useful resources to parents of young children.

The 4YO ELC program has a STEM program delivered by our senior science teachers in the Senior School labs.

7. Is technology used in ELC?

iPads are used by ELC children occasionally to as a tool to enhance learning. Microscopes are attached to iPads to examine materials. Presentations of findings are also created using iPads.

8. How do you communicate a child’s progress with parents?

Learning Journals document a child’s progress during their time in ELC. These are freely available to peruse in each child’s room and are updated frequently by teaching staff. Parent teacher interviews are held throughout the year. Open communication is encouraged between parents and staff to support children and their families. We have also recently introduced an online learning management system, Canvas, which supports sharing the curriculum plan and a range of resources to families as well as weekly reflections.


9. Are parents required to provide lunch?

Parents provide their children’s healthy morning tea in a small and separate container, with a light snack such as fresh fruit and biscuits. Lunch can also be provided by parents and should be healthy, wrapper-free and in container with icepack. Lunch orders can also be ordered through the Flexischool app by 8.30am on the day.

10. Do children sleep in the ELC room?

A sleeping mat and bedding are setup after lunch to encourage rest and relaxation. This is provided throughout the ELC rooms with gentle music and auditory stories played during this time.

11. Does my child have to wear a uniform in the ELC?

No, our ELC students wear comfortable, casual clothes that allow freedom of movement and are safe for playing. All ELC students are required to have an appropriate sunhat. Full guidelines of recommended clothing are available after enrolment. There is an optional ELC t-shirt and winter top in the Carey colours available for purchase.


12. What is the cut-off date for entry into ELC?

To commence the 3YO ELC program at Carey, children must have turned three years of age by 31 January in the year of entry. Children entering the 4YO program must have turned four before 30 April in the year of entry.

13. Do you provide ELC programs for children under 3 years of age?

We have a childcare program for the children of our staff (children from six months to three years old) at our Kew campus.

14. Can you claim the childcare rebate when attending Carey ELC?

Carey’s ELC operates during term time only and therefore government rebate is not claimable.

15. Does my child need to be fully immunised to attend ELC?

Yes, your child needs to be up to date with all immunisations at the point of enrolment. An Immunisation History Statement must be provided when accepting a position. When Immunisations are due during your child’s time in the ELC, you are expected to provide an updated Immunisation History Statement. This is a legal requirement for attendance.

16. Does my child need to be toilet trained when they start 3YO ELC?

We encourage toilet training before attending 3YO ELC to promote independence for each child and staff can provide guidance as necessary.