10 April 2024

Discover the Difference Early Learning Centres at Carey Can Make

Discover the Difference Early Learning Centres at Carey Can Make
Discover the Difference Early Learning Centres at Carey Can Make
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Developing wise, independent students through play

You’ve seen them grow from a little bundle of joy into a vibrant 3 or 4-year-old – now it’s time to watch them grow into a junior learner. Deciding where to take the first step in their learning journey can feel daunting to parents; it’s only natural to want the best for your child.

If you’ve been researching private kindergartens in Melbourne, you know that Carey Baptist Grammar School has a leading Early Learning Centre (ELC) program.
A proudly inclusive school, Carey is a co-educational independent school known for being innovative and progressive. Our dedication to student-centred learning begins with our youngest students, in our 3-year-old and 4-year-old programs. With campuses in Donvale and Kew, the expert educators at Carey begin with your child’s strengths, valuing them for who they are to nurture a positive sense of self.

In this blog, we’ll describe the abundant benefits of a Carey education and help you choose the right private preschool for your child. From our ELC philosophy to the inspiring and fun environments on offer, your children are in good hands with Carey.

Our ELC Philosophy

Here at Carey, we believe that all children are unique and competent with a natural motivation to learn. We foster their curiosity and sense of wonder, providing them with both the space and support they need to discover the world around them.

We build the Carey community through open communication between the child, educators and parents, creating trust and partnership. We believe that parents are a child’s first teachers, and we bring you on your child’s learning journey to celebrate that. We make their learning visible through photos, documentation and our scrapbook-style Learning Journey journals, encouraging reflection.

At Carey ELCs, children enjoy a play-led curriculum, giving them the freedom to explore their own interests and learn from each other in a social context. We understand that play is vital to learning, naturally encouraging complex thinking. Our educators assist children to become aware of their thinking, helping them become curious and deepen their understanding. Staff carefully construct the environment and guide their play to make sure they’re learning. We make sure there are opportunities to create, negotiate, take turns, touch, and experiment.

The 4-year-old curriculum uses the Victorian Early Years Framework as a basis.

Our Specialist Lessons

Both our Donvale and Kew ELCs share a campus with older students, giving our youngest learners access to modern facilities and incredible resources. Through this, we’re pleased to enrich their learning experience with weekly specialist lessons.

In art class, students form in small groups to work creatively, making their own masterpieces. From painting on an easel like a big kid to working with new and exciting materials, children get to build their artistic talents (and their fine motor skills).

Our music classes introduce 3 and 4-year-olds to the magic of melody. From playing musical games to experimenting with new instruments, our music educators structure lessons around discovery. Future virtuosos find what they love at Carey ELCs.

Dedicated library lessons prepare children for ‘big school’ and get them excited about reading. Bringing their very own book bags to class, children will discover how barcodes work and how to check a book out from the library. With a huge range of picture books to choose from, they’ll learn how to pick books for themselves and develop their own tastes

Children at Carey ELCs have incredible access to specialist educators from older levels, enriching their learning with STEM and literature concepts from a young age.

Our Outdoor Ethos

Recent research is showing more and more how important the outdoors is for a child’s development. Play outside gives children a chance to be active and explore, strengthening their motor skills, testing their physical limits and getting messy.

Due to our emphasis on outdoor time, children spend at least 3 hours outside each day at both the Donvale and Kew campuses. With brilliant playgrounds to explore and climb around, there are plenty of ways to have fun. From building sandcastles and stick huts to making mud pies and playing pretend, outdoor play at Carey teaches collaboration the fun way.

Outdoor learning is further enriched at our Donvale campus through our unique ELC Bush Kinder program. With our own parkland backing onto the Mullum Mullum Creek Linear Park, the program allows children to engage with a distinctly Australian environment. Populated by native plants that are home to a magnificent array of bird and animal life, our youngest students love exploring the wetlands.

Our Easy Transitions

We believe that one of the benefits of studying at Carey from a young age is experiencing early learning in a school setting. Taking a lot of the anxiety out of moving up to Junior School, our ELCs are located within the same campus as Prep to Year 6.

Children get to meet some of their future Junior School educators while they’re at ELC, and become familiar with the grounds they’ll go to school in. Additionally, older Kew ELC students get to visit the Centre for special performances, reading or sports activities. We find that this allows for the future years of schooling to be anticipated with excitement rather than trepidation.

Once your child has completed four-year-old ELC, they will be enrolled in Prep at the Junior School campus where they completed ELC. This means there are usually quite a few friendly faces on the first day of Prep, along with all the new friends there’ll be to make

Discover their Passion at Carey Baptist Grammar School

At Carey, we pride ourselves on providing a curriculum tailored to the interests and abilities of each student. This begins on their very first day at ELC, where our educators recognise and support your child’s unique abilities. With a focus on complete education, Carey helps your child learn what they’re good at and do what they love. Set your child up for success with a love of learning through Carey’s progressive ELC program. Find out more on our website, or get started sooner and apply online today.


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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We respect their Elders past and present and recognise the injustices endured by the First Nations peoples of this country.