What learning activities does Blackburn Preschool engage children in?

Learning experiences are provided both indoors and outdoors. Many experiences remain constant throughout the year eg, books, puzzles, blocks, veggie garden, digging patch, etc. Experiences provided for the children are based on observations taken by teachers around areas of individual and group interests and teachers knowledge and understanding of children’s learning and development. Our preschool programs are enriched further by a variety of incursions and/or excursions. Experiences vary from year to year to allow for the diversity of interests within groups of children to extend their learning opportunities.

Can I tour the preschool? What opportunities are there to meet the teachers?

You are most welcome to tour the preschool. Appointments can be made emailing blackburn.rd.kin@kindergarten.vic.gov.au . Each year Blackburn Preschool holds an Open Day in May. This event is a fantastic way to tour the facilities and meet with each of the teachers. Teachers also are available at the AGM to answer any questions you may have.

How do parents get involved in the Preschool?

Any involvement from parents, no matter how much or how little, is always very welcome. There are many ways to get involved at Blackburn Preschool. You can volunteer to be a parent helper for some of your child’s preschool sessions, join in on working bees (held three times a year), take a volunteer position on the Committee of Management, join the Friends of Blackburn Preschool and be involved in the preschool community by attending Mothers/Fathers Nights, Grandparents Day, the Art Show, Open Day, excursions, fundraisers and social events such as the welcome and Christmas functions.

What is the committee of Management (COM) and Friends of Blackburn Preschool?

Blackburn Preschool is run by a committee of parents, elected each year. The Committee supports the teaching team and program, manages the budget and takes responsibility for compliance with rules and regulations. There are a range of positions including President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Enrolments, Grants, Marketing, Maintenance, Social and Fundraising. There is also an opportunity to join the Friends of Blackburn Preschool. This is a group of parents that can offer their skills or occupation (trade, event/fundraising organising, design, music, gardening, baking, etc) and enthusiasm to help for short periods of time to assist the preschool community on various projects. Assistance for these projects will be sought throughout the year and we welcome parents to join in any projects that interest them.

I am interested in joining the Committee of Management (COM), how do I do this?

An Expression of Interest Form is included with your Information Pack (mailed out to all enrolled families in October) Complete the form and sent back to the preschool. Nominations are confirmed and the committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in November.

How do I enroll my child at Blackburn Preschool? Will my child be offered a place at Blackburn Preschool?

Applications for enrolment into preschool programs located within the City of Whitehorse are accepted centrally by the Whitehorse Pre-School Association (WPSA). Please see our Enrolment Process page for more information. Blackburn Preschool assesses each enrolment application using our selection criteria developed in accordance with the Department of Education and Training Kindergarten Guide and the Education and Care Services National Regulations NSW 2012. Until we receive the list from WPSA we are unsure of how many applicants we have for the 22 three year old and 44 four year old places offered at Blackburn Preschool. Every child in Whitehorse that applies will have a place allocated to them within the City of Whitehorse.

Will the educational programs support my child’s readiness to transition to school?

Our programs are designed to support and strengthen all children’s learning and development through hands on, play based experiences. Through play and intentional teaching activities, your child will have opportunities to explore rich literacy, numeracy, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts and skills. All activities provide children with the opportunity to practice and master skills, which will enable them to become competent and life-long learners.

Can my child attend 4 year old kinder, if they have not attended 3 year old kinder?

Yes! There are fewer 3 year old places available as we offer one 3 year old and two 4 year old groups. An enrolment form must be submitted to the Whitehorse Pre-school Association when your child turns two. Details can be found at the WPSA website. Note: It is recommended that you apply for 3 year old and 4 year old kindergarten at the same time.

Why are the 3 year old program fees more expensive than the 4 year old programs?

Currently there is no government funding for 3 year old kindergarten. The government provides funding for 15 hours of 4 year old kindergarten which allows reduced fees for the 4 year old program.

What if my child requires a second year of kindergarten?

In consultation with the teacher, a second year of kindergarten may be considered based on a child’s individual needs. In Victoria a child is funded, by the government, to attend a 4 year old program for one year. In consultation with the teacher, an application for a second funded year of kindergarten can be submitted. Eligibility requirements must be met.

When will I know if my child has a place at Blackburn Preschool?

Enrolment offers are posted to successful applicants in August of the year prior to attending. If initially unsuccessful in securing a place at Blackburn Preschool you will be notified at this time and provided with waiting list details

When can my child start 3 year old Kindergarten?

In line with our Enrolment Policy, children must turn 3 prior to attending Blackburn Preschool.

How does the kinder communicate with parents?

We support close collaboration and communication between preschool and home. Teachers are available for informal chats on a daily basis and meetings can be arranged with the teacher at any time throughout the year. A newsletter is distributed once a term via email and displayed on the noticeboard. The newsletters include information about special events, important dates, updates from the committee and teachers reports. Program information, messages and reminders are communicated by email and are displayed in the sign-in area or on the main noticeboard. Each child has a communication folder at the preschool where notices are placed.

What if my child is not toilet trained?

We respect each child is individual and develops at his / her own rate. Ideally, your child will be toilet trained before starting kindergarten, but we will manage and support each child’s needs sensitively.

My child has additional needs. How will teachers support my child’s learning and development?

Teachers at Blackburn Preschool are dedicated to working closely with families to understand children’s specific developmental or medical needs. We encourage families to be open with us so we can work collaboratively to ensure the best learning outcomes for your child. Some children with additional needs who are attending the 4 year old program may be eligible for additional support within the preschool environment. This may include additional training for existing teachers, equipment specific to your child’s needs or an additional assistant being allocated to the group. We encourage you to contact us during the enrolment process to discuss your child’s specific needs.

My child has anaphylaxis. How is this managed by teachers at Blackburn Preschool?

All teachers have current first aid qualifications and participate in annual updates for anaphylaxis and asthma management. Children with allergies and anaphylaxis require a current medical plan, signed by a doctor. Your child’s teacher will provide you with the relevant policies and discuss the specific needs of your child before commencement at kindergarten.

Does Blackburn Preschool offer extended hours of care?

As we are a sessional preschool, with groups running each day, we are unable to offer extended care. Children attend for their group’s allocated session times each week.

For those families who need longer hours of care, we have a longstanding and proud relationship with The Avenue Neighbourhood House. Children are able to attend their occasional care program with a bus transfer to or from kindergarten.

Do you have formal parent / teacher interviews?

Towards the end of Term 2 parents/guardians have the opportunity to sit down with the teacher to discuss your child’s learning and development. The teaching team are always happy to speak with families throughout the year.