On your first encounter with the Cubby House at Lord Street, one thing you are likely to notice is the generous outdoor area with its relaxed, backyard feel. On closer inspection, you will see a sandpit where a couple of pre-schoolers might be busily occupied, a cubby house, swings and a sizeable grassed space where children can run freely. Walk into the cosy interior and you might find children gathered around a table, chatting with each other and staff members, and perhaps eating their morning tea. You will see children’s artworks displayed on easels nearby, newly made creations hanging from the ‘belonging tree’ or perhaps a group of children absorbed in building their dream home from wooden blocks.
Here at the Cubby House, multi-aged flexible child-care sessions and a three plus-year-old learning program are provided to busy local families. These services are delivered by an established and experienced team whose enthusiasm and caring approach to the children is obvious when you step over the threshold. Shamma, the program’s coordinator, believes that one of the sessions’ secrets of success is the fact that close connections are developed between the educators, children and their families via positive and inclusive communication. Shamma herself derives a great deal of satisfaction from encouraging young children to develop their verbal skills, and seeing social networks grow, knowing that she has played a key role in providing a warm and secure environment. Being able to speak four languages means that Shamma is able to warmly welcome and communicate with families from various backgrounds. Her qualifications in fine art, and experience in teaching cooking, also enable her to design hands-on learning activities which enhance both the life skills and creativity of her young charges.
Diane, another team member whom you may also have the pleasure of meeting, has been involved with childcare at Richmond Community Learning Centre in one form or another since 2002. She and her daughter attended playgroup (also run at the Cubby House) where Diane served as a volunteer on the committee, helping with fund-raising and organising and community lunches. In her view, the Cubby House childcare sessions are special because each activity is fun, interactive and specifically focuses on each child’s individual development. She enjoys setting up the various arts and craft, story-time and musical activities for the children. Diane also appreciates how gaining computer skills and learning the admissions process has boosted her own self-confidence. Another key advantage about the Cubby House she will point out to you, is having the spacious outdoor play area with its array of equipment designed for a range of ages
Sharmila enjoys working alongside such positive and supportive staff at The Cubby House which she describes as a caring place where children are given the freedom and encouragement to learn through play. She gains satisfaction from working closely with children and from her role in providing a creative and fun environment where young minds and bodies can explore. She loves playing with the children and seeing them grow and develop over time. Stand-out activities with the children for Sharmila are making shapes with playdough, painting and singing and dancing.
Megan’s family have lived in Richmond for four years and her children, Eugenie, aged three and Hugo, aged two, attend the occasional day care program at The Cubby House. Megan loves the family and community feel associated with the Centre and the fact that the staff are very friendly and genuinely love and care for the children. Her children have benefitted from attending and have grown in many ways such as developing more independence and mixing with other children and adults. They enjoy the activities offered and have brought some very impressive craft work home! There are a range of activities which Megan finds her children relish participating in, such as roleplay and dress-ups, playing in the sandpit, painting, drawing, singing, craft projects and playing with a wide range of toys including the outdoor equipment. As she will tell you, ‘The half day childcare is so perfect for our family. It gives me a chance to get some jobs done more efficiently, and also gives my children a social outlet with other kids, and independence from me.’
If you would like to know more about the programs held at The Cubby House, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 9428 9553