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Waterford Preschool Turns 25!

From the Director of Preschool, Fiona MacGregor

Waterford Preschool was established by Waverley College in 1994. This week we celebrated 25 years of quality early childhood and care with our local community, previous educators and families and specialists who have been involved in the preschool over the years. Our special guests included Graham Leddie, Dr Marjorie O’Neill (MP) and Gai Suttie the inaugural director.

The preschool, however has a long history in the community dating back to 1924 when the land was purchased by the Kindergarten Union as a training college. In 1968 the current preschool building was constructed for the use of the Sydney Kindergarten College and was used as a demonstration preschool for their students. In 1981 the College becomes The Institute of Early Studies and in 1990 the College moves to Macquarie University and becomes the Institute of early childhood. Waverley College subsequently purchases the site and relocates their Junior School to the campus.

Helen Newman the Junior School Director at the time and Brother Wallace the Headmaster of Waverley College were willing to continue the operation of the government-funded preschool that was operating on the site. Priority was given to College staff, making it one of the first providers of corporate child care and one of the first independent schools to have a preschool on site. The preschool was named Waterford in honour of Edmund Rice the founder of the Christian Brothers. In 1808 in Waterford Ireland he was aware of the poverty and needs of the children roaming the streets and established what is known as the first-ever creche.

The preschool continues to be a centre of excellence with a focus on quality early childhood education and Care. In 1996 we received a rating of from the NSW department of education as exceeding the National Quality Standards which we are very proud of. Our preschool program is driven by our philosophy which recognises the early childhood years as an important and critical stage of life and learning. Our program is child-centred and holistic, with an emphasis on developing positive dispositions to learning and towards others.

Our learning environment is dynamic, multifaceted and exceedingly nurturing. We are staffed by highly educated early childhood teachers and educators who all have the wellbeing of the children and their families at heart. The team is very committed to inclusion in all it’s forms and positively supports the families in their parenting journey. Waterford preschool is truly a community hub supporting learning, connections and wellbeing.

It has been an absolute privilege to lead and manage such a wonderful institution such as Waterford Preschool. Thank you to Waverley College for your ongoing support.