The site of Choklits Child Care Centre was originally an old homestead which has now been converted into an Early Learning Centre boasting one of the biggest outdoor natural playgrounds in Melbourne.
We believe getting outdoors is essential for health, wellbeing and development. Choklits has three separate outdoor play areas. A Nursery yard for our 6wks-15mths year olds, our main yard which all age groups use from time-to-time and a dedicated area for our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes to explore age specific activities including big item play, special projects and to maintain their own vegetable garden. Outdoor space is a big deal in child learning. Fun fact; centres are actually built to specific sizes, usually to squeeze the most amount of children into the smallest space possible to maximise centre capacity. We take a different approach. Choklits is licensed for 90 children per day, but we actually have enough outdoor play space for 122 children so there’s never a shortage of space to run, to explore or to have fun in.
Our Nursery caters for up to 12 children aged between 6wks-15mths, cared for by a qualified room leader and two qualified educators. Upon enrolment into our Nursery parents sit down with our educators during a 1:1 orientation where both educators and parents work together to establish individual routines for the child and to begin to build a relationship that supports the child in every way. Our goal is to provide a warm, safe and secure environment for our babies, making the transition from home to care as supported as possible. Constant communication between the educators and parents is a focus to ensure all the children's routines are consistent with home life, ensuring we continue to establish the child's sense of belonging. Outside, the children have their own playground keeping them safe and secure. In addition to the Nursery we also have a separate sleep room.
Our Pre-Toddler Room caters for up to 16 children aged 15-24 months. This room is led by a qualified room leader and supported by qualified educators. The program ensures that each child’s individual needs are met while they gain confidence in the exploration of their environment. Programming includes a variety of music and movement, story time, creative and sensory activities and plenty of outdoor experiences.
Our Toddler Room caters for up to 28 children aged 2-3 years. The room is led by a Diploma Qualified room leader and is supported by a team of qualified educators. The program ensures that each child’s individual needs are met while they gain confidence in the exploration of their environment. Our program focuses on increasing the child's confidence and independence through a variety of different activities, both child and teacher led. Music and movement activities, story time, creative and sensory activities, and plenty of outdoor experiences are also included in our daily curriculum.
Our 3-4 year old kindergarten class, also known as our Pre-Kindergarten class is led by a qualified kindergarten teacher who is supported by a qualified kindergarten assistant. Children of this age group are typically passionate about dramatic play so we provide the children with lots of opportunities to explore and access different resources. This approach allows children to explore their independence, confidence and creativity through play. The children learn how to use a range of thinking and problem-solving skills to use and utilise the materials provided in innovative ways. Our curriculum includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics also known as STEM learning. Our Pre-Kindergarten class comes together for regular group time throughout the day. They follow a 'plan, do, review' approach where the children can discuss things they have been learning including, for example, learning new skills, planning their day or solving a problem someone encountered during the day. The children have the advantage of exploring two outdoor spaces, our huge main yard and a separate dedicated kindergarten yard. The Pre-Kindergarten class shares a room with their older peers, which invites peer-supported learning.
Our government funded 4-6 year old kindergarten is led by a kindergarten teacher who holds a Bachelor of Education and one qualified kindergarten assistant. Our focus in this class is to build the children’s confidence and resilience in preparation for school. Starting school is not just about the ﬁrst day. It’s a process that begins when children and families start to prepare in the year before, and continues as children experience their ﬁrst days, weeks and months of school. At Choklits we focus on helping children cope with these new challenges by developing their learning dispositions and their social and emotional skills throughout the year. Supporting each child's skills in these areas contributes to their mental health and wellbeing, helping the child build resilience and confidence. Children who are mentally healthy are better learners, have stronger relationships and are better able to meet life’s challenges. Our kindergarten curriculum encourages children to take on more leadership roles across the centre. They also venture out into the broader community through excursions to help them start to make sense of the world around them and to learn how to navigate within it. They have access to one of the biggest outdoor natural playgrounds in Melbourne. This enormous outdoor playground invites young people to explore and investigate in a variety of spaces for socialisation, while the indoors provides ever-changing worlds of interactive learning for a child’s eye view of the world. The kindergarten groups also have their own private yard which includes their own vegetable garden and provision for extended projects and learning through loose parts play which helps establish a sense of responsibility and independence.