Oak Park Kindergarten is a friendly, community minded kindergarten managed by Merri-bek Early Years Management (MEYM). We are committed to providing a quality early childhood program that is accessible to all young children. We aim to provide a safe, happy and stimulating environment where children are free to play, explore and learn at their own pace. We believe children learn best through becoming actively involved in their own play, as it is through play that young children make sense of the world around them. We also endeavour to work in partnership with the family so that the individual child can flourish.
We provide regular cooking and gardening experiences for students, tending our vegetable patch and making use of natural and recycled materials in our programs as much as possible.
We have a very popular performing arts area in our yard and a sandpit, complete with a new steel cantilever shade structure, has made our lower playground even more fun!
There are lots of opportunities for parents and families to be involved via our Parent Group, which primarily fundraises for us, through parental assistance during class hours, and as part of a working bee, held at various times throughout the year.
Nature Program for both 3 & 4yo Programs
We are extremely lucky to have beside and behind our kindergarten some enclosed vacant land owned by Merri-bek City Council. As it has been sitting here vacant with some great trees to climb and hills to roll down, we decided to turn it into our Bush Kinder Program which has been running since 2013.
We provide an open-ended play-based learning environment that is focused on children’s individual interests, strengths and needs. We provide many opportunities for children to discover and explore through play in an unhurried and relaxed manner. Children are given a voice and the power to make decisions regarding their play and social interaction. Play is the tool for learning but as educators we also use intentional teaching, spontaneous learning and reflection in play experiences when we feel it will extend and benefit the children’s learning. We look at individual and groups of children through observations, to discover their interests, strengths and needs to plan our developmentally appropriate program.
Our child-centred programs are based upon the principles outlined in the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework, as well as an inclusive approach to positively support children’s growth of identity, self-esteem and critical thinking. We feel that it is not until children truly have a feeling of belonging and wellbeing that they start to relax and explore, feeling confident in the kindergarten environment and open to learn from the planned and incidental experiences offered. Each child is positively encouraged to reach their full potential in accordance with their individual ability.
We believe that childhood should be about fun and freedom to play, socialise, investigate and explore. Each child should be encouraged and supported to make their own decisions and choices and seek to actively develop positive problem-solving skills in a success-orientated environment. Most learning is disguised as play and everything we do at the kindergarten has an age-appropriate developmental outcome behind it.
We aim to provide an environment that is happy, provoking, stimulating, educational, relaxed, supervised, calm, nurturing, loving, and non-pressured. We value our outdoor play environment just as much as our indoor play environment, and use both the indoor and outdoor environment to encourage the children’s ability to observe, perceive, explore, investigate, imagine, make choices and problem solve. Our program is developed with indoor and outdoor having approximately equal time or both areas being open at the same time, where children can make choices regarding their play.
We believe the world’s environment should be respected and try to embed sustainability in our daily routines and practices. We encourage the children to respect their own environment through looking after their toys, equipment and belongings.
We value trusting, positive and inclusive relationships between children, staff, families and the community. Everyone should be made to feel welcome, wanted and needed. We believe that every child, staff member, family member and visitor to our kindergarten deserves to be treated equally and with respect regardless of nationality, gender, appearance, religion, class, ability or beliefs.
We strongly believe that family involvement is integral to a high-quality program. We encourage the involvement of families in all aspects of the children’s everyday experiences and acknowledge the support and knowledge that families and the community have. Everyone is invited to be involved and enrich our program through partnerships of meaningful participation, celebrating cultural diversity, working bees, committee representation, social and fundraising activities and the parent participation roster.
We believe our community are the children, their families, the educators and all people and services the kindergarten have made connections with since our establishment in 1966. We believe as part of this community we have a responsibility to our children and families to establish and maintain a sense of belonging. We have developed close links with our two main feeder schools in Oak Park to assist our children and families to make a smooth transition to school, as well as our local Early Intervention Services.
We encourage families to participate in and enrich their child’s kindergarten experience by joining the parent helper roster, assisting with excursions and incursions, becoming involved in working bees and joining the Parent Group.
Parents are encouraged to participate in Kinder Duty from Term 2 onwards. There is a roster available and parents are encouraged to sign up for one session per term. Your child will love having you there and you can see them in their kinder environment and get to know their friends. Just talk to your child’s teacher to arrange ahead of time.
We have a team of committed, experienced and kind staff who always put the needs of the children first. The aim of our staff is to maximise the benefit of the kindergarten experience for each child by creating a relationship based on trust and respect. Each group has a minimum of two teaching staff – a qualified teacher with a teaching degree specialising in early childhood and a co- educator with a diploma or certificate in children’s services. Our highly experienced staff recognise stages of child development and create and facilitate a learning environment that is responsive to the children’s interests, learning and needs. If you are interested in viewing Oak Park Kindergarten please complete our Book-a-Tour (make the word Book-a-Tour linked to the Oak Park Book-a-Tour section) to book your place for a scheduled tour.
National Quality Rating
Oak Park Kindergarten has been rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standard in all areas by the Assessors from the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division, Department of Education. This is testament to the professionalism of our dedicated teaching staff and the quality programs enjoyed by the children.
Oak Park Appointment
Request an appointment for Oak Park