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Christian College Geelong is thrilled to open Butterfield House Kindergarten and Day Care.
Those who have been driving past the site on the Great Ocean Road for many months now will have noticed that work on the buildings is finished and that the kindergarten and care programs are in full swing.
It is one thing to have a team of designers and tradesmen and women come together to physically create what has been, for many people, a long-held vision and dream for this site. However, it is quite another to begin transforming bricks and mortar into a living and breathing service which emphasises the importance of all aspects of the early years of a child’s life.
This is the equation for Butterfield House: an atmosphere of well-being and opportunity, a sense of space, a genuine physical connection with nature and beautiful horizons from every view point.
What does all that equal? A unique model of early learning and care for three to five-year olds on the Surf Coast that parents can trust and have faith in.
As the college contemplated the possibilities of what the service might offer small children, they considered everything that would bring a sense of connection, calm, purpose and creativity.
They imagined slowing down the frenetic pace of family life. They wondered how they could positively impact children, as they transition between locations that provide long day care and other educational programs.
They asked themselves this question: Is it possible to create a model that respects the philosophy that children thrive when they identify strongly with community and are provided with a continuity of care?
They decided that such model was possible, and this is how it will look at Butterfield House:
* Having educators who are attentive to creating beautiful learning environments; environments that encourage imagination, thinking, collaboration and problem solving through play.
* All pre-schoolers will be catered for through a range of sessional kindergarten programs.
* Having a day care program that is totally committed to gently transitioning children between the services they access at Butterfield, while also having its own important identity of quality care and nurture.
* Permanent rosters will provide staffing consistency, and give the children the chance to build important connections with their educators.
* Finding ways for children to connect with nature through the incredible outdoor learning environments, developing gardens and playgrounds, a ‘beyond’ space and, of course, a commitment to the concept of ‘Bush Kinder’ for all groups (each child has an impressive 35 square metres in space at full capacity, compared to the minimum government requirements of seven square metres). Put simply, time in nature gifts us with so much; including a sense of wellbeing, improved executive function, it’s a proven contributor to fine and large motor development and so much more; and, importantly it enables us to really get to know planet earth, to love it and to care for it.
It is a delight to finally have families enrolled.
To hear comments such as: “we knew it was going to be great, but this has far exceeded our expectations” only affirms the decisions made around the design of the program, the environment and the staff.
The college invites parents to make a time to come and see what is offered.
And they are confident that Butterfield House will speak for itself, once given the opportunity.
At the time of writing, there were limited spaces available in both kindergarten and care programs for 2017, but expressions of interest and applications for 2018 and beyond can be taken.
Butterfield House is holding a family fun open day on Saturday 25 March, from 10am to noon – come and experience Butterfield House for yourself.

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