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New early learning centre in Calwell enrolling now

Gary Ramage from The Canberra Times photographs the Hicks family at St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Calwell.


A new early learning centre providing pre-school in Canberra’s south to open next year will offer parents a greater choice for their child and ease waiting lists in the southern suburbs.

The new $2.8 million centre at St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Calwell is planned to open in February 2024 for four-year old pre-school aged children.

Each week, the early learning centre plans to offer 66 children with a pre-school program with places for 44 children per day. The main program will be for 48 weeks, five days a week 8am to 5.30 pm.

The project is supported with $1.5 million from the ACT Government.

Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn already has eight early learning centres in the ACT with more than 600 students and specialist staff.

Director of Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn Ross Fox says there is strong demand for early learning places that offer parents a values-based environment and supports their transition into primary school.

“Catholic education is delighted to offer more pre-school places in Calwell and surrounds for families to experience the hope, joy and wonder of a Catholic education,” Mr Fox says.

“In recent years we have had waiting lists at our early learning centres in Gowrie and Wanniassa so it’s pleasing to be able to provide more pre-school places in our supportive and connected community.

“Our early learning centres are places of learning and opportunity for all children founded out of our Catholic faith.

“I thank the ACT Government for supporting this project as an important addition to education in the ACT.”

Catholic Education’s early learning centres have an Early Years Teaching Framework that creates physical and social environments to support children in advance their learning. It also supports each child’s transition to primary school.

The early learning centres’ play areas are based on nature with trees, uneven surfaces, rocks, logs and water features. This centre will have a walking track that will be suitable for tricycles and a local pine forest will be incorporated into the play area.

“This new early learning centre will provide each child with the very best opportunity to learn and thrive in a positive, safe, and supportive environment, with the flexibility that families need,” Mr Fox says.

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