At Maraylya Early Learning Centre we believe that every child deserves, and needs, a solid foundation for school. MELC provides that foundation through our Prep Program which incorporates the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework.
With over 12 years of formal schooling in front of them, your child needs all of the pieces of their life’s education to fit together, so that they have the easiest transition possible between stages.
A good quality “prep program” will equip your child with all of the basic skills they need to succeed at school and the confidence they need to be happy. It will help them to form friendships and understand the expectations placed on them at school and help them to feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
The Pre-School Approach at MELC
The MELC Prep Program is part of our fun and interactive pre-school program.
It has been specifically designed by qualified teachers to help your child make a smoother transition to big school, and unlike many other pre-schools, the program forms an integral part of our every-day activities - not just an hour of pre-reading/pre-writing exercises.
The MELC program focuses on the key areas of childhood development:
1. Cognitive Skills
Cognitive ability relates to a child’s thinking and problem solving skills - it is how they process their thoughts and put what they learn into practice. At MELC we use a number of activities to develop your child’s cognitive skills, including counting games, “Bingo”, matching and memory games, recognising letters and sounds, puzzles, sequences, science and problem solving exercises, computer skills, construction and shape recognition. We also look at the concept of time and regularly discuss days of the week, months, seasons, birthdays and holidays such as Easter or Christmas.
2. Social and Emotional Skills
Your child’s social and emotional development is very important. Social skills help your child to form friendships and “fit in, whilst emotionally they need to have a positive attitude, self-confidence and self-esteem.
We encourage the children to take turns, play cooperatively, follow rules, share, and speak in front of the group during activities like “News”. We also use role-plays and games to demonstrate appropriate behaviour while giving children skills to engage in play, build friendships and cope with conflicts.
3. Physical Skills
At MELC we help to develop your child’s gross and fine motor skills with games that include ball play, running, jumping, hopping, climbing on play equipment and dancing in music and movement. We also spend a lot of time focussing on the fine motor skills that are necessary for correct pencil grip by working with small Lego blocks, threading beads, using scissors and playing with dough.
4. Creative Skills
Creative activities are an important way for children to express themselves. Different activities allow children to explore new ideas and find their own personal interests. In our program, we engage the children in creative activities every day. They are encouraged to express themselves through art, craft, music and dancing from a range of music styles, story-telling, “News”, construction activities, language and poetry.
MELC Prep Program FAQs
What is the daily routine in the Prep Program?
Everything we do in the pre-school room is designed to help prepare your child for school, but we make it fun, interest-based, interactive and exciting with a focus on developing the relevant skills and confidence they will need at school.
A typical day in the MELC prep program might include:
- Morning group time/discussion - “Signing-in”, counting the number of children in attendance, discussing the day of the week, the month, the weather and the season etc
- Programmed activities based on the children’s interest, including art/craft, painting etc
- News - every child is allocated a day of the week for news or “show and tell” which helps them learn how to structure their thoughts and relay information in front of a group
- Lunchtime - including developing self-help skills such as pouring, scraping, serving etc whilst encouraging respect for friends and informal discussion within the group
- Quiet time/time for rest
- Music and movement activities incorporating a variety of musical styles, dancing, yoga, singing
- Revisit group activities such as pre-reading and pre-writing activities, letter and sound recognition
- Outdoor play including physical activities including ball games, climbing equipment, running, jumping etc
What do we need to bring each day for the Prep Program?
At MELC we provide:
- Breakfast, morning tea, hot lunch, afternoon tea, late afternoon tea
- All drinks, including milk (soy, full cream, etc)
- Sunhats and sunscreen
- All bedding
You will need to supply a change of clothes (labelled clearly) and a comfort item for rest time if required.
Why is a specific Prep Program so important for my child?
Attending a quality prep program, such as the MELC program, allows your child to gain:
- Confidence in their own ability
- A desire to learn
- Improved self-esteem
- Sound social skills
- A head start on the basic school kindergarten program
- Pre-math and reading skills
It also gives you peace of mind in the knowledge that your child is “ready” for school.
Do you offer any special learning opportunities for children about to start school?
Preparing your child for school is much more than teaching them the alphabet or how to count to 100. At MELC we provide many opportunities for your child to learn how to relate well to other children, the self-help skills needed for school, and even how to recognise and celebrate their own achievements. For example:
Throughout the year the children in the MELC Prep Program make regular visits to the kindergarten classroom of Maraylya Public School. They spend time with the teachers and children at the School participating in special activities designed to help build their confidence and familiarise themselves with the ‘big school’ environment. Even if your child is not going to Maraylya Public School, participating in this orientation program is highly beneficial to their preparation for school.
Every year, MELC holds a special “graduation” ceremony for the children who are leaving us and heading off to big school. The ceremony gives the children a sense of achievement. It reinforces the message that they have done something important and that the next step for them is very special. It also gives you an opportunity to celebrate with them.
Lunch Box Days
Being able to tell the difference between “little lunch” and “big lunch” is very important in the first year of school... so is being able to open your lunch box and unwrap your food! Towards the end of the year, MELC designates special “Lunch Box Days” to give the children an opportunity to practice these important aspects of school life. Parents are asked to provide a lunch box, with the child’s name clearly marked, and the chef packs their lunch for them so that they become confident with the process.
How much does MELC cost and how do I have to pay?
The cost of childcare at MELC is as follows;
- Children 0-2 years $121 per day
- Children 2-3 years $115 per day
- Children 3-4 years $109 per day
- Children 4-5 years $106 per day
- Before School care is $35 & After school care is $42
- Vacation care is $65-$95 per day depending on the activity
In terms of government assistance, the Centre is licensed and accredited by ACECQA. By contacting the Family Assistance Office and quoting our Customer Reference Number (407 185 690H) your rebate entitlement can be calculated. As of 2 July 2018 the new child care rebate system is in effect. For further information please go to www.education.gov.au/childcare
Payment of fees can be made via EFTPOS (including credit card), electronic transfer via Internet banking, or by direct debit. Fees are payable fortnightly in advance and a bond of $150 is payable on enrolment.
Is my child’s progress & development recorded?
To assist you in seeing your child’s progress during their time at the Centre, portfolios are prepared by the carers for each child. They contain observations, examples of work, photos, art/craft and information on children’s current interests or work in progress and become a lovely memento of your child's time here with us.
There are regular times throughout the year when the portfolios are sent home for parents to look at and add to, and you are welcome to view your child’s portfolio at the Centre at any other time.
How do I book a place at MELC?
If you are thinking about enrolling your child in long day care and considering which centre to attend, we would encourage you to come in and take a look around our Centre at any time. We’d be delighted to meet you and show you how we do things at MELC.
If you have already decided that you would like to book your child in to MELC, then simply print and complete the Request for Placement Form and send it back to us by fax or mail. This form then adds you to our waiting list for the first available place.
When a place becomes available, you will need to complete and return the Enrolment Form to ensure that we have the necessary information on file regarding your child.
What are your opening hours?
We are open from 6.30am to 6.30pm, Monday - Friday, 50 weeks per year.
Parents are encouraged to come in and visit our fabulous facilities at any time, or to call us if you have any questions.