Thinking about sending your children off to school for the first time can be daunting.
St Paul’s Catholic School in Bridgewater is making this transition easier for families as they prepare to deliver Ludo Early Learning and Care at their school in 2022.
Through partnering with CatholicCare Tasmania, Catholic Education Tasmania are proud to have been able to establish a number of purpose-built indoor and outdoor play spaces for children aged between 3 and 5 years. Principal Jo-Anne Clark and Educational Leader Karla Annear were involved in the design of the learning environment where they sought to create a space that allows children to play and learn in an environment that allows them to flourish.
Alongside St Pauls, St Cuthbert’s (Lindisfarne) and St Brigid’s (New Norfolk) are seeking to launch their Ludo programs in 2022, joining Holy Rosary, St Finn Barr’s and John Paul II who commenced in 2021.
Delivered in purpose-built indoor and outdoor play spaces, Ludo seeks to give children the opportunity to engage in play-based learning while familiarising themselves with the school environment.
Karla, who also teaches Kindergarten, believes the program will help bridge the gap between childcare and kinder for students and families alike. “There’s more opportunity to interact and ask questions,” said Karla. “If parents become confident dropping off their three-year-old, maybe they’ll be comfortable asking the curly questions come when their kid is in kinder.”
This early learning and care space is linked with the existing Kindergarten classroom and features wide doors that open to allow students to flow freely between the Kindergarten and early learning spaces. Karla noted that this design was intentional, and based on the growing research into best practices in early years care and learning.
Children are encouraged to make the space their own and make it their own they do. Students' creativity was on full display as some were engaged in arts and crafts, while others were “stocking up firewood for winter” in their pillow fort in the middle of December — forward thinkers.
Our early learning and care spaces are designed with a holistic view of children’s well-being and seek to integrate indoor and outdoor learning environments that encourage students to connect with and nurture nature. St Paul’s space features a number of adjoining outdoor spaces, including a small glass-walled room. The children can get some fresh air regardless of the weather, watch the rain trickle down the perspex, take care of plants in the garden beds, and display their creations and treasures on shelves on the wall.
With Ludo early learning and care operating alongside the birth-to-five program, Setup for Success, St Paul’s believes that they can continue to bridge the gap between schools and families and strengthen communities along the way.
“It takes a village to raise a child and we want all our children and families to know that they are an integral part of our caring and nurturing St Paul’s Village,” said Principal Jo-Anne Clark. “We are so excited to be offering this amazing opportunity to families in the Bridgewater/Brighton municipality.”
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in Ludo at St Paul’s, or one of the five other locations across the state you can get in touch with CatholicCare Tasmania on 1300 119 455 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ludo offers a range of options for families including full days, short days, before/after kinder care and vacation care. Parents and guardians are able to reduce the full fee through their Child Care Subsidy — for more information visit CatholicCare’s website.