YMCA Area Manager Robyn MacKenzie is excited for the new YMCA Torquay Early Learning Centre to open this October.
Torquay has always been known for its strong community culture, connection with the beautiful surroundings and providing a healthy lifestyle for families. Later this year, the YMCA will be joining this fanatstic community.
In early October, the Torquay YMCA Early Learning Centre, which is located on the same site as Torquay North Primary, will open, bringing the YMCA’s unique and industry leading early learning programs to the surf coast.
YMCA Area Manager and former Surf Coast, Robyn MacKenzie, is excited to be opening a centre tailored for a community she loves:
“I raised my children here and they had a very outdoorsy and active upbringing. Families want more than just childcare, they want their child to learn through experiences and exploration,” Robyn said.
“Learning through nature, through Bush Kinder or excursions to the beach or surrounding bushland is an important part of this. At the YMCA children are encouraged to have outside play every day regardless of the weather. We know the outdoors is essential for children’s physical development as well as their cognitive and social and emotional development.”
Torquay YMCA Early Learning Centre will take a lead by offering natural play, including Bush Kinder programs as a part of the funded four-year-old integrated kinder and long-day care. Another connection includes the centre’s partnership with environmental organisation CERES to ensure sustainability is incorporated within the centre’s educational activities.
The centre will use eWater, an environmental and safe technology that uses an electrochemical process to sanitise, and will be pursuing a completely chemical free environment.
“This will completely revolutionise the need for strong and harsh cleaning agents while ensuring we have a good balance of cleanliness in the centre,” MacKenzie said.
Holistic learning practices also include being part of the Healthy Together Victoria program and focus on nutrition and healthy eating for families and children.
Being on the same site as Torquay North Primary School also adds to this holistic-approach to education, as the centre will have a strong connection with the school and means the transition between early learning to primary school is easier. YMCA research shows that this type of transitional learning assists with children feeling more confident and settled when they do begin learning.
The centre will also have open learning environments, rather than set rooms for age groups. Children will be able to move in and out of the rooms based on their interests.
“Older children can mentor younger children or vice-versa. Learning should be organic, rather than restricted by age,” says MacKenzie.
Bookings are now open with limited places available. You can find out more at surfcoast.ymca.org.au