St Nicholas Early Education opens in Lochinvar
Residents and visitors to Lochinvar will know that there has been a lot of work happening in recent months with a new St Nicholas Early Education Centre being constructed and landscaping around St Patrick’s Catholic Church taking shape.
The fruits of those labours are now obvious to all who drive through the beautiful town of Lochinvar with St Nicholas Early Education opening its doors for the children of the lower Hunter on 26 March and the parish carpark now complete.
This St Nick’s is the largest that the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has completed to date, with places for 124 babies and pre-school aged children. As with all the St Nicholas Early Education Centres the diocese has invested in the highest quality design, construction and fit out and has employed wonderful educators to nurture the children in their respective rooms and the beautifully landscaped adventure playground.
General Operations Manager of St Nicholas Early Education, Kerri Armstrong, is thrilled that St Nick’s is now part of the larger Catholic campus in Lochinvar.
“St Nicholas Early Education joins St Patrick’s Primary School and St Joseph’s Catholic College in Lochinvar as a premier education facility. Children at St Nick’s benefit from both a higher ratio of educator to child and a larger than usual number of early childhood teachers. The play-based curriculum employed at St Nicholas Early Education and the incredible facilities available ensure that the children who are in our care have the very best opportunities available in early education,” says Kerri.
The location of St Nick’s in Lochinvar allows for collaboration with the established schools and engagement with the local community.
“Children at all our St Nicholas Early Education Centres have wonderful opportunities to interact with their neighbours. Year 5 children from St Aloysius in Chisholm recently came to the neighbouring St Nick’s and read stories to the children. Pre-schoolers from St Nick’s Newcastle West have enjoyed excursions to Sacred Heart Cathedral and the light rail interchange and St Nick’s kids in Singleton have a long history of taking part in orientation programs at St Catherine’s Catholic College to help prepare them for ‘big school’. It will be no different here in Lochinvar and we’re very excited for the children to benefit from those connections,” says Kerri.
Another fantastic aspect of opening St Nicholas Early Education in Lochinvar is the opportunity to invest in local businesses and employment in the region.
“Our Assistant Director, Elisa Edmonds, lives at Lochinvar and will help St Nick’s become a thriving part of the local landscape. St Nick’s is committed to using local suppliers and businesses whenever possible. As an example, we employed a company from Rutherford to complete the fit-out of the Centre,” says Kerri.
Honouring the landscape of the local area was also considered when designing this St Nicholas Early Education Centre and the outdoor playground is testament to this.
“There is a rural feel to the landscaping with barn-like structures, mud-pits and Boris the wooden pig, which the kids will love. The use of natural elements such as sandstone and native plants helps delineate the play areas and pays homage to the local setting,” says Kerri.
St Nicholas Early Education in Lochinvar will open its doors on Monday 26 March after staff complete a week of orientation. All are welcome to visit St Nicholas Early Education for a tour. Interested families can join the orientation program this week:
Tuesday 20 March 3pm – 5pm
Wednesday 21 March 3pm – 5pm
Thursday 22 March 3pm – 5pm
You can enjoy the footage in the video below to gain a bird’s eye view of the St Nicholas Early Education Centre at Lochinvar. But to really appreciate everything St Nick’s at Lochinvar offers in terms of early childhood education and child care you should call Centre Director, Fiona Wissink or Assistant Director, Elisa Edmonds on 4015 2840 and arrange a tour. You really have to see it to believe it!