Ashwood Memorial Kindergarten was started in 1966 by a group of people in the Ashwood community who saw a need for a kindergarten to cater for the large numbers of children in the area. A co-operative was formed and, with the help of a small Government grant and extensive fundraising, they built an architect-designed kindergarten on land owned by Waverley Council. The kindergarten was opened in 1968 with 56 children attending and many more on the waiting list.
Today the Kindergarten is a not-for-profit incorporated body, run by a volunteer Committee of Management. We are licensed with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and are a registered provider enabling claim of Child Care Benefit. We are part of the Monash Pre-school Association and have a building facility agreement with Monash Council, which is responsible for the building infrastructure.
At Ashwood Memorial Kindergarten (AMK), we believe in providing children with an environment that is stimulating, nurturing, safe and supportive. We believe children develop a sense of belonging within the kindergarten through forming strong relationships based on trust and respect. We believe children learn through play, which supports children to become active participants in their own learning, promoting skills of confidence, independence, and social wellbeing. Children are involved in a dynamic program that is tailored to their interests and individual strengths. We believe that kindergarten helps build the resilience and life skills that each child requires to develop the foundation for life-long learning. The children value the opportunities to explore the environment, have fun, and learn new skills, whilst making friends and new discoveries.
The educational program for children at AMK is based on the principles of VEYLDF and EYLF of ‘belonging’, ‘being’ and ‘becoming’. We believe in providing a program which promotes and encourages children to enquire, explore, experiment, discover and be active participants in their own learning. We plan and provide play and learning experiences that include child-directed, adult-led and guided learning opportunities, with a balance of time exploring the indoor and outdoor learning environments. Building a foundation of strong relationships between children and educators is paramount, as we believe children learn in the context of these relationships. We plan a program that provides a variety of opportunities for meaningful interactions between children and educators, and between peers. We use inquiry based learning which promotes the use of natural materials alongside commercial products.
The educators at AMK are dedicated and passionate professionals who believe in offering a high-quality early childhood education program for children and families. We believe that play experiences in early childhood should be treasured, valued and promoted. Educators are committed to developing collaborative partnerships with families through open communication, respect for diversity and inclusive family practices. Educators believe in building a community of learning through engagement in ongoing professional development and quality improvement.
We believe in fostering a kindergarten community which encourages family participation, where families are encouraged to share their social and cultural values and practices through the curriculum. AMK has a long history of family involvement in the kindergarten, with collaborative partnerships between children, families and educators based on respect, trust and mutual support. Partnerships with the local community, including the local Primary Schools, businesses and other professional agencies, help to connect children and families to the wider community and assist with smooth transitions. AMK values the positive relationship it has with Bestchance, kindergarten cluster manager.
A voluntary Committee made up of interested parents manages the affairs of the Kindergarten. No qualifications are necessary other than an interest in ensuring that the Kindergarten provides the best possible environment for your child.
Where possible, individuals serve for two years, with half of the Committee changing over at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in November. Committee meetings are held in the evenings once a month. Parents are invited to make suggestions and voice concerns regarding the management of the Kindergarten at such meetings.
The Management Committee is made up of the following positions:
The Committee of Management is responsible for maintenance of the grounds, enrollments, policy decisions, ensuring compliance with Government regulations, general administration and sharing maintenance of the building interior with the Monash Council
Subcommittees are central to the smooth functioning of our Kindergarten, and these include:
Commitment to Quality
The Committee of Management is committed to the ongoing improvement of our Kindergarten. It is also required under its funding agreement with the Department Education and Early Childhood Development to demonstrate its efforts in assessing the quality of all aspects of the Kindergarten.
The Committee of Management documents policies that reflect all aspects of the day-to-day running of our centre. In addition, we conduct an annual quality survey of all parents to identify areas for improvement and to reflect on the performance of the staff and the program.