Community Preschool 600 Hours Program, Macarthur Preschool





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Published on Sep 13, 2016

How Macarthur Preschool increased their enrolments of 4- and 5-year old children in a quality preschool program for 600 hours per year in the year before school.

The New South Wales Government is committed to ensuring that all children have the best start in life.

Research tells us that 600 hours of quality preschool education in the year before school has real learning benefits for all children.

By making slight changes to their operating models, preschools across New South Wales can support the Government's commitment.

This is the story of how Macarthur Preschool increased their enrolments of 4- and 5-year-old children in a quality preschool program for 600 hours per year in the year before school.

Sharon Beveridge, Director, Macarthur Preschool:
The president and myself saw a need for families to have more flexible hours so we put out a survey to parents on whether they would utilise the longer hours being 8.30 to four o'clock. It's a flat fee now of 40 dollars a day. That was an increase of five dollars.

Kathy Taylor, Parent:
It was put to the parents as to whether or not their hours were to be extended.

Sharyn McAllister, Grandparent:
The questions that they asked and surveyed us with were really appropriate.

Sharon Beveridge:
We didn't have to adjust the staffing hours so children are arriving when staff are starting and they are finishing when staff are finishing as well.

The children are part of the process of helping to set up the day and pack away the day.

Kathy Taylor:
They start in the morning and it's about helping the educators pull out all the equipment. So he feels quite proud of himself.

Sharon Beveridge:
Our families this year, have said that if we hadn't have extended our hours that many of them would not have been able to send their child to this preschool.

Kathy Taylor:
The extended hours has helped us considerably with our family life.

Sharyn McAllister:
It allows me to drop one here early get one to school on time. I think all families would like more time because most families work.

Sharon Beveridge:
Increasing our enrolments has made us a more viable preschool and a stronger part of the community. It's been great for us and I'm sure it will be great for other preschools as well.

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