ECTARC Jerry Bailey Education and Care Service
ECTARC Jerry Bailey is a 29 place multipurpose service offering both preschool and long day care programs for children from 2 years to school age, located in the small coastal village of Shoalhaven Heads. We are centrally located in a quiet area near a community park and beside the Shoalhaven Heads Botanic Native Garden, with a view to beautiful Cullunghutti Mountain. It is within an easy walk to Shoalhaven Heads Primary School and is the only Early Education and Care Service in Shoalhaven Heads.
We have families actively involved in our service and we are committed to families and children in our community. Our educators have a strong knowledge of the Circle of Security approach, and we use this to guide our practice, creating secure and authentic relationships with all our children. Our commitment to reconciliation is a core value of the service which has helped us to develop strong connections with Aboriginal people and embed practice within our everyday routine. We connect with Country by engaging children in caring for country responsibilities and our Music and language reflects local culture while supporting children’s early literacy skills. We are very much involved with the Paint Shoalhaven Red Black and Yellow literacy initiative.
Our environment is very unique and welcoming with a strong sense of community. Being situated in a very quiet pocket near parks and gardens we have the opportunity to engage with natural flora and fauna. We interact with a family of possums that frequent our service, as well as birds that visit the large shady trees in our calm and natural play space. We enjoy a reciprocal relationship with the Native Garden and share gardening experiences with the volunteers on a regular basis.
We offer a child focused curriculum supported by a STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Maths) approach to learning guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the National Quality Standards (NQS) . We use the floor book approach for documenting children’s learning, with a focus on listening to children’s voices within our program. This program is readily accessible and available to families through our digitally based Child Carers app.
Our Service was originally opened in 1985 as a stand-alone community owned preschool and came under the auspice of ECTARC in 2012. We remain proudly community owned. Prior to the establishment of Jerry Bailey, our building was the local community hall, and we continue to play a big role in the local community, as well as its history.