Day Care the Natural Way
The Scots College
When The Scots College Early Years Centre at Rose Bay opened its doors in 2013, it had to be prepared for a group of energetic boys, aged between three and four years, who would enthusiastically put the equipment to the test.
This fully accredited centre offers long day care for up to 26 boys each day. Many of the boys go on to enrol at The Scots College and will have already discovered literacy and numeracy through the power of play and the Reggio Emilia education philosophy.
John Crerar, Head of The Preparatory School, was tasked with finding a partner to help with the equipment fitout and resources for the new centre. “We needed a reliable company that had experience with new childcare centre fitouts. Three and four year olds have different needs to school children and we wanted to get the right mix of discovery and learning in a fun, caring and homely environment.”
Dan Kennard from STE impressed John immediately. “Before presenting us with options, he wanted to know about our plans and our vision for the centre,” John said. “STE’s experience in the industry was clearly evident but their attention to detail and tailored product offering was impressive. The concept and layout ideas were marvellous, particularly the boy-friendly colours and equipment. I knew that Dan and his team could be trusted to deliver what we wanted.”
John worked closely with Kristel Urbanski, Coordinator of The Scots College Early Years Centre, to bring the project to fruition. The open plan centre comprises a construction area, discovery zone, group space, worktables and learning stations including a kitchen and lightbox, all designed to encourage movement and unconfined play.
Kristel explained about the selection of furniture, “Centres are assessed under the new National Quality Framework which includes a requirement to provide natural light and natural elements. Our walls are sandstone and we have timber floors and wooden columns so we wanted to continue this theme. STE had the perfect furniture: high quality wooden tables, chairs and storage. They are durable, look great and the boys and parents love them.”
Functionality is critical in a day care centre and Kristel loves the flexibility that the storage offers. “The art trolley and storage units are open so the boys can easily select items, rather than having everything in containers. It is also much easier to keep the areas tidy because the boys can see where everything needs to go. The open plan layout facilitates interaction while the equipment really enhances what we offer the children.”
Part of STE’s service is to take delivery of the products and install everything in the centre. “I was particularly impressed with the professional packaging so that nothing was damaged,” Kristel said. “It was great seeing the whole place come together and the centre being given life through the amazing furniture and products!”
Kristel continues to use STE to top up their day-to-day supplies. “As you can imagine, we go through a lot of paints and crafts and we know we are getting quality products at a good price. It is also so easy to deal with STE as they are a family business – we really get the personal touch.”
John has the final word, “The people at STE are genuine, professional, flexible and efficient. Throughout the fitout, they did all the work and really used their initiative. Parents regularly comment on the natural and durable look of our centre and it certainly stands up to the test of three and four year old Scots boys!