Nurturing curious minds is child’s play

A new childcare centre has inspiring and safe environments tailored to the needs of families. A family owned and operated business with a 23-year history of nurturing young children will soon open its third purpose-built Melbourne early learning centre, in Langwarrin.

Busy working parents looking for an individualised and nurturing early learning experience can look to the opening of Platypus Junction’s Langwarrin Childcare Centre and Kindergarten later this year.

The new state-of-the art centre is 42 kilometres south-east of Melbourne’s CBD. Together with centres in Croydon and Mulgrave, Langwarrin caters for children from three months to pre-school kindergarten stage.

Platypus Junction was started in 1995 by Dale and Julie Pearce. Disenchanted by the childcare options available for their own children, they decided to develop an early learning centre that provided a safe, clean, high-quality environment busy working parents could rely on.

More than 20 years after opening that first centre in Brighton, the business is still a family affair, with daughter Felicity Hall now part of the team as group business director.

“My parents really understood, and still do, the holistic needs of working families who want to send their children somewhere they really trust and feel comfortable with,” Hall says. “We are really able to listen to the needs of each family, individualising their experience and supporting them in the right way.”

The Langwarrin centre will cater for 140 children and has a welcome area, commercial kitchen and eight separate age grouped rooms, including a nursery, toddler’s room and kindergartens for three and four-year-olds. Limited places are available at all three Platypus centres.

Parents pay a one-off fee which covers everything from bottles and nappies to extra on-site activities and nutritious, all-day meals and snacks. Each age group has their own designated spaces with an educational and nurturing program tailored to them, Hall says.

The purpose-built centres let in a lot of natural light and allow staff and parents to see through into each room. “They also have fabulous outdoor spaces and we really encourage the children to be involved with our beautiful vegetable patches and edible gardens,” she says.

“Kindergarten children pick herbs that the chef then uses in their meals, so they are learning about garden-to-plate concepts.”

Platypus Junction’s curriculum is based on the National Quality Framework and incorporates philosophies from leading international educators to create an engaging, dynamic, nurturing and fun program for children.

“There’s a room leader for each age group with an educational director overseeing each of the groups,” Hall says. “They interact and collaborate so we can really tailor the program.”

Platypus Junction’s kindergarten program is operated by bachelor-degree trained teachers and includes a school readiness program . “We put a lot of resources into the training and further development of our educators so the programs remain fresh and current. This provides the best outcomes for the children,” Hall says.

Source: The Age 

Our new purpose-built centre sets the benchmark in childcare. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself and book a no obligation tour 1300 261 685.

Book Tour

Every child and family is different

Care tailored to meet the needs of each child is vital to working families.

“If you want something done well, do it yourself.” It’s a variously attributed quote that two busy, working parents took to heart in 1995 when it came to childcare for their own children.

Places were hard to come by and there were problems with safety, cleanliness, the curriculum and being heard.

So, Dale and Julie Pearce decided to do it themselves and created Platypus Junction childcare centre in Brighton to provide a complete and hassle-free service to families.

In response to Melbourne’s changing demographics, new centres opened and Platypus can now be found where young, working families need childcare most – in Croydon and Mulgrave, with a new centre under construction in Langwarrin.

The Pearce’s daughter, Felicity Hall, has grown up in the early childhood education business, furthering her studies through a diploma of business and a bachelor of communication and is now group business director at Platypus Junction.

“Our focus is on individuality. Every child and family is different, so it is about treating children as people, not as a single group,” Hall says. “You’re not herding sheep; you’re talking about looking at the person, the child, and tailoring the care experience to them and the needs of their family.

“It’s what sets us apart and I think being a private operator, we’re able to do that. We’re not a cookie-cutter business and we don’t set and forget when it comes to our philosophy and curriculum.”

Early childhood education and care are also about the people who work in it. For Hall, this is key: “We have a specific senior management team that oversees and guides our curriculum and program to build on the National Quality Framework.

“We put a lot of extra resources behind that team to ensure that our educators are up to speed with the latest educational philosophies for children that will engage and stimulate their learning and development.”

Programs begin with three-month-olds, with a staged and expanding curriculum up to pre-school kindergarten ages.

“For children closer to school age there is a focus on school readiness,” Hall says. “Our school readiness program linked with our fantastic adventure gardens at both of our locations ensures a balanced experience with active play outside. If a child is active and energetic they need the freedom to explore without a structured program and engage in what they feel like.”

Contact with families is the cornerstone of the Platypus Junction philosophy and begins with orientation sessions in which parents can become familiar with the company’s purpose-built, state-of-the-art centres, facilities, and staff. Regular, sometimes daily, contact takes place between parents and educators so as to best meet the needs of each child.

“We work with each family to deliver a genuine early learning experience for the children and that diversity helps us shape and tailor the experiences we deliver across our program,” Hall says.

Children can attend from 6.30am to 6.30pm and the all-inclusive fee means that everything they need will be provided – from nappies and bottles to all-day meals and healthy snacks, including breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and supper. There are no additional fees for in-house events or excursions older children can take part in.

All food is prepared daily onsite by a qualified cook to a rotating, seasonal and culturally diverse menu authorised by a childhood nutritionist. Children can collect herbs or tomatoes from Platypus veggie patches, deliver them to the cook and eat them, and fresh fruit and vegetables, along with freshly baked, healthy snacks are served every day.

Source: The Sunday Age

Register now for our Mulgrave Centre Open Day

Event: Open Day
Centre: Mulgrave
Address: 5 Nexus Court, Mulgrave
Date: Saturday 3 February
Time: 10am – 12noon

We invite you to come and see our state of the art, purpose built centre at our Open Day. You and your children will have the opportunity to tour through the centre; meet our centre director, educators and teachers; explore our gardens; try some delicious food made in-house by our chefs; grab a complimentary coffee and baby-chino, balloons and a showbag with your information pack.

We will have our friendly team available to discuss vacancies in childcare and kindergarten for the rest of 2018 and into 2019. You can even secure a place for your child, on the spot (limited places available).

Our Mulgrave Centre is located on 5 Nexus Court, Level 3 & 4, Mulgrave. One of our friendly team will be on the ground floor to greet you and show you up to the third floor.

We look forward to seeing you there.

RSVP: Please register your interest by contacting Libby Clarke

Email »  or Call 1300 261 685

State-of-the-art childcare comes to Croydon

Croydon is a bit of a forgotten suburb, not quite a destination in itself. And that’s the way the locals like it. Croydon has a village-feel and a tight-knit community.

If you take the time to stop and look, Croydon has much to offer and now boasts a new state-of-the-art childcare centre.

Platypus Junction Croydon has just opened its doors after months of excavating, construction, landscaping and interior design and decoration. It was purpose-built on Croydon Road, conveniently located across the road from Croydon Primary School with easy access to Croydon Train Station and Maroondah Highway.

Felicity Hall, the group business director explained, “It’s really exciting to open another new centre. The Croydon childcare centre has been designed around the Platypus Junction philosophy – to trigger imagination and engage curious minds.”

“We have open, airy and bright learning spaces, customised furniture and educational toys and activities that have all been individually selected to enhance children’s development, from babies to 4-year-old kindergarten.”

The childcare centre houses a welcome area, kitchen and six separate age grouped rooms within and around the beautifully refurbished, heritage hall. The simple Gothic, bungalow style, former Gifford Memorial Congregational Church was built in 1930, and is architecturally significant as the only building representative of the Gothic style in the municipality.

Rooms within the centre include the calm and colourful babies’ nursery, toddlers’ rooms with plenty of spaces to explore and have fun, and three and four-year-old kindergartens complete with art spaces, music areas, active learning spaces and quiet zones for exploring their language and quiet play.

A fantastic botanical adventure garden designed by the leading early learning playground designer, Ruth Czermak of Botanical Traditions is accessible from a number of rooms. And the toddlers’ rooms have their own exclusive garden with sandpit, secret paths and a giant xylophone.

A growing team of educators and teachers plus a qualified chef ensure all the needs of the children and families at the centre are met. Platypus Junction recognise how critical a child’s early years are in the establishment of resilience, self-esteem and a love of learning – all crucial to a successful start to school.

Unlike many childcare centres in the area, there is currently no waitlist, but that is sure to change soon with growing interest and immediate enrolments from tours. Platypus Junction business owners Dale and Julie Pearce have over 20 years’ experience in childcare. They believe, “This is the future of childcare. We’re raising the bar in this centre. It needs to be seen to get a sense of where we’re headed. We welcome families to the centre to come and have a look.”

Our new purpose-built centre sets the benchmark in childcare. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself and book a no obligation tour 1300 261 685.

Book Tour

Register now for our upcoming Open Days

Mulgrave Centre:
Saturday 22nd July, 10am – 12noon

Croydon Centre:
Saturday 5th August, 10am – 12noon

We invite you to come and see our fantastic new centres in Mulgrave and Croydon on our Open Days in July and August. You and your children will have the opportunity to tour through the centre; meet our centre director, educators and teachers; explore our gardens; try some delicious food made in-house by our chefs; grab a complimentary coffee and baby-chino, balloons and a showbag with your information pack.

We will have our friendly team available to discuss vacancies in childcare and kindergarten for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. You can even secure a place for your child, on the spot.

Our Mulgrave Centre is located on 5 Nexus Court, Level 3 & 4, Mulgrave. One of our friendly team will be on the ground floor to greet you and show you up to the third floor.

Our brand new Croydon Centre is located at 20 Croydon Road, Croydon.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Please register your interest by contacting Libby Clarke:

Email »  or Call 1300 261 685

Childcare lays the way for move to ‘big school’

Children who have had the benefit of quality childcare and early learning are more likely to make an easy transition to school.

Children need basic skills by the time they start school. They should know how to hold a pencil, open a lunchbox, open and shut a water bottle and pack away books. They also need the ability to handle events that can make them angry, sad or frustrated. School requires them to know how to sit still, listen to a teacher, be open to new experiences, take turns and share.

The start of “big school” can be both exciting and daunting for children. Some parents worry they won’t be able to cope.

Research shows that quality early learning and childcare is a key way to prepare children for school. Quality childcare providers focus on more than numeracy, literacy and a dash of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). Children’s emotional wellbeing and sense of belonging are vital considerations.

“Being adaptable and resilient is really important for children starting school,” says Felicity Hall, the group business director of Melbourne childcare provider Platypus Junction. “Childcare gives them confidence and emotional wellbeing – simple tools to cope with things such as being angry or frustrated or sad. It gives them a great toolbox in terms of being ready for school.”

About 1.2 million Australian children received formal childcare in 2015, according to federal government figures. The National Quality Standard sets a benchmark for childcare and early-learning services in Australia, and providers are regularly assessed.

Felicity Hall’s family has been in the childcare industry for more than 20 years. Her parents, Dale and Julie Pearce, opened their first Platypus Junction centre in 1995, after their own frustrating search for quality childcare.

The family went on to operate a string of Melbourne (childcare) centres that exceeded the National Quality Standard. Now they are relaunching the family-run business with three new facilities. First to launch was a purpose-built Platypus Junction at Mulgrave. A Croydon centre is set to open in June, and one at Langwarrin opens in early 2018.

Hall says the industry’s understanding of early learning for children under five has grown dramatically in the past two decades. “People are better educated in supporting the child’s transition into new environments,” she says.

Platypus Junction’s staff are no longer referred to as childcare workers, but rather as educators or teachers, hall says. To ensure the highest standard in its kindergarten program, Platypus Junction employs an education director and bachelor-trained teachers who engage the children in mindful play.

“There’s a lot of research from different authorities that say learning through play in the preschool years develops key areas of the brain and really influences creativity,” Hall says. “It pretty much touches on every aspect of development.”

Platypus Junction’s kindergarten program for four-year olds involves everything from project work to group activities and outdoor play, and incorporates technology.

“The kindy students are using mini iPads to explore our botanical rooftop garden, using the iPad, for instance, to zoom in on a leaf and really understand the structure and how plants grow and work with the environment that they’re in,” Hall says. “It’s a really wonderful link, I feel, technology and nature. The students get a lot out of it.”

Source: The Age, Infant Wellbeing and Care Feature

Children and Technology – Platypus Junction Curriculum

Boy making paper rocket sculpture

Hands on mini researchers at Platypus Junction

Young children have the opportunity of utilising digital devices, which have quickly become the tools of the culture at home, school, work, and in the community. At Platypus Junction we embrace the link between learning opportunities and technology by providing digital tools to enhance learning.

In an education environment as an engaged learning tool, we seek the use of technology to achieve enriched learner motivation, engagement and learning outcomes, together with progressive teaching opportunities and development.

Our educators ensure that technology offers opportunity for children to engage in skills such as creativity, innovation, communication and collaboration. Never replacing active play or interaction with teachers and peers, its all in the balance.

 No TV or DVD watching or passive non interactive use will be apart of any of our curriculums. Technology is centered as a tool of investigation serving as a source of knowledge, to seek, discover and research. Constructing understanding and information in a fun, hands on,  interactive way that supports skills for life long learning.

Our Leadership Team has worked very hard seeking the most resourceful educational tools to support the childrens’ development, learning opportunities and fine motor skills.

We have a list of educational apps and accessories that we incorporate into the curriculum. Platypus Junction has worked closely for the last five years with Growing Together Family Psychologists in supporting our link with technology and learning in children.


Platypus Junction childcare centre finds a new home at Nexus Park

News Platypus Junction Facade Render

A large pre-commitment from childcare centre operator Platypus Junction will anchor the next building at Salta Properties’ Nexus Corporate business park in Melbourne’s south-east.

The childcare centre will take a 10-year lease of 1,400 square metres, occupying the top two floors of the four-level building at the Mulgrave estate in a deal handled by Colliers International’s Travis Myerscough and Ash Dean.

The childcare centre will have 110 places, with priority for the children of Nexus employees.

“Securing Platypus Junction as a tenant allows Salta Properties to proceed with construction at 5 Nexus Court, and on completion will help Nexus Corporate-based employees source local childcare services,” Salta’s managing director Sam Tarascio said.

When fully developed, the business park will deliver more than 100,000 square metres of commercial real estate.

Source: AFR by Nick Lenaghan