Coffs Harbour Preschool was established in 1953 as a play group by a group of parents who wanted their children to have some socialisation and to learn new skills and activities. At the time of post war at-home mothers, this was a brave and innovative move.
The first location was at a private home at the Jetty, then a move to what is now the Scout Hall in Harbour Drive. There were half-day sessions (morning and afternoon) and the parents, with one teacher, ran the centre. The parents and teacher also cleaned and fundraised.
When the Scout Hall site was needed, the Preschool moved to the building which now houses Caterpillar House. The current purpose built centre was opened in 1986 and was funded by a building grant and parent fundraising. We have always been, and remain, a not-for-profit, community based centre.
For 48 years, parents and community members ran this Preschool in tandem with a Director and staff. In 2001, a joint management structure was established to replace the role of Director. The day to day running of the preschool is now handled by an Education Manager (who also takes on the role of Authorised Supervisor) and an Administration Manager.
This service is licensed and partly funded by the Department of Education and Communities and staff are employed by an incorporated voluntary Management Committee. A new Management Committee is elected at the start of each Preschool year and together with staff, forms a team to provide the management, licensing and social structures of this Community Preschool and the quality care and education we pride ourselves on.
Future plans for the Preschool include an outdoor learning centre, a dedicated meeting room and larger classrooms.
“This preschool has been such a positive place for Abi to come to and you have brought out such a wonderful confidence in her. I know that the care and nurturing she has received here over the past 2 years has played a major role in that. So I want to say thank you and let you know that we will really miss our time here but are so very grateful that we had the chance to be a part of this fabulous preschool and experienced the wonderful sense of community that you offer.”Nicole