Two decades of taking first steps: The Willows celebrates with fete

CELEBRATION: Trevor Carroll, Lola Bell, Cathy Carroll and Alex and Leo Halls preparing for The Willows 20th anniversary fete. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
CELEBRATION: Trevor Carroll, Lola Bell, Cathy Carroll and Alex and Leo Halls preparing for The Willows 20th anniversary fete. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

From babysitters to professionals, child care to early childhood education and monitors to healthy food providers – the preschool world is changing.

Alex Halls, educational leader at The Willows PreSchool and Early Learning Centre said that in the past 20 years parents were seeking more information about the best ways to bring up children.

“For some families this may mean delaying enrolment of their baby until after six months, often closer to a year,” she said.

She said the role of preschool had changed.

“[What] was once referred to as child care, is now recognised as Early Childhood Education and Care,” she said.

“Educators are becoming recognised as highly-trained, experienced and important professionals, rather than simply babysitters.”

She said educators needed to have more knowledge of food and health.

“We have noticed an increase in the rate of allergies and additional needs,” she said.

“A strong understanding of inclusive practices and supporting all children to participate fully is essential for early years’ educators.”

The Willows is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a fete on site on Saturday from 2pm. There will be stalls, face painting, a petting zoo, circus performers and even an appearance by Santa.