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Businesses in Southbank

13 Sep 2015

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A haven for kids of the city

Hidden away on Normanby Rd in Southbank, many local families would be both surprised and delighted to discover City Kids early learning centre operating out of a retrofitted former warehouse.

Few would guess that behind its walls lies a state-of-the-art early learning paradise, complete with six colourful children’s rooms, an expansive central outdoor play area as well as a wondrous rooftop garden with views of the city!

The initiative was the brainchild of City Kids licensee and former primary school teacher Josephine DeBono’s father Nick Puopolo, who first came up with the idea to transform the building into a childcare centre.

“It’s been a really good way to learn the field but I also had a really good knowledge base coming from a primary setting and I brought a few of my own ideas, which I’ve been able to implement here,” Ms DeBono said.

“We’ve been open now for over five years and it has turned into a really nice business in terms of having great families and a wonderful team of staff.”

In addition to its impressive facilities, City Kids boasts a unique educational program driven by a dedicated team of staff, which comprises qualified carers and educators of babies, toddlers and preschool children.

City Kids 2IC and curriculum co-ordinator Ruth Goga said that, while the centre held high expectations for education, the focus was always centred on creating an environment of love and care between all staff and children.

“The educators here are very driven and I feel that, especially over the last year, we’ve become really close as a family,” she said.

“They’re really working as a team and you can see that the children genuinely love the educators and the educators genuinely love the children. You can just see the relationships grow.”

“The best thing about childcare, is that if there is one child that won’t connect with that educator then there’s another educator that will make that connection.”

In addition to following the national curriculum, the centre has also established a unique enrichment program, which has a range of fun musical and movement activities.

All programs also utilise technology, with each room equipped with iPads for teaching and learning, while preschool programs also incorporate a number of excursions to various locations throughout the city.

Ms DeBono said all programs were devised with the intention of getting the best out of all children.

“Preparing them for the next step is a really big thing and I guess that’s where the curriculum has come from,” she said.

“A part of it is about understanding their place in the community so we teach them that you need to be a good member of your community.”

Having operated in Southbank for more than five years, Ruth Goga said City Kids had quickly established itself as the local community’s most trusted early learning centre.

“We service a lot of working families and many of them don’t have extended families of their own so I’ve had a lot who say we’re just like another family member,” she said.

“They’ll sometimes ring up and say can you spare anyone I need a babysitter tonight! So it’s really nice that they have that trust and they feel like they can always talk to us.”

City Kids is located at 222 Normanby Rd.

www.citykids.com.au

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