At Dawson Street Children’s Co-operative we have three rooms where our educational programs are run. Our programs are influenced by The National Early Learning Framework and The Victorian Early Learning Framework. We have experienced, caring educators and offer routine outings and a focus on sustainability. Each room explores a range of learning topics through inquiry based projects.


In June 2018, Dawson Street Children’s Co-operative was rated
Exceeding in the National Quality Standard.

The learning outcomes are:

Children have a strong sense of identity

Children are connected with and contribute to their world

Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

Children are confident and involved learners

Children are effective communicators

Our educators seek feedback from families and our community. We incorporate this along with the children’s interests, intentional teaching and play based experiences into our programs. We believe that children learn through play and offering safe, inviting settings in which they are free to explore and experiment while having caring educators available to support the learning through hands on approach. We provide a wide variety of educational play experiences including messy play and natural yard areas where the children can discover the wonder of outside.

Vulnerable children and families:
Moreland Council support the state government policy directions which shows that children with additional needs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, children known to Child Protection and those eligible for fee subsidy, benefit most from being involved in early childhood programs. Families that demonstrate that they have a child in one of these categories will be allocated to a kindergarten program as a priority.

Gumnut Room

Our babies’ room age range can be from 12 weeks to 2½ years. We have five experienced educators. Four hold Diplomas in Children’s Services and one hold Certificate III in Children’s Services. We have a large room which allows us to provide and cater for the individual needs of our babies with a separate sleep room for naps, and their own outdoor area.

Wattle Room

Our toddler room caters for children aged from 2 to 3½ years. Four educators hold a Diploma in Children’s Services and one hold a Certificate III in Children’s Services. We provide a flexible, fun program with lots of natural and messy play.

Kinder Room- Mallee and Lilly Pilly Program

We have two Early Childhood Teachers, one Certificate III Educator and one Diploma Trained Educator.

Within this program we also run our kindergarten program for the children in the year before going to school. In Victoria each child is eligible for one full year of funded kindergarten the year before he or she starts school. To access this program, children need to have turned four before 30 April in the relevant year; however recent studies have shown that is it best for the children to be 5 before starting school so this is what we recommend. Our kindergarten teacher will liaise with you about school readiness and how your child is progressing to meet this milestone. We run Tree Kinder once a week for the funded kindergarten children where we explore the nature environment at our local Brunswick Park.

The philosophy in these rooms is that children learn through play. It is the primary process through which children learn about themselves, their peers and the world around them. The centre provides an environment that promotes self-directed play opportunities: children are encouraged to choose their own experiences and are active participants in their own learning. A qualified kinder teacher provides the kinder program Monday to Friday for 5 hours each day. Children then access the long day care program outside of kinder hours, allowing parents the opportunity to work a full day.

Outdoor Education Program

At DSCC we believe that a quality outdoor environment creates endless opportunities for discovery and learning. We value our outdoor curriculum and the learning that takes place as much as we value our indoor programs. Outdoor play is now rightfully front and centre for innovative thinking about early childhood pedagogy across the country, as evidenced in the Early Years Learning Framework. Educators play a significant role in offering children direct experiences with nature and being positive role models. They demonstrate not only awe and wonder, but also respect and care for the natural world. This fundamental learning with significant adults is essential if children are to begin to understand the complexities of sustainability, the systems that support life and why caring for the land, plants, animals and ourselves matters.


We have an assigned and dedicated Outdoor Educator to work in this space, oversee the outdoor curriculum and support the children’s individual education and development. The outdoor teacher oversees all outdoor spaces and develops these programs and spaces in collaboration with our educators.

Art club Program for the 3 Year Old Kindergarten

As part of the Mallee program your child will participate in ‘Art Club’ which will run one morning a week outside the Centre.

The aim of Art Club is:

  • To engage children in creative art experiences that will encourage self-expression.
  • To engage with different media such as drawing, painting, working with clay, creating collages and sculptures with recycled materials and nature.

These creative art experiences:

  • Will be an opportunity to connect with our Brunswick Community through engagement to local parks, Galleries, the local library, and other community spaces and organisations.
  • Will be sustainable and have a strong connection with nature and looking after our land.
  • Will be an opportunity to learn about the Indigenous culture by embedding Indigenous Perspectives into our art program.

This goes hand in hand with our Centre Philosophy which promotes that we believe in teaching about the natural world by respecting the environment. We also acknowledge the first people of this land and embed Indigenous Perspectives in our Curriculum.

The benefits of extending this program outside Dawson Street will be that children will be engaged in these experiences in a small group, every week, for 1 or 2 hours of uninterrupted art experiences which will enhance the learning that children have at Dawson Street. The art experiences will be connected to what we are already learning in the Inquiry Projects and will have an emphasis in children’s representation of how they perceive and interpret the world.

Tree Kinder Program for the 4 Year Old Funded Kindergarten

As part of our funded kindergarten program at Dawson Street we offer a program called ‘Tree Kinder’. This program is offered solely to children whose families elect to have their 4 year old kindergarten funding from the Government allocated to Dawson Street.
“Tree Kinder is based around the concept of Bush Kinder which comes from the Danish forest school movement in Europe which has shown benefits in connection with nature, resilience, risk taking, using imagination and creating opportunity”
During Tree Kinder sessions, children will be given the chance to engage in unstructured, free play. This gives children the opportunity to explore the environment at their own pace and uncover the many wonders of being in the outdoors. Children will be guided by intentional teaching strategies during their time at Tree Kinder, this includes the educators intentionally discussing or demonstrating concepts and ideas with the children. The children will also be encouraged to investigate, discover, explore and hypothesize on their own to encourage self led learning and investigation.


Sports Club

As part of our funded kindergarten program at Dawson Street we offer a program called ‘Sports Club’. This program is open to every child and focuses solely on engaging them in play based day to day learning activities.
At Dawson Street, we believe sport and yoga has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire and unite people. We are wholeheartedly committed to the knowledge that sports and yoga develops lifelong skills in children. We have a dedicated staff member who has expertise in this area working to deliver this program weekly.

Our center teaches children 1 – 6 years old, the skills, technique, and fundamentals of sport and yoga. Balance, throwing, kicking, coordination, running, self-control, right down to the precise motion and technique. Incorporating reflective learning of colours, shapes, numbers and letters through exciting games and guided exercises.


All teachers are actively involved and participate in the class to role model, co-teach, and bond with children as they learn new skills and develop existing physical, cognitive, and communication skills through sports and yoga.


All our programs cater for individual needs within the group care environment. We expect that children will stay in their allocated room for the whole year to build secure bonds with educators and develop positive relationships with peers. Children will transition during December for a positive start to the following year.

Contact us to discuss joining the waiting list & arrange a tour of the centre.