Background

Castlemaine Childcare Co-operative was founded in 1982 by a group of parents.  Initially catering for 30 children, the centre was staffed mostly by volunteers and operated from a single building in the same location as we are today.  Over the years the demand for quality childcare grew, qualified staff were hired and a system of quality assurance and government benefits were established.

In 1996 the decision was made to expand the centre to 60 places.  The Co-operative purchased the building next door and refurbished both buildings (winning a design award) to meet current standards.  At the same time Family Day Care joined the Co-operative and the two services have been run to complement each other ever since.

In both our long day care centre and Family Day Care we aim to offer children a home-like atmosphere where they feel like they belong.  Peer groups are kept together as they move through the centre to allow friendships to develop naturally, and having stable staffing means that children can develop close trusting relationships with the adults around them.  The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) takes a holistic view of children’s early experiences based on the principles of Belonging, Being and Becoming and this fits in well with the ideals that the Co-operative has promoted for many years.

The Co-operative has been an integral part of the Castlemaine community since its beginning and we continue to be involved in community events and take an active role in various community issues and groups.