Banksia Grove Early Learning Centre, which opened on November 11, features 700 square metres of landscaped play area, which is overlooked by each room’s floor to ceiling glass windows and doors.
The play space with forts, log ladders, a rope climbing frame, balance beams and a water play area is designed to foster children’s natural curiosity and encourage their imaginative play.
The project team behind the centre, were given the confidence to incorporate elements to encourage children to challenge themselves and explore their limits, thanks to the positive response to a similar playground built at another of the organisation’s ELCs.
Our purpose-built Ellenbrook Early Learning Centre which opened in late 2018 features a 350 square metre natural outdoor play space. MercyCare Operations Manager Early Learning Services Rosina Smith said once parents started visiting the Ellenbrook centre, educators found many were keen to provide their children with more opportunities to explore the outside world.
“Many parents were looking for opportunities to encourage their children’s sense of adventure,” she said. “Children at the Ellenbrook centre have experienced the many benefits of nature play, such as the development of gross-motor skills, learning how to negotiate risk and problem solve. This motivated us to be even more adventurous in the playground design for Banksia Grove.”
Banksia Grove Early Learning Centre Manager Kelly Meyn said children had been drawn to the outside area as their parents toured the centre.
“Parents are really excited about the opportunities for open-ended play that the play space provides, it’s really amazing to watch children problem solving and exploring their limits within their environment,” she said.
“Families are already enjoying our flexible care arrangements, and our willingness to listen and provide care that is an extension of their own homes – because what matters to them, matters to us,” she said.
The centre, which is conveniently located in the Banksia Grove Village shopping area, is the second addition to MercyCare’s Early Learning Services offerings in Perth’s northern suburbs this year. MercyCare opened their centre in Merriwa in June 2019.