Childcare and Primary Pursuits

The Farmhouse provides programs for children on a across five rooms, 6.45am-6pm weekdays. Children are in age-appropriate rooms but mix with children of all ages when outside in our communal yard and at alfresco meal times. Unlike most services, we have a room and yard dedicated to our school-age children, allowing them the room to stretch their long limbs!

Every family is different so you choose what suits you. Select from:

  • long-day care
  • casual care
  • before/after kinder care
  • before/after school care
  • school holidays program

Note: we have our own mini buses and drop off to and collect from all local Mansfield primary schools; Mansfield Primary, St Mary’s Primary, and Rudolf Steiner School.

Our culture and programming

The Farmhouse has a backbone of traditional values holding honesty, friendship, teamwork and community central to our way of life. We simultaneously provide a ‘modern’ service presenting quality kind-hearted care by passionate educationalists, and excellent facilities complemented by age-appropriate resources.

Both the Forest Schools of UK and Europe and the Reggio Emilia approach have been inspirational in how similar their intentions are to the ethos we’re striving for.

A Forest School

A Forest School is essentially a wonderfully expansive, natural physical environment where children can experience and learn essentials for life through their proactive interaction, child-initiated discovery, within the realms of a nature-orientated program.

Richard Louv, in his book “Last Child in the Woods” (2008) highlights that direct exposure to nature is essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. He also cites the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in childrens’ lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders and depression.

The Farmhouse places the children’s well-being first and foremost, both as the child and the evolving adult that they are. We consequently provide and allow children every opportunity to enjoy and incorporate nature into their every day.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia approach allows children with opportunities and time to freely experiment, explore, and play, and in turn encourage them to master the many tools and skills of communication, not only through the spoken word but also through other potent languages.

These include expressive languages such as drawing, sculpture, sound, drama and movement; but also metaphorical, symbolic, communicative and cognitive languages.

Reggio Emilia values individuality and personal development, and encourages creativity.

Harmony of programming styles

The cohesion between Forest Schools and Reggio Emilia is in the centrality of the child, together with the importance of the community and unified with the exploratory journey through the natural world.

Government Rebates

The Government provides a Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and is available to all families – the amount you get depends on your circumstances.

Your CCS is determined by the Government and the amount of subsidised care you can access per fortnight applies to each child. The process takes into account:

  • Your income
  • The type of care you use
  • The age of your child/ren
  • How many hours of ‘recognised activities’ you do

For more information, and to get an estimate of how much Child Care Subsidy you may get, call Services Australia on 13 61 50 (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm) or visit this link.