Child Care Services

The Early Learning Centre's story

UWA Child Care has been providing high quality early childhood education and care for the children of UWA staff and students, and the general community, since October 1992.

  1. History
  2. Our mission
  3. What we believe
  4. Our environment


The long day care service was initially set up in two university houses in the bushland setting of Arras Street and catered for 39 children per day. In March 2000 the centre was moved to a larger site at the corner of Monash Avenue and Hospital Avenue, owing to the construction of the Oral Health Centre of WA.

The centre increased its number of places per day to 47 and changed its name to UWA Child Care. Both the popularity of the service and the increase of staff and student numbers at the University caused the waitlist to grow, and many families had to wait for more than 12 months for a child care place.

In June 2003 the UWA Child Care Working Party Committee was established, and a needs survey for staff and students was conducted to analyse the requirement for additional child care within the University. In 2008, after reviewing many possible site options, the focus moved to building a new child care centre for 100 children on the UWA Nedlands campus at the corner of Gordon Street and Clifton Street.

Throughout 2008 to 2011 designs were discussed, finalised and tendered, and on 1 August 2011 the children and staff of Monash Avenue were relocated to the beautiful new purpose-built centre on Gordon Street. In keeping with changes to the child care sector resulting from the National Quality Framework, the UWA Early Learning Centre was established.

Our mission

The mission of UWA Early Learning Centre is to provide excellence in early childhood education and care for all children, in partnership with families, in accordance with Education and Care Services National Law, Education and Care Services National Regulations, the National Quality Standard and the National Early Years Learning Framework.

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What we believe

  • Warm, responsive relationships are critical to every child’s happiness, health and wellbeing.
  • The first five years of life are crucial in shaping a child’s ability to learn and think creatively.
  • Children should be encouraged to become active participants in their own learning.
  • The most successful curriculum approaches are child focused and supported by ongoing learning and reflection.
  • Successful partnerships with families are communicative and mutually respectful.
  • Equitability, inclusivity and diversity must be promoted in a genuine and positive manner.
  • Connections to the local community should be fostered and maintained.
  • A welcoming, calm and aesthetically pleasing setting enables all users of the centre to feel a sense of belonging.
  • Responsibility for the natural environment and awareness of sustainability is imperative.
  • Commitment to supportive, responsible management; ongoing professional development is vital to the centre’s continued success.

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Our environment

Our centre is warm and inviting – the large and modern building, entrance and reception area is softened by natural elements such as a variety of trees and plants as well as a large fish tank.

Our commercial-grade kitchen and attached dining room is a lively hub of activity for the most part of the morning. With delicious smells wafting through reception, many families linger to read the daily menu and savour the kitchen’s wonderful aromas. The outdoor spaces include fruit trees and small raised garden beds where vegetables and aromatic herbs are grown and used in the kitchen.

The activity rooms are light and spacious, with muted tones to offer a sense of calmness. Rammed earth walls bring a sense of nature and are an inviting blank canvas for the sensitive display of artworks, murals, photographs and much more. The older children also enjoy the addition of an outdoor art studio, giving them extra space in which to play and create in a sheltered outdoor environment.

The gardens are specifically designed to offer wonderful play and learning opportunities to the children as they are. Each age group’s outdoor area is specifically designed to suit their levels of development, and the areas feature natural elements such as edible gardens, sensory plants, fruit trees, handmade wooden equipment made from re-purposed materials, quiet spaces to sit and reflect, areas that invite active play, musical elements and water play elements.

The adjacent green spaces and beautiful tropical tree grove on the Nedlands campus invite local excursions for the children to investigate, play, gather materials, enjoy nature and explore our local community. This location, and our selection and use of natural materials, is what sets us apart from many other education and care services.

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