Pelican’s Nest Early Learning Centre is situated on the grounds of Caloundra City Private School. We provide exceptional early childhood education and care for children aged from 12 months to Kindergarten.

‘Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.’ Friedrich Froebel

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy aligns with the values of Caloundra City Private School, The National Quality Standards and the Early Years Learning Framework which underpins our programming and practices.
Our Centre Philosophy is an inspired blend of evidence-based child-centred approaches including the Reggio Emilia approach by psychologist Loris Malaguzzi. Our philosophy is broken down into the following key focus areas:

  1. Child-centred – All children are unique, competent and capable learners who develop at their own pace.
  2. Natural Environments – The environment is the third teacher and must be enriching, supportive and stimulating.
  3. Relationships with educators – Our educators are more than just teachers; they are partners, nurturers, and guides.
  4. Community and Parental Participation – Community is important, and children learn by collaborating with their communities. Parental participation is also vital.
  5. Communication – Humans are natural communicators, and we actively promote the expression of thoughts, ideas and emotions.
  6. Documentation – We believe in the power of documentation to capture and celebrate children’s learning using our online platform Xplor.
  7. We acknowledge that we learn and play on Aboriginal Land, the land of the Gubbi Gubbi people. We acknowledge the elders, past, present and emerging for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the nation.

Our Rooms

Baby Nest

12 Months to 15 months

This is an exciting first step and we are here to provide nurturing care for your precious baby. We are here to make you and your child feel safe, secure, and supported as you go through this new stage in life. For babies to feel happy and enjoy being here we make sure we stick to their routine as best as possible just as you would at home, and we are always working on fostering a connection and relationship with children to help them settle in as quickly and smoothly as possible. Babies hit many important developmental milestones during this stage including rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking just to name a few. Our caring educators are here to guide them through all these stages and assist them wherever needed, for example, holding their hands when they walk, sitting them up with something behind them to help them sit, working on their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Our programs and activities are designed to provide a stimulating learning environment. Sensory play encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem solving and creativity. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages the development of language and motor skills.

Toddler Nest

15 months to 2 years

Children are gently guided on their journey, learning lots of important milestones, while being encouraged to participate in exciting and developmentally appropriate experiences. Utilising their five senses to explore their environment and discover new things, our program caters for your child’s interests, giving them the opportunity to explore and investigate through playful activities and become independent learners while feeling safe, secure, and supported. Mornings start outside with activities like drawing, painting, or choosing to play on the equipment like the slide or riding a little bike followed by a yummy morning tea and songs to set the scene for an unhurried day and to allow children to build secure attachments with educators. Arts and crafts, building a train track, rolling balls to each other, reading books, playing in the home corner, puzzles are just some of the fun activities we’ll do inside. A delicious hot lunch ensures full, happy tummies, followed by the opportunity for a nap and some quiet rest time. Once awake, children are offered a nutritious afternoon tea. Afternoons are spent participating in fun activities like dancing and plenty of child-led play. In the warmer months of the year This is just a small glimpse into a day within the Toddlers Nest.

Junior Nest

2 to 3 years

Children are guided and assisted to either begin to develop or further develop their fine and gross motor skills, emotional skills, and verbal skills. We encourage the children to begin their journey to developing self-help skills and independence like starting to toilet train, allowing the children to attempt to dress and undress themselves, putting on their own shoes and socks and sunscreen just to name a few. In our room we provide a nurturing, safe, supportive, and encouraging environment to allow the children to begin to develop their personal values, beliefs, and opinions.

Our daily program is play and enquiry based. We offer a range of experiences for the children which include activities like dancing, guided yoga, sensory activities, role play and imaginative activities, group times and group conversations, basic numeracy and literacy for example counting together, singing the alphabet, reading etc. just to name a few things.

We begin to take the children on frequent excursions over to the school to visit their chickens and ducks, go for bush walks, visit the permaculture garden and collect fruit and vegetables to bring back and taste test.

Our room shares a yard with Pre-Kindy and Kindergarten which provides us with an excellent opportunity to be adventurous and to interact with older children and other adults. Sharing this outdoor space allows our children to build friendships and relationships both with possible future classmates as well as future educators allowing transitions into new rooms to be less daunting as we are familiar with the educators and children. We aim to keep a predictable, fun and inclusive routine with a generalised flexible daily routine, which is displayed in our room for a general guideline for all families to see.


3 to 4 years

In Pre-Kindy we will walk alongside your children, to pick them up when they fall and to celebrate them and all of their achievements, allowing them to feel safe, secure and supported within their learning environment. Resilience, independence, and kindness are are three main focus areas throughout the year. These are core values that will set your children up for lifelong learning and success.

Nature play is a big focus within Pre-Kindy and we often go on bush walks, play in the rain, jump in the muddy puddles and allow your child to simply be and connect with nature. Nature play provides children with many learning experiences and comes back to one of our focuses within the room, resilience. Resilience develops when children experience challenges and learn to deal with them positively.

We strongly believe that when you give children the opportunity and time to be independent, that is when children blossom into their best selves. Therefore, we will walk alongside children and guide them to do things themselves and independently. For example, making their beds, dressing themselves and putting their shoes on independently to name just a few. Developmentally a child can be fully toilet trained by 3 years old. Therefore, we strongly encourage children to be fully toilet trained or at the end stages of toilet training when entering Pre-Kindy.

Kindness helps children develop a greater sense of belonging within the community which they belong in, therefore increases self-worth, gratitude and overall self-esteem and confidence. Every day in group time we discuss and implement strategies on how we can be kind to ourselves, others, and our planet. As educators we will be there to support your child in making kind choices. We will be there to praise and build your child up when they make kind choices. We look forward to watching and supporting your child grow and learn whilst discovering the world in which they live in. 


4 to 5 years

In preparing our children for school, we are here to support these important little people, and to give them the confidence and practice that will enable them to face any challenge and to try new things.  The basis of our program follows the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines, but the presentation and activities are fresh and different each year. Here is a window into some of the things incorporated into our Kindy program:

  • Self-help and independence – We teach and practise skills like putting on shoes and socks, taking responsibility our belongings, simple bed making with one fitted sheet, tidying up before moving to another play area, toileting and hygiene
  • Mutual Respect
  • Library Visits
  • Permaculture
  • Creativity 
  • Block play and Construction
  • Puzzles
  • Taking an Interest in the World Around us
  • Transitions
  • Games
  • Learning Through Play and Intentional Teaching
  • Early Literacy Skills
  • Writing
  • Name Cards -Children of this age are longing to write their name, and we teach them how to do this correctly. 
  • Visits
  • Numeracy
  • Music and Movement
  • Physical Skills
  • Authentic Play
  • Rest Time/Peace Time Routine

Our Team

Our wonderful diverse team of educators are highly qualified and care about creating the most welcoming, supportive and nurturing early learning environment for your child. 

Our rich tapestry of educators’ backgrounds and expertise provides intuitive service for families. Each of our educators understand that all children and families are unique. Our Educators are highly skilled and trained in delivering a program that tailors to the developmental needs of each child within their group.

Our Orientation Program

Our orientation program ensures a positive experience and familiarisation with our centre before your child’s first day. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to explore their new environment with their parent or caregiver, to meet our educators and discuss your child’s routines, likes, dislikes, needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

The below list of FAQ provides families with as much information as possible about our Centre. If a question is not listed, please send us an email to [email protected] and our Director will get back to you shortly.

What are your opening hours?

Pelican’s Nest Early Learning Centre is open Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 6:30pm. We are closed on Public Holidays. The centre operates 51 weeks of the year. We are closed the last week of December over Christmas and the New Year.

For the Baby, Toddler and Junior Nest:

  • Nappies (at least 5-6 daily)
  • Nappy cream (with a Chemist label)
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Spare clothes (at least 2-3 sets to change)
  • Reusable waterproof wet bag (for wet or spoiled clothes)
  • Fitted cot sheet
  • Bottles and formula (where applicable)
  • Closed-in shoes (Junior Nest)

For Pre-Kindy and Kindergarten

  • (Rest) nappies (where applicable)
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Spare clothes (at least 2-3 sets to change)
  • Reusable waterproof wet bag (for wet or spoiled clothes)
  • Fitted sheet
  • Closed-in shoes

Here are some suggestions to help support your child if they find it challenging to settle into a new environment, particularly if they find it hard to separate from family or familiar caregivers:

  • If possible, start with shorter days; then gradually increase their time.
  • Inform the team about what comforts your child and discuss how you manage activities or times of the day they find unsettling. For example, does your child have a toy or blanket that helps them to settle?
  • Drop your child off with your trusted educator in the mornings or spend some time settling your child into a favourite activity before you leave.
  • Show your child that you feel secure about leaving them at the service and that you trust the educator. Say ‘goodbye’ confidently and reassure them that you will be back later. While it may be tempting to leave while they are engaged happily in play, it can be very distressing for your child to realise you have left without saying goodbye.
  • Please know that that you can contact us at any time to check how your child is settling in and the team will provide you with sensitive, honest feedback.

Child Care Subsidy is government assistance to help families with the cost of childcare. The amount of Child Care Subsidy you can get depends on your circumstances. Information on how the payment works, who is eligible and how to apply can be found on the Government’s website: Child Care Subsidy – Services Australia

$155 per day. Child Care Subsidy is available to eligible families. For more information on your eligibility please visit the Services Australia website.

Before starting we will work with you to place your child in the right room for their age and stage of development. The age ranges for each of our rooms are: Baby Nest 6 weeks to 15 months, Toddler Nest 15 months to 2 years, Junior Nest 2 – 3 years, Pre-Kindy 3-4 years, Kindergarten 4 – 5 years.

Our educators will communicate with you when the time nears for your child to move up into the next room. Our Centre Director will discuss this further with you to ensure a smooth, happy transition for your child. If you feel it is beneficial for your child’s development to move up earlier, we will work to make a decision with you. To move into the Pre-Kindy room children must be at least 3 years of age and to move into Kindergarten they must be 4.

Yes, our centre has a two-day minimum enrolment policy. This is to ensure your child/ren settle into their new environment and can form bonds with our educators. If both of the days you prefer are not available we recommend you start with the options available and nominate your preferred day(s). Places open up on a regular basis once you are actively enrolled, priority will be given to your preferred placements.

Enrolling your child is simple. Once a placement has been offered and accepted, enrolments are completed online. You will be sent an email from our Centre Director with further instructions. Another email will be sent with steps to download and set up your Xplor app account. This is the app we use for communication, accounts and signing your child in and out of the centre when they start at the centre.

Simply fill out the Enquire Now form on our website and we will be in touch to learn more about your early learning requirements and invite you to explore the centre.

Our Pelican’s Nest students are part of Caloundra City Private School. They have a buddy class in Year 3 that they visit regularly and this forms a very positive relationship at the start of their Pre-Prep year. City Stars love to visit the Library, the permaculture garden and chicken coop, play on the oval and the tennis court and participate in the Perceptual Motor Skills program with Prep. Later in the Kindergarten year, students also attend assemblies and participate in incursions that are occurring in the school.

Register your interest