Early Learning Centre (ELC)

For girls and boys who want to know why.......

At Fintona, we understand how important the early years are for every child. They are the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives - a unique stage where young minds learn more than at any other time.

Renowned Reputation

Since opening our Early Learning Centre in 1995 for both girls and boys, we have built a reputation for providing exceptional programs in a dynamic and stimulating environment. Our goal is to promote innovative, creative thinking in every child preparing them for the next important phase in their educational journey.

Our Programs

Our Early Learning Centre is coeducational and operates several programs for three year old and four year old children with full and part time options available. We also offer a five day Young Thinkers Pre-Prep program for four and five year old children.

Our programs are based on two internationally renowned educational approaches: Reggio Emilia and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Junior School component of the International Baccalaureate. Educators are also guided by the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (ELYF) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) which outline the principles, practices and outcomes essential to support and enhance young children’s learning as well as their transition to school.

Our Philosophy

Central to our philosophy is the image of the child as powerful, capable and full of curiosity about his or her world. The Reggio Emilia Approach recognises that children express themselves using ‘a hundred languages'. At our Centre, the ‘languages' of movement, narrative, negotiation, sculpture, drawing, writing, music and gesture are just some of the ways our students are encouraged to articulate their thoughts and feelings.

We immerse our young learners in experiences which enable them to explore, question, collaborate, think critically, problem solve, communicate and discover new knowledge. At the same time they develop social skills, self-confidence as well as a positive disposition to learning.

The development of close relationships between staff, parents and children is highly valued at our Centre. Parent participation in the program is encouraged and strongly supported, so that it becomes an integral part of the learning community.

Young Thinkers Program

Taking inspiration from our modern, naturalistic world and insights gained over many years of experience in early education, we have designed a Young Thinkers Program for four and five year old girls and boys. This unique five day program, with its emphasis on environmental science, is rich in opportunities for developing language, numeracy, art, music, drama and dance skills.

Our Young Thinkers Program is suited to children who may benefit from an additional year of early education before starting formal schooling. It also provides the opportunity for the extension of skills and experiences for all children who attend the program.


Our three and four year old groups spend time with specialist teachers during the week. Three year old groups attend Music and visit the Resource Centre to borrow books. Four year old groups also attend Drama and the Perceptual Motor Program (PMP).

Our staff know how children learn best

Led by the Head of the ELC, Ms Cara Mearns, a highly respected early childhood educator, our fully qualified and experienced staff are committed to ensuring a happy start to your child's early years of schooling. Staff also facilitate the recording of your child's development through a portfolio which is presented to them at the end of the year. Photographs, drawings and commentaries are combined to create a record of your child's unique learning journey throughout the year.


Our beautiful, refurbished ELC building contains sun drenched rooms, large creative spaces, a piazza, and gardens providing many meaningful ways for our students to interact.

Program Details

Fintona's ELC is co-educational and operates full and part time three year old and four year old programs. We have two, three and five day programs and offer out of hours care.

Your child must have turned three on or by 1 February in the year they attend and must be toilet trained.

Three Year Old Program

2 day program operating on Thursday and Friday

3 day program operating on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

5 day program operating Monday to Friday

Four Year Old Program

3 day program operating on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Young Thinkers program for four and five year olds

5 day program operating Monday to Friday

Program Hours

All programs begin at 8.45am and conclude at 3.00pm

Out of Hours Care

Our Out of Hours care program is run by Camp Australia and is provided from 7.30am to 8.45am and from 3.00pm to 6.15pm.

Camp Australia is the leading provider of quality, safe, fun and professional Out of Hours Care. All families who wish to use these programs must be registered with Camp Australia. All matters dealing with registration and bookings are to be done via Camp Australia’s website www.campaustralia.com.au.

The Out of Hours care program caters for the child care needs of working parents, or those who have commitments extending beyond the normal school hours. Afternoon tea is provided at 4.00pm for children attending the After School Care program and breakfast is provided during Before School Care. Children requiring breakfast need to have arrived by 8.00am.

More information

For more information on our ELC programs: