Our Lady Star of the Sea Early Learning Centre, Terrigal


Childhood is only a small period of our lives where we are free to play, learn and explore what interests us – without expectations, comparison, testing and fear of failure. Our dedicated team of educators embrace a child’s right to play and facilitate a rich learning environment which is relevant, meaningful and full of possibilities.

We believe children learn, develop and grow best through play based learning. The National Curriculum for Early Childhood, The Early Years Learning Framework supports and reflects this thinking. Play provides opportunities for children to express their learning in many different ways. Through play children test their ideas and thinking, validate what they know through questioning, practicing and experimenting, and repeating their actions.


Our Terrigal Early Learning Centre is a purpose-built preschool on the grounds of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School.

  • We cater for children aged 3 – 5 years.
  • Our operating hours are 8.15am – 3.45pm, during the school term.
  • We have a flexible attendance pattern with a 2 day minimum.
  • Enrolment is open to all members of the community regardless of your religious beliefs or the primary school your child will attend.

Download brochure here.


Coordinator, Terrigal ELC
165 Serpentine Road

P: (02) 4365 3222
E: elc.terrigal@catholiccaredbb.org.au


We believe children learn, develop and grow best through play based learning ...

More Information

Our rooms

We do not group children in classrooms according to their age. We believe children form friendships with peers who are like-minded and have similar interests, not purely based on being the same age. Mixed age groups also allow for children to learn from each other. Established friendships, sibling and family members, and children’s interests are all considered when placing children into groups.

Our rooms include:

  • The starfish room: where the children find puzzles, games, construction materials, our literacy area and smart board, numeracy experiences, science and sensory experiences.
  • The dolphin room: our creative space with clay, painting, sketching, collage, sewing, weaving and other creative activities
  • The pelican room: where children can play in the large block area, with instruments and create dramatic play.


Our curriculum

Our program is underpinned by the principles, practices and learning outcomes outlined in the National Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). The framework places emphasis on the significance of play-based learning and the importance of building strong relationships with children, families and the community.

Curriculum areas such as literacy, numeracy, arts, science, technology, physical education, as well as spirituality and stewardship are not singled out to be taught at certain times. Instead they are integrated into all aspects of our day and within the context of play.

Our program is reflective of the children’s interests, strengths and emerging skills, with the emphasis on the children leading their own discovery. We view children as capable and competent and provide long periods of uninterrupted time for children to play, discover, investigate and explore. We acknowledge that children learn in a variety of ways and vary in their capabilities and pace of learning.

We acknowledge the need to embed sustainable practices throughout our experiences, environments and discussions with the children to promote a sense of responsibility, pride and caring for our environment. Our vegetable garden, cooking our own produce and recycling are an integral part of our program.


Our educators

The ELC is staffed by a dedicated team of professionals and consists of University trained Early Childhood Teachers and TAFE trained Diploma educators. We have a regular pool of casual staff that include Certificate III and Early Childhood Teachers.


Documenting the learning

Documentation allows our educators to make visible the rich learning which takes place. This may include displays of children’s art work, photo boards, project book, learning stories, the programming folder and our preschool blog. Our secure blog provides families with the opportunity to visit at their leisure to view and share their children’s learning journey.


School transition

We are fortunate to be located on the grounds of Our Lady Star of the Sea Terrigal Primary school, a school which values collaboration and building shared understandings across educational settings.

In small groups or as a whole preschool we are able to use the school oval and play spaces, visit the classrooms, library and music room. Towards the end of the year we visit the canteen and practise purchasing ice blocks. The preschool often participates in whole school events such as assemblies, Mass, celebrations, the walkathon, and the bi-annual fair.

Moving around the school environment provides opportunities for children to become familiar with the sights and sounds of a school environment regardless of which school they will be attending


Enrolment and fees

CatholicCare welcomes enrolments from all children aged 3 – 5 from our community.

To enrol, simply complete the Expression of Interest Form and either email the completed form to elc.terrigal@catholiccaredbb.org.au or drop it into the preschool.

Families are also welcome to contact the Coordinator for further information or to arrange a tour of the preschool and an opportunity to meet our educators.

There is a 2 day minimum enrolment requirement. Children may enrol for 4 or 5 days if there are vacancies.

Fees are as follows:

  • $32 per day for a 4 year old for the first three days (children who turn 4 before the 31st July)
  • $46 per day for a 3 year old for the first three days
  • The 4th and 5th days are $60 for all children
  • $10 per day for indigenous children
  • $10 per day for children of low income earners

Some families may be eligible to claim Child Care Benefit (CCB) if you meet the required work assessment. Families will need to investigate their eligibility through the Family Assistance Office.


What to bring

Recommended clothing

  • A broad brimmed or legionnaire style hat to protect your child’s face, ears, neck and back during outdoor play.
  • Clothing must be sun safe and cover the children’s shoulders, back and stomach. Singlets and sleeveless tops are not recommended.
  • Clothing needs to be suitable to the weather and allow for messy, explorative play. Please do not send your children in good clothes as it restricts their play and interactions.
  • Preferred footwear includes joggers, slip on shoes and sandals (no thongs).


  • You will need to pack a healthy and nutritious morning tea and lunch plus a drink bottle with water. Healthy food ideas include sandwiches, yoghurt, crackers, vegetables, fruit and cheese. Do not send chocolate of any kind (including milo and nutella products), lollies, chips, rollups, juice or fizzy drinks.
  • Please note we are a nut free service. Depending on individual children we may need to restrict other foods at certain times.

Other items

  • 8 nappies if applicable.
  • Sheets/pillow/blanket if your child requires a rest.


Our Location

This is where you will find us. Pop your address into the map to get directions. We look forward to welcoming you to our Centre.

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