You use the words childcare and preschool interchangeably, but aren’t these different things?

Yes, usually. Childcare or daycare is usually used to describe a facility with long hours, designed for working families needing care for their child, age 0-6. It does not explicitly describe a program that prepares your child for school, or focuses on a preschool education program or curriculum. Whilst we provide long hours, suited to those needing longer than a traditional school hours, we have a strong focus on providing quality education, not just ‘babysitting’. Our preschool program offered at our Warriewood and Collaroy childcare centres has been warmly recommended by local schools, as they meet children each year who have been with us. So we use the word childcare to emphasise that we have long hours available for children aged 0-6 (Warriewood) and 2-6 (Collaroy Plateau), but we are first and foremost, a provider of quality, interest-based, child-led, and emotionally thoughtful education. 

What's the difference between The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool and a 'community-run preschool'?
Community run preschools tend to prioritise children in the year before they attend school, although you might find one who will take your 3 year old. They run during school terms only, and have shorter hours. They often have fixed days for your child (eg. Mon/Tue group and Wed/Thu/Fri group). You send a packed lunch. And most of them are great

Some daycares have gained a reputation as being little more than a babysitting service, and many families look for an alternative as their child gets ready for school.

However, at the Owl and the Pussycat Preschool we are extremely proud and passionate about our preschool and school readiness program. These are not just ‘industry buzz words’ – the local schools are very complementary of our program and know that the children coming from the Owl and the Pussycat have been well prepared for school.

Our teachers are experienced and enthusiastic, and take the time and effort to get to know your child, their interests, and build an engaging program for them.

On top of that, we offer

– flexibility of long hours

– delicious fresh meals (No need to pack lunch boxes!)

– no school holiday breaks (just a short break over Christmas)

– convenience of one drop-off for younger siblings (0-6 years @ Warriewood and 2-6 years @ Collaroy)

We love families and whether you are a working parent needing the longer hours, or someone who cares about quality preschool education, we can be a valuable part of the ‘village’ you need to thrive during these busy child raising years!

Why do you close over the Christmas period?
We are a family run centre, and whilst it would be convenient for some families for us to stay open, we know that our staff really value having time off to rest and refresh before another busy year begins. We see a genuine benefit to our staff and our own family taking time off. Childcare has also been faced with staffing challenges, and regular time off can help our staff feel valued and reduce burn out. We don’t charge fees over this period.
There are so many childcare centres in the Cromer, North Narrabeen, Warriewood areas. What makes your centre different?
We are a family owned centre and not part of a large group. This means less money being passed around shareholders and more funds directed into improving the centres and keeping fees down.

We invest in our staff and hope to be known as the centre where educators on the Northern Beaches want to work because of the supportive positive environment they experience with us.

Staff retention is key to a positive experience for your family, as we know how important it is for you child to form secure attachments with staff members, and in creating a consistent environment for your child to thrive.

Is it better to have split days or consecutive days for my child?
There can be benefits to both! Some children enjoy the routine of a few days in a row, and parents are able to focus in on their ‘work days’ and then ‘switch off’ for a few days.

On the flip side, some children really enjoy having a day at home to rest in between their busy days at preschool, and might even have a longer nap on their ‘home day’.
Babies and toddlers who are still breastfeeding can benefit from split days so they can enjoy the day back with mum, and keep up her milk supply by feeding in between work days.
In the event of sickness, children with split days are less likely to miss out on the whole week as there is time to recover.
Overall, routine and consistency will help your child to thrive! You can make a visual calendar at home and communicate with your child regularly about their preschool days and weekly routine.

Your website and online videos seem professional. Are you part of a big group of centres like G8?

If you look at the fine print on the website will you find out that we answer to lots of hands-off shareholders? NO our full story is on our website here. But the short version is: It’s just us! We are a family owned and operated centre.

Do you charge for public holidays?

As a family sending our own children to preschool we couldn’t believe this was an industry standard. Why should families who attend on Mondays and Fridays have to pay more than other families?! So NO, we don’t! We’re not afraid to do things differently, and our families are treated fairly whichever days they attend. 

Which primary schools do most families from The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool Collaroy Plateau send their children to?
This varies from year to year, but the primary schools we see most children entering kindergarten at are Collaroy Plateau Primary School, Wheeler Heights Primary School, St Rose Catholic Primary School, Cromer Primary School, Dee Why Primary School and Narrabeen Lakes Primary School.
Which primary schools do most families from The Owl and the Pussycat Preschool Warriewood send their children to?
This varies from year to year, but the primary schools we see most children entering kindergarten at are Mona Vale Primary School, Narrabeen North Primary School, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Newport Public School, and St Luke’s Primary School Bayview Campus.
What’s the difference between family daycare and long daycare?

Family daycare refers to a local childcare provider who delivers small scale childcare within their own home. Family day care is often a great first step as families transition to outsourced childcare, as it more closely resembles babysitting within a home, rather than learning within an educational centre. Both family day care and long daycare comply with all National Standards, Quality Framework and Regulations. Long daycare and preschool, however, provide care within a larger, purpose designed educational setting. Long daycare and preschool offer an excellent transition to school by providing children with a broader social experience across various ages and stages in a classroom-like setting. By being in a larger, more diverse setting children are exposed to greater emotional development opportunities and wide-ranging educational experiences delivered by multiple educators. Greater resources lead to broader interactions and scope for early childhood learning and development outcomes.

My child is in family daycare - what is a good age to transition my child from family daycare to the preschool environment?

Around preschool age – that is, two-and-a-half to three years old – is a good age to transition children from family daycare to a structured preschool environment. Children by this age benefit from more space to run, play and explore as their gross motor needs rapidly expand. The preschool environment also offers broader social interactions. Rather than one or two playmates and one educator, they will have both a diverse classroom of peers, as well as multiple educators. This will teach preschool aged children vital social skills like sharing, conflict resolution and friendship making, that will serve them in their later transition to school. An intentional preschool curriculum will specifically prepare children from the ages of three to five with targeted activities and learning opportunities that will foster developmental milestones needed for the transition to school.