Starting your child at early learning centre


With school well and truly back now in Australia, many families are thinking about or have just started childcare for the younger members of the family.

This can be an exciting but also daunting time. A good way to prepare yourself is to make sure things will be as familiar as possible for your child. For babies and toddlers, this means bringing the same bedding as you use at home. We have explained this further below along with some helpful information so you are prepared for this next step.

Here in our nursery (also known as the Tadpoles room) at Nestle In Alstonville, you can be confident that your little one is in the best possible care available on the Northern Rivers. With a purpose-built environment, we accommodate for ages 0 – 2 years. In the Tadpoles room, we make the transition into care as smooth as possible, providing care that caters for each child’s individual routine as well as supporting the development of each child.

With a mix of soft area’s consisting of carpet and cushions to the hard floor areas – all set up to support and encourage developing children both safely and securely.

Whether you are a new parent or curious as to how we operate at Nestle In; we encourage parents to visit our centre for a “day in the life” of their child. During this visit, you can experience the Tadpoles environment and gain a better understanding of how we can accommodate to your little one’s routine. This will help parents feel more secure and confident in your choice of care for your child.

Our nursery program reflects and encourages the children’s milestones; this includes addressing attachments issues, self-help skills and gross motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking.

Children learn from cause and effect experiences, such as “If I do this, that will happen”. From here our program flows into early literacy. Such things as picture books, simple songs, rhymes, labelling items in their environment and finger plays are integrated into their daily routine. Along with early numeracy activities such as counting 1,2,3 to stacking blocks and cups is encouraged.

In the Nestle In Alstonville, nursery creativity is also widely promoted. Extensively developing their young minds through the use of finger painting, small/thick brush painting, sand, water and play dough - all great sensory activities.

Below we have outlined a few and helpful tips that may help you when just starting out at our daycare centre.

The first and most important tip is to make sure you show your child how excited you are about them starting childcare. Reinforce and talk to your child about how much fun they will have meeting new friends and learning new games. Reassure them that after meeting and playing with their new friends that Mummy or Daddy will come to pick them up. It is important that your child sees you being positive about childcare and not worrying.

Secondly, it's encouraged to start with a short orientation period. The majority of nurseries that we have come across and heard about from clients also advocate this. It is important that you visit the nursery alone before making the final decision to see if you are happy for your child to attend that nursery. We also encourage a discussion with the director to discuss your parenting philosophies and ensure they will do their best to match these as best as they can in the childcare environment.

When you take your child for their first visit some parents like to stay at the nursery the whole time. You may like to encourage your child to go off and join in the activities with the other children but try to always stay in sight. It is also important to help encourage the initial meeting with the people who will be your child’s new carers and allow those carers to introduce themselves to your child.

The second time you visit the nursery some parents like to stay with your child for a short time and then aim to leave your child at the nursery for an hour or two and then collect them. A very important tip is to never sneak off without saying goodbye to your child. While it may seem like the easy option to sneak out the door while your child is involved happily in an activity your child will eventually look up to see if you are watching. If you have disappeared your child may spend the next hour upset and looking for you. It is better to have a few tears when saying goodbye than for your child to get upset when they realise you are missing.

Depending on how your child is coping you may continue with these short visits for the first 3 or 4 times you leave your child at childcare before attempting a full day. However, if your child is coping well then you may only need to do 1 or 2 of the short stays.

Other than the initial settling in the process the other worry I hear from parents is ‘will all my hard work in establishing a feeding and self-settling routine be ruined by childcare’. Generally, it won’t be ruined but your child will need to learn that there will be one set of rules for childcare and one set for home.

For more information on the Tadpoles 0 – 2 years program, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 02 6628 1837 at a time convenient to you.

Child Care Subsidy Requirements

Child care subsidy

As of the 14th January 2019 (today!) families will be required to sign their children in and out daily electronically upon drop off and pick up via iPad at the centre that will be set up at the front bench.

Please see the staff for a demonstration on how to do this and please do not hesitate to ask for assistance.  This is in line with the Governments new Child Care Subsidy requirements which replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate July 2018.  

In recording the actual attendance times, child care providers can include more accurate information in families’ statements of entitlement and session reports to the Australian Government.

child care centre

This new procedure is also intended to help parents understand the relationship between the fees they are charged, the amount of subsidy paid to their child care provider on their behalf and their out of pocket expenses.

If your child is not signed in and out daily your CCS payments will not be paid, and you will be responsible for your child's daily full fees. All absences will be recorded as usual.

You can find more information regarding the new Child Care Subsidy package and your obligations here or visit the Department of Human Services.

child care centre

Story time at Nestle In with some special guests

Nestle In Story Time
Recently we were lucky to receive some special visitors to our centre, residents from the Palm Lake Resort in Ballina. Palm Lake Resort is a lifestyle community village exclusively built for active mature age living over the age of 55. Palm Lakes is a proudly Australian, family-owned company that create communities that are thoughtful, inspired and welcoming.

Earlier this year, this welcoming community received a collage from our children comprised of beautifully painted horse cut-outs in celebration of their annual Melbourne Cup Luncheon. The residents were so appreciative that they returned the kindness with the donation of various children’s books to our Nestle In Alstonville early learning centre.

Not only did this thoughtful community donate books, but they donated their time too! Our wonderful guests visited our day-care centre and took the time to sit with our children, reading them the incredible book by Michael Rosen, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”.

The children delighted in the increased attention, and we were pleasured to watch our little ones develop their social and emotional skills in the presence of new guests.  
As a centre focused on early childhood development we were honoured to have Palm Lake residents contribute to the growth of our children. Shared reading experiences facilitate growth in the ability to actively listen, improving narrative comprehension and vocabulary. Our guests have helped to foster positive attitudes towards reading, which are essential foundations for developing essential literacy skills. The cognitive benefits for both generations becoming engrossed in fiction are of equal measures, with research showing enhanced connectivity in the brain and improved brain function.

And, our marvelous guests didn’t stop there; the room lit-up when they launched into a festive Christmas carol sing-along. This truly was a glorious and rewarding experience for both our children and the residents of Palm Lake Resort.

This concept of “non-familial intergenerational interactions” is something that we believe in. The concept pivots on a simple notion – old and young can bring new energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to each other’s lives. In Australia studies have proven that such meaningful engagement improves self-esteem, social interaction, enabling a sense of connectedness and friendship in a safe and secure environment.

We are grateful to the vibrant residents of Palm Lake Resort Ballina for their contributions to, and engagement with the children of Nestle In Goonellabah. You’re welcome back any time.

Everyday outdoor classroom activities

World Outdoor Classroom Day

Worldwide Outdoor Classroom Day was held on the 1st of November, 2018.

We were lucky enough to celebrate Outdoor Classroom Day this week which is a global campaign to get children outdoors to play and learn.

The outdoor environment is an educator as well. It encourages sensory exploration whilst supporting the gross motor and physical development for all ages. The educators work in partnership with ongoing programs within each room to support routines and current developmental milestones.


Outdoor Classroom Day is about more than just one day of celebration, inspiration and exploration. The end goal is more time outdoors every day, both at school and at home.

There’s no need to wait for the next Outdoor Classroom Day to take learning outdoors, you can start now with a few great lesson examples that are suitable for children of all ages. Try them, share them, adapt them and more. And prepare to be amazed.

Make an outdoor museum

Turn your grounds into an outdoor museum and bring history to life! Learn about the history of play, think about how toys and games have changed over time. Ask the children to research what their parents and grandparents played with. 

Care for a plant

A great lesson for winter and spring as we start to see plant growth. Ask the children to look after the plant, water, and care for it. A great foundation for a longer project, you can monitor the plants’ growth weekly. 

Construction with rocks

Ask the children to find stones suitable for building a wall and to work in teams. For young children, it’s a great exercise for fine motor skills and is simple and fun!

We will be celebrating Outdoor Classroom Day again on 23rd May 2019.

We hope you enjoy seeing a few snaps from our incredible day!


Nestle In Childcare Centres win at the Regionals

NSW Business Awards

We're proud to announce that Nestle In Childcare Centres won at the 2018 Northern Rivers Regional Business Awards held on Saturday night (October 13) at the Elements at Byron Bay.

Owner and director of Nestle In Preschool and Early Learning Centre's (Goonellabah & Alstonville), Lisa Martin, has been recognised with another prestigious award.

Winner of the Best in the Region for ‘Personal Services’ at the 2018 NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards, Lisa said it was another “proud moment” for her business.

“We didn’t expect this,” Lisa said, hardly able to contain her excitement after winning another award - the second accolade in the past few months.

“What an incredible honour and a huge achievement to win the Regional Award”.

“I am thrilled and extremely grateful to work with such an incredible team; this recognition wouldn’t be possible without them.”

Lisa was presented with the ‘Personal Services’ award by sponsor Josh Mills, manager of WIN Television network, at the Gala Event held at Elements of Byron, in Byron Bay, on Saturday night.

This win, on top of their recent local award win for the ‘Personal Services’ category at the Lismore Business Excellence Awards, signifies how far the business had come since humble beginnings in 2011.

“The award solidifies the collaboration of our carefully chosen qualified team who are wholly dedicated to providing children with the love and nurture we believe all children deserve”.

“We intend to continue to provide a quality service to children and families in the local area,” Lisa said.

The Nestle In story began nine years ago out of a need for families who were in the workforce or studying, looking for quality education.

The Alstonville centre now provides Early Childhood programs for 39 children daily and employs 11 educators.

These awards measure high praise for Nestle In, earnt by delivering a personal service that has been recognised by the highest level for an early childhood education provider in the region.

Finalists at the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce Awards

Alstonville Wollongbar Awards

Nestle In Alstonville Education & Care Centre, near Wollongbar were announced as finalists at the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce Awards at the weekend. Proudly based in a welcoming home learning environment located on Wardell Rd, Alstonville, near Wollongbar since 2002.  The centre was founded by Lisa Martin with a Bachelor of Education and major in Early Childhood Education.

We are privately owned and long day care centre that cares for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers (0-5 years) who are nurtured and taught valuable life skills. These will prepare them all the way through to Primary School (and beyond). Our centre provide Early Childhood programs and can hold 39 children daily and employ 11 staff members.

Nestle In always looking for ways to go over and above for our children and their families. Pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service that is not just personalised, but individualised care and consideration for each child and their needs. We are becoming well-known locally and further afield. Most of our customers are a result of existing customer recommendations and word of mouth.

Our centre provides quality education and care programs that support the Early Years Learning Framework including the NSW Transition to School Statement and are conveniently opened long day-care hours from 7am – 6pm.

Client Feedback on Alstonville near Wollongbar Preschool

See below a testimonial from a client of the Alstonville, near Wollongbar Preschools.


"Hello to all the staff at what we call ‘day care’ in Alstonville, near Wollongbar. I am one grandmother of two children and am writing to express my own personal appreciation to all of you for what you do for these children.

I have just finished reading the oldest child’s last ‘school report’ from the Alstonville, near Wollongbar Preschool. What you do with these children is amazing. I am a university teacher and I wish I had half the skills, knowledge, care and individualised consideration for my students that you do for these ‘learners’. It would be a lot more fun learning from you as educators compared to me as a university lecturer and probably a lot more effective too.

The early learning framework seems to me to be the blueprint for what every teacher at every level of the education system needs to achieve with their learners. At university we focus on an employability framework. At your Alstonville, near Wollongbar Preschool the early learning framework focusses on creating decent human beings with emotional intelligence as well as the basis of literacy, numeracy, knowledge etc. The work you are doing is laying excellent foundations.

I like that you identify areas of improvement for my oldest grandchild and also note their areas of strength and that this is done with evidence and compassion, not judgement and criticism.

As a university teacher, I won a national award for my teaching. However, I learned more about good teaching from my oldest child’s book than any academic workshop, lecturer etc and have attended in my 20 years university experience.

What I have learned:

  • Make it fun
  • Make it active
  • Make it interesting
  • Make it relevant
  • Make it ‘easy’ in terms of clues, scaffolding, hints, support etc
  • Chunk it up
  • Make it personalised

When I am lecturing I may have 200 learners (in a lecture) or 30 (in a tutorial) compared to the small groups you work with. But, I can’t seem to apply your principles and adapt them to the environment in which I am an educator?

It must take a lot of time to create each child’s portfolio? You have to be very accurate and detailed about the ELF criteria, your actions, the children etc which is is fantastic. The older child’s ‘book’ is the most comprehensive ‘report’ I have ever seen for any learner, ever, at any level and appears to be done with time, effort, care and professionalism. I am really impressed and very grateful that my grandchild’s learning is getting much more time, energy and motivation from you.

Occasionally, I do the drop off or pick up, during this time all the children are engaged in general care, so it looks like baby sitting or day care. I have never been there when you are engaged in the activities documented in the older child’s book. So, I don’t get to see the excellent, structured, educational work you do. The book is a great tool for communicating and documenting this.


Example: An interaction between one of my grandchildren and another child, where both of them needed to improve their social skills. The way I read this document, it was handled really well. I venture to say that if I had this level of professional, early education about social skills or emotional intelligence my later life would have been a lot easier.

This ‘report’ is really useful for me to know where the grandchild is up to in learning and development. It gives me some clues to what to talk to them about in terms of what they have been learning at day care, what to expect.

Example: I was impressed that the older grandchild could count and recognise their name (last year 2016). Now I can see that maybe they could also do basic maths addition etc (2017). Very useful and interesting.

To be honest, I thought that this literacy and numeracy, early learning was just a bonus, and all this would start happening at school. But now I can see you play a vital role in early learning and school, readiness. Indeed, I think you give a school head start, not just readiness.

The NSW Transition to School Statement

This statement is a great idea – I didn’t even know it existed. Obviously as a grandmother I am not into this level of detail. Just saying it is a great idea. It would be useful document for my incoming university students. The attention to detail and evidence-based information you provide will give the learners new teacher a really good heads up and some great background information.

I didn’t attend my graduation because I thought it was ridiculous to have graduation from day care, but I can see that you have had a significant, formative influence on the children’s early learning, that sets a great foundation for their later education. You should get a lot more pay, appreciation and recognition.

Thank you:

Well done, great job and thank you very much, speaking for myself as a grandmother."

Preschool Activities | A Magical Morning for Nestle In Preschool Kids

Preschool Activities Nestlein Goonellabah

A flurry of excitement swirled through the book filled shelves at Alstonville Library as pre-schoolers from Alstonville and Possum Creek took their place for this years’ National Simultaneous Storytime.

At 11am on Wednesday 23rd May children came together at libraries across Australia for the annual campaign led by the ALIA, which encourages young Australians to read and enjoy books. This delightful event aligns perfectly with our philosophy of providing creative, stimulating educational experiences that provide opportunities for children to develop their imagination and linguistic skills.


Hickory Dickory Dash


Set in the nurturing environment of Alstonville library our pre-schoolers settled as National Simultaneous Storytime began. Hickory Dickory Dash written by Tony Wilson, and illustrated by Laura Wood, was the chosen book for this year’s event. The magical story of a mother mouse in search of her two lost sons had our little ones captivated. Engaged in the ebbs and flow of rhyme and repetition, we delighted in the roars and gasps as mumma mouse ran to stay ahead of the wicked house cat. This charming tale filled with humour and gripping suspense took our pre-schoolers on a magical journey, that only such beautifully crafted picture-books can provide.

This special sharing time was a highlight on our preschool activities calendar. However, story time is an integral part of our weekly preschool activities program. Reading to preschool children effects brain activity and is critical for language development. Our team carefully select engaging books that not only stimulate imagination, but also create amazing experiences that evoke an avid interest in reading.

It’s beautiful to watch a child develop empathy through immersing themselves in books where they can identify with a character’s thoughts and feelings. Just as important as early brain development is the joy of discovering literature that makes your children laugh.


Goonellabah Preschool


This fantastic annual event is devised to assist your child in developing a lifelong love of books, storytelling and the library. This is a theme that we support and is held close to our early childhood education values.

For more information about our NestleIn Goonellabah Preschool Activities Program click HERE. Or to take part in your local library’s story time program follow this LINK.

Enrol your child in our Pre-School program now 

Make sure that they don’t miss out on next year’s wonderful event!