Early Education

Fletcher Early Learning Centre – Rebrand to St Nicholas Early Education

Fletcher Early Learning Centre will be rebranded to St Nicholas Early Education in June 2024.

Since February 2023, Fletcher Early Learning Centre has been owned and operated by St Nicholas, and as one of the largest providers of early education and care in the Hunter region, the rebrand means St Nicholas will be in a better position to fully leverage its scale and resources to provide a better experience for children, families, and team members. 

St Nicholas is committed to delivering high-quality early education and care, and as part of the rebrand we have already commenced initiatives to support this, including: 

  • Design underway for new playground upgrades 
  • Expanded access to support and resources from across the St Nicholas network 
  • Full integration of systems to streamline operations 
  • Working with Kidsafe Australia to review the existing outdoor play environments, with plans being put in place to improve the outdoor spaces. 

Throughout this planning process, Kidsafe identified several safety hazards with the art studio structure at the eastern end of the playground areas. Unfortunately, the structure is not compliant, being constructed without the appropriate planning permissions, and will need to be removed. While this is not the outcome we had planned, its removal will open up a significant amount of space for the facility improvements. 

Additionally, while the Montessori method has been a valued part of the curriculum at Fletcher Early Learning Centre, there have been challenges in maintaining staff qualified in this approach. Considering these challenges and as part of the transition to St Nicholas Early Education, the Montessori program will move to a contemporary play-based approach, which will see the educational program underpinned by a whole service philosophy. The program will continue to be guided by the Early Years Learning Framework and maintain the high-quality education and care experience our children and families expect. 

Our primary focus during this transition is ensuring continuity of care for children, an improved experience for families, and support for team members. Further improvements are being planned and more information will be provided on these in the coming months.