KU ANSTO Children's Centre

ANSTO Lucas Heights Campus, New Illawarra Road
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  • Monday to Friday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Babies Toddlers Preschoolers NSW Fee Relief – Childcare

Our Program and Approach

At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, our program has a strong focus around building respectful, strong relationships with children and their families. The philosophies of 'Circle of Security' and the Educaring® Approach underpin our daily practice of supporting children's emotional wellbeing.

These approaches help children feel safe and secure. We believe optimum learning occurs when children feel safe, are treated with respect and have trusting relationships with the adults who care for them.

At our centre, we are guided by the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Our educational program is planned based on the interests, strengths and developing skills of children. We believe that children learn though play and we encourage them to be active participants in a variety of learning experiences, including blocks, puzzles, play dough, art, dramatic play (pretend play), music and movement and reading and writing.

We also believe optimum learning occurs when educators and families work in partnership. We value interaction, conversations and sharing with families about their children.

Our Specialisation

In addition to the high quality well-rounded programs we offer, all KU centres are also encouraged to develop an area of specialisation.

At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, we specialise in a high quality infant and toddler program inspired by The Educaring® Approach and The Circle of Security.

We incorporate this into our program by being committed to seeing infants and toddlers as equal members in relationships, who we give our mutual respect.

We do this by following the principles of RIE®.

In order to foster quality care, RIE® encourages:

  • Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer and a self-learner.
  • An environment for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing.
  • Time for uninterrupted play.
  • Freedom to explore and interact with other infants.
  • Involvement of the child in all care activities to allow the child to become an active participant, rather than a passive recipient.
  • Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand the child’s needs.
  • Consistency and clearly defined limits and expectations to develop self discipline.

We have six specialist infant and toddler educators who have completed the RIE® Foundations course. These educators provide training and mentoring for the other educators in our team to further build knowledge and skills. Educators within our team also present and share our work with the wider Early Childhood sector at Early Childhood seminars and conferences.

Our Quality

Our centre has been independently assessed by the Department of Education NSW under the National Quality Standard, and are proud to be rated as 'Exceeding' in all 7 quality areas of the National Quality Standard.

However what matters most is what our families think...

“I have had an excellent experience at KU ANSTO Children's Centre. Educators are very professional and both of my children have enjoyed their time there. My older son has built strong relationships with other children and educators, and now my second has settled so easily. You get to be part of a big community and feel that your children are safe and secure in expert and loving hands.” KU ANSTO Children's Centre parent
“KU ANSTO Children's Centre has sensational staff – enthusiastic and professional and always provide care and service above and beyond. The approach to the care of our children is so unique at KU ANSTO, to the point where my husband and I parent differently because of the things we have been taught. We have a different level of understanding about the need for our children to feel safe and secure and their requirements to learn from free play. KU ANSTO Children's Centre is unique and we are so fortunate to have our children within this KU family.” KU ANSTO Children's Centre parent

Our Environment

Our playground is designed to allow children to explore nature and discover the natural environment. We want children to be able to dig in the mud, climb trees, discover and learn about insects and enjoy connecting with nature.

In our learning environments, the open ended multidimensional resources, learning spaces, convey messages to children of a ‘yes’ environment, whereby they are agents of their own learning without adult interference. We provide a “loose parts approach” to our resources in our outdoor environment. Natural, manufactured, and re-used loose parts have been sourced and added, which can be moved, carried, re-designed, lined up, taken apart and put back together in multiple ways.

Our “loose parts” play approach offers a significant contribution to children’s physical, social and intellectual development. Loose parts lend themselves to innovation and will encourage more symbolic (representational) play, which is a higher level of play.

Our Awards

In 2021, KU ANSTO Children's Centre Director Amanda Ford was named winner of a National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA), and in the same year was also awarded the 'Making the KU Difference Award' for Staff.

The Making the KU Difference Awards were introduced a number of years ago, as a way of acknowledging KU staff who have made a significant contribution to KU. These annual awards are open to all KU staff, at any level (either individual staff or a team), who have worked above and beyond their normal duties.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

KU was proud to launch its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. At KU ANSTO Children's Centre, we began our journey to develop our centre’s RAP in 2018 and we are proud to present it here.

Other Features

Child Care Subsidy
Cooked Meal
Designed Centre
Extended Hours
Hat and Sunscreen
Transition to School
Public Transport
Play-based Learning
Outdoor Play
Education for Sustainability

photo of Amanda Ford

Amanda Ford


Amanda is a university qualified early childhood teacher with over 20 years’ experience working with children and babies. She has been working at KU ANSTO Children’s Centre since its opening in 2013. Amanda is passionate about working in a high quality service where respectful, strong relationships with children and families are at its core.

She is a graduate of the Early Childhood Australia Leadership Program and in 2021 was named winner of a National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA) as well as the 'Making the KU Difference Award' for Staff.

Read more about Amanda's approach to teaching and leadership

Our Team

Our team of early childhood educators are qualified, experienced, caring and highly motivated. All hold specialist qualifications in early childhood education, with many also completing the RIE® Foundations course. All educators working at KU ANSTO Children's Centre have completed Circle of Security (COS) - Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators.

We believe that the positive interactions and the close trusting relationships children form with our staff are the most important component of our high-quality program.

The daily fees for 2024 at KU ANSTO Children's Centre are:

  • Infants: $125
  • Toddlers: $122
  • Preschoolers: $120

This is the full daily fee. If you are entitled to Child Care Subsidy, this will reduce the daily fee you are charged.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, KU has remained very proudly a not-for-profit provider of quality education for more than 125 years. In the past, KU has taken great pride in offering the very best services with minimal increased fees wherever possible. However this year is different, escalating operating costs have meant that in 2024 we are forced to increase fees at a higher rate than we would normally.

The fee increase will ensure we can continue to improve the quality of our services and invest in our highly skilled teachers and educators. We recognise our staff are the heart of KU as they build strong nurturing relationships with children and families whilst continuing to provide a high-quality learning program. These are vital factors that contribute to what is most important to us all – the best outcomes for children.

Overall, KU services hold the highest ratings across the National Quality Standard, with 82% of our services rated either Excellent or Exceeding, compared to the sector benchmark of 45%.

KU does not distribute our profits to shareholders or send them offshore.

About Child Care Subsidy

Child Care Subsidy is the main payment to assist families with the costs of childcare. It is paid directly to the childcare provider and passed onto families as a fee reduction wherever families meet the criteria. The level of subsidy you receive, as well as the number of hours you will be subsidised, depends on your individual family’s circumstances.

If you do not already have one, you will need a MyGov account linked to Centrelink to claim any subsidy you may be eligible for, and to find out more information, please contact Centrelink on 136 150 or visit https://www.dese.gov.au.

NSW Start Strong Fee Relief

From 2024, the NSW Government is providing additional fee relief funding based on $2,110 per eligible 4 year old child attending a preschool program within a long day care service. This funding is applied as a weekly credit to the gap fee after CCS has been applied or to full fees where a family does not receive CCS. The Start Strong Fee Relief will not impact CCS entitlements.

If your child is 3 years old and not yet 4 years old on, or before 31 July 2024 and enrolled at an eligible long day care service, you will receive up to $500 in fee relief.

Start Strong Fee Relief funding is for children who are 4 years old on or before 31 July 2024, and can only be accessed in one service. This could either be in a community preschool or long day care service. If you have a child who may be eligible, please discuss this with your service Director.

The NSW Department of Education requires parents to sign the ‘Fee Relief Declaration and Consent’ form at the time of enrolment. Your eligibility for Start Strong fee relief Funding is conditional upon signing this form.