KU Wickham Preschool

18a Albert Street
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  • Monday to Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Preschoolers NSW Fee Relief – Childcare

Our Program and Approach

At KU Wickham, our play-based program intentionally provides opportunities and experiences for your child to discover and pursue their own interests and strengths.

Our natural learning environment is a welcoming and nurturing space where each child can be immersed in a rich tapestry of experiences – a space where children are supported to be their own, unique selves, growing and developing a sense of belonging and empowerment.

Our program offers children the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of natural learning experiences that promote children’s confidence as capable and active participants in their own learning.

Our approach is based on the principles of Nature Play and we spend long periods of time playing and appreciating the great outdoors both at the centre and in the wider local community. We value the experiences that nature provides and appreciate the many benefits that Nature Play offers – children can think creatively, observe, explore, experience and question, rely on their own senses, assess risk and test boundaries, imagine, build immunity, get messy, build strength and resilience, solve problems and play and direct their own learning.

We support learning through a play-based approach with children as the primary generators of the curriculum. Educators use their knowledge and experience to follow the leads and interests of the children and incorporate spontaneous and planned experiences that enhance children’s learning and extend the knowledge and skills necessary for their future.

We value the contribution that family and community make to the life of the children and to our service, and we look forward to the opportunity of including your family in the life of our centre.

We Focus On

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

At KU Wickham, we focus on incorporating a Culture of Outdoor learning by operating an indoor/outdoor program which allows for the inclusion of natural elements both inside and out and gives opportunities for children to choose where to explore, create and learn.

Research indicates that children benefit from this focus because natural outdoor play has such positive impacts on children’s physical and emotional well-being and development.

We believe that children who play outside are healthier both physically and mentally, feel more confident and capable, are better able to self-regulate, are more co-operative, have higher self-esteem and acquire skills and knowledge that stand them in good stead as future conservation leaders.

Our Quality

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

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

“At KU Wickham, endearing relationships with staff and friends have helped provide a secure social and learning environment for my two girls. An understanding that each child is unique has ensured my girls feel valued and they, in turn, value others.” – KU Wickham parent

“As a parent, I feel that KU Wickham provides the best environment for a child to grow emotionally, physically and creatively. It’s a great feeling to see my child happy – both when dropping him off and picking him up.” – KU Wickham parent

Our Environment

Each KU centre is unique. The best outcomes for children are created within relationships and interactions between children and staff, and children and their families, not within four walls. We work hard to create beautiful, interesting, homelike learning environments for children – whatever our setting.

KU Wickham is located in the harbourside suburb of Wickham in close proximity to the Newcastle CBD and the Newcastle Interchange. Our preschool was the first free kindergarten established in Newcastle in the 1940s and has continuously operated from the same historically significant Italianate building that has retained the charm and character of its original construction as a Council Chambers in 1889. Sympathetic renovations to the building in 2000 have extended the charm and character to an additional playroom with floor to ceiling windows that look out on the natural vista of our landscaped playground and the adjacent public playground.

KU Wickham is located on Crown Land in an area designated for Sport and Recreation. We are surrounded by extensive parkland and a variety of sporting facilities and with easy access to a Community Garden as well as the eclectic, suburban landscape of Wickham.

Our playground is designed to allow children to explore the natural environment and reap the benefits of daily exposure to Mother Nature. Children have opportunities to explore, garden, play in mud, climb trees, create, experiment, discover beauty, and develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for our environment.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan

KU was proud to launch its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2016. At KU Wickham, 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
Extended Hours
Hat and Sunscreen
Public Transport
Play-based Learning
Outdoor Play
Education for Sustainability
University Qualified Educators
Transition to School
Experienced Staff

photo of Charlotte Ashton

Charlotte Ashton


Charlotte is a university qualified early childhood teacher from New Zealand with over 10 years’ experience in the early childhood sector. She has worked in many environments with a variety of educational approaches and has had training in the Montessori Method. Charlotte is an advocate for allowing children to facilitate their own learning through practical life skills within a play-based approach, and has a passion for sustainability.

Having studied in New Zealand using the curriculum Te Whariki, Charlotte acknowledges the importance of embedding cultural practices as well as respecting the languages and traditions of the traditional owners of the land.

Our Team

Our team of early childhood educators are qualified, experienced, caring and highly motivated. All hold specialist qualifications in early childhood education. We believe that the positive interactions children have with our staff are the most important component of our high quality program.

Our team of educators have enjoyed many years of experience in the Early Childhood profession, across a number of services and have been working together at KU Wickham for over eight years. They bring a diverse range of backgrounds, culture and life experiences to the centre.

The daily fees for 2024 at KU Wickham Preschool are:

  • Toddlers: $115.00
  • Preschoolers: $113.00

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.