Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC)

St Michael's Catholic Early Learning Centre Blacktown

The Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC), Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown South provides quality early learning for children 3 to 5 years that:

  • is founded on Catholic values and traditions
  • engages children in experiences that promote their desire for learning
  • encourages younger children’s curiosity and the skills to explore and investigate
  • promotes the development of positive relationships
  • is supported by a safe, nurturing and home-like learning environment

To learn more call (02) 8869 6290 weekdays between 8:15am and 3:45pm or send us an email today!

St Michael's CELC

About Us

The educators at St Michael’s Catholic Early Learning Centre are viewed as co-constructors and collaborators in the learning process of all children at the centre. Our educators create an environment that promotes the exchange of information between the child and the educator, allowing educators to respond directly to the child's needs and interests.

All educators are qualified, experienced teachers and educators who are dedicated to educating and caring for children. We have a high ratio of university qualified early childhood teachers to ensure that we provide the best early childhood education and care for your child.

All staff at the CELC have current formal qualifications in:

  • Working with Children Check
  • First Aid
  • Emergency Asthma and Anaphylaxis Management certification.

Introducing Our Team

Miss Donna

Donna Harding

Nominated Supervisor
Early Childhood Teacher

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)

Miss Catherine

Catherine Jeffery

Early Childhood Teacher
Full Time

Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)

Miss Gesa


Full Time

Associate Diploma (Child Studies)

Miss Ronalyn


Early Childhood Teacher
Mon - Fri

Diploma (Early Childhood Education and Care)

Miss Elizabeth


Early Childhood Teacher
Mon - Fri

Bachelor of Teaching (Birth to Five Years)

Miss Raelene

Raelene Billedo

Administration Officer
Mon to Wed




The Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC) opened in 2012 and forms part of the Mary Queen of the Family Parish and school communities, sharing it’s location with St Michael’s Primary School  and Nagle College,  offering a great introduction to learning in a faith filled environment. Our early learning centre follows the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, ensuring every child will experience a sense of belonging, being and becoming by developing:

  • a strong sense of their identity and wellbeing
  • connections with their world
  • confidence and involvement in their learning; and
  • effective communication skills

Children are taught by our experienced and qualified educators who specialise in early learning and cater learning to the individual needs of each child. The learning centre introduces children to a variety of learning experiences in modern and spacious learning spaces designed to enrich every child’s learning experience whilst developing a love of learning.

Our Mission

In our ministry at Catholic Early Learning Centre Mary Queen of the Family Parish, we strive, as a work of love, for the full human development of children, grounded in the teachings of Christ and at the service of society.

All staff members share in the evangelising mission of the Church, as they endeavour to bring culture and faith into harmony in the  CELC community. The Parish Priest, parents/carers, children and educators work in partnership to realise this mission.

At CELC Mary Queen of the Family Parish we operate on the philosophy that every child is a valuable and unique individual created by God. We value each child as an individual responsible for their own learning. We believe that children are theory builders and problem solvers, who learn best by making meaning of their world through play, relationships and experiences. We value children as social beings and recognise that they co-construct knowledge with peers, their families and our staff.

The core principles in this Code of Ethics are based on the fundamental and prized values of the profession. They act to guide decision making in relation to ethical responsibilities. These core principles require a commitment to respect and maintain the rights and dignity of children, families, colleagues and communities.

  • Each child has unique interests and strengths and the capacity to contribute to their communities.
  • Children are citizens from birth with civil, cultural, linguistic, social and economic rights.
  • Effective learning and teaching is characterised by professional decisions that draw on specialised knowledge and multiple perspectives.
  • Partnerships with families and communities support shared responsibility for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
  • Democratic, fair and inclusive practices promote equity and a strong sense of belonging.
  • Respectful, responsive and reciprocal relationships are central to children’s education and care.
  • Play and leisure are essential for children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
  • Research, inquiry and practice-based evidence inform quality education and care.

Catholic Early Learning Centres have a number of policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our School life. These provide the framework within which we operate with relation to a number of key issues. For more information regarding our policies or if you wish to view copies please contact the centre on (02) 8869 6290 between 8am and 4pm.

Children attend the preschool learning environment between 8:15am to 3:45pm Monday to Friday, during school terms (closed on public holidays*)

CELC Mary Queen of the Family Parish is licensed for 40 children per day.

The Fee Scale per Daily Session is as follows:

1-3 Day
4 Day
3 Year
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee 
(Age 3-5)  Daily Fee
$23 $34 $14 $40

* Equity Fee is for children of families with a low-income and other concession cards

Please note there is a voluntary payment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in lieu of regular fees.

Our centre is licensed by the Department of Education and caters for up to 40 children. We are committed to the continual improvement in the centre’s policy and procedures and endeavour to provide the highest quality care and education for each child.

Enrolment at this centre does not guarantee enrolment into St Michael’s or St Patrick’s Primary Schools. Enrolling your child into a local Catholic school will require going through the schools individual enrolment process.

Fees are not charged for National and State public holidays

The Learning Environment

The Catholic Early Learning Centre Mary Queen of the Family Parish is a place for learning. Our learning centre provides children aged 3 to 5 with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future learning success through the implementation of a balanced daily learning program.

Our learning program is guided by the Being Belonging Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, and the practices of Reggio Emilia; incorporating each child’s strengths, needs and interests and provide children with the opportunity to play, explore and develop within our stimulating learning environments.

Through our learning program, children will participate in a variety of daily learning activities such as:

  • Exploration and discovery – children explore outdoor experiences from imaginative play, construction, art and other learning experiences
  • Expectations for the day – children will discuss the expectations for the day
  • Inquiry time
  • Prayer and Godly play
  • Reflection time
  • Music dance and/or Drama exploration – enhancing creativity and expression
  • Outdoor play – an opportunity to explore and unwind before the end of the day
  • Respecting our environment and ourselves – a time to think about our environment and others, putting things away, cleaning up and the importance of helping others

The use of technology such as iPads and digital cameras are also used in our learning spaces as part of the daily learning program to:

  • engage children by using a different learning experience
  • developing children’s hand eye co-ordination to improve fine motor skills
  • introduce early reading concepts such as reading left to right, top to bottom
  • work collaboratively with peers in investigating a common interest.

Our Child: Our Learner Profile

Our curriculum is also guided by our image of the child - our child:our learner which has bee developed by the CELC educators who have drawn from professional and practical experience and early childhood education theories. Our Child:Our Learner is a living document within our curriculum and is evident in our daily practice, and is influential in our documentation and assessment of children’s learning.

Our Child:Our Learner links in with our daily learning program, What happens in a day at CELC . We colour code our daily learning program to marry up the learning concepts described in our ‘Our Child: Our Learner’ profile and believe that our learning programs enable children in our care to develop essential skills in problem solving, theory building and knowledge.

Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia

The Early Years Learning Framework is a key component of the Australian Government’s National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care. The framework describes the principles, practice and outcomes, essential to support and enhance young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. Play-based learning is the focus for the framework, and has been identified as the source of creating the most stimuli for brain development and therefore the best vehicle for children’s learning.

The Early Years Learning Framework guides our learning program and reminds that learning in the early years is dynamic, fluctuating and directed by the interests, curiosities and explorations of children.

Belonging, Being & Becoming: The early Years Learning Framework for Australia

At the Catholic Early Learning Centre Mary Queen of the Family Parish, we have adopted practices that are inspired by the work of the Reggio Emilia approach to early education. The founding father of Reggio Emilia, Loris Malaguzzi and colleagues recognised that children form their sense of self during their early years and as a result developed a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

The following principles underpin the practices and philosophies of the Reggio Emilia approach:

  • Children are self guided learners while also having the opportunity to learn as part of a community of learners.

  • Children must be actively involved in the learning through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing

  • Children are members of a community, within the family, society and CELC. They must have the opportunity to explore these relationships and ways of being within the learning curriculum.

  • Children must have opportunity to express themselves via the hundred languages (Loris Malaguzzi).

Further information on Reggio Emilia philosophy and practice can be found at the Reggio Emilia Australia Information Exchange

The modern learning spaces at CELC Mary Queen of the Family Parish have been specifically designed to provide a variety of environments to stimulate development and cater to the needs of every child in our care.  Our learning spaces are viewed as the ‘third teacher’ and encourage children to explore, discover and build connections linking closely to our guiding philosophy, in particular The Early Years Learning Framework and the influence of Reggio Emilia.

Our learning programs make use of both internal and external learning spaces and encourage engagement with children and nature. The indoor learning environments includes natural elements such as light, plant life, fresh air through our many windows and natural tones on the walls enabling creativity and experimentation to come to life.

The use of mirrors in the learning spaces reflect light and enable children to investigate learning materials from alternative perspectives. Mirrors provide another avenue in which children develop a confident sense of self and a sense of belonging to the learning community.

To ensure children receive a balanced educational experience our outdoor learning spaces are filled with opportunities to engage with nature. Children participate in the cultivation and harvesting of vegetables and herbs from our vegetable patch and learn about the environment and sustainability through the Nano’s Cottage Kitchen Garden – a resource also used by St Michael’s Primary.

Our outdoor learning environment also encourages children to express themselves through play.

We welcome families to take a tour of our learning spaces and to meet our dedicated educators. Contact us to arrange your visit.

The Catholic Early Learning Centre Mary Queen of the Family Parish works in collaboration with the local parish schools; St Michael’s Primary & St Patrick’s Primary and families to assist in providing a smooth and effective transition to formal schooling for children. This includes incorporating activities that provide a meaningful connection between traditional transition to school programs and the contemporary learning program offered by our learning centre.

Throughout their time at CELC, children will develop their learning and thinking skills and become competent in areas that will assist and challenge them when transitioning to primary school. These areas include:

  • collecting, analysing and organising information;
  • communicating ideas and information;
  • planning and organising activities;
  • working with others in teams;
  • using mathematical ideas and techniques;
  • solving problems and using technology.

Children also visit St Michael’s Primary School and experience the schools learning environments such as the library which enables them to form a connection with the school and develop a level of comfort in a larger environment with older children.

At CELC Mary Queen of the Family Parish we have an awareness and understanding of the connectedness of the mind, body and spirit to children’s health, safety and learning opportunities. We have moved away from the tradition of sleep and rest time, to including relaxation and meditation techniques. These include participation in imagination stories, yoga and stretching exercises.

Please feel free to discuss your child’s individual needs in relation to sleep and rest time with the CELC Director.

We value the important role parents and caregivers play in their child’s learning journey. As a learning community we encourage parents and staff to communicate and work together by:

  • Attending social events
  • Sharing their culture, talents, skills and experiences within the centre
  • Being a member of our committee
  • Inviting families to spend time at the centre
  • Assisting with odd jobs
  • Providing feedback on policies and procedures
  • Discussing issues with staff regarding the centre and their child.
  • Daily interactions with staff, communication books, photographic documentation and notice boards.

The relationship formed between staff and families is one key component in the development of a sense of belonging and caring which is central to the vision and philosophy of the centre. We aim to address any concerns with the emphasis on resolving issues in a professional manner. Please come and make centre personnel aware of your concern.

CELC is a nut-aware service

We have a number of children with nut allergies that can lead to Anaphylactic shock and for this reason our Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC) is a NUT AWARE service. Please do not give your child anything that contains nuts including chocolate, peanut butter, nutella, muesli bars with nuts, dried fruit and nut mixes, cakes with nuts etc. If your child has consumed nut products (e.g. peanut butter or nutella) before coming to the CELC, please ensure they have thoroughly washed their hands and face before arrival

Health and Safety

It is our policy that when a child is unwell they should not attend the CELC until they have fully recovered. This prevents the spread of germs and allows the child to be cared for by their parents/carers in conjunction with a medical practitioner in an environment they are comfortable with.

If your child is temporarily taking prescribed medication you will be required to complete a medication form authorising administration of the medication by our educators. Non-prescribed and homeopathic remedies including ointments and creams will not be administered at the CELC. A minimum exclusion period of 24 hours will apply after first administration of any medication. Should the child’s condition continue to deteriorate parents/carers will be requested to not bring their child to CELC and seek further medical advice.

The CELC will maintain a healthy and hygienic environment that promotes the health of the children, educators and parents/carers. CELC educators will inform the community of effective ways to minimise the spread of communicable infections.

Munch n Move

The Munch n Move program aims to promote and encourage children's healthy eating and physical activity and reduce small screen recreation. Educators at CELC St Michael’s have attended workshops designed to assist in the meaningful incorporation of Munch n Move into our curriculum. Children at CELC St Michael’s participate in our daily Munch n Move program in a bid to promote the key messages that form the basis of the Munch & Move program:

  • Choose water as a drink
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Choose healthier snacks
  • Get active each day
  • Turn off the television and computer and get active