Early Learning Centre (ELC) | Fintona Girls' School

Early Learning Centre (ELC)

Where curious minds lead the way

At Fintona, we understand how important the early years are for every child. They are the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives - a unique stage where young minds learn more than at any other time.

Open Morning | Saturday 1 May, 10.00am - 12.00pm

Bring your curiousity and explore Fintona's Early Learning Centre at our Open Morning in May. Book online.

Renowned Reputation

Since opening our Early Learning Centre in 1995 for both girls and boys, we have built a reputation for providing exceptional programs in a dynamic and stimulating environment. Our goal is to promote innovative, creative thinking in every child preparing them for the next important phase in their educational journey.


Our Programs

Our Early Learning Centre is coeducational and operates several programs for three year old and four year old children with full and part time options available. We also offer a five day Young Thinkers Pre-Prep program for four and five year old children.

Our programs are based on two internationally renowned educational approaches: Reggio Emilia and the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Junior School component of the International Baccalaureate. Educators are also guided by the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) which outline the principles, practices and outcomes essential to support and enhance young children’s learning as well as their transition to school.

Our Philosophy

Central to our philosophy is the image of the child as powerful, capable and full of curiosity about his or her world. The Reggio Emilia Approach recognises that children express themselves using ‘a hundred languages'. At our Centre, the ‘languages' of movement, narrative, negotiation, sculpture, drawing, writing, music and gesture are just some of the ways our students are encouraged to articulate their thoughts and feelings.

We immerse our young learners in experiences which enable them to explore, question, collaborate, think critically, problem solve, communicate and discover new knowledge. At the same time they develop social skills, self-confidence as well as a positive disposition to learning.

The development of close relationships between staff, parents and children is highly valued at our Centre. Parent participation in the program is encouraged and strongly supported, so that it becomes an integral part of the learning community.

Young Explorers Program

The Young Explorers Program is a new and innovative 5 day program (and 4 day option from 2021) for three year old girls and boys. This program has been developed specifically to respond to the energetic, curious and discovery-driven nature of active young children who are ready to explore their world. The program provides the children with rich learning opportunities embedded in real life experiences. This allows them to make strong connections between their learning in the classroom, back into their homes and to the world beyond.

The Young Explorers Program provides children with strong foundational skills in all areas of their development. The children will develop their socials skills, experience and participate in group decision making, explore a wide variety of materials and be part of a school environment for the first time. Children will be given opportunities to explore many concepts through play including areas of language, numeracy, sustainability and the creative arts.

Young Thinkers Program

Taking inspiration from our modern, naturalistic world and insights gained over many years of experience in early education, the Young Thinkers Program is a 5 day Pre-Prep program. This unique program, with an emphasis on environmental science, is rich in opportunities for developing literacy, numeracy, science, art, music, drama and dance.

The Young Thinkers Program provides a seamless transition for children moving from our three year old Young Explorers Program and is also well suited to children who would benefit from an additional year of early education prior to commencing formal schooling. This rich Pre-Prep curriculum provides the opportunity for the extension of skills and experiences for all children who attend the program.


Our children spend time with specialist teachers during the week. Classes of Music, Library, Drama and Physical Education (PE) enhance the program and provide further opportunities for their holistic development.

Our staff know how children learn best

Led by the Head of the ELC, Ms Cara Mearns, a highly respected early childhood educator, our fully qualified and experienced staff are committed to ensuring a happy start to your child's early years of schooling. Staff also facilitate the recording of your child's development through a portfolio which is presented to them at the end of the year. Photographs, drawings and commentaries are combined to create a record of your child's unique learning journey throughout the year.


Our beautiful, architect-designed ELC building contains sun drenched rooms, large creative studio spaces, a piazza, and gardens providing many meaningful ways for our students to interact.

The ELC is located on the Junior Campus providing access to a number of specialised classrooms and facilities that give the children a sense of belonging to the broader School community.

Program Details

Our ELC is co-educational and has programs for children from three to five years of age. We offer a 4 or a 5 day Young Explorers Program for three year old children. We also offer a five day Young Thinkers Pre-Prep Program for four and five year old children.

For entry into the 3 year old program your child must have turned three by 1 February in the year they commence and must be toilet trained. 

For entry into the 4 year old program your child must have turned four by 1 February in the year they commence.


Young Explorers Program for three year old children

5 day program operating

Monday to Friday

4 day program operating

Monday to Thursday


Young Thinkers program for four and five year old children

5 day program operating

Monday to Friday 


Program Hours

All programs begin at

8.45am and conclude at 3.00pm.

Out of Hours Care

Our Out of Hours care program is run by Camp Australia and is provided from 7.30am to 8.45am and from 3.00pm to 6.15pm.

Camp Australia is the leading provider of quality, safe, fun and professional Out of Hours Care. All families who wish to use these programs must be registered with Camp Australia. All matters dealing with registration and bookings are to be done via Camp Australia’s website www.campaustralia.com.au.

The Out of Hours care program caters for the child care needs of working parents, or those who have commitments extending beyond the normal school hours. Afternoon tea is provided at 4.00pm for children attending the After School Care program and breakfast is provided during Before School Care. Children requiring breakfast need to have arrived by 8.00am.

More information

For more information on our ELC programs or to organise a Private Tour contact our Registrar on (03) 9830 1388 or email [email protected]