They only moved to the other side of the Blackfriars precinct, but their new early learning centre is a world away from the old.
As the staff and children of Blackfriars Children’s Centre settle into their new, purpose-built home – following the official opening by UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs and City of Sydney Councillor Jess Scully – they are having fun discovering all the new spaces, including light-filled playrooms, expansive outdoor areas, commercial-grade kitchen and a wide veranda connecting the indoor and outdoor play spaces. See what the children had to say below.
Since moving in on 20 November, the centre’s children have been joined by several new friends, filling some of the additional 34 daily places that the new centre has made available to UTS staff and students, ABC staff and local residents.
Favourite spaces and features
A pint-sized cubby built into the wall near the entry caught the eye of both Sage and Violet, with little Violet having a great suggestion for its use. “It’s to hide from parents!” Mia particularly liked the orange door, while the brightly coloured floor rugs appealed to Jasper. The stylish plywood shelving was very much to Willow's taste, and Aiden enjoyed the lounge by the window in his playroom. Everything met with the approval of Alfie, who said, "I like the whole centre!"
For many of the children, the great outdoors with its wealth of diverse play spaces has been a big attraction. As Xavier says, “The playground is really cool; there’s a sandpit and rocks to walk on, and footpaths.”
Lennox is a fan of the multiple sandpits, while Ellery likes the mushroom seats in the infants' outdoor play space. Matea noted the “tunnel made of sticks”, which children can use to make their own cubby, and eagle-eyed Ellen spotted “a snail and lots of animals and a frog in the water” – a reference to some of the animal-themed details located through the outdoor spaces.
According to staff, the babies are certainly enjoying their dedicated playground, which allows them to gain confidence in their newly acquired physical skills. One of the popular areas in the infants playroom is a 'ballet bar', which allows little ones learning to stand to pull themselves up to see out the window.
Generations of UTS’s youngest students are sure to enjoy discovering these and other features of the new Blackfriars Children’s Centre over the coming years, just as generations of children before them have enjoyed their journeys of discovery at this historic education precinct.