About Us

Progress Today

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A Community Kinder

As a community operated kinder we rely on the support and generosity of our wonderful community to ensure the kinder operates efficiently and offers the best environment for the children. There are many ways that families can assist the kinder to ensure we can offer a wonderful service to our families and we urge all families to speak with the educators about the different ways to contribute.

The beauty of Progress is that it is managed by the parents whose children attend the Kindergarten and therefore there is a unique opportunity for community involvement. It also allows the kinder to be responsive to the needs of children, families and the local community.

Management Info

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Progress Kindergarten has a proud tradition of community management and involvement. The Kindergarten operates as an Incorporated Association and is solely managed by a Committee of Management made up of parents whose children attend its programs. Members are elected at the Annual General Meeting and any person can nominate, with no special skills required to take on a role. The Committee of Management is responsible for all aspects of the Kindergarten’s operational and strategic goals including financial, legal, employment, planning and policy making decisions.

The parent volunteers who make up the Committee of Management are well supported by the Director, specialist contractors and other members of the Kindergarten community, and are rewarded with a unique opportunity to have input into a place that their children love.

Our Philosophy

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Our Philosophy

Progress Kindergarten provides 3 and 4 year old funded sessional kindergarten programs to the children of the local community. The philosophy, programs and curriculum are planned and developed with input from staff, children, committee of management and families.

We believe play is crucial and at the heart of the development of all children. We encourage children to be active participants in their own learning and focus on the process of ‘doing’ rather than the product. When children are playing they are motivated to learn therefore educators focus on children’s interests to encourage them to extend their learning.

Our programs are shaped by our understandings and observations of the children and reflect the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF), the National Quality Framework (NQF), the Early Childhood Australia’s (ECA) Code of Ethics and the Child Safe Standards.

As a kindergarten community, we are committed to the continuous improvement of the services and programs we offer to children and families. We believe that this improvement happens in a context of conversations, listening and sharing by all community members and then working together in partnership and collaboration to achieve our goals. We value the opportunity to work together to make sure that our kindergarten is a place that meets the needs of all community members. All kindergarten community members are encouraged to contribute to our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

We believe that children should feel secure, safe and happy

Therefore we will:

  • provide an environment for children that is welcoming, safe, supportive, stimulating, comfortable, clean and that fosters a feeling of belonging;
  • promote a physical and emotional environment that is family and community orientated;
  • ensure that children’s interactions with staff and each other are positive and caring; and
  • demonstrate a respect for children through positive interactions.

We believe that children are individuals

Therefore we will:

  • respect them as individuals;
  • provide child focused programs that reflect the individual needs, interests and development of each child;
  • encourage them to develop self-discipline and a responsibility for their own actions;
  • provide opportunities for individuals to be able to work with others in a cooperative manner; and maintain developmental records as part of an ongoing cycle of planning, documenting and evaluation

We believe that children learn through play

Therefore we will:

  • ensure that they have access to developmentally-appropriate experiences and activities that are rich in variety, are challenging and engaging in both the indoor and outdoor spaces and where appropriate, through incursions and excursions;
  • provide a balance of child-initiated and adult-supported play experiences;
  • engage in intentional teaching practice to meet the developmental needs of all children; and
  • encourage children to explore and experiment with a range of experiences that will foster their wellbeing and their language, cognitive, social, physical and emotional development and wellbeing.

We believe that diversity should be respected and valued, and we are committed to the Child Safe Standards

Therefore we will:

  • respectfully acknowledge, both symbolically and in practice, the traditional custodians of the land on which the kindergarten stands – the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present;
  • promote gender equity;
  • acknowledge and affirm the cultural background of each child and family, and promote tolerance and acceptance of others, reflecting this in the planned programs;
  • ensure the best opportunity for each child’s maximum development regardless of their social background or level of ability; and
  • encourage participation of all parents in all support tasks.

We believe that parents have needs and rights

Therefore we will:

  • encourage parent involvement;
  • support and resource parents in their parenting role; and
  • develop cooperative working relationships with parents, maintaining regular, open and constructive communication.

We believe that high quality programs are reflected by high quality educators

Therefore we will:

  • employ high quality educators, support them to expand and develop their skills, and encourage their participation in regular professional development;
  • respect educators as individuals as well as valuable members of a team;
  • value the experience and qualifications of each educator;
  • encourage the sharing of skills and knowledge between educators;
  • encourage educators in their commitment to continuous improvement through self reflection; and
  • employ educators according to their award conditions.

We value the natural environment

Therefore we will:

  • foster and encourage amongst children an appreciation of the natural environment;
  • participate, and encourage the children to participate, in practices that are sustainably friendly to the environment, including water conservation and waste minimisation, thereby reducing the kindergarten’s impact on the environment;
  • endeavour to purchase/provide equipment and experiences made from natural materials where possible; and
  • refrain, where possible, from using food as a play material.

We value our community

Therefore we will:

  • actively work towards positive partnerships with other groups within our community; and
  • support local businesses in our community by considering them first with the purchase of resources and acknowledging contributions made to the kindergarten

Progress History

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Kinder History

Progress Kindergarten was established in 1947 following recognition there was a need for a Kindergarten to serve the local community. After operating in temporary premises in the local area, Ascot Vale Progress Kindergarten opened on its present site in Brown Avenue in 1953. Since then Progress, as it is fondly known, has educated many generations of Ascot Vale children.

In The early 1900’s the Free Kindergarten Union was established to meet the needs of families who could not afford education and care for their children. The Union’s ventures were driven by volunteers and philanthropy and provided medical care, teacher training and funding for kindergartens and their staff.

Following recognition that there was a need for a kindergarten to serve the Ascot Vale community, the local Men’s Progress Association took on the task of fundraising to purchase a block of land on which to build the kindergarten. The Women’s Progress Association also joined the effort and an amazing number of fundraisers began. Coupons for butter and other food items and even ladies silk stockings were used to raise the money that would be needed.

Meeting minutes show that the then City of Essendon Mayor and Councillors also rallied and supported the community efforts in their endeavour to raise the necessary funds. Eventually the block of land on which the kindergarten still stands today was purchased, and work on the building began.

The kindergarten operated in temporary premises (Ascot Vale West Primary School and All Saints Church Hall) from 1947 until 1952 when the opening of the now Ascot Vale Progress Kindergarten at 11 Brown Avenue took place on February 14th, 1953.

Further reading for families:

Early Years Learning and Development Framework

Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework


National Quality Framework

Early Childhood Australia

Child Safe Standards


Revised in July 2022

Our Staff

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Progress’ enthusiastic teaching team offers many years of early childhood teaching experience. The teaching team work closely with families to create stimulating and interesting learning opportunities for the children who attend our service.

Our Kindergarten

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