About Us

Our Philosophy

Being, Belonging, Becoming.

Koala Playschool provides a range of carefully planned play-based experiences that meet the developmental needs and interests of three and four year olds. We know play is crucial to the development of children. It is the way they explore, discover and learn about themselves, each other and their world. Our programs are based on our observations of the children, the principles of Early Childhood Learning and the requirements of the National Early Years Learning Framework.

Learning through play allows children to explore, experience, communicate, observe, reflect, create, collaborate, cooperate, problem-solve and imagine. Our programs are designed to facilitate these processes. Children are encouraged to exercise independence and choice, to initiate play ideas, to focus their attention and to achieve intrinsic satisfaction.

We favour the use of unstructured play materials such as clay, paint, mud, water, sand and blocks for children, placing emphasis on the process of creativity rather than the end product.

We value the outdoor environment and believe that children benefit from opportunities for physical development and learning to take risks. Children experience seasonal changes by playing outdoors in all weather. We believe in encouraging the children to learn about environmental and conservation issues; emphasis is placed on the use of natural and recycled materials and collected objects, wise water usage, power saving, recycling, waste minimisation and a positive regard and sense of responsibility for all living things. Our environment reflects the children’s need for space, time, choice, challenges, materials and increased independence.

Through play we aim to provide the opportunity for children to experience a wide range of situations and gain skills to help develop self -confidence and interpersonal skills. Within our learning environment, children can develop a sense of community and group identity.

We value good health and well-being and promote healthy eating, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, the respect and celebration of diversity, and the ‘Sun Smart’ program.

We value and include parents’ and care-givers’ contributions to our programs through regular communication about their child’s interests, needs and development. Parents and carers are part of the program through assisting in the classroom and presenting their skills to students. Parents and carers also contribute to Koala Playschool through participation in the guiding parent committee, supporting fundraising or any way they feel comfortable.

Our Teachers

Our Educational program is run by qualified Early Childhood Teachers. Our Assistant Teachers are also qualified Childcare workers. We also have the additional help of Parent/Carer helpers.

Our Director / Head Teacher is Sally Black. Sally is a qualified Early Childhood Teacher with many years of experience teaching children at preschools and playschools in Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra. Since 1999, Sally has been involved as both a parent and teacher for both the Koala Playschool and Wombat Playschool.

Sally loves to encourage parent participation and is constantly creating inspiring environments at Cook.

Amanda Craft, our Teaching Assistant has a Diploma in Child Studies and Community Development. Amanda’s extensive background in a range of child care services contributes to her understanding of children’s’ needs, emotionally, educationally and socially.


Koala Playschool was established by the community for the education of three year olds in 1990. Founded by Marjory Pashley, Koala Playschool addressed a rising need for structured activities for three to four year olds. Initially the programme was run at Aranda Preschool. We are a not-for-profit entity.

From 2007 we were operating from both Page Preschool and Aranda Preschool until we were successful in obtaining the old Cook preschool site as our permanent home from February 2010. All sessions run from our newly refurbished premises at 8 Rowan Street, Cook.

Koala Playschool serves as a bridge between playgroup and preschool and offers an affordable high-quality program. Through attending Koala Playschool you are giving your child a head start on their education and developing their ability to participate fully in their preschool and schooling years.