Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC)

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Catholic Early Learning Centre St John XXIII Parish, Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens 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

Your child will be taught by highly qualified educators who will tailor learning to meet their specific skills, interests, abilities and learning needs. We value our partnership with families and seek your active involvement in the learning journey, through shared decision-making and open communication.

We are open from 8:30am to 3:30pm during school terms (closed on public holidays).

About Us

We believe that young children come to CELC with a wealth of knowledge and experiences. They are seen as dynamic, inquisitive, innovative and purposeful learners. We honour the spiritual uniqueness of children and families by promoting an atmosphere of collaboration and community. We strive to create a centre of excellence through inclusive practices that are reflective of the mission of Catholic education.

Being recognises the significance of the here and now in children’s lives. It is about the present and them knowing themselves, building and maintaining relationships with others, engaging with life’s joys and complexities, and meeting challenges in everyday life.
(BELONGING, BEING AND BECOMING: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009)

Children are naturally researchers who are given the opportunity at CELC to learn through self selected investigation, creativity and play. We value play and creativity as ways for children to express their ideas and build new theories. We believe that providing a safe and stimulating environment encourages their ability to observe perceive, investigate, imagine and problem solve the world around them.

Becoming reflects this process of rapid and significant change that occurs in the early years as young children learn and grow.
(BELONGING, BEING AND BECOMING: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009)

Relationships are essential to building belonging and shaping who we are and who we become. We seek ways to build an inclusive environment that encourages and respects diversity. We recognise and value the cultures children bring and nurture them in their search for meaning, connection and joy in life – their 'spirituality'. We respect the beliefs and values of the families who belong to our community. We support our children in their growing understanding of Catholic values and traditions that are central to our ethos.

Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities.
(BELONGING, BEING AND BECOMING: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, 2009)

Adherence to Early Childhood Australia Code of Ethics necessarily involves a commitment to:

  • View the wellbeing of the individual child as having fundamental importance;

  • Acknowledge the uniqueness of each person;

  • Consider the needs of the child within the context of the family and culture, as the family has a major influence on the young child;

  • Take into account the critical impact of self esteem on an individual's development;

  • Base practice on sound knowledge, research and theories, while at the same time recognising the limitations and uncertainties of these; and

  • Work to fulfil the right of all children and their families for access to services of high quality.

Download the full Code of Ethics


The Catholic Learning Community of St John XXIII (K-12)

Educating our children today to nurture in them hope, courage and the capacity to be Christian leaders of tomorrow.

The Mission of our community is: 

Expressed through the core values of:

 Faith  Xavier House (St Patrick)
 Love  Darug House (St Mark the Evangelist)
 Justice  Manning House (St Vincent de Paul)
 Service  Roncalli House (St Peter)


Lived out through the four focus areas of College life:

Ministry All tied to the Student Leadership Structure


The Catholic Early Learning Centre is committed to engaging in and promoting sustainable practices. We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment for the sake of future generations.

Our goals are to:

  • Promote respect for, and an appreciation of, the natural environment among all at the service
  • Foster children’s capacity to understand and respect the natural environment, and the interdependence between people, plants, animals and the land
  • To develop positive attitudes and practices in relation to sustainable practices, which includes recycling, reusing and reducing rubbish
  • Participate in and promote current council sustainability programs for preschools and the community.

There are many ways you can engage in sustainable practices at home too.

If you want more information about caring for our environment please click on the following links:

We are situated beside the Blessed John XXIII Church in Stanhope Gardens at 160 Perfection Ave.

The centre is located within the grounds of Blessed John XXIII Primary School and St Mark's College. We are the building with the red roof on the right hand side of the path leading to the main office.

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Our Educators will:

  • Listen to each child’s melody when they are using ‘the hundred languages’ (Malaguzzi), their bodies, their movement, their eyes, their hands, their silences, their words and their ‘being’.

  • Observe and value the process of thinking as our children develop new understandings through constructing, investigating, and creating in their ‘becoming’.

  • Develop mutually respectful partnerships with both children and families within the context of our parish community, Blessed John XXIII so as to build ‘belonging’.

  • Value the child not only as an individual but also as a member of their family, cultural group and the wider community by helping them find their place in them.

  • Ensure that documentation is visible through recording our children’s everyday experiences and discoveries in order to develop their individual potential and allow them to reflect on their learning journey. ‘Our task … is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible.’ – Malaguzzi.

  • Encourage children to be self guided learners through questions, provocation and problem solving in order to empower our children to build a passion for learning. We believe ‘the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.’ – Plutarch.

  • Create an environment that engages, captures and honours the interests of our children by stimulating their imaginations, promoting creativity and enhancing the aesthetics of the environment so it becomes the third teacher.

  • Respect the needs and rights of the children to make choices by empowering them to take responsibility for their actions, their environment and their learning.

  • Recognise that children are living and learning in a technology rich society by incorporating the use of digital technologies in learning.

  • Value our role as educators by taking part in constant inquires, investigations and professional development around our knowledge of how children learn in order to deepen our understandings.

What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge and not knowledge in pursuit of the child’ – George Bernard Shaw.

The Catholic Early Learning Centre has a wonderful team which includes a Teaching Director, three Early Childhood Teachers, two Certificate III educators, a Trainee and a Clerical Assistant.


Cassandra - Director

Mon - Fri
Cassandra has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and has over 10 years experience working in Early Childhood settings.


Sandra - Administration Assistant

Mon, Wed, Thur
Sandra has been working in the administration area for many years. She has extensive experience and great rapport building qualities.


Vickie - Early Childhood Teacher

Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri
Vickie has a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and a Diploma Of Social Sciences. Vickie has been working in Early Childhood Education for over 15 years.


Michelle- Early Childhood Teacher

Tue, Wed, Thur
Michelle has a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) and has been working in Early Childhood Education for over 15 years.


Marissa-Early Childhood Teacher

Mon, Tue, Fri
Marissa has a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) and has been working in Early Childhood Education for over 5 years.


Cie - Certificate III in Children Services

Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri
Cie has completed her Certificate III in Children's Services and is highly skilled in working with children and families.


Jenni - Certificate III in Children Services

Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri
Jenni has completed her Certificate III in Children's Services and is highly skilled in working with children and families.


Justine - Trainee

Mon - Fri
Justine is currently studying to achieve her Certificate III in Children's Services while she works with us.



Certificate III
Regular Casual



Certificate III
Regular Casual


'Our mission is to make visible to the whole community the rich culture of childhood and to engage in a continuing dialogue related to teaching and learning. Our image of the child is that of being competent, intelligent, a co-constructor of knowledge and a researcher actively seeking to make meaning of the world, often in collaboration with others.'

- Reflections ‘Reggio Emilia Principles within Australian contexts’. Jan Millikan 2003:33.



In relation to children…

  • A variety of resources, materials and experiences will be provided to children in all areas of their development; physical, social, emotional, creative, cognitive and language.

  • The program will include interactions where staff and children can explore Catholic values, social justice, equality, empathy and responsibilities.

  • Children will be considered and consulted wherever possible on matters that affect them.

  • Self-help skills are encouraged and facilitated by staff so that children become increasingly autonomous whereby their self-esteem and confidence will flourish.

  • There will be a focus on ‘Learning to be’ and ‘Learning to grow’.

  • There will be a holistic approach to learning, which includes growing; as a person, as member of their family; as a member of the community, as a citizen as well as academically.

In relation to families…

  • The centre will have an open door policy, inviting families to participate at a level they feel comfortable.

  • Open communication will be achieved by the use of notice boards, meetings, parent handbooks, communication books and daily interactions.

In relation to the centre…

  • The centre will be kept safe and clean at all times.

  • The environment of the centre will be aesthetically pleasing; it will be a positive and professional place.

  • The environment will be thoughtfully set up to allow for children to be self-motivated.

In relation to staff…

  • Staff will know the children, their interests, abilities, strengths and needs by using a variety of observation tools.

  • Staff will use a wide range of teaching methods to effectively educate all children

  • Staff will balance intentional teaching with child-initiated activities.

  • Staff will use critical thinking, observation and reflection to continually improve their teaching practices.

The Fee Scale per Daily Session is as follows:

1-2 Day
3 Day
4 Day Position
5 Day Position
Equity Fee*
3 Year Old
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee
(Age 4-5)
Daily Fee
(Age 3-5)
Daily Fee
$56 $59 $60.50 $61.40 $16 $65

* Equity Fee is for children of disadvantaged families (low-income card) and/or Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander children

Our centre is licensed by the Department of Education and Communities (DEC) 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.

At the Catholic Early Learning Centre (CELC) we believe that each child is a valuable and unique individual created by God. We value each child as an individual who can make choices about 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.

We value play as a learning process that enables each child to learn through concrete ‘hands on’ experiences such as doing, creating, experimenting, predicting, imagining, achieving, investigating, and identifying strengths.

Learning through play is how children “organise and make sense of their social worlds” Using innovative and creative activities as enriching learning experiences. Children will be encouraged to discover ‘self’ and feel safe to explore within the world around them. We will encourage children to have ownership of their learning, which will empower them and build a passion for knowledge. Children should feel a sense of belonging in their environment; we will nurture their being while celebrating their present and future and what they are becoming.

Our CELC aims to provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning . We work collaboratively with families in promoting children's learning by implementing the Early Years Learning Framework and applying best practice as reflective of the National Quality Framework.

We provide an enriching inclusive environment that recognises diversity, including culture and ability. We work in partnership with families, Catholic school leaders and Catholic parishes to promote Gospel values and traditions while respecting the individuality of families and children.

CELC educators work in collaborative partnerships with the school community, intervention services and families. The CELC staff members value all stakeholders’ knowledge and contributions by embedding trust and free communication in a reciprocal relationship that is respectful of one another by sharing insights and perspectives concerning each individual child.

’Preschool is not a preparation for life but life itself’ - Jerome Bruner.

Together we are creating a quality learning environment where children can live, learn and grow. We value positive relationships and see this as the heart of our community. We work collaboratively to develop rich learning environments that promote inquiry and research. We are committed to fostering our image of the child as connected, creative, inquisitive, reflective and spiritual. We nurture our children in their ongoing relationship with the world around them.

Manning: Core Value – Justice Patron Saint – St Vincent de Paul

Manning House is named after Bishop Kevin Manning who was appointed the second Bishop of Parramatta in 1997. He retired in March 2010 when he was succeeded by Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, the third Bishop of Parramatta. In retirement, Bishop Manning has the title 'Emeritus Bishop of Parramatta’.


On Bishop Kevin’s retirement in 2010, the next Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Anthony Fisher listed the achievements of Bishop Kevin as 'leading this diocese as its second bishop through a period of rapid growth, so that it is now bigger than most Australian archdioceses; raising up the new St Patrick’s Cathedral from the ashes of its predecessor; welcoming to the diocese Pope Benedict, the World Youth Day cross and icon, the Indigenous message stick and, of course, the young people of the world in 2008; building bridges to other Christian communities and other faiths, especially the Muslim community in Western Sydney; campaigns for justice for workers, Aboriginal people, migrants and refugees, women and families; efforts to build up and diversify the body of priests, deacons, religious and lay ministers in the diocese.'


Bishop Manning was born in Coolah, NSW, in 1933. He is the second eldest in a family of five boys and two girls, born to Kevin and Edith Manning. He attended Sacred Heart Primary School in Coolah before going on to St Columba’s College, Springwood, where he later began his studies for the priesthood. He was selected to complete his studies at Propaganda Fide College in Rome, where he was ordained on 21 December 1961.

Manning House is blue to represent the Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Parramatta reflecting the colours and images that are identified with Parramatta and the wide area of the sea. The blue of the shield runs from the City to the Blue Mountains, as shown by two points at the top of the top of the shield. The shield is cut in half by the river - this represents the Nepean Hawkesbury River. 


Xavier: Core Value – Faith Patron Saint – St Patrick

Xavier House is named after Sister Mary Xavier Williams, who in 1838, as a novice Sister of Charity, was one of the first five female Religious ever to set foot on Australian soil, when they landed in Sydney after a long sea voyage from Ireland.


In the early years the Sisters visited and instructed the Catholic female convicts at the Cascades Female Factory and H.M.S. Anson; patients in the Hospital; the poor and sick in their homes and the orphans in the Queen’s orphanage at New Town.

A member of the group of three to sail across Bass Strait in June 1847 to pioneer Convent Life and Ministry in Hobart, Tasmania, Sr Xavier Williams is named in records as the first Religious Principal of a Tasmanian school – St Joseph’s Girls’ School, in Macquarie Street.

In 1871 Sister Xavier Williams became the Mother Superior of the Tasmanian Sisters of Charity and when the Government orphanage closed she was very concerned about the future of those still in need of care. She was able to purchase an office block opposite the convent in Harrington Street and opened St Joseph’s Orphanage in 1879.


Sr Xavier Williams, a young Irish Sister of Charity, was the first female Religious to make public Profession of Vows in the young colony in St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta on 9 March 1839. She lived to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her Profession in 1889 in Hobart. She died in 1892.

Xavier House is green to represent the Irish heritage of both the Church here in Australia and Sister Xavier Williams as well as the Cathedral of Parramatta, named after St Patrick the patron saint of Ireland.


Roncalli: Core Value – Service Patron Saint – St Peter

Roncalli House is named after Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, who was elected as Pope in 1958 and was known as John XXIII, the name of both our parish and learning community.


The most momentous act of his pontificate was his decision to call an ecumenical council of the Universal Church, the first since 1870 and only the twenty-first in the Church’s 2,000 year history. Saint John’s motive in calling one was to bring about a renewal - a ‘new Pentecost’ - in the life of the Church, to adapt its organisation and teaching to the needs of the modern world, and to have as its more far-reaching goal the eventual unity of all Christians. He referred to his vision as aggiornamento, literally meaning ‘bringing up to date.’ The Second Vatican Council convened in St. Peter’s in October 1962.

Saint John’s reign was marked by the great advance in ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and other religious bodies including the Orthodox Churches and the Jewish people. He envisioned Christian unity as one of the ultimate goals of the Council, John’s encyclical, Pacem in Terris, was unique in being the first one ever addressed ‘to all men of good will’ not just Catholics. This encyclical enumerated the rights of the human person - to life, to respect, to freedom, to an education, to be informed, and the obligations of the citizen to the state and of states to their citizens and to each other. In an age largely given over to secularism, he not only increased the prestige of the papacy but also restored the importance and relevance of religion to a degree that few would have thought possible. By concentrating on what unites men rather than on what divides them, he took the first steps toward the eventual unity of all Christians.


Born in 1881, John XXIII was 76 years old when he came to the papal throne as what many thought, a transitional or ‘caretaker’ Saint. Although his reign was brief, his pontificate was one of the most important since the Middle Ages. Much of this significance stemmed from his unique personality. John endeared himself to the whole world by his warmth, humour, and easy approachability.

His working class background, period of military service and work with prisoners of war in World War Two gave him a broad understanding of social justice issues and the problems of the common people. Saint John unfortunately did not live to see the end of the Second Vatican Council, passing away on June 3, 1963. Roncalli House is yellow to reflect the colour of the Lion of St Mark the Evangelist which features on Saint John XXIII’s Papal Coat of Arms.


Darug: Core Value – Love Patron Saint – St Mark the Evangelist

Darug House is named after the Darug Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our parish and learning community are built.


For tens of thousands of years Aboriginal people lived in harmony with their country. The Darug people practiced fire-stick farming in and around Sydney. The resultant firing of the landscape was carried out for a variety of reasons. Fire-stick farming opened up the access to land and created pockets early succession vegetation that increased the amount of important plant foods. Early regrowth vegetation, particularly grasses, attracted animals, which in turn made them easier to hunt. Firing of the landscape was an important tool in manipulating the environment to increase food sources and to broaden their range of food. In fact there was so much food that groups could live in one area for weeks or even months at a time. Darug tradition and tribal law stipulated that you may only take from the land what was necessary for survival.

Darug culture is rich in spiritual meaning, with individuals linked through kinship relationships and a close relationship with the place in which he or she was conceived. This relationship carried with it responsibilities to land, community, plant and animal life. These responsibilities were taught by the Elders of the community. Aboriginal Law regulated the customs, ceremonies and conduct of the Darug. These laws were passed from generation to generation through song, dance and story.


The Darug Lore extended across the Cumberland Plain area in western Sydney and it stretched from Wisemans Ferry in the north down to Camden in the south. They also extended into the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the west and the Hills District to the east. The clans of the Darug nation were decimated by the establishment of the colony which resulted in both loss of land and exposure to disease. Many pioneers of the Catholic Church, however, worked tirelessly to champion the rights of the indigenous people. Today the Darug people have been joined in the western suburbs of Sydney by Torres Strait Islanders and by Aborigines from all over Australia, creating the largest concentration of Aboriginal people anywhere in New South Wales. The cultures are not only preserved, but are growing stronger. Theirs is a story of resistance, survival and now reaffirmation.

Darug House is red to reflect the colour of the Australian landscape, Mother to the Aboriginal people and foundational to their spirituality and existence.

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.

View the CELC Policies

The system of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta is one of the largest employers in the western Sydney region.  

Our recruitment, selection and appointment processes reflect the core values of the vision statement for the Parramatta system of schools. Our system of schools seeks to be:

  • authentically Catholic
  • inviting, inclusive and just
  • committed to quality teaching and learning
  • supportive of the ongoing development of staff

Principles of equal opportunity apply at every stage of our employment processes.


Casual Educators wanted

We are currently recruiting experienced Casual Child Care Educators to work within the Catholic Early Learning Centre at Stanhope Gardens.

You will be working with an experienced and friendly team to provide a fun and stimulating educational program for children aged 3-5 years.

Ideally you will be available to work between the hours of 8:00am-4:00pm.

To express interest in this opportunity please forward a copy of your resume and qualifications to


Permanent Positions

Search for permanent positions at Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta

Each year, a Student Leadership team is invested to provide the students with a voice in the College. This voice is expressed through opportunities to participate and achieve across the four domains of College life.

  • Ministry
  • Learning
  • The Arts
  • Sport

The Student Leadership Team is selected by a process that combines both application/nomination and interview/election, depending upon the leadership role.

The Student Leadership Team, drawn from Years 5-12 consist of:

  • Two Senior College Leaders (Year 12) - Application/interview
  • Two Junior College Leaders (Year 6) - Application/interview
  • Four Leaders of Ministry, Learning, the Arts and Sport (Year 12)- Application/interview
  • Four House Leaders (Year 11) - Application/interview
  • Four Year Representatives (Years 7 to 12) - Nomination/speech/election
  • Eight House Representatives (Year 5) - Nomination/speech/election

The Student Leadership Team supports the House Structure through developing and organising activities that enable students to embody each House’s core value and charism of their Patron Saint and House Patron. Participation and achievement in these activities earn points for Houses which contribute to the College House Competition, decided at the end of each school year.

Enrol Today

Children are eligible for enrolment from the beginning of the year if they are at least three years of age on or before the first day of the NSW school year. If vacancies exist, children are eligible for enrolment on or after their third birthday throughout the year.


The Catholic Early Learning Centre St John XXIII Parish Stanhope Gardens has been rated as Exceeding the National Quality Standards in all seven Quality Areas