I'm excited to report that we are in negotiations with two potential community partners who are willing and able to share facilities that they own for both our Early Learning Centre and Primary School. It is exciting times. While I can't tell you who they are yet, and there is plenty of work to be done to gain council approval and registration with education authorities, it's great to have identified these potential partners and to be working away at all the details.
What we do know...
Starting this learning adventure is not a quick endeavour. At the date of writing my best guess is that our preschool/childcare for ages 3-5 will be up and running in mid 2018, April is probably a bit optimistic but July could be a reasonable estimate. At this stage, we are on track for a Primary School opening in 2019.
Our strategy is to partner with community organisations that already have facilities. We believe this to be important so that we can maximise the funds we put towards staff rather than buildings, to be sustainable (why build something new when there are empty facilities around), and to be part of the larger community, rather than a separate school community. But this means that our Early Learning Centre, which will include our preschool/kindergarten, and our Primary School are likely to be in two very different locations in Launceston. This is not ideal but there are a range of strategies we can implement to ensure as much integration as possible. I guess I'm saying that if this is a concern, make sure you talk to us so we can plan ways of minimising any concerns, don't write us off without a discussion.
For childcare/preschool we have a West Tamar location, we should be able to register for ages 3-5, we are looking at a small centre, initially up to about 20 children. We will be registered for Childcare Benefit and charge a price similar to other preschools, childcare or early learning centres.
Our potential school location is on the East Tamar; it's a mix of old and new; its big enough for us to grow (keeping in mind that we plan to be a small school by design).
So now we have identified community partners, and worked through so many of the technicalities, we have to raise funds and/or find people with the extra skills to make this happen. If you're inspired by our vision or have skills you'd like to share, please feel welcome to contact us on 0413 122 086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole, Chairperson, Patersonia