New childcare centre Rachel’s Place opened its doors in West End on 20 March and will host a grand opening on Saturday, 29 July.

Licensed to care for up to 32 children, Rachel’s Place caters to children from two years to school age. The operation of the multiage facility runs with the belief that children of different ages learning from and with each other is more like a family environment. Warm and secure relationships are a central part of the centre’s operations.

“The team that work at Rachel’s Place are all very talented and interested in developing child care that is focused on community,” said McLaren.

The high ceilings and wooden floors of the old Queenslander in which Rachel’s Place is housed creates an openness that carries on out the back door into the yard where children create their own play environments, with gardening being a current activity.

Centre Director Rachel McLaren said that the family styled and orientated learning environment has encouraged children to be open and friendly.

“Children come and greet new visitors, they are open and friendly and enjoy new experiences with guests and love sharing their stories,” said McLaren.

The centre is the culmination of Rachel’s research, dedication and love of children and families. Having worked with children and families for 25 years, she received a social science degree before becoming a youth and community development worker for homeless and disadvantaged families and spending six years running young parent groups and support for families and children.

After having a daughter of her own, Rachel ran education groups based on attachment theory.

She also started a family day care business, while continuing to study child care, parenting and wellbeing. With an aim to open a hub where parents could meet at gain support during their child’s early years, Rachel decided the easiest way to do it was through the development of a child care centre.

Rachel was excited when the opportunity arose to open her centre in West End, “A place renown for being able to think outside the box.”

Already, the centre has established a small vegetable garden and worm farm, as well as joining the Jane Street Community Garden at Davies Park for excursions to help the children grow their own gardens.

Rachel’s Place will have its grand opening on Saturday, 29 July with activities for kids and talks for parents and carers.

Read about West Village, another West End newcomer, here.