Nutrition and Mealtimes
We provide children with a variety of healthy foods, and cater for children with allergies and intolerances.
SDN Lois Barker is a 44-place centre in Waterloo, offering early childhood education and child care for children from birth to school age. It's a small and calm centre which families call their "oasis in the city."
“Building trusting relationships for a child is vital for them to thrive and learn about themselves and the world around them.”
My qualifications and experience
I have been with SDN Children’s Services for over a decade in various roles. I started as a Diploma trained educator in the Preschool room, and progressed into roles including Room Leader, Early Childhood Teacher and now onto a leadership role as Centre Director.
What I'm most passionate about in my role
I am passionate about the early years of a child’s life. I believe the first five years of a child are fundamentally important, as during this time the brain develops more than at any other time in a human’s life.
Therefore, building trusting relationships with a child is vital for them to thrive and learn about themselves and the world around them.
What I love about working with SDN
Being a part of the SDN community means being part of something bigger and having the support of a village.
SDN Lois Barker is not just another early learning centre, it is like a home. From the first moment I stepped through the doors I had this feeling of home, warmth and belonging. Situated in the heart of Waterloo, SDN Lois Barker is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
We are part of a rich community, which is reflected in the children, families, and staff. When you become part of the SDN Lois Barker family you will see this is an amazing place to play, learn and grow together.
A little bit more about me
While being the director of SDN Lois Barker is a big part of me, outside of work I love spending time with my family, as well as travel, great food and just relaxing in front of the TV.
Growing bodies need movement and exercise. Growing minds need stimulus and exploration. Growing hearts need opportunities to play and mix with others.
At SDN we know that the best thing we can do for your infant or toddler is to support them to grow and develop in safe, unhurried, nurturing and challenging environments.
Because infants and toddlers are naturally curious, our centres have well-equipped indoor and outdoor areas that will keep your child moving and give them daily opportunities to explore their limits and grow their abilities.
Your child is unique and so we will devise a learning and development program within our curriculum pillars, based on what we know about your child’s interests, learning and development. Because they will always be changing and growing, we consistently review the program to ensure we are keeping up with your child’s development, providing them with the best learning opportunities.
Read more about our practice with children here.
Getting school-ready is a journey. It begins with your child’s very first day at our welcoming early education and care centres and continues with our dedicated preschool program.
Developed by university-trained early childhood teachers, our preschool program focuses on the whole child. Children learn to make friends and work together, while gaining the skills and independence they need to thrive through the big transition to school.
Our preschool program follows an evidence-backed, play-based learning approach. Children have fun and follow their curiosity, while we weave in vital skills and learning outcomes.
SDN uses Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework to explore a diverse curriculum from science to social justice. Our days are predictable but flexible, blending structured and spontaneous learning, free play, movement and quiet time.
Our curriculum pillars are:
Relationship and social skills
Critical thinking and problem solving
Early literacy and numeracy
Health, wellbeing and movement
Science, technology, construction and design
Nature play and sustainability
Equity and social justice
Our centres have a transition to school program where our teachers and educators work together with local schools to prepare your child for a smooth transition, and support families through the process.
Read more about our preschool program here.
Families in our urban based centres often call our outdoor areas their “green oasis”.
SDN's outdoor spaces provide opportunities for children to enjoy themselves and have adventures. They’re safe environments for children to run, jump and yell, make mud cakes, and use their energy.
Outdoor spaces provide more than physical benefits. Even though you may think that children only play outside to have fun, they're also improving their thinking, social, and emotional skills. When they’re playing outside, they’re inventing games, learning about the world at their own pace, and figuring out social customs like turn-taking.
These are just some of the reasons SDN invests in developing new, award-winning outdoor spaces with natural designs that inspire children’s curiosity, physical play, and social play.
The traditional owners of the Waterloo area are the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.
SDN Lois Barker opened for operation on 24 October 1983 in a Housing Commission complex at Wellington Street, Waterloo. SDN was invited by the Sydney City Council to manage the long day care centre, named after an influential early childhood teacher who taught in Sydney for over 35 years. An official opening celebration on 5 April 1984 included the Lord Mayor of Sydney and Lois Barker herself.
SDN Lois Barker quickly became part of the SDN family and way of working. The centre’s first director and nurse-in-charge came from SDN Paddington. From the very beginning, the centre reflected the local community by hosting an end-of-year celebration with international food, and recognising the need for outdoor activities for children who lived in high-rise flats.
Since its beginnings, SDN Lois Barker has undergone many changes, always maintaining and reflecting a strong connection with the families of this vibrant and diverse community.
Read more about SDN Lois Barker's history here.
The majority of families in our centres do not pay the full daily fee because they receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) from the government.
The subsidy you may receive through the CCS will depend on:
Try our CCS estimator tool here.
You can also calculate what your out of pocket child care costs will be on the government’s child care subsidy calculator.
This centre is part of SDN’s low income access program which reduces fees and makes SDN more affordable.
The lower fee reduces the gap between the daily fee and the amount families can claim back through the government’s Child Care Subsidy.
To be eligible, the child’s primary care giver must hold a valid income health care card or pensioner concession card and enrol their child on days that include a Monday or Friday if a space is available on those days. The subsidy covers each child for up three days a week.
Additional Preschool fee relief
In addition, the NSW Government is providing up to $2110 in fee relief for preschool aged children who are enrolled in the preschool program at SDN Children’s Services from 2023.
If your child will be 4 on or before 31 July 2023, this additional funding could mean up to $40 a week in fee relief to your family, on top of the existing child care subsidy.
Read more about the NSW early years commitment.