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."

Opened in 1984 and named after Lois Barker, a respected teacher and advocate for children and families, our centre includes three indoor spaces and two outdoor spaces with a large play area. Our trained cook has been at SDN Lois Barker for 15 years and our meals have been certified by a nutritionist in accordance with the Long Day Care Nutrition Checklist.

Children, families and educators at SDN Lois Barker come from diverse cultures and communities. Our qualified educators prioritise building and maintaining positive relationships with your child, and will partner with you to support your child's learning and development.

The suburb of Waterloo is currently experiencing lots of change due to the housing redevelopment and the new metro rail station being built. Don't let the outside fences of our centre put you off - come inside and experience the difference for yourself.

Our families say...
“The Director and her staff fill me with confidence and my children love coming here.”

“I could not be more grateful for the contributions that centre staff make to my child’s world.”

Important information
Meet the Director - Valerie O'Sullivan
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I stared at Waterloo in August 2019. I worked briefly for SDN before and always wanted to return as I felt that the philosophy aligns with my own, and I also felt that it is a supportive environment for families and educators. I am a very passionate advocate for early years education and the industry. I have seen a lot of positive changes in my time and I am always excited to see the direction that the industry is going in.

When I first walked in I got a lovely first impression. The environment is homely and welcoming. The families and educators have been very welcoming. In my spare time I run the NSW Irish Rugby league Association and spend most of my weekend at sporting events with my son.

Valerie O'Sullivan is currently the acting Centre Director at SDN Lois Barker. Sokha Pawson will return from parental leave in February 2020.

Infant & Toddler Educational program
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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 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 Child-led Educational program here.

Preschool Educational program
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Developed by university-trained early childhood teachers, our preschool program focuses on the whole child, building healthy bodies, caring hearts and curious minds.

We will draw on your child’s interests, strengths, needs and culture to plan and implement a program that best meets their learning and developmental needs.

The program is flexible and will give your child a voice in their learning and development. Your child will be our co-planner, sharing ideas and questions that drive their learning. Our preschool teachers will plan experiences for your child that focus on specific skills in an engaging and meaningful way to support their growing skills and knowledge.

We will immerse your child in a language-rich environment and support them to develop the skills and mindset they need for a successful start to school. Through planned play and learning experiences your child will develop the listening and social skills as well as a passion for learning with curiosity, enthusiasm, persistence, cooperation and focused attention they will need when they transition to school.

Our centres have a transition to school program where our educators work together with local kindergarten teachers and our preschool teachers attend transition to school meetings with local schools.

Read more about our Child-led Educational program here

Outdoor space
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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.

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From 1 January 2021, our fees will be $131 per day for children under three years old and $122 per day for children three years and over.

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:

  • Your combined family income
  • The number of hours you work, study or participate in recognised volunteer work. This is called the ‘activity test’. If your child is in the year before school, if you are on a very low income, or if you are on parental leave, you will not have to pass the activity test to receive some CCS.

Your child will need to meet immunisation requirements and you will need to meet residency requirements to be eligible to receive the CCS.

You can 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. 

If you’ve read this information and you’re still unsure about what you’ll pay, please call us or book a centre tour. We’re happy to answer your questions.

What to bring
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0-2 Babies

  • Nappies
  • Change of clothes x2
  • Hat – sun safe  
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Warm clothes / Jacket (for outside play)
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Comforter – soft toy/blanket/dummy
  • Bottles and milk formula/breast milk
  • Blanket / Cot sheets

2-3 Toddlers

  • Nappies / spare underwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Hat – sun safe
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Warm clothes / Jacket (for outside play)
  • Drink Bottle
  • Comforter – for rest time
  • Blankets

3-5 Preschoolers  

  • Spare underwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Hat – sun safe
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Warm clothes / Jacket (for outside play)
  • Drink Bottle
  • Blankets
Centre history
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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.

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Early Education and child care

What we offer

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Nutrition and Mealtimes

We provide children with a variety of healthy foods, and cater for children with allergies and intolerances.

Interested in how SDN Lois Barker, Waterloo can help your child?

Call us today on 1300 831 445


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