Nutrition and Mealtimes
We provide children with a variety of healthy foods, and cater for children with allergies and intolerances.
Situated within the beautiful grounds of the University of Sydney’s Cumberland campus in Lidcombe, SDN Ngallia offers early childhood education and child care for 47 children per day from birth to school age.
Many students and staff members from Sydney University and TAFE use the centre, but we also welcome families from the wider community.
Children and families are supported and encouraged to use the languages they speak at home while at the centre. Staff members speak 12 different languages altogether, including English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Tamil, Hindi, Nepali, Macedonian, Kurdish, Arabic, Croatian, Telugu, Spanish, Serbian and Persian. Our educational program recognises and responds to individual children's strengths, capabilities, culture, interests, current knowledge, ideas and experiences. Learn more about our educational program here.
'Ngallia' means ‘the meeting place of the children’ in the local Aboriginal Darug language.
What our families say...
“The staff looking after our son seem to really care about him. He can be very shy. We’re very glad the Centre has been so inclusive right from the beginning.”
“The carers are excellent. They perform their tasks with skill and enthusiasm. The diversity of staff is a plus too.”
I have always had a passion for working with young children and supporting their families. I believe in the importance of good care and education for children under five, as it will shape who they are for the rest of their lives. I can’t change society but I believe that the children under our care can make a difference to our society.
One of the main things I love about SDN is the support network that the organisation provides for staff and families. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support, encouragement and resources I have received from everyone. It allows me to support the families and staff to be the best they can be.
One of the best thing about our centre is its location. We are located inside the University of Sydney, surrounded by big trees and an open space covered with green grass. The area is quiet, peaceful and it gives us and our children a sense of connection to nature.
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.
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.
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.
SDN acknowledges the Wangal and Deerubbin people as the traditional owners of the area now known as Lidcombe.
SDN Ngallia opened on 23 June 1997 after SDN successfully submitted an expression of interest to the University of Sydney to manage the child care and education centre on its Cumberland campus. Ngallia means ‘the meeting place of the children’ in the local Aboriginal Dharruk language.
In 2000, SDN Ngallia temporarily closed because of the Sydney Olympics, and children were sent to other SDN centres for the duration of the games.
Since its beginnings, SDN Ngallia has undergone many changes, always maintaining and reflecting a strong connection with families in this vibrant and diverse university community.
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.