SDN Riverwood is a 60-place centre offering early childhood education and child care for a diverse community of children and families in south-western Sydney.

Our team of qualified educators come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and many are bilingual. Staff support the many different home languages and cultures of children who attend our centre, while also helping them to develop English language skills and encouraging an understanding of other cultures.

The spacious, well-equipped centre is a place for your child to explore, discover and learn about the world they live in. The Riverwood community also provides a positive learning environment and we often take the children to visit the library and local parks, and together we celebrate cultural events such as the Lunar New Year. We have an ongoing commitment to improving the quality of life for children and their families, and we keep this commitment at the forefront of our connection with the Riverwood community. You can learn more about our educational program here.

Our families say...
“SDN Riverwood is a warm, encouraging, interesting environment for my child to learn, grow, play and interact with others.”

“I have the undivided attention of staff when I share a concern and be sure of their prompt attention as well as being kept informed of how it is going. I love the opportunity to speak to my child’s key-educator at pick up time.”

Important information
Meet the Director - Christie Sherfan
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I have been a Centre Director for the past 12 years. I enjoy collaborating with children, educators and families and love being able to help children achieve their potential.

I have been working with SDN for the past 6 years and I moved from another SDN centre to SDN Riverwood in June 2018. I feel very privileged to be able to work with children and families.

I believe that the early years of a child's life are the most influential. It is in the first years of life that young children develop a sense of themselves and their place within the community.

At SDN Riverwood, communication with our families is paramount and we prioritise keeping you informed about your child’s learning and wellbeing.

My most memorable experience as a Director was when I had the opportunity to support a family that was to become homeless. I referred the parent to a support agency that provided accommodation and I was able to place the child in our care. The child and family are now thriving. The smiles on their faces fill me with a sense of achievement and the drive to continue the early childhood journey that I have started at SDN.

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to take care of your children and give them the best education they deserve.

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand" – Confucius

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 $124 per day for children under three years old and $118 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.

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 Riverwood area are the Bediagal People. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the area around Salt Pan Creek was a site of refuge and activism for Aboriginal Australians displaced from their own land.

Known as Herne Bay from European settlement up until 1957 when it was renamed Riverwood, the suburb was home to a military hospital barracks during World War II, the United States Army’s 118th General Hospital. After the war, in March 1946, the barracks became the Herne Bay Housing Settlement – part of the NSW Housing Commission’s postwar housing solution. With families now living in the wooden army huts, SDN was asked to open a nursery school at the settlement.

The Herne Bay Nursery School officially opened on 20 January 1947 in a converted army hut. The nursery school provided much-needed education and care, medical and nutrition advice, and a hot meal every day for children from two years old to school age. Now known as SDN Riverwood, the centre relocated to its current location at the end of 1974.

Since its beginnings, SDN Riverwood has undergone many changes and has always maintained and reflected a strong connection with the families of this vibrant and diverse community.

Read more about SDN Riverwood's history here

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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 Riverwood can help your child?

Call us today on 1300 831 445

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