Nutrition and Mealtimes
We provide children with a variety of healthy foods, and cater for children with allergies and intolerances.
SDN Surry Hills provides quality early childhood education and child care for 60 children per day in Sydney’s vibrant inner east community.
The centre first opened its doors in 1918, and has been a place of warmth and welcome ever since. Knowing and being active in the local community is important to our team and we pride ourselves on the connections we have made and maintained over the years, all the while watching the local area transform into the vibrant, creative and colourful place it is today.
Relationships with children, families and one another are the basis of our educational program and we know children need to feel safe and welcomed to reach their full potential. When your child begins at SDN Surry Hills our dedicated team of professionals will asking many questions to help them to get to know their unique needs, as well as the needs of your family.
Our learning environments are developed over days, weeks, months and years, with problem-solving, creativity and collaboration among our most valued teaching and learning tools. Our playground is a place of natural wonder and a rare gem in this inner city suburb - brimming with mature gum trees, open space, lush gardens and home to our resident guinea pigs. You can learn more about our educational program here.
Our families say…
"I feel very grateful to have qualified and caring professionals educating my son. It’s wonderful to feel at ease when I leave him for the day.”
“I feel confident that my son is happy, safe and engaged when he is in care.”
“I strongly believe that childhood is a time to be, to engage with life's joys, to seek and make meaning of the world.”
My qualifications and experience
I completed my Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood) in 2014.
I started as an Early Childhood Teacher/Room Leader at SDN back in 2018. In January 2022, I stepped into the Acting Director role when the Director was on leave, and took up the permanent Centre Director role since April 2023.
I have been working in early childhood for more than a decade. I started as a casual when I was studying for a Cert 3 in Early Childhood, took up a permanent educator position when I finished my Diploma, and then worked as an Early Childhood Teacher when I completed my teaching degree.
What I'm most passionate about in my role
One of my greatest passions is creating happy childhood memories and fostering children’s love for learning. In my role, I strive to partner and work collaboratively with families, and their communities to help children reach their full potentials.
I strongly believe that childhood is a time to be, to engage with life's joys, to seek and make meaning of the world.
What I love about working with SDN
I love the amazing team of passionate and experienced educators I get to work alongside every day. Our team always ensures they provide children and families with the highest quality education and care.
A little bit more about me
I have three adult children, and on weekends we enjoy getting together for a hearty meal.
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 Surry Hills area are the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.
SDN Surry Hills opened on 8 April 1918, operating out of two terrace houses on Riley Street offered by philanthropist Mrs Hugh Dixson (later Lady Dixson). Working mothers had written to SDN to request a day nursery in Surry Hills, which back then was a poor suburb known for its terrace houses crowded with workers and their families.
In 1922, the centre collaborated with other early childhood organisations to become the Emma Elizabeth Dixson Welfare Centre. The adjoining terrace houses were remodelled to form one large building. In 1957 the Sydney City Council purchased the building, which was eventually demolished and on 27 July 1977 a brand new building, the current home of SDN Surry Hills, was opened by the Lord Mayor of Sydney.
Since its beginnings as an integrated ‘welfare centre’, SDN Surry Hills has undergone many changes, maintaining and reflecting a strong connection with families in this vibrant and diverse community.
Read more about SDN Surry Hill'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:
Your child will need to meet immunisation requirements and you will need to meet residency requirements to be eligible to receive the CCS.
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.
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.