Why choose Friendship Square?
History of the centre
The Friendship Square Early Learning Cooperative opened in 1981 after the ACTU purchased the land at 35 Friendship Square, Cheltenham in 1971.
The centre was built and opened to provide affordable child-care support to working families in the immediate area, well before subsidies were ever considered. The centre was opened to support women in the work force after the war providing care and support to women and children in the community. We can proudly say that the original core values and beliefs from back then remain our embedded and holistic approach and values to this day.
What is a cooperative?
The centre is a non for profit organisation, which is run by a parent lead committee along with a centre Director working within the centre leading the day-to-day operations.
The Cooperative remains the only not-for-profit community run centre in the City of Kingston and one of the few in Melbourne and maintains incorporation under the Co-operatives National Law Application Act 2013.
Our commitment to child safety
- Friendship Square Early Learning Cooperative is committed to child safety by clearly stating that;
- We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.
- We have a legal and moral obligation to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
- We want children to be safe, happy and empowered.
- We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers.
- We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children and feel it is fundamental to their ability to learn and develop.
- Friendship Square Early Learning Cooperative is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
- We provide and promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, Torres Strait Island children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and we provide a safe environment for children with a disability.
- We will ensure that all staff members understand the process for reporting any child safety issues
- We are committed to ensuring all staff members and volunteers understand that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.
- We support and respect all children and uphold their right to feel and be safe at all times.
- Actively work to listen to; and are committed to the participation and empowerment of all children.
- We are committed to preventing child abuse, identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
- Friendship Square Early Learning Cooperative has robust recruitment practices to reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing staff and volunteers.
- Before employing new staff; references, working with children checks (WWCC) and/or Victorian Institute of Teaching registration is checked and verified
- Friendship Square Early Learning Cooperative is committed to regularly training and educating our committee members, staff and volunteers on child abuse risks.
- We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability and vulnerable children.
- We are committed to providing and promoting safe environments for all children.
- We promote our commitment to the Child Safe Standards and support our members to maintain these standards.
- We have specific policies and procedures in place that support our committee members, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.