Beginning the Journey

The start of pre-school is one of the biggest events in a child’s life.

Welcome to Walford's Early Learning Centre

Stimulating Young Minds

The Walford Early Learning Centre is open 48 weeks per year. Eligible families can claim the Child Care Rebate (CCR) and / or Child Care Benefit (CCB).

Staffed by our talented and dedicated staff lead by the Centre Director, Ms Charmaine Brooks overseeing the high quality educational offering that our early learners enjoy.

At Walford your child will embark on an amazing journey towards school. It starts in a Playgroup session for toddlers held every Friday morning during school terms - a wonderful social interaction for both children and families.

A specialised pre-school, Adamson Program commences at 3 years old with a sessional program for girls and boys who attend a minimum of 2 sessions and build to 4 days per week.

The Dowie Program for 4 year olds is tailored for children who are ready for 5 or more sessions per week. Children transition into Chewings, a mid-year Reception Ready Program specifically tailored to prepare children for school.

My Best Start

The Walford Early Learning Centre (Adamson Centre) is located adjacent to Walford’s Junior School. 

Our location provides access to the learning resources of the School. The superb Walford Sports Centre, the Library, play spaces, music facilities and specialist teachers enrich and extend the learning environment.

The 4 to 5 year old children work with the French language through the Early Language Learning Australia (ELLA) program. They build and perfect a repertoire of French words, sentences, sounds and songs through a play-based language learning experience.

STEM experiences are flourishing in the ELC through the Little Scientists program. Children are introuduced to a wide variety of science experiments and technology including coding and robotics. 

ELC staff and children also share in the special events enjoyed by the Walford School Community, which helps provide a seamless transition into Reception.


We hold playgroup every Friday morning 10.00am to 11.30am during school terms. This is a fun, stimulating and informal environment for children and their parents to enjoy quality time together.

Playgroup offers children:

  • a wide variety of early learning experiences
  • early development of social skills
  • an opportunity to foster friendships (for the parents too!)

An experienced coordinator guides the program and leads a shared group story time at the conclusion of each session.

Girls and boys are most welcome to join us when they are mobile and comfortable in a dynamic social environment. 

Adamson: 3 Year Old Program (up to 4 years)

We provide 3 year old girls and boys with a gentle introduction to the routine and social setting of a pre-school environment, independent from their parents. Children can attend a minimum two sessions a week through to full days, depending on availability. Additional sessions can be added throughout the year. Click here for more information.

Dowie: 4 Year Old Program (up to 5 years)

Pre-school sessions are offered to girls and boys who are ready for 5 or more sessions a week. Sessions can be made up of full days and half days and can be increased throughout the year, to full-time attendance (10 sessions), depending on availability. 

Click here for more information.  

Chewings: Mid-Year Reception Ready Program (5 Year Old Program - Terms 3 and 4 only)

Our mid-year, full-time Reception Ready program specifically caters for boys and girls who turn 5 during the year and are to commence Reception in the following year.

Children will enter a program designed to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition to Reception and they will see learning experiences more closely aligned with those encountered in the first year of formal schooling.

Limited places are available.

Click here for more information.

What our parents are saying about Reception Ready

“Lily loves going to ‘school’ each day and especially looks forward to joining the ‘big girls’ in Reception when they have shared contact sessions. From our perspective, the greatest strength of the program is the wonderful teaching staff. From the moment we first visited Walford, one could feel that it was a warm and caring environment and that the teaching staff were passionate about educating children. With specific reference to the Reception Ready program, we have found that Lily’s naturally inquisitive nature has been nurtured, especially with respect to the specialist art and science lessons provided to the children. The program has removed some of the mystery from commencing reception. Lily knows the campus, the teachers and the routine of school, which will eradicate a lot of the trepidation normally associated with starting school. Instead of approaching this new situation with fear, she will be ready to hit the ground running.” Marc

"My daughter has thoroughly enjoyed her time in Reception Ready, in particular the time spent with the 'big girls' in the Reception classes, exploring different part of the school that they might not normally spend time in, and getting to know the teachers in the Junior School whom she will spend more and more time with as she gets older. The Reception Ready program helps to create a sense of 'community' in the girls’ minds and contributes towards making them feel comfortable and a part of the greater Walford school community. Having participated in two terms of Reception Ready I feel like my daughter is better equipped to handle the transition from pre-school to full-time school.” Rachel

“We are pleased that we selected the Reception Ready program for our son. It has allowed him to become accustomed to a full week schedule in a familiar and supportive environment and hence eased his transition into school next year.” Ann

“We are so happy with the Reception Ready program and the Walford ELC in general. Ellie loves going to Walford and enjoys every day with Miss Silvestri and her classmates. The program is both nurturing and inspiring and we are delighted to hear about all the new things she is learning and enjoying. I have every confidence that Reception Ready is providing a great introduction to school and our daughter is certainly excited about starting Reception. Thank you for this wonderful program.” Jodi

Early Learning Centre Extended Care Service

To help our busy families, we offer Extended Care for 3 and 4 year old children. The Walford Early Learning Centre is open 48 weeks per year. Families can access Morning or Afternoon Extended Care programs and Holiday Care as needed. Eligible families can claim the Child Care Rebate (CCR) and / or Child Care Benefit (CCB).

Should you need an earlier drop off or later pick up, extended care will be available Monday to Friday during the school term in the Adamson room.

Morning Extended Care
7.00am to 8.30am Monday to Friday
Cost: $16.00 ($8.00 with rebate) per session

Afternoon Extended Care
3.15pm to 6.00pm Monday to Friday
Cost: $30.00 ($15.00 with rebate) per session

Holiday Care
7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday
Cost: $62.00 ($31.00 with rebate) per day (plus applicable excursion costs)

A minimum of 24 hours notice is required for both bookings and cancellations.

Bookings can be made via email to or by phoning 8291 3169. Please leave a voice message if the phone is unanswered and we will confirm your booking.

Supporting Parents of Young Children

Walford run a series of informative parenting seminars, which are open to the community. These sessions are presented by leading experts and have covered areas such as starting school and confident communication in young children.

Enrolments and Further Information

Click here to book a tour of the Walford Early Learning Centre, or contact our Director of Admissons, Ms Libby Emery on 08 8373 4062 or email:

316 Unley Road Hyde Park, South Australia 5061
Telephone: +61 8 8272 6555  |  Facsimile: +61 8 8272 0313

CRICOS No 00563J

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