Guardian Childcare & Education

A Strong Sense of Community at Forde

18th September 2017

Child watering plant at Guardian Forde

It’s been a very busy few months at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Forde! With local initiatives, exciting excursions and creating connections with the Indigenous community, there’s never a dull moment at Forde. Here are just a few of the great things that have been happening at this early learning centre in the ACT…

A Thriving Community Pantry

The community pantry has been up and running for a few months now. Centre Manager Ashleigh Bellingham says, “It’s a place where families can take what they need and give what they can. Families have used this in a variety of ways – they have walked past and spotted beetroot tins they needed for dinner as well as added things such as teething gels and nappy creams. Everything that remains is donated to a food collection point in Gungahlin.”

Not only does this community pantry create stronger bonds within the centre, children are learning about giving back to the community and encourages families to donate to those in need.

Community pantry at Forde childcare centre

Green Thumbs and Donated Veggies

Another fantastic community experience occurring at Forde is the abundance of vegetables donated by one of the Forde families.

“A Forde family own their own self sustained farm just outside of Canberra, they have been helping us design the yard as to have a much healthy and happy garden. As they have oodles of food on their farm, they have begun donating it to the educators at Guardian Forde, things such as apples, lemons, chard, rosemary, kale, parsley, chicken and duck eggs,” says Ashleigh.

This kind and generous family will be helping the team at Forde do minor renovations in their yard to refresh their plant choices and keep Forde’s compost, worm farm and veggie patch healthy and vibrant. We are looking forward to seeing the results!

Donations at Forde childcare centre

Connections with the Indigenous Community

Duncan Smith is a Wiradjuri man who visits early learning services with his family. He is head of the Wiradjuri Echoes and works very closely with Guardian centres to introduce, implement and teach the children about Australia’s rich Indigenous history.

Recently, Duncan came to visit Forde where he and his family told stories to the children, educators and families through music, song and dance. As a very special gift to the centre, Duncan created a digeridoo to match the children’s art pieces and shared the story about how he went to Young, NSW to collect the hollowed out piece of wood, and prepared and painted it to match our story.

“The piece will take pride of place in our foyer to represent our ongoing journey with Duncan, the traditional owners of land and the Ngunnawal land itself,” Ashleigh states proudly.

Upcoming Incursions and Excursions from Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary

Excursions and incursions are a big part of the curriculum at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Forde and in this planning stage, Operations Manager Sarah Wilcox and Centre Manager Ashleigh Bellingham visited their local woodland sanctuary to look into what programs could be offered to the children. Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary runs holiday programs and education nights for children, families and visitors and Forde are hoping to have them visit the centre with their furry Bettong, Banksia, in the next few months.

It’s been an action packed and exciting few months at Forde and we can’t wait to see what Forde does in the next few months.

2 images one with marsupial and another with sign

Learn More About Guardian Early Learning Centre – Forde

To explore this wonderful centre for yourself, book a tour here. Our team are more than happy to show you around so you can see first-hand some of the great things happening at Forde. We look forward to meeting you!


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