Our History

Emmerick Street Preschool was previously known as the Birchgrove Community Preschool.

In the early 1970′s The Creative Leisure Group was established in Birchgrove by a group of parents operating from 29a Ballast Point Road.  It was situated in a little lean-to for children to use as a place to learn music and have band practices as well as drawing, painting and generally running around in a backyard environment.

In the late 70′s, after much lobbying of Leichhardt Council and appeasing of neighbours over noise problems, a property at 2 Wharf Road was bought with a $40,000 community grant from the state government and a $10,000 loan to the Association.

In 1978 the Birchgrove Community Preschool opened its doors for a 9.00am to 3.00pm five days a week preschool funded by the NSW Department of Community Services.  The preschool was licensed for 20 children aging from two years and nine months to five years old with two trained pre-school teachers in attendance.  The Centre had always depended on the parents having a hands on day-to-day- involvement, working around all the various needs, times and issues of the preschool families.

The Birchgrove Community Association (BCA) is a community-based organisation whose sole responsibility is to govern the preschool. Although none of these are in existence anymore, in the early 80′s the Birchgrove Community Association consisted of:

  • The Birchgrove Community School,  6 Rose Street, Birchgrove
  • The Birchgrove Community Shop,  Cnr. Cameron and Rowntree Street

and, for a short time although this was never accredited:

  • The Birchgrove Community High School located above the shop

Problems eventually arose because, although the BCA owned the 2 Wharf Road property, it did not own the 29a Ballast Point Road land on which the preschool licence depended.  The owner of this land at 27 Ballast Point Road wanted to sell.  Thus began the search for a suitable property to house the BCA preschool which had by then been running very successfully for ten years.  In the late 80′s and early 90′s this was going to be a huge loss to the community and, as always, the parents’ rallied and the property at Emmerick St was found.

Welcome to Emmerick Street Preschool!

The “Big Ball” in the playground was transported on a huge crane through the narrow streets of Balmain one Saturday morning and tenderly, if tentatively, placed in it’s new home, as were the much loved “Big Tyres”.

For 26 years the preschool ran under the tutelage of Christine Holt as teaching director until January 2011.

Thank you to Anthony Luck’s parents for providing us with these historical details.


The Birchgrove Community Association

The Birchgrove Community Association or BCA is the umbrella group that is now responsible for the running of the preschool. It is made up of volunteer parents of the children attending the preschool.  Membership to the association is compulsory. We strongly encourage all families to take part in some aspect of the administering of the preschool.

There are many roles, big and small, to fill.  As a Directors of the BCA you oversee the operation of the Preschool and are responsible for all things that are involved with the running of the preschool.  The title of ‘director’ can be a little daunting to the newcomer but if you think of it as just being a committee member, this usually makes people feel more comfortable.  We have to use the titles because we are an organisation but don’t worry, you take on the position with like minded and supportive individuals who have a want to keep our special place ticking along and we want your help.  Director positions include

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • and 5 extra non-office bearing committee members to help divide up the duties

Please see About the Preschool to read about how your participation is important to us and your child.

Birchgrove Community Association Membership

It is a requirement that one parents/carers for each children attending the preschool are members of the BCA.  Membership also entitles you to vote on issues at parent meetings and hold a managerial or director position. Your application form and $3 membership fee will be collected at the time of enrolling your child.