Our History

Emmerick Street Preschool was previously known as:

Birchgrove Community Preschool

Our Story…….. 

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 9.00 am to 3.00 pm 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 Preschool has always depended on the parents having 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 ’80s 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 license 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 ’80s and early ’90s, 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 its 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.

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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 parents of the children attending the Preschool. Membership to the association is compulsory and a requirement that one parent/carer for each child attending the Preschool is a member of the BCA.

The Management Committee

As a Member of the Management Committee you oversee the operation of the Preschool and are responsible for all things that are involved with the running of the Preschool. Management Committee positions include:

  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Other committee members

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