Sunday, 14 October 2018

Interview with Kat from Paisley Park Early Learning Centre in Randwick.

We recently visited the new Paisley Park centre in Randwick, and let me tell you it is AMAZING! We had the pleasure of interviewing Kat the founder.

How did Paisley Park came about? 
Paisley Park was born in 2011 when Peter (Co-Founder) and I met post me rolling out a series of professional development workshops across Sydney. At the time Peter was operating 3 Long Day Care Centres and I was Lecturing Early Childhood undergraduate students at University level. Peter was in the audience of several of the workshops I delivered, and when they concluded we met to discuss our experience in the sector. It became very apparent to the both of us that we shared the same aspirations for high quality education and care and soon after, we partnered our vision and began developing the brand. Many people ask us about why the name ‘Paisley Park’. Peter is a huge fan of the late PRINCE (singer), in particular a song he wrote called ‘Paisley Park’. The lyrics of the song resonate to the experience we want our families to have, to be in a place of acceptance, warmth and love, a place where everyone is welcome. Our philosophy is based on that notion.

Why did you start Paisley Park?
Peter and I started Paisley Park because we wanted to push the boundaries in the Early Childhood sector and create interesting spaces where learning is limitless, and not just for children. We refer to Paisley Park as an ‘experience’ for that reason. It is an experience for our Educators, an experience for our families and experience for children. For us the physical environment is highly important, which is why we enjoy working with interesting and often challenging spaces. We embrace such opportunities as it means we will never have a vanilla brand where every centre is a replica of the other. Instead, each centre is unique to the building, unique to the community and responds to the dynamic of each of our families. 

How has Paisley Park grown to 21 centres nationally?
It was never our intention to grow our brand quickly, but an opportunity presented itself where we could really make an impact. In 2016 we took on board 17 financially struggling child care centres across 5 states in Australia. Located in communities of low socio-economic status, we identified early on that the centres required significant support and resourcing. Most people thought we were nuts taking on such a challenge, but we identified it as an opportunity to make a difference in often forgotten communities, where children lack access to high quality education and care. It is no secret that that Peter and I live out of suitcases, travelling to our centres regularly. We consider keeping touch as fundamental to our success. This ensures that we are consistently connected and can support each of our centres respond to the needs in their communities.

Your vision for Paisley Park in the future?
Peter and I have been motivated by one thing, to provide children, in partnership with their families, the best possible start to their education. We know that providing an environment where learning can be nurtured, and by making quality community connections with key stakeholders, we can achieve great success in the sector.

Check out Paisley Park HERE

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