IN FOCUS: More than just Child’s Play

Samantha Johnson is proud of the centre’s ‘Exceeding’ rating. (Photo Damjan Janevski)

By Carole Levy

Owned and operated for the past five years by Sam and Ian Johnson, Child’s Play Tarneit (formerly Kool Kidz) is one of the few long daycare centres in the Tarneit area that received an “Exceeding” rating from the Department of Education in 2016. And the centre has just been given another ‘Exceeding’ rating again this month, an achievement to be proud of.

Child’s Play has seven rooms to cater for up to 132 children each day, aged from six weeks to six years. They are cared for by qualified educators, most of whom have been with Sam and Ian from the beginning.

“That means,” says Sam, “that our educators have developed and grown with us, and that the children are surrounded by long-familiar faces and benefit from consistent respectfulness and compassionate care. It feels like family for every child and adult involved.”

Sam says as much as she and Ian value the close-knit community they have at Child’s Play, they also have a focus on connecting the children with their wider community.

Their upcoming Family Fun Day is one part of that focus. It takes place between 10am-2pm on Saturday, November 16.

“We’re putting on a day for children and families as a way of giving back to our community,” Sam explains.

“We’ll have a bouncy castle and face-painters, as well as some of our incursion ‘regulars’ such as Hey Dee Ho, Mini-Maestros and Little Sports Heroes.

“Our chef will be on hand to cook up some delicious dishes to sample, and everyone’s welcome to join in, have a look around and see how we do things.”

Ian says they’re also excited about being part of the annual Children’s Week Picnic at Werribee Park, taking place on Sunday, October 27.

“We’ll have a stall at the event,” says Ian. “We think it’s important to support our local council in its stated intention of this event, i.e. to encourage learning through fun activities, promote an active, healthy lifestyle, and enable discovery of talents through new experiences. This initiative aligns with our goals as a childcare centre.”

Maternal health services operate out of the centre, as does a regular dentist, and there’s a community library from which children can borrow every day. They can also take home a Child’s Play pet to look after on the weekend.

Daily incursions to support purposeful learning, besides those already mentioned, include Active8 and Chinese language sessions.


Child’s Play Early Learning Centre, 642 Tarneit Road, Tarneit. Inquiries: 9748 2004 or