IN FOCUS: New name, same caring operators

Child’s Play ELC owners, Ian and Samantha Johnson. (Damjan Janevski)

By Carole Levy

Kool Kidz Tarneit has changed its name to Child’s Play ELC, but what hasn’t changed is the caring couple at the helm, Samantha and Ian Johnson, who now own outright the formerly franchised early learning centre.

They haven’t wasted time implementing changes and improvements, although in the four years Sam and Ian have operated the centre, it’s been one of the few long day care centres in the area to receive an “exceeding” rating from the Department of Education.

Sam and Ian have always been the centre’s operators, but now as independent owners they’re ready and able to launch initiatives to enhance an already successful business.

Here are changes and enhancements afoot at Child’s Play ELC:


Medical/health professionals

A dentist still visits the centre regularly and, now that Maternal Health operates on the same site, there’s an even stronger connection. Parents can tap into advice and information easily and conveniently.

Community library

Books are now available for children to either read during quiet times or take home and enjoy a story read to them by parents or carers.


Every day there’s something new to support purposeful learning. Jessica, a staff member who speaks Mandarin, is teaching the language to the littlies; Hey-Dee-Ho, a young music and movement group, engages children with lots of fun; Mini-Maestros, another young group, bring along instruments for the kids to make their own music; and Activ8 and Little Sports Heroes visit to get children into sports and physical activities.


New resources and natural wooden play equipment have been introduced to the yards, creating beautiful, purposeful and engaging play spaces.

Pets/sustainability modelling

A turtle, two fish and three rabbits are in residence, giving children a chance to learn about looking after and gently approaching all animals. They learn about recycling, with vegetable gardens, composting and worm farms as teaching aids.

Sam and Ian are looking forward to the future.

“We will continue to support, develop and nurture every child, while also developing greater community connections,” Sam says.

“We believe the service, run by our family, should be an extension of the children’s
own families.

“We value all the parents who have chosen to enrol their children with us and will always look to keep them informed and included – we have an open-door policy.

“They can be confident that their children are in a safe and secure place, and get looked after with love, respect and dignity.”


Child’s Play ELC, 642 Tarneit Road, Tarneit. Inquiries: 9748 2004 or visit