About Us

Tugulawa Early Education was originally established as Bulimba Child Care Centre in 1942, to meet the needs of families within the area who were having difficulties raising their families while their husbands and fathers were fighting in World War 2.

Mrs. Thelma O’Connell a nurse from England was asked to help another mother who had recently given birth to triplets and who also had three other boys at home. Thelma approached Dr. Bostock who was the Crèche and Kindergarten Association director, to enquire if other children could attend sessions at the centre which was situated in Queen Street in the City.

Dr Bostock thought the journey would be too far for the children to travel, and suggested that Mrs. O’Connell establish a child care centre in Bulimba.  Thelma then approached the minister of the Church of England, the Reverend Miles Phillip, who agreed to rent the Church hall for a weekly charge of £5.00. As more children attended the Reverend Miles Phillip raised the rent to £10.00 per week.

This was more than they could afford, so they moved to Mrs. Porters backyard while they searched for a larger and more permanent dwelling. Land was acquired on a lot next door to the Library and an old army hut was purchased from Hornibrook.

In 1945, a Chinese migrant camp was established at Apollo Road (where the army base currently exists, and which was previously occupied by the American army). One day when passing the Child Care centre, the Chinese men noticed a sign which read “WEE WING”. They enquired about the sign for in Chinese it means “everlasting”. The men asked what they did there, to which they were informed “”We mind babies”.” There next question they asked was ““You have money?”” to which the reply was that everything was free and funds were non-existent. A few months later these Chinese gentlemen arrived at the centre with the money that they raised from gambling nights. Thelma was given £437.00 which was a large sum for the time.

In 1961, a Kindy and Pre-School was established on land behind the Early Education Centre (where it still exits today). The Early Education Centre closed temporarily in December 1979 due to a conflict with the Crèche & Kindergarten Association. A new Committee was formed with Warick Harvey as President; Monica Saffoti was employed as Director, Berniece Kunde and Win Watson as assistants and Erin Jarrett as the Nurse.

After many years of service to the community, and tireless efforts by the Committee and Staff, funds were granted by the Commonwealth Government in 1988. The land (where the Centre is currently situated) was obtained from the Department of Education. In 1990 the Bulimba Child Care Centre moved from the old army hut to their new building.

The Tugulawa Early Education is a non-profit community based Early Education Centre that provides Long Day Care service for children ranging in ages from six months to five years. As a community Early Education Centre, opportunities are available for all members of the Centre’s learning community to be involved in the decision making processes and support us with events held at the Centre.  Our parent engagement and involvement is a vital and integral part of the Centre’s operations model. Together in partnership, we help to support, educate and care for the children and families who attend our Centre.

Tugulawa Early Education is an Incorporated Association and has registered its rules, otherwise known as the Constitution, with the Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading. Tugulawa Early Education Management Committee is responsible for the operation of the Association. The Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting which is held at the beginning of each year. The Tugulawa Management Committee works in conjunction with the Nominated Supervisor/Co- Directors to ensure the Centre operates at an optimum level.  The Nominated Supervisor/Co-Directors are responsible for the day-to-day running and the operational decisions made at Tugulawa Early Education.  The Nominated Supervisor/Co-Directors are also current members of the Tugulawa Management Committee.

Our unique Community Centre encourages parent participation and engagement which may occur in a variety of ways.  Examples of this could be; acting as volunteers, collecting or preparing collage materials or activities, supporting teachers with the Curriculum by contributing to the richness of our Educational Program using their professional backgrounds or skillset, sharing special talents, being an elected member of our Tugulawa Management Committee or joining our Parent Support Network and helping at fund raising events or functions.

We appreciate that time is at a premium for all parents these days, so any support that you can give the Centre, is greatly appreciated.  Our goal is to always work alongside our Parent Community in partnership, to ensure positive outcomes occur for our precious children.

In December 2009, all Australian Governments agreed to a new National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care which took over from all other systems at the beginning of 2012. This means that all Australian children, regardless of their location, will get the best possible start in life through high quality early childhood education and care and school age care services.  The independent statutory authority for the industry is called the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).  ACECQA provides national leadership in promoting quality and continuous improvement in early childhood education and care and school age care in Australia  and is responsible for the approval, monitoring and quality assessment of services in their jurisdiction in accordance with the national legislative framework and in relation to the National Quality Standard.

At a state level, The Office for Early Childhood Education and Care (the Office) is committed to providing Queensland children with the start to life they deserve.  The Office is responsible for the strategic management and implementation of early childhood reforms, coordination of early childhood education and care programs, regulation and supporting quality improvement for all early childhood education and care services in Queensland and working with stakeholders and service providers to meet Government goals, commitments and targets.

Follow this link to view the Centre Constitution

The National Quality Framework (NQF) is the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children using education and care services.  The NQF was introduced to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care.

Quality education and care shapes every child’s future and lays the foundation for development and learning. The early years are critical for establishing self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. Research shows quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life.

In November 2015, Tugulawa Early Education was rated and assessed under the National Quality Framework, receiving an EXCEEDING the National Quality Standard rating. Now we have received an EXCEEDING rating, we have met the highest criteria for excellence, therefore we are eligible to apply to receive an EXCELLENT Rating which indicates we are a Centre of excellence in the Early Education Sector.

The purpose of the EXCELLENT rating is to:

  • Celebrate excellence in the delivery of education and care;
  • Engage and involve families and the community in the profession’s discussion about quality and what is important in education and care;
  • Learn from and be inspired by examples of highly accomplished practice, innovation and creativity in education and care;
  • Promote and reinforce the value of education and care and the people who work in the sector;
  • Recognise providers and educators who are champions of quality improvement.

Implementation of the NQF is guided by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). To find out more information about the National Quality Framework and service ratings, visit the ACECQA website:  www.acecqa.gov.au


Friends of the Centre

A HUGE thank you to our kind supporters for donating their time and resources to the centre in the form of Raffle Prizes, Silent Auctions and resources used in the Centre.

Please support these fantastic local businesses who support us.

Calendar of Events

Each year Tugulawa celebrates many special days/events/occasions with our families and community. These celebrations are valuable for our children, their families and our staff team as they provide a great opportunity to meet others and become part of our Centre family.

Tugulawa invites special guests and educational shows throughout the year as learning opportunities arise  . In the past these have included visitors from companies such as ‘Little Green Thumbs’, ‘Ocean Life’, Hello Africa’, and many more. These occasions offer children hands on, exciting, and fun learning experiences which add to the rich educational program which Tugulawa offers.

On top of these visits, we also welcome those members of the local community who can help embed health and safety into our program. Recent visitors have included, police officers, paramedics, dentists and swim school instructors. We also welcome Bravehearts once a year who  communicate essential personal safety messages to our children.

Tugulawa learners also embark on excursions throughout the year both locally and into the broader community. In the past these have included visiting our local library and schools, attending the children’s festival ‘ Out of the box‘, Participating in Outdoor Classroom Day visiting our local beach reserve and taking our youngest under 2 learners down Oxford street to investigate our local natural spaces

2020 Calendar of Events – Coming Soon…..


Tugulawa is passionate about reducing our carbon footprint and increasing ways in which we can practice in a sustainable way

Our goals are to:


1.  Increase the number of solar panels on our roof, thus reducing our dependency on the National Grid.


2.  Secure funding through grant opportunities or kind sponsors to buy and install water tanks to be used for Centre laundry as well as play opportunities for children.


3.  To work with Council on improving the recycling process for the Centre


4.  To source more trees and shrubs to further increase the ‘greening’ of the Centre.

Achieved! During our playground upgrade project in December 2012 we planted a number of shrubs, mature trees, greenery and an edible garden in our grounds.


5.  To install a third worm farm so that we can recycle of the appropriate kitchen waste and feed our many plants with the by-products.


6.  Improve recycling of paper waste within the Centre.

Achieved! With the addition of paper recycling stations throughout the centre, for use by staff and children.


7.  Increase ‘environmental learning’ for children by involving them in the sustainable practice of growing and cultivating herbs and vegetables.

Achieved! The establishment of our edible garden that the staff and children nurture and harvest the herbs and vegetables for use within the Centre.


8.  Save trees by increasing our use of technology when communicating and collaborating with our Community.

9.  Role model responsible environmental behaviour for children.

 Achieved! Stickers where attached to every light switch in the Centre to remind staff to turn the lights off when not in use.  Staff and children use paper recycling stations while in the classrooms.  Staff are encouraged to talk to children about the environment and what we can do to look after the planet.


10.  Nurture the curiosity that young child have for the natural environment.


Media Releases

Starting Your Career in Early Childhood

Australian Family – Summer 2014

Planning for Play by Prue Walsh

Australian Family – Winter 2013



We acknowledge the Turrbal and Jagara (Yagara/Yuggera) peoples as the traditional and ongoing custodians of the Land on which Tugulawa stands today, a place where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children play, learn and grow together.

We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present and we believe that, guided by these Elders, the future of Australia rests in the hands of the children we care for.

Our Vision

Our vision for reconciliation is for all Australians to walk beside each other, and to speak with each other and not for each other.

Tugulawa is committed to creating a place for everyone; one that cultivates, values and celebrates a sense of belonging, connectedness, inter-cultural understanding, respect and equity.

Reconciliation is an ongoing process and we commit to playing our part in building better relationships with all Australians, with a focus on strengthening the relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We remember and acknowledge the past and its place on the journey of reconciliation as we cast our eyes and our hearts towards a united future.

Our Strategy and Plan

Our staff embrace the diversity of all children, families, and communities in our daily practices. The importance of celebrating cultural differences and sameness is embedded throughout the everyday at Tugulawa, and we are committed to providing opportunities for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to celebrate and recognise their culture. Through these practices, non-Indigenous children celebrate, respect and feel connection with the oldest culture in the world.

We are currently preparing our Tugulawa Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which we will launch in 2019. Our RAP is being developed with extensive consultation and support from the community, our staff, our parents and the wonderful team at Narragunnawali. Our RAP represents another step in our reconciliation journey and will formally recognise our commitment to promoting positive relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Tugulawa Early Education works closely with Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) to support student Educators and Early Childhood Teachers in their journey to become fully qualified professionals.

We liaise with Tutors and students to enable them to get the most out of their time with us, and in this way have built strong collaborative relationships which have facilitated networking in our sector.

We welcome inquiries from other RTO’s who would like to place students for their work experience in a top quality early childhood education Centre.

Work With Us

Interested in joining a Multi award-winning team?


The Tugulawa Early Education is a well established non-profit community centre managed by a Parent Management Committee. The centre provides long day care for children from 6 months to 5 years of age. The centre is locally recognised as the child care centre of choice with a waiting list for families to join. The centre offers attractive working conditions for our staff including rostered days off for full-time staff (RDOs), extensive professional development opportunities, above award rates (conditions apply) and the opportunity to participate in centre policy and planning and enjoyment of being part of a strong team.


We are always interested in hearing from bright, enthusiastic people who would like to join our special team as a reliever.

You must be eligible to work in Australia and your application should include :


Applications can be emailed to:

Lauren Alexander


or mailed to:

The Co-Directors

Tugulawa Early Education

235 Oxford Street

Bulimba Qld 4171

Fundraising and Donate

No plastic of any sort thanks




No, we supply morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to all children in our care.  We have a qualified Chef who works on site to cook hot or cold nutritious meals for the children based on the recommended food standards for Australia.  View a sample of our  weekly menu here.  Individual food requirements are discussed upon enrollment in conjunction with the family, the Co-Directors and the Nutritional Coordinator/Chef.

Parent Resource Centre

1. Biting. 

Creating an inclusive environment for all children in our care is our highest priority. When biting issues arise, as a community we tend to focus on the inappropriate behaviour and search for immediate quick fix solutions. We know that there is no quick fix plan but we do know that including a child and recognising the level and type of support needed requires involved team work and practical and realistic ideas to achieve outcomes.

Biting can be one of the most stressful issues in early education. Biting can be very common between the ages of 14 months to 3 years and for older children who have verbal language delay or a difficulty communicating due to English being their second language.  Below are some helpful websites and documents with tips for dealing with these behaviours at home and in the classroom.

Raising Children Network – pinching, biting and hair pulling.

South Australia Parenting – Children biting.

2.  To sleep or not to sleep?  

This is something that is often brought up when families speak to our Educators.  Parents worry about their babies sleep routines, or that their toddlers might not go to bed easily at night if they have a day time nap.   Here are some links with information about children and sleep.

Health and Parenting.

BBC Health News.

Sleep FAQs – Raising Children Network

3. Child Protection

All educators and staff at our Centre take seriously their responsibility to protect children from any type of abuse, and are aware of their roles and responsibilities regarding child protection.  While we understand there are legislative obligations we must follow, we believe it is also our responsibility as educators to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all children, and to provide the children at our Centre with the opportunity to develop to their full potential free from any form of harm and abuse. Each year our staff undergo Child Protection Training in order to be most equipped to support children and families.  If you feel you need further advice or information on Domestic violence please visit Connect Crisis Support QLD.

Each year we invite Bravehearts to conduct their ‘Ditto’s keep safe adventure show’ to teach the children personal safety in a non-confrontational way.

The shows main contents address:

In addition to the performance and to continue communicating Ditto’s personal safety messages, the team also provides an Activity Book for each student to take home and share with parents and carers.

4. Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA; pronounced Ah-see-qua)

ACECQA  is Australia’s national authority, which holds many roles to educate and inform the wider community about the importance of improving outcomes in children’s education and care. They also provide governments, the sector and families with access to the most current research to ensure NQF (The National Quality Framework) policy and service delivery is in line with best practice across the country.
Below are some helpful resources for Families to understand the role of ACECQA, the NQF, and the benefits of Early Education for the current generation.

5. Breast feeding for Babies

Breastfeeding helps to give your baby the best start for a healthy life.  Evidence confirms that babies should be exclusively fed breast milk for the first six months of life, but we understand that sometimes this skill does not come naturally to all mother’s.  At Tugulawa Early Education we fully support breast feeding mother’s with an open door policy, or alternatively the ability to store and feed babies expressed milk.  More information surrounding breastfeeding, the benefits and support networks can be found at Australian Breastfeeding Association or Queensland Health.

6. Community Support Links

Australian Government – Department of Social Services – Inclusion Support Program.

Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority [ACECQA]. Quality Area 6 – Collaborative partnerships with families and communities.

The National Quality Standard Professional Learning Program; E Newsletters, No 41 “Additional Needs”- looking beyond disability.

The State of Queensland (Department of Communities). (2011). Absolutely everybody: enabling Queenslanders with a disability.

7. Helpful Links for Families

Noah’s Ark Inclusion Support Agency

Red Cross Blood Donations


Kids Help Line

Qld Deaf Society – provide State wide Interpreting Service 1300 789 439 (voice and TTY), Queensland wide (fee for service). Phone 07 3892 8500; Phone TTY 07 3892 8501; Fax 07 3392 8511

Deaf Services QLD

National Relay Service – an Australia-wide access service available to people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. National Relay Service1800 555 677 (via TTY or modem); Speech to speech 1800 555 727

Translating & Interpreting Service – TIS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TIS cover 100 languages and have a Doctor’s Priority Line providing a fee-free telephone interpreting service for eligible medical practitioners. Phone1300 655 082; Doctors 1300 655 010

Spinal Injuries Association – provides broad range of supports and services to people with a spinal disability. Services include equipment options, employment options, access solutions, peer support, and help in locating accessible holiday accommodation.

Brain Injury Australia – coordinates a range of services for people with a brain injury and their family and friends. Information and referral service behavioural consultancy, supported accommodation, training and education, lifestyle support.

Autism Queensland – community support and service provider to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger Syndrome. Autism Queensland provides telephone support, school visits, parent consultations, and early intervention, parenting and holiday programs. In addition, other services include Adult Supported Accommodation, Family Support Team, Respite Services – Centre Based, In-Home and Emergency. Head Office Ph: 3273 0000.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance our priority is to help babies, children, teenagers and adults living with cerebral palsy lead the most comfortable, independent and inclusive life possible. Our therapy teams work with individuals and families to maximise their participation in the community. To ensure people with cerebral palsy have access to high quality and innovative services and programs, Cerebral Palsy Alliance provides professional development and training for employees within the disability sector. We also fund important cerebral palsy research in Australia and overseas through our Research Foundation.  Cerebral Palsy Alliance operates from 55 sites throughout metropolitan, regional and rural NSW and the ACT. We rely on your generosity to raise funds for services and research.

Down Syndrome Association of Queensland – provides parents, people with Down Syndrome and the community with various services such as New Parent Support, Contact Centre, Library, Newsletter, Social Activities and Parent Education. Head Office:3356 6655

Support for Carers Queensland Government –provides support to carers in Queensland through the provision of information and support, carer support groups, counselling and advocacy.

Queensland Parents of People with a Disability (QPPD) – QPPD is a State wide systems advocacy organisation for people with a disability. Run by parents, the organisation works to stop abuse and exclusion of people with a disability, and to uphold their rights.

Australian National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline – An Australia-wide telephone hotline for reporting abuse and neglect of people with a disability using government funded services. Hotline is open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

Mental Health Association Qld – This is the site of mindIT, an internet-based information and communication tool that promotes mental health issues and the mental health sector. Site includes Service Seeker which allows you to find a wide range of community services. Also included is QC-Move (Personal Support Programme), Community Jobs Programme, Advocacy, Library and more.

Accessible Travel – For general information on accessible travel in Queensland, including accommodation, airports, train and hire cars.

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