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​​​​​​​​​​YMCA Early Learning Centre - Permanent and Casual Long Day Care and Sessional Kindergarten

Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre is open from 6.30am-6pm, offering permanent long day care, casual full day care, casual half day care and a funded sessional kindergarten program each weekday.

​We provide a high quality and inclusive Educational Program for children from birth through to 6 years in a purpose built setting that is safe and nurturing. We offer an integrated service with maternal health nurses on site as well as drop in clinics such as Talking Matters and Playgroups. Lightning Reef Primary School is also right next door. 

All of our educators are fully qualified and engage in regular professional development to ensure we are up to date with industry best practise. We offer a safe, harmonious and professional work environment and highly value all of our staff and families. KMP_3576preview.jpg

Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre understands the importance of providing a healthy environment for children, families and staff. Our menu has been assessed by Nutrition Australia as providing up to 75% of daily nutritional requirements and we have established ongoing partnerships with La Trobe Dental and Educational students to deliver healthy messages to our children, families and staff. We recognise that collaborative relationships with families are fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for children and therefore ensure you are involved in all aspects of your child’s care and education. 

Children of all ages and abilities are able to access both indoor and outdoor play spaces throughout the day. It is important to allow flexibility for children to make their own choices, as it encourages active engagement in the program and provides siblings or friends the opportunity to connect, creating a sense of belonging. 

Our outdoor play area is rich and diverse in its range of experiences and consists of established trees, grassed areas, sensory spaces, several sand pits, two natural wooden cubby houses a flying fox, a slide, swings, vegetable and herb gardens with many other exciting areas designed to encourage exploration and development for children of all ages. For the younger babies we also provide a separate play area that is designed to enlighten the senses and encourage physical and cognitive development in a safe and nurturing environment away from the busy hustle and bustle of the larger space and the older children. The babies have access to a grassed play space as well as gardens with herbs and flowers and their very own sandpit. A large covered area allows access to the outdoors when it’s rainy or sunny so that no one is missing opportunities for learning and development. 

Our service welcomes all new families and invites you to make an appointment to have a look through and see for yourself what a fantastic learning environment we can provide to you and your child. You can contact Lightning Reef ELC directly on 5444 6666 during the hours 9.00am-5.00pm or the centre at bendigo.regional@ymca.org.au to arrange a tour and discuss your needs. ​

Lightning Reef ELC Enrolments and Bookings

You can now manage and update your child’s enrolment information at the Lightning Reef ELC using our Hubworks portal.

If you have already enrolled and registered at Lightning Reef, you can head to our Hubworks Parent Portal to access your enrolment information. 

If you have not yet registered and enrolled, you will need to complete an Online Enrolment Form which you can do he​re.

Our Lightning Reef Family Handbook and Booking Forms can be found here.


Maternal and Child Health

Through a partnerhsip with the City of Greater Bendigo, the Lightning Reef ELC has services provided by Maternal and Child Health. This is a free service, available to all families with children from birth to school age entry.​

The service is staffed by Maternal and Child Health Nurses (registered nurses with qualifications in midwifery, maternal and child health) and is managed by the CoGB Children and Family Services Unit.

Appointments and open consultation sessions are available if you wish to book an appointment - you can phone 03 5442 1109 or head to the following link for more information.​

Healthy Together Achievement Program​


The Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre participates in the Healthy Together Achievement Program where we work very closely with Healthy Together Victoria and identify healthy priority areas as well as a plan of action to create a healthy service for our children, families and staff.

We've recently fulfilled the criteria set by Dental Health Services Victoria to achieve the Smiles 4 Miles award (February 2016) which places a huge focus on improving the oral health of all children in our care. 

We will continue to provide healthy tips and updates on what else we're doing at the Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre. ​

Lightning Reef News

Link to our regular newsletters and stay updated on everything that's happening at our centre.​

Lightning Reef Extras for Parents and Families!

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