From Catholic Outlook, 18 October 2021
The next stage in the story of early learning in the Diocese of Parramatta has been announced, and it’s been inspired by the Patron Saint of Learning, St Ambrose.
Over the past year, around 40 Catholic early learning and out of school hours care centres in the Diocese of Parramatta have become part of the Diocese’s newest agency, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Services Limited (CDPSL).
The services takes a gospel-centred approach to early childhood education and has been looking strategically to the future based on its values of respect, encouragement and care.
CDPSL is now moving forward to its next stage and is bringing its new services in early learning and care for school-age children together under a new name: Ambrose Early Years Education and School Age Care.
Ambrose will cover three different services:
- Ambrose Early Learning – their traditional and extended hours preschool centres where children are surrounded by a caring community to inspire their sense of being and belonging, and develop a love of learning.
- Ambrose School Age Care – their existing out of school hours and vacation care services where children enjoy a range of activities that stimulate them physically, mentally and creatively.
- Ambrose Activities – an innovative new addition to out of school hours care featuring an extended schoolteacher-led “masterclass” program in selected schools.
Chief Executive Officer Anthony Goonan explained that the enterprise will continue the tradition of Catholic inspired early childhood education and care.
“St Ambrose is the Patron Saint of Learning and Beekeepers, who was known for his compassion for children, captives and the poor,” Anthony said.
“Some believe that when Ambrose was an infant, a swarm of bees visited him and left a single drop of honey on his lips. This is why he is often portrayed with bees and holding a beehive.
“Whilst our creative imagery around bees symbolises the safe, nurturing, community nature of Ambrose, the underlying aim is to strengthen our focus and the positive impact we aspire to have on so many families.
“St Ambrose inspires and symbolises our values. As we look forward to how we can provide the best and most contemporary educational services we can, we will be reminded of his story and the values he represents.
“Ambrose is about renewal and a symbolic step as we put lockdown behind us and look forward to the return of families and children to our services. Ambrose represents who we are and what we do. Ambrose captures the heart and soul of our services.
“There is no change to the teachers and educators your children have grown to love, and we look forward to expanding the number of services to meet demand,” Anthony said.
Ambrose will operate out of more than 40 services across the Diocese of Parramatta, with a staged roll out over the coming months.
The Ambrose story to now:
In August 2019, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, announced the creation of CDPSL, a not-for-profit agency of the Diocese of Parramatta that was to expand the pastoral outreach of our parishes and school communities. This outreach was to include a system of Catholic early childhood services, providing social enterprise services and undertaking other services related to these activities.
In the early stages of CDPSL, existing Early Learning and Care services (including Catholic Out of School Hours Care and Early Learning Centres) that operated under Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta transitioned into the care of CDPSL.
As more centres were established and joined CDPSL, the agency looked into how it can communicate its high-quality, Gospel-centred and welcoming service for children and families, its positive impact in our communities and show its commitment to forward-thinking learning and care.
In October 2021, CDPSL introduces its new name and imagery – Ambrose Early Years Education and School Age Care.