How this everyday childcare went green

How this everyday childcare went green

Green daycare
Alyce Kirk, as told to Lottie Dalziel
In 2013 I joined the Koala Childcare centre when I returned to work after having my first daughter. At home, I had been using cloth nappies since she was born. When I discussed this with the director of the centre at the time, she told me this couldn’t be facilitated. So, as a result, I had to buy disposable nappies for use at the centre the days she attended. It wasn’t until after my second daughter was born, and a wonderful new director had started at the centre that I had an opportunity to join the parent-run board of management as their sustainability officer in 2015, to try and make positive changes around the centre’s waste. 

In the last years, we have made some amazing changes to the centre.

1\ Cloth nappies

Koala now supports families wishing to use cloth nappies at the centre. Koala has also introduced reusable wet bags for all families to eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags to take soiled/wet clothing home in.

2\ Farm to plate

farm to table

We have reviewed where we source our food items from and have slowly been replacing suppliers with local ones instead to reduce food miles.

3\ Solar

We have installed solar panels on the roof, resulting in the majority of our power coming from a sustainable source.

4\ Composting


We have a composting system the children are actively involved in, and anything that cannot be composted gets given to our gardener for her pet chickens! This has drastically reduced our food waste.

Interested in composting? Here's how to get started.

5\ Circular economy

We do clothing drives, where families can donate used clothing for other families to purchase second hand and any unwanted clothing is donated to a local Domestic Violence refugee.

6\ Farmyard


But, the most exciting change we have achieved is the building of our sustainable farmyard and learning area. We have been planning this farmyard for years as a board and are so excited that it is finally here. The construction has begun and is due to be finished in the next few weeks. It will include self-watering/wicking garden beds for the children to grow their own food, backyard chickens, a worm farm composting system, a stingless bee hive to pollinate the plants, water tanks and even microbats to eat bugs, negating the need to use harsh pesticides. It will be amazing!

childcare baby

7\ Education

We communicate through the centre’s newsletter and posters at reception about any changes occurring in the centre and the reason behind the change. The beautiful educators spend a lot of time educating the children about sustainability practices, creating a positive mindset towards reducing waste in the children who are our future. We have realised that so many children are growing up in units, without access to a yard to play in and need to be given the opportunity to explore and value the environment. 

Want to read more? Read how this Sydney school is combating food waste.

Alyce Kirk, is Banish's resident Parenting Editor and mum of two girls who is trying to reduce her footprint and empower her kids to make the best choices for our beautiful planet.

If you'd like to get in touch with Alyce and find out more about the amazing work she is doing and how you can apply it to your community, please email

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