pirate ship.jpg


By attending Cara Armstrong you are entering a very welcoming community that is rich in history and pride. Our Kinder has been offering the children of Hawthorn East and its surrounding neighbourhoods a quality Kinder experience and family-friendly atmosphere since 1945.

Throughout the war years of 1943 and 1944, a resident of Rathmines Road, when confronted with a lack of kindergarten education in the Hawthorn area for her daughter, gathered a petition of over a thousand names to present to the Hawthorn City Council along with her request for a kindergarten to be established in the Rathmines Reserve.

The Council met this challenge with the demand that if this were to go ahead the interested residents would need to raise two thousand pounds. Fetes were held in Rathmines and Victoria Road Reserves alive with merry-go-rounds, spinning wheels, stalls and brass and pipe bands. Ballet nights, film screenings, working bees of jam and apron making, along with stalls of every baked delight pooled from their war time rations, were held by these intrepid families to raise not only the amount demanded by the Council, but more!

From this, they built the Kinder building (which has since been extended and renovated), as well as the shed and sandpit. At the centre of these activities was that one mother – Cara Armstrong – a woman with a vision of quality kindergarten education being available to all children regardless of their parent’s financial circumstances. Opening in 1945, the Kindergarten was later renamed the Cara Armstrong Kindergarten in recognition of the charismatic role she played when she inspired a wartime community, including its political leaders, to think of their children and their needs.

We invite your family to join us and experience the learning, friendship and excitement that is Cara Armstrong Kindergarten!

“We have wonderful memories of our two years at Cara Armstrong, we watched our eldest daughter blossom from a very shy and quiet 3-year-old to a very confident and social 4-year-old in an environment that was both nurturing and safe. The kindergarten has a lovely sense of community with welcoming Educators, Committee and families”. - Louise