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Kids in Slide
Our Story
Northern Beaches Montessori Association


With the help of volunteers and donations, the school opens with 8 children aged 3-5 years. 

1986 -1987

16 Children now enrolled and the school moves into a church hall in Collaroy Pleateau 


Karuna U3's program provided Montessori experiences for children under 3 


Parent Board meet at Forestville Montessori school to plan the creation of a new school. 


A new Principal joins the school and starts an afternoon class. This begins the search for a new premises. 

1991 -1994

More space was required to accommodate the growing enrolments. The school eventually moved into it's current location in Narraweena. 

2019 - Present 

Karuna Montessori Under 3's program taken over by Little Hands at Work Brookvale, and Karuna 3-6 preschool continues to provide quality education to young minds.  

The view from our beautiful playground,  overlooking Dee Why beach.

In mid-1984, a group of parents with the common predicament of having children unable to find a placement in an existing Montessori Preschool met at Forestville Montessori School. They were there to find out how to start their own school from scratch from parents who had started Manly Vale School several years earlier.


The task seemed impossible. It was financially impossible for a parent body of eight families to find funds to fully equip a Montessori classroom. At that time there was also a freeze on government funding for new schools, an added challenge was to find appropriate premises in the Manly Warringah area. However, a parent with two children who was unable to find places in existing Montessori schools was enthusiastic and prepared to set up a Montessori classroom from nothing.


After several meetings and working bees to paint desks, chairs and bookshelves, the school opened in September 1984 with eight children from 3 to 5 years of age. The equipment consisted of several bookshelves, a large “Lego” set, half a dozen wooden puzzles, a few pieces of loaned Montessori equipment and a beautiful selection of practical life material assembled by the founding parent.

Fundraising started in earnest - cake stalls, raffles, wine bottling, fashion parades, craft stalls. More and more equipment were purchased and the children were being nurtured in a caring Montessori environment.


In 1985 a new Principal joined the school and ran an afternoon class of six children. But the classes needed to be joined together so the search began for premises. Nothing materialised so the lounge/dining room of one of the parent’s houses became the new school. This was the only school to have a chandelier! The children looked after the classroom with great care and good work habits were acquired. Quite a few of the children went to Forestville Montessori Primary at the end of their time in preschool.

In 1986 there were 16 children in the class and the time came to formalise the school’s existence. A parent searched unceasingly until she found a church hall that was being built at Collaroy Plateau and after long negotiations with the committee and Family and Community Services (FACS) as they were then, in 1987 the school moved there. The school was licensed for 20 children and remained at Collaroy Plateau for six years.

In 1991 there was a need for larger premises, more space was needed to accommodate more children to keep the fees down. A church was found at Narraweena, which was planning to demolish an existing hall/preschool and build another. Fortunately, because the plans had not been drawn up, the families had considerable input to the design of the building, and after a lot more work from another dedicated group of parents, the school moved to the current site. In 1994 there were 24 children, we now cater for up to 30.


In 2009 the school also began providing a Montessori experience for children Under 3’s in a nearby community hall. We have had the support of a number of exceptional Montessori guides to help this venture thrive.


The Under 3’s Program is now run by at Little Hands at Work in Brookvale and caters for up to 10 children a day ranging from 18months to 3 years.


The Karuna community continues to flourish and grow as we welcome new families each year.

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