Kindergartens and Preschools
The Kindergarten Union of NSW (KU) was founded in 1895, and began to establish free kindergartens in poor areas soon afterwards. A KU school opened in ‘The Little Brown House’ in Murray Street in 1915. In 1922 Council resumed the premises, and CSR offered the use, rent free, of the old Methodist Hall and adjoining vacant land in Harris Street for a kindergarten and playground. The relocated Kindergarten was named Maybanke after Maybanke Anderson, a founding member and first president of the Maybanke Kindergarten Committee.
In 1969 there were extensions to the playground and hall to accommodate children who were transferred there because of the closure of the Samuel Cohen Kindergarten in Point Street, where houses were being demolished. Sir Samuel Cohen was a KU president, a devout Jewish citizen and worker for many good causes. Maybanke Preschool remains a valued early childhood centre for the children of Pyrmont today.
The Pyrmont Public School building in John Street was completed in 1892 and closed in 1933 as the population declined. Between 1948 and 1990 the building became a hostel for soldiers on leave, later a campus of Sydney Technical College. After the Sydney City Council restored the building with Commonwealth funding, the Sydney Day Nursery and Nursery Schools Association, which had been founded in 1905 to provide child care for working mothers, began to operate the Pyrmont Child Care centre in part of the building and grounds in 1993. Now known as SDN Pyrmont, it continues to provide child care today.