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Home arrow Your Stories arrow At Lizzards Pre-School it’s not just the bush that’s green!
At Lizzards Pre-School it’s not just the bush that’s green! PDF Print E-mail

ImageNestled in the lower Blue Mountains near Springwood lies a one acre property home to the Lizzards Pre-School, owned and operated by Tony and Judy Sharpe.

Lizzards now in its twelfth year, caters for up to 29 pre-school children in long daycare.  The cleaning of the premises and feeding this active bunch is both a challenge and a delight for Tony, a chef, who encourages a healthy, organic diet whenever possible and a chemical free cleaning regime.

“Up to 50 percent of the food we provide is organic and we supplement our menu with veggies from our totally organic garden,” said Tony.

“We currently have eight different types of veggies and we take a tray out into the garden with the children to pick our food for lunch.”

The organic garden provides a wonderful opportunity for the children aged two-five to learn about gardening and nutrition.  Tony and Judy actively involve the pre-schoolers in the planning, maintenance and weeding of the veggie patch.

As a chef Tony has a special interest and understanding of nutritional needs for young children.  He teaches Nutrition in Childcare for the Lady Gowrie organisation and is currently writing two books.  The first book is on Early Childhood (six months to five years) for Lady Gowie and will include wholefood recipes and highlight the benefits of organic food.  Tony’s other book is for Organic Bubs ( with recipes for pre-school children that don’t have added salt, sugar and are gluten free.

“What children learn now about food sets their eating patterns for life,” said Tony.

A book that Tony regularly shares with parents is Additive Alert ( that clearly highlights the number of food additives found in everyday products we feed our children.

“Parents are amazed at the difference to their children’s behaviour when they simply change some things in their diet.”

To help parents learn more about the benefits of organic food Tony puts recipes and information in his newsletter.  And for busy parents he suggests Organic Bubs, where you can buy 100 percent organic frozen food.

Green Cleaning

When the Health Inspector examined Lizzards Pre-School recently, the school passed the stringent testing with a big tick.  The pre-school which is home for two-five year old children is thoroughly cleaned without using hazardous chemicals that can impact upon the health of vulnerable young children.

Tony Sharpe, co-owner of Lizzards loves his steam cleaner and is very enthusiastic about very hot water!

His cleaning routine is simple and he finds just keeping everything clean means there are no bad odours.

He replaced bleach for the nappy change areas with tea tree oil or eucalypts oil and a vinegar spray.

He has invested in a steam cleaner which gets to all the hard to reach places especially around the toilets and the grouting.

For urine stains he dabs on some tea tree oil.

Bench tops are cleaned with a scotch scourer and soapy water, then some bicarbonate of soda followed by a spray of vinegar.

Air fresheners have been removed and replaced with bicarbonate of soda sprinkled on the window sills that are cleaned every week and essential oils on cotton wool are placed strategically around the centre.

The floors are polished wood and tiles that are cleaned with hot water and eucalyptus.  Tony does warn however, that the eucalyptus will make the floors a little slippery so he uses a paper towel to dry.

Natural/pure soap is used in the centre and eco friendly dishwashing liquid.  The dishes are cleaned in a dishwasher as per regulations and he uses tongs to remove the dishes.   Other dishes that are washed up are left to drip dry which is much more hygienic than using tea towels.


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