Assistant director Anna Chiera said they did not celebrate Father’s Day this year because kids simply weren’t interested.
“We don’t bring up Father’s Day because there are children with single and same-sex parents here, but if it’s an issue for them, we encourage them to let us know,” Ms Chiera said.
“We don’t like to put pressure on the children to make a present if it isn’t going to mean something and they don’t have a father or their families don’t celebrate it.”
“We acknowledge that it’s an important celebration though.”
Helen Darcey, a kindergarten teacher at Annie Dennis, said the centre had a list of celebrations from different religions and cultures they encouraged kids to learn about and contribute to.
In the past they’ve celebrated everything from Orthodox Easter to Harmony Day, but typically not Father’s Day.
Ms Chiera conceded they did get the occasional parent who asked why they didn’t make a card, but for the most part they were supportive.
“It’s sometimes harder for the wider community to accept it especially,” Ms Chiera said.
An objection to the commercialisation of Father’s Day – a day of socks, jocks and power tools – has also contributed to it falling out of favour.
Australian Primary Principals Association president Malcolm Elliott said Father’s and Mother’s Day had been linked to the “implicit buying of gifts” thanks to advertising.
“It can place a burden on children who are short on resources,” Mr Elliot said.
But not all Melbourne kinders and primary schools have completely ditched Father’s Day festivities.
Carlton North Primary School ran things a bit differently, with a Father’s Day stall organised by parents selling gifts donated from families for students to buy their dads or other special people.
A grade one pupil bought her dad, a teacher at the school, a hamper filled with chocolate and socks.
“I got him new socks because his ones are very stinky,” she said.
With Carolyn Webb