Child’s play: Collie Early Education Centre Director Jenny Fry hopes the outdoor area’s redevelopments will draw more children and parents to the facility.THE COLLIEEarly Education Centre has completed redevelopments toitsoutdoor area facilities.
The Nature Play Solutions outdoor area project included upgrades to the sand pit,seatingand garden areas.
The centre received a funding grant from Bendigo Bank to complete the redevelopments.
Construction took place over five days last month, with staff taking pictures for the Collie Early Education inc. Facebook page.
Collie Early Education Centre Director Jenny Fry said the redevelopments supportthe centre’svision for students’growing education needs.
“It has really changed that area of the garden and made it a lot more exciting for the children to use itfor theircreative and imaginative skills,” she said.
“Lots of things will be happening up there as well as the children will be using it themselves to create their own play space as well.”
The redevelopments have coincided with thecentre’s Forrest School activities, conductedfrom June to August.
The curriculumhas organised mud painting, bug hunts, fire safety activities, collages, making tree faces with clay and mud,a soup day and an excursion to pick up sticks and leaves around Collie.
Mrs Fry said she had conducted Forrest Schools while teachingin the United Kingdom, with the program having originated in Denmark.
Mrs Fry said the initiative has attracted support from children and parents in the community.
“At the moment, we are having quite a bit of interest because, especially with Forrest Schools as well, it’s a new thing that is happening in Collie,” she said.
“The new and existingparents that have seen it are really excited and the children are keen to want to go out there.”
Mrs Fry said the centre has also planned to conduct science lessons,boogie mites, and Saturday sessions for children and parents.
The centre was alsolooking for grants to further redevelop the garden area and set up additional sessions.
Mrs Fry said thepriority was to engagewith and informa wide range of people in the community.
“The community could come andhave a look themselves, people around Collie are more than welcome to drop into the centre, it doesn’t matter what age, we’re more than happy to show them around,” she said.
“It’s a centre that we feel very proud of, very fortunate to be able to be in, and we’ve got lost of visions for the future to make it the best day care centre around.
“It’s where children’s education does sort of matter and provides you with top-quality education and care because, although we are carers,we are also following by a curriculum so we are educating the children as well.”
The centre has created links with Collie Senior High School including work experience in child care and labouring.
The centre will alsoexploreteaching opportunities for staff including swimming and life-guard training.
Mrs Fry said engagement with schools and community groups was key to the centre’s future.
“We have made links with local schools and kindies to share information, with the parent’s permission, to make those links,” she said.
“That’s what we’re focusing on is making links between us, the community, andother agencies involved with the child because it’s all about the child at the end of the day and we can make those links.
“It’s a really tight community, I’ve only been here a year from the UK and I can feel that, so that’s why we want to involve the community and get out there.”
The centre first opened its doors in February as part of the South West Development Commission’s SuperTowns initiative.
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