Handing over the keys to the new Tingha Preschool bus, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Tingha Preschool Nominated Supervisor Sandy Ellis, Inverell District Family Support CEO Nicky Lavender and IDFS Operations Officer Tom Devlin.
Monday, 17 February 2020
A BRAND new bus service will soon be picking up children and taking them to Tingha Preschool thanks to the announcement of a $74,953 State Government grant today by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.
Mr Marshall said the new vehicle would be a welcomed addition to the community preschool.
“For the first time ever Tingha will have a specialised bus service which will ensure no child misses out on getting the best start to their development and education,” Mr Marshall said.
“This grant has allowed Inverell District Family Services (IDFS) to purchase a new 12 seater bus which will travel the community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays picking up and dropping off students before and after preschool.
“The annual operating costs for the bus have also been factored into this grant and this includes the wages of a driver so we could actually see a new employment opportunity created as a result of this.
“The Community Grants Program was specifically created to increase the number of Aboriginal children and children from disadvantaged backgrounds accessing preschool and I think this bus will achieve real outcomes in this space.”
IDFS CEO Nicky Lavender said the families from Tingha had long been calling for a service like this.
“We know there are some families in the Tingha area who are restricted in their ability to get their children to preschool due to transport barriers,” Ms Lavender said.
“Currently we have ten children enrolled at Tingha Preschool over the three days of operation but we are actually licenced for 20 and would love to see all those places filled.
“This really is an important development for the Tingha community as we have created a scenario where there will be fewer restrictions preventing children starting their early education journey and more opportunities for families to increase the number of days their kids attend.
“I’m confident once we get this bus up and running not only will every seat be filled but Tingha Preschool will also achieve full occupancy which is great for the future of our village.”