Wednesday, 17 February 2021
CHILDREN at six preschool and day care centres in Armidale and Guyra will enjoy new learning spaces and play equipment this year, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing the facilities would share in $74,162.69 through the State Government’s Quality Learning Environments (QLE) program.
Mr Marshall visited the Galloway Children’s Centre to see where $6,000 would put the finishing touches on the new kitchen.
“Providing nutritious, exciting meals is an important part of the modern day preschool,” Mr Marshall said.
“After a long hiatus the kitchen at Galloway Children’s Centre has fired back to life, with a new commercial fridge, stove and washing machine making the food preparation area functional.
“This grant will complete the improvements by installing new cabinetry and bench tops.
“In the past educators feared poor diets were impacting children’s behaviour and so reinstating the kitchen has helped teach kids about better dietary choices while putting a healthy meal in their tummies.
“It’s fantastic to see these centres continually working to improve their facilities so that local children can have the best, and most positive, start to their education journey.”
Galloway Children’s Centre Director Sarah Grant said the funding had allowed her team to fast-track the kitchen upgrade.
“I am so appreciative that we have received this grant as it will allow is to provide nourishing meals for the children of our 50 families,” Ms Grant said.
“In 2019, when the old kitchen was reopened, we had little money to invest in improvements and so made do with the highly impractical workspace.
“As a not-for-profit it would have been another few years before we could afford to complete the works ourselves and I really don’t know that our dated kitchen would have held out that long.
“Our ongoing menu provides the children with more than 50 per cent of their daily nutritional requirements.
“This gives busy families confidence their children are eating well and many have reported their children are far more open to eating a variety of foods at home.”
Mr Marshall said exciting projects were also occurring at other preschools in Armidale and Guyra.
“Efforts to improve aged facilities at Guyra Preschool and Long Day Care have been assisted with $13,873.64 to purchase new outdoor climbing equipment,” he said.
“The Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre will look fresh after it spends $13,044 on new furniture and resources.
“Sustainability is the theme of a refurbishment to Adventureland Preschool’s outdoor space, with $15,000 installing an interactive creek bed with Aboriginal perspectives.
“Children at St Peters Preschool will dive into learning with an $11,273 splash pond, water hand pump and swing set.
“Finally, $14,971 will add new windows for additional supervision at Boongaiai Preschool, along with a purpose built cubby play structure.”
The NSW Government’s Quality Learning Environments (QLE) grants early childhood education facilities with funding of up to $15,000 to purchase resources and activities which improve physical or educational learning environments. They can also be used to provide specialised educational programs for children to address identified educational needs.
MEDIA: Kris Wall 0447 432 392
Photo caption: Preparing to serve up nutritious meals in the new Galloway Children’s Centre kitchen, Educator Ranee Dunbar, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Educator Vanessa Cubunavanua.