THE NSW Government has granted the Port Stephens Council Mobile Pre School $60,000 to keep a mobile Pre-School Open providing early childhood education services around Port Stephens.
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Liberal candidate for Port Stephens, Jaimie Abbott, said she is proud to see the Berejiklian Government doing the heavy lifting for the electorate’s youngest learners.
Jaimie Abbott told News Of The Area, “I can see myself in years to come accessing the service with Harvey.
“Every parent wants the best start at school for their child and this service delivers just that in an innovative way,” she said.
Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell announced that Port Stephens Mobile Preschool Activity Van, which was due to close at the end of 2018, will get funding from the Government to ensure that its operation will continue.
“It was brought to my attention that the Port Stephens Mobile Preschool Activity Van, which provides a quality early childhood education to many kids in Port Stephens, was due to close at the end of this year; so the Liberals and Nationals have invested $60,000 to allow this preschool to continue their wonderful service,” Ms Mitchell said.
“This Government recognises the importance of providing a quality early childhood education to all children, so this investment was a no-brainer.”
The service offers a challenging and stimulating educational program that provides opportunities for children to try new experiences, practice new skills and enjoy play at their personal developmental level.
The service focuses on making the transition to big school as smooth as possible and giving children important skills to help them enter school with confidence.
It caters for children aged 3 – 5 years and provides a school readiness program delivered by qualified, experienced and caring educators.
The service is subsidised for low income families and ATSI families and for children in the year prior to school entry with the program funded through the NSW Department of Education.
Port Stephens Council’s Community Services Section Manager Steve Bernasconi says it’s great to see this additional investment in the future of local children.
“Our service is focused on prioritising enrolments of four and five year olds before they begin kindergarten, while supporting Indigenous and low income families, as well as families of children with disability from three years old,” Mr Bernasconi said.
“We aim to help children learn the skills to be school-ready through exploration and experimentation by growing their unique abilities.
“As this grant supplements our existing funding, the mobile preschool will now benefit from more than $220,000 in 2019 — this will see us able to increase staff hours and provide better equipment for the children,” he said.
“This means we’ll be expanding our service from four to five days, plus adding in an additional location at Fern Bay to allow even more Port Stephens families to benefit. We’re proud to see this service grow in 2019,” Mr Bernasconi said.
Port Stephens Council’s Mobile Preschool will service Anna Bay, Fern Bay, Grahamstown, Medowie, and Raymond Terrace in 2019. Operating six hours a day, now five days a week, the service is licensed to care for 20 children at each session.
By Marian SAMPSON