AFTER almost 40 years of providing care to local children, Port Stephens’ Council’s Children’s Services team have been awarded the 2020 NSW Local Government Excellence Award for Community Development and Services.
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The team have been recognised for their recent expansion of services and rebrand to Thrive Kids in a virtual awards ceremony online.
Council’s Children’s Services Coordinator Lynette Fitz Henry says it’s an exciting time for the Thrive Kids team.
“We’re incredibly excited to win this award against extremely tough competition!
“It’s a wonderful reflection of all of the hard work the team has put in to expand our services and help even more families across our region,” Ms Fitz Henry said.
“We’ve been operating Children’s Services since 1982, delivering quality childcare to the community of Port Stephens.
“While undertaking a service review, we realised we could build on our success and adapt to better meet the needs of our community.
“We doubled our OOSH (Outside of School Hours) services from 4 to 8 and increased our number of Family Day Care educators from 39 to 65.
“To reflect these updates, Council created a new brand in-house that would combine all of our services. When people see Thrive Kids, they know that it’s quality childcare services offered by Port Stephens Council.”
Ms Fitz Henry says Thrive Kids offers a range of services for children aged up to 12, including OOSH, Family Day Care and Mobile Preschool.
“OOSH offers quality care for children before and after school — it’s really designed for working families. We’re excited to now be operating OOSH at 8 locations across Port Stephens, with our newest centre at Grahamstown Public School.
“The Mobile Preschool is a unique concept where we drive the van to 5 different venues in Port Stephens to help children get ready to start school.
“Family Day Care is a family-focused childcare style. The educators provide care in their own homes, so it’s for families who like a unique and small environment for their child. We currently support 65 educators in providing professional education and care for children ranging from birth to 13 years,” she said.