NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education the Hon. Leslie Williams visited Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest Preschool last week to view the progress on the extension occurring.
The extension was started with a Community Building Partnerships Grant and has continued as more funds have been raised with support of the local community.
The Preschool recently received a $7000 NSW Government Community Preschool Outreach Grant and is planning to establish a new outdoor environment starting with the development of a Bush Tucker Garden.
Assisted by the children, Minister Williams turned the first sod in the garden and planted a tree during her visit.
Minister Williams said the grants were given to community preschools to help boost preschool access for local families.
“Access to quality early childhood education is vital for all children regardless of where their preschool is located,” Minister Williams said.
“It is exciting to join with the children and staff of Tea Gardens to plant the first trees in their Bush Tucker Garden.”
Preschool Director Judy Clarke said a healthy lifestyle is important for all people, especially preschool children.
“The Bush Tucker Garden will teach kids about a healthy lifestyle and about the environment,” she said.
“The kids are keen to have an active part in the setting up and maintenance of the garden.”
Mrs Clarke said the Bush Tucker Garden will also assist the children learn more about our indigenous culture.
“We are very grateful to have Stephanie from the Buudja Marrung Indigenous Culture Education group with us,” she said.
“The group is assisting us to establish and learn about the garden.”
The slab around the new extension at the Preschool was finally poured last week.
Hunter Readymix Concrete generously donated the concrete and J R Concreting Contractors laid the slab.
“We really appreciate that it was done so quickly and the much reduced rate allowed us to go ahead with the job,” Mrs Clarke said.
“As a community non-profit preschool it is wonderful to have such generous support from these businesses.”
Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie also attended and said he was pleased to see the progress of the extension and the start of the Bush Tucker Garden.
“Early childhood education is extremely important, and I acknowledge the work that the Preschool is doing for education towards a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Gillespie told News Of The Area.