Community News

Mr Gulaptis and Minister Mitchell try out their juicing skills in the new kitchenette with some of the pre-schoolers from Uniting Preschool Grafton. Image: Contributed

More upgrades on the way for local preschools

Preschools across the Clarence and Richmond Valleys have benefitted from upgrades.

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis brought the Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell to Grafton last week so she could see firsthand the positive impact these upgrades are having on children.

Mr Gulaptis said Uniting Preschool in Grafton is one of 13 community-based preschools across the Clarence and Richmond Valleys who has benefitted from a total investment of $163,103 as part of the NSW Government’s Quality Learning Environments program, which funds improvements to preschool grounds and buildings, as well as specialised educational programs for children.

In this round of grants, funds have been allocated for specialised educational programs and practices like art classes, yoga or dance lessons, along with service enhancements such as playground renovations or new carpet.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said these grants have eased some of the pressure off preschools in ensuring children are getting access to top quality early childhood education.

“As a mother myself, I know that often preschools have to rely on fundraising efforts to ensure their service is up-to-scratch physically, and to deliver programs that are more niche,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This funding will ensure all children, whether they are from Grafton or Granville have a positive early childhood education experience and actually really enjoy their time at preschool.”

In this round of grants, the following services in Clarence will receive upgrades:

  • $5,176 for Gummyaney Aboriginal Pre-School for Aboriginal culture and arts.
  • $9,400 for Lawrence Community Preschool for sandpit relocation.
  • $15,000 for St Mary’s Community Preschool for minor capital works and upgrade of veranda.
  • $13,272 for Jacaranda Preschool for landscaping and vegetable garden beds.
  • $9,348 for Bentley Community Preschool for energy efficient ceiling fans in all of the preschool/hall area water play equipment upgrade.
  • $13,441 for Iluka Preschool for solar system on the roof and reverse cycle split air-conditioning.
  • $13,509 for Woodburn – Evans Head Preschool for weather proofing veranda.
  • $15,000 for Uniting Preschool Grafton for children’s bag area renovation, two door upright refrigerator and outdoor preschool perimeter fencing.
  • $13,280 for Westlawn Preschool for a new preschool fence.
  • $14,900 for Maclean Community Preschool for outdoor blinds installed on veranda and improvements to outdoor environment, including replacement of garden retaining walls, repair of sandpit frame and improvement of children’s mud kitchen space.
  • $11,981 for Coraki CWA Preschool for art and music program and privacy screens.
  • $15,000 for Evans Head Preschool to replace weatherproof veranda blinds and install outdoor musical instruments.
  • $13,793 for Glenreagh Preschool for outdoor climbing equipment and outdoor learning equipment.

For more information on the Quality Learning Environments program, visit the Department of Education website.