Hyne Community Trust Support Puggles Children’s Services Van

As the Tumbarumba community prepares for the opening of the Hyne Community Trust grants next month, the community continues to benefit from a 2018 grant recipient.

Puggles Mobile Children’s Services Van is a well valued community service, bringing early childhood education and care to six regional and remote areas of the extended Tumbarumba region which otherwise have no such service.

In 2018, the mobile preschool was awarded a grant to refurbish their storage shed in Tumbarumba which had reached a state of disrepair. The shed is instrumental to the service as this is the central home for the service, safe storage of toys, resources and cleaning of equipment.

Speaking with parents who use and value this service, it was clear this is more than a play opportunity as their children learn new skills in preparation for school.

Cora Harding, mother to Marlee (5) and Hazel (2) said the service has totally transformed her eldest daughter who is preparing to transition to school in 2020,

“Marlee was two years old when she first attended the Puggles Rosewood Venue. She was shy and reserved having never been away from me.

“These days, I don’t even get a goodbye. She is a totally different child with no separation anxiety and loves her time with the educators.

“Some of the other mums and I take the opportunity to also have some time out. It is that one morning a week when we get a break so we enjoy a social coffee catch up close by.” Ms Harding said.

Mel Doughty is another local mother with four children, two of whom are already in school. Nicholas is five years old and preparing to transition to school next year.

Mel says having this service within minutes of her home in Rosewood while nursing a younger child is very convenient and ensures Nicholas doesn’t have to miss out on school readiness activities,

“Living in Rosewood, we get the Puggles team here once a week and Nicholas loves it.

“For me as a mother, it is ensuring he has that interaction with other children who aren’t his siblings, even learning different responsibilities and sharing toys with children his own age for example.

“He has a great attachment with the teachers who make him feel very safe and happy which has broader benefits in terms of his own security as we prepare for five days a week in school,” Mrs Doughty said.

 

Over the course of a week, the Puggles Mobile Children’s Services Van visits Rosewood, Ladysmith, Tarcutta, Tooma, Adjungbilly and Brungle providing preschool care for around 85 children where no other such service exists.

Depending on Government subsidy and concession entitlements, the service costs users between $7 and $27.50 per session and is open to ages six months to six years subject to availability.

The educators coordinate a range of different learning environments and activities which are stored in their central shed. These have to be loaded onto the truck, unloaded at each location and packed back up again at the end before being cleaned once a fortnight.

Team Leader, Jasmine Allen said the service is not just about child care, but also provides additional development opportunities,

“We have play based learning with a focus on school readiness for the 3 – 5 year olds. We also take them to visit schools so the school environment becomes familiar as part of school transition implementation in our program.

“For those living in rural and remote areas, children wouldn’t otherwise have access to this and suddenly going from being at home every day to starting 5 days of school per week is not ideal for most children who may find themselves behind in their learning and their social skills.

“Day to day, it is also our role to provide a safe and secure place away from home. The children know they can come to us if they need reassurance, building their resilience and security, knowing their parents are coming back to collect them.

“It also assists parents deal with their separation too.

“The Hyne Community Trust grant has enabled us to renovate our shed. We need somewhere to base and this is vital to the running of the service. Without the shed, we cannot operate and we are thankful for this support.” Miss Allen said.

For more information on the Puggles Children’s Services Van, please contact Puggles Mobile 0427 483 307 / Office 02 6948 3307.

To learn more about the 2019 round of Hyne Community Trust Grants which open for applications on 1 June, click here or email [email protected].

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Image 1: Kai Flew Playing With Flour
Image 2: Hazel Crawford with Team leader, Jasmine Allen
Image 3:Max Marriot Playing in the Slide