Padthaway community members have recognised a demand for childcare services in the area and are in the process of building on current and future facilities.
At the start of this year, Padthaway Primary School introduced a ‘three year old program’, enabling children as young as three to participate in learning experiences with Padthaway pre-school students.
Padthaway Primary School pre-school teacher Libby Thornton said the program was developed after community surveys concluded there was a need for the services.
“Parents in the area can’t always drive their children all the way to Naracoorte for a kindy program and it’s important for the children that a service is offered locally,” she said.
“The 3-year-old program is integrated with the pre-school program and generally the children are involved with similar learning experiences that the pre-schoolers get.”
Mrs Thornton said the program enabled younger children to develop their social skills, increase social opportunities and prepare them for pre-school.
“Kids who attend usually start with three hours per week and then based on their individual needs are allocated different amounts of time and activities.”
Padthaway community member and member of the Padthaway school governing council Sam Ward recognises there is a greater need for childcare services in the area.
“The three year old program at the school is still a growing thing and the greater community has identified there is a need for childcare services and we are committed to making this happen,” Mr Ward said.
“We are going to make this happen but we are still trying to work out how exactly to go about it. “We are sending out a survey through the school, but it would also be good to get the word out to the wider community to gauge interest of who would use a facility like this.”
Mr Ward said childcare services are important to attract families and workers to the region.
“The Padthaway Grape Growing Group, as well as many others, have identified there is a strong need for childcare and it is in our list of strategic objectives,” he said.
“If we can provide this service we are going to get more people coming to Padthaway. The next step would be to see whether anyone in the area would be interested in facilitating the service.”
Mr Ward has asked members of the Padthaway and greater community to email him with suggestions, comments or questions in regards to the planning of the service.
Mr Ward can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.