In these times of uncertainty and change, it’s more important than ever to share kindness, connection and support in our communities where we can – and Great Beginnings centres are doing just that.
Whether it’s keeping children safe in centres, supporting families whose life circumstances have changed, or helping those who are keeping children at home, it’s clear wherever you look that love is all you need.
Some of our Great Beginnings families have lost jobs or are struggling with the juggle of working and caring for little ones. With many of the educators and teachers in our centres working mums and dads too, it’s a challenge we know too well.
Keeping Clean and Safe
One thing we have tried hard to do over the past few weeks is help the children in our care learn about the need to wash hands and follow guidelines for hygiene and safe distancing.
And we’ve got them involved in activities that help them to stay connected with absent friends and also feel that they can make a difference, with little acts of kindness and care.
Centre staff have also gone the extra mile to help families wherever we see a need, especially parents who are working harder than ever on the health care front line, emergency services, supermarket staff and teachers and educators just like us.
Great Beginnings Pimpama, QLD
At Pimpama on the Gold Coast, centre staff called out to local radio station Hit 90.9 Gold Coast for help to get a washing machine to one of our self-isolating families. The two children who normally attend the centre have had to stay at home as one has a heart condition but his dad, who left his job to reduce the risk to his son, was still having to make trips to the laundromat. As a result of our call, the radio station delivered a brand-new washing machine and the family no longer has to risk exposure to have clean clothes.
Centre staff have also been dropping off meals to the family and others in the community who need a helping hand in a time of great need.
Great Beginnings Speers Point, NSW
At Great Beginnings Speers Point on the NSW Central Coast, the chef has also been preparing meals for families to take home along with an isolation guide with activities for children.
Great Beginnings Bayswater, WA
In Perth, Great Beginnings Bayswater has created a community pantry for families while in Victoria, the Reservoir centre have also set up a “give what you can, take what you need” pantry.
Great Beginnings Mt Clear, VIC
Reservoir families have volunteered their contact details with offers of help to cook and provide meals for anyone who needs it.
Keeping contact between children in care and those in isolation has been a priority and each week, the planned activities are provided so that children can continue their learning at home.
Great Beginnings Bathurst, NSW
Our newly opened Great Beginnings Bathurst centre has been baking muffins for families to take home for the weekend, a special treat that has been warmly welcomed.
Great Beginnings Gymea, NSW
Great Beginnings Gymea has been helping children stay in touch with grandparents, setting up Zoom catch-ups that all centre children have enjoyed, especially storytime with grandma and grandad. And with families who are in self-isolation top of mind the Gymea team has been reading and recording stories to send to children at home via email.
Great Beginnings Byford, WA
In WA Great Beginnings Byford has joined in the bear hunt and rainbow trail that is springing up around town. And the supply issues that hit our dinner service have now been resolved and we’re back to sending home dinner packs for families who need them.
Great Beginnings Oran Park, NSW
Children at Sydney’s Oran Park centre have also created a beautiful rainbow trail display in the foyer and there are now rainbows in every room.
Great Beginnings Mill Park, VIC
Great Beginnings Mill Park held a special Rainbow Day with children having spent the week creating rainbows, making rainbows in the sky using water and talking about why rainbows make us happy.
Concentrating on the things that bring happiness has been an important focus for educators and the rainbow has proven a great way to communicate this to children. Educators and children have arrived dressed in rainbow colours, children have learned a rainbow song and the amazing inventive chef even made rainbow lamb burgers with a rainbow cake to follow, with help from the children.
Every day in a thousand little ways our Great Beginnings family of educators, parents and children, is in this together.
What are you doing to spread kindness and show others that you are thinking of them at this time? We’d love to hear your stories.