Pakenham celebrates new outdoor yard with opening ceremony
An African drumming extravaganza for children, a traditional welcome to country and smoking ceremony, and an official ribbon cutting are all part of the grand opening of Goodstart Pakenham’s
brand new outdoor play space.
Families, children and the community are invited to join in the celebrations at the centre on Tuesday 8 August from 11.30am to 2.30pm. Special guests include an Indigenous elder from the Bunurong land council and Mayor, Cr Mayor Brett Owen.
The $200,000 yard upgrade includes a dry riverbed with weirs and a water pump, a mud patch, sensory indigenous plants, a community vegetable garden, cubby house, viewing platforms and a roaming sandpit.
Centre director Beth Mason said the play space has been designed with learning embedded into each aspect and a strong focus on natural elements.
“A key focus on the design was to create a completely natural space where we can embed sustainable practices and help children to develop a love for the natural world,” Ms Mason said.
“We look forward to celebrating with our current families and welcoming new families to the centre. It’s a great opportunity for parents to come and see our play and learning spaces and hear first-hand from educators about the quality of programs we offer at Goodstart Pakenham.”
Educational leader Laura Doyle said children will thrive in the new space.
“We believe our new outdoor space allows children to excel in their independence of learning, while engaging all areas of development that children need to grow into healthy, balanced adults, as we prepare children for real life, with real life skills,” Ms Doyle said.
Goodstart, a not-for-profit organisation, reinvests its operating surplus into professional development of educators and staff, upgrading centre facilities – particularly playgrounds, and into new equipment and resources to help improve learning outcomes for children.