Makeover at Goodstart Kenmore welcomed by all
A sensory garden, a mud kitchen with a sink and an edible garden are all components of complete centre upgrade at Goodstart Kenmore - Princeton Street
Floors were replaced, bathrooms redesigned, a nursery room built and a welcoming entrance established in the upgrade which is part of Goodstart Early Learning’s $27 million investment in infrastructure in the last financial year.
Centre director Nicole Tran said the children loved their new playground which was designed with sensory elements in mind, and in line with Nature Play Queensland guidelines, to encourage children to play and learn.
“We have a large outdoor area but it was all AstroTurf and on a hill so it was difficult to accommodate different learning abilities and engage in nature,” Mrs Tran said.
“Our aim was to connect children with nature, give them the opportunity to explore different textures, and to create an environment that was stimulating, engaging and welcoming.”
As a result, many different materials were used in the design including sandstone, timber, rubber compound, mulch, natural grass and AstroTurf.
“The idea was to create a garden that had many different sensory aspects and that would stimulate the curiosity of the children. We know that children learn through a varierty of different ways and all of the sensory objects mean children can engage with their natural surrounds inlcuding the sand, the mud, the trees and the bark," Ms Tran said.
Recent research shows up to one in six children may have sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to affect aspects of everyday life functions.
The $500,000 upgrade also includes the addition of a nursery, much to the delight of the parents who already used the centre for older children, and new families looking for a centre for their babies.
“We opened the nursery five weeks ago and we’re already nearly full in there which is a great result,” Ms Tran said.
“Right from the get-go, we took on board feedback from children and families to ensure everyone was considered. The designs were created from the brief and then presented to families for feedback,” she said.
She said the new office entrance made the centre more welcoming for families and their children when they arrived. Next on the agenda is the completion of the centre’s vegetable and herb gardens, the results of which will be used in the daily meals and embedded in the centre's programs and practices.