New arrival a welcome surprise at Goodstart Penfield
When Goodstart Penfield
centre director Annette Denton showed up for work last Wednesday morning, she was greeted with an amazing sight.
Overnight, one of the centre’s seven sheep had given birth to a lamb, who has since been named Sammi.
Two more sheep at the centre have been identified as being pregnant, and Ms Denton says the educators couldn’t be happier.
“We could not believe our eyes when we turned up at work and there was a new lamb in the paddock,” Ms Denton said.
“We had one of the mums have a look at our other sheep and another three were pregnant so Tommy our ram has been busy.”
Tommy, and his sister Ali, were donated to the centre last year, and were hand-raised by the educators and children. At just 15 months of age, Tommy wasn’t expected to father new lambs for a few more months.
The centre is also looking forward to welcoming seven new baby ducklings with the mother duck sitting on her nest in the same enclosure as the new lamb.
“We’re on a large 12 acre (4.8ha) block out here so we’ve got plenty of space for all of the animals.
We’ve also got about 10 chickens who lay eggs for us every day and there’s a few roosters so we’ve had baby chickens too.”
Ms Denton said the children were beyond excited by the new arrival and were spending a lot of time near the sheep’s enclosure.
Penfield is an exceeding centre in all seven categories including educational program and practice, children’s health and safety, physical environment, staffing arrangements, relationships with children,
collaborative partnerships with families and communities, leadership and service management.
Based in a strong farming community, with a focus on inclusion and acceptance, the children at Penfield take part in many different community events.
Ms Denton said her and her educators were very passionate about communicating with their families and building strong relationships.
“We like getting to know our families and working alongside them, not telling them what to do,” she said.
We are able to support them, not take over, we are here to be an extension of their families, but we are not here to bring their children up,” she said.
The centre takes part in activities, such as cooking, making playdough, and many other learning experiences and has a focus on treating each child as an individual and catering to their specific needs.
“We do muddy puddle walks and encourage the families to bring in the children’s gumboots and rain coats. They love playing the mud and for me, it’s very rewarding when the children are enjoying themselves.
“I feel like we can really take them back to nature knowing that not many centres have the chance or the space to do that. It’s just beautiful.”