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Return to a natural landscape at Lara

Goodstart centres

Two new sandpits, a vertical herb garden and a tepee are all part of a major playground upgrade at Goodstart Lara.

Children at the early learning centre are loving their new yard and playground upgrade, which is part of a $40 million investment in FY17 by Goodstart Early Learning into improving centres throughout the network.

A digging pit, features to encourage children to explore and a sandstone yarning circle feature as well as a tepee with a garden bed backdrop.

There’s even a mud kitchen for extra messy play.

Centre director Kirsty McKellin said the children love their new playground which is a return to a natural landscape with plenty of trees and plants, a vertical herb garden and a water play area.

“We’ve really introduced a lot of nature in there and created some beautiful play spaces,” Ms McKellin said.

 “There are seating storage boxes throughout the garden, sandpits in the nursery and toddler and pre-kinder yards, bike paths with sensory elements such as uneven surfaces built from different materials such as timber, cobble and brick.”

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 children are really encouraged to be a part of the garden which is why we chose lots of hardy plants. There is a tepee and a cubby house with a kitchen in it, a water play area with a mud put and decking around the sandpit. There’s also a vertical herb garden which we’ll plant with the children when the seeds arrive.

Better learning environments enhance the quality of programs for the children who attend early learning centres and improve family and employee satisfaction.

Feedback so far has been positive with many families commenting on how lively and natural the play spaces look.

“It’s created a whole new area where we can spend time and enjoy indoor and outdoor play. It’s all there for everyone to use and we love it.”

More than $40 million was spent in centres in the 2017 financial year, with 199 centres receiving major upgrades, or 390 of Goodstart’s 644 centres upgraded in the past two years.
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