The Gladys Smith Early Learning Centre has been working hard to transform and upgrade the outdoor play areas. The Centre recently opened its new Koala Room sand play space dedicated to former educator Jane Rapp. Jane was a much loved member of the Centres staff and was admired for her inspiring work with the children she cared for. When Jane lost her battle to cancer her family made a generous donation to the Centre in her memory.
Fittingly, this donation was used to rejuvenate the sandpit and surrounds in the Koala Room for children aged 0‐2, an area where Jane spent many hours, singing, laughing and exploring with
the children. In an opening ceremony attended by her family, friends and past colleagues, as well as present staff, Jane was remembered fondly and her contribution to the Centre celebrated.
This opening complimented the recent unveiling of a brand new fort style structure in the Emu Room yard. Replacing the ageing ‘pirate ship’ removed from the yard the new structure has been very popular with the children, creating a vibrant area to climb, play and create on.
With the assistance of Council’s Engineering department and builder Daniel Clarke a design was developed. The structure was constructed by local builders Damon Randall and David Hunt, and the Centre staff and parent volunteers assisted with painting. The Parent Committee funded the materials and labour for the project through many hours of fundraising and Kimberley Clark
Australia generously donated the slide. In line with the Centres focus on environmental sustainability, a rainwater tank has been installed alongside the structure for children’s water play and to water the garden.
The upgrade of both areas has vastly improved the overall function and amenity of the outdoor play spaces at the Centre and will be enjoyed by the children for many years to come.