CHILDREN are ready to file back into class at Balcombe Preschool, in Bay Road, Mount Martha after some quick work by the school community and repairs to the buildings.
In January, just four days out from the start of the new year, the school received notification that due to some issues being found within its buildings the programs would have to be cancelled.
School council president Dan Steele said the preschool was told the “best-case scenario” was that it would not be able to open for the whole of term one, with the potential for it to be further affected.
“We had no building, no kinder site, no program, and no back up space. As the new president for 2023, it was an incredibly daunting situation,” he said.
But the rest of the story is one of local communities supporting one another.
“Within a two-week window, we were able to relocate our three and four-year-old programs – without one family unenrolling due to this unexpected emergency,” Steele said.
“As a result, our four-and three-year-old children have only missed two weeks at the very beginning of the kinder year.”
Steele said that at the heart of the effort has been continuous local support, with Mount Martha Primary School and community kinders hosting the preschool students and supporting staff, with the assistance of the kinder committee of volunteers parents and the kinder staff.
“And of course, the kinder committee of volunteers, parents and the kinder staff,” he said.
“None of this would have happened without them rolling up their sleeves, adding their support, and helping us all stay connected, even while we were off-site.”
Steele said that assistance meant not one of the 90 children missed out on the crucial learning. “It has turned an emergency relocation into a community building event that has made the kinder committee, families, and staff closer and connected,” he said.