At the start of this year, Westall Kindergarten moved into the newly built Westall Hub and started their new community! We spoke to Fiona Peterson, Centre Director about her year with the service and asked her what makes it special?
“It’s the fact that we’re in the Hub” she says, “We’ve got access to so many services and people. It’s such a welcoming place and all the families are happy here because it’s such a beautiful building with such friendly people.”
The Hub means that engagement with the local community is both easy and regular. With the local Primary School, the Maternal Child Health Nurse, the Library, the Speech Therapist and many more under the same roof, the children are exposed to a range of different visitors and benefits. It’s not just the local services but the local people that are coming and going. Families love to be involved at Westall Kindergarten and when they’re not coming in to share their diverse cultures with the children, they can be found in the halls having a coffee and a chat with one another.
Though it took time to build trust with the families, as many families are new to the country and facing language barriers, Westall Hub has become a safe place for all families.
“Some of our families have never trusted anyone with their children before. Just being that friendly face in the morning that they can trust is the first step” says Fiona.
With regular meet ups, morning tea’s and different group activities, even those who felt isolated before can now find themselves a part of a warm community!
A month ago, Westall Kindergaten hosted a kinder disco which was not only a fun event but also a great showcase of the community that has been created within the Kindergarten and the Hub. With an overwhelming number of families and children in attendance, and a table overflowing with food from many different cultures, the parents and children chatted, laughed and danced together.
“The majority of our families are new; new to the area, new to the country and don’t know anyone. And they were all here, mingling and sharing their food and music.” says Fiona with a smile. “That was the time that I realised that we have created this whole community. At the start of the year we had nothing here and now we have this beautiful little family”
Find out more about Westall Kindergarten here