Port Augusta Children's Centre receives $3000 in grants

YOUNG EXPLORERS: Makyrah, Lola, Tekeyah, Evyonna, Judy and Chase at the Mambray Creek Campground for their weekly bush kindy session.
YOUNG EXPLORERS: Makyrah, Lola, Tekeyah, Evyonna, Judy and Chase at the Mambray Creek Campground for their weekly bush kindy session.

The Port Augusta Children's Centre received a major boost from the Department for Education's Parent Initiatives in Education (PIE), gaining $3000 in funding for two of its programs.

$1500 has gone towards the Children's Centre's bush kindergarten program, which sees kids and their parents spend one day a week at the Mambray Creek Campground to get to know nature.

The program is run together with the Davenport community women's group, Kungka Tjuta, who pass on their traditional skills and knowledge in basket weaving and finger painting to both parents and children.

The funding is to be used to pay the women for their time and resources.

Children's Centre Director Mandy Dempsey said the grant is a great way to show appreciation to the women from the Kungka Tjuta group.

"Their knowledge creates a bit of a bridge to be able to pass on Aboriginal cultural skills to the young generation because a gap has been identified," she said.

Ms Dempsey said bush kindy gives children the chance to escape their usual routine and explore nature.

"A big part of what we do is around supporting children's learning, but also supporting parents and their understanding around children's learning and curiosity," she said.

"Children get to make choices when they’re hungry, when they want to play, when they want to join in. It's about watching and learning from watching."

Shondelle Coveney has been attending bush kindy sessions with her four-year-old son, Storm, for two years.

She said the program helps her to teach Storm about nature and the land.

"He needs his cultural learning," Shondelle said. "He knows his buildings, but now he knows the land he walks along."

The Children's Centre also received $1500 to put together home packs for families, which will be filled with educational activities and information for when children are unable to attend the centre's playgroups.

Funding will be put towards purchasing resources for the packs.