EDUCATION DRIVER: Santos LNG Gladstone regional manager Garry Scanlan, Katy Winter and Raelene Norris celebrate the new early childhood service for Calliope.
EDUCATION DRIVER: Santos LNG Gladstone regional manager Garry Scanlan, Katy Winter and Raelene Norris celebrate the new early childhood service for Calliope. Mike Richards

Kindy van fuelling young minds at Calliope

A COMMUNITY group for disadvantaged children has launched its first mobile service to the Calliope region.

The Benevolent Society has been running for 200 years, but Calliope is its newest serviced area and comes as a welcome arrival.

Operating out of a van, the Connect 2 Kindy service provides a mobile, structured play program aimed at supporting children aged three to five years to develop the skills they need to succeed in 'big school'.

Calliope State School has opened its doors to the program, which will run every Friday.

Benevolent Society regional manager Leith Sterling said the society was thrilled to be able to make a quality early childhood service available to families in Calliope who had missed out so far.

"All children benefit from taking part in professionally run activities and education," Mr Sterling said.

"Their natural skills and abilities get amplified and they arrive at school ready to learn and make friends, which sets them up to succeed in school and in life.

"We want mums and dads in Calliope to know this is a safe, fun environment to bring their kids, and to get some support for themselves with parenting advice and activities they can do at home."

Connect 2 Kindy Calliope co-ordinator Katy Winter said young learning set children up for a lifetime of success.

"We want families to be ready for their children to go to kindy and understand the process," Ms Winter said.

Queensland Department of Education representative Fiona Craigie said the service was focused primarily on indigenous families.

"It's great to see that people are believing in early childhood," she said.

"It really is the most important years while the minds are like little sponges.

"The children are our future and we want them to succeed."

The ongoing program will also service outlying areas.

It has been made possible with help from the Department of Education and Training and by a generous donation from Santos GLNG.



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