Ex­plor­ers fills a hol­i­day need

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Madi­son Wil­liams

FOR lit­tle Lach­lan Wot­ton the ki­netic sand at his new af­ter school care is def­i­nitely a sell­ing point.

That and the fact that he gets to play with his school friends for an ex­tra three hours af­ter school.

Port Ex­plor­ers have set up an af­ter school care fa­cil­ity at the Port Dou­glas State School to help pro­vide re­lief for par­ents with busy sched­ules.

Di­rec­tor of Port Ex­plor­ers Day Care, Julie McDon­ald and Francesca Bianchi, Di­rec­tor of Af­ter School Care trav­elled down to Cairns to fur­nish the space and pur­chase games, arts and crafts and ac­tiv­i­ties in prepa­ra­tion for the grand re­open­ing of the cen­tre.

The fa­cil­ity was al­ways in­tended to be an af­ter school care cen­tre but has sat va­cant for some years now. The af­ter school cen­tre opened on the first school day of 2016.

Prior to the open­ing chil­dren were of­ten sent to the day care fa­cil­ity around the cor­ner.

“We had a lot of chil­dren that would come to the day­care cen­tre on hol­i­days or af­ter school and they wouldn’t want to to be in a day­care cen­tre, they want more age ap­pro­pri­ate games,” said Julie.

“It’s good to be able to do this for the com­mu­nity.

“For so long I think peo­ple have had to rely on fam­ily or friends and it’s a jug­gling game and you don’t have to do that any­more.”

The team at Port Ex­plor­ers have al­ready man­aged to breath some life back into the space with colour­ful fur­ni­ture, pic­tures and games.

The cen­tre is able to cater to 20 kids at the mo­ment with a pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pan­sion in the fu­ture.

Julie said the lack of va­ca­tion care fa­cil­i­ties in Port Dou­glas was a driv­ing force be­hind open­ing the cen­tre.

“Va­ca­tion care is a big one,” said Julie.

“A lot of par­ents don’t get six weeks at the end of the year, or two weeks at Easter but the kids do and they need some­where to go and play.”

Af­ter School care is avail­able ev­ery week­day from 3pm un­til 6pm and par­ents are en­cour­aged to en­rol their kids to guar­an­tee a spot.


Arlo Hans­ford, Tia Bani, Francesca Bianchi and Lach­lan Wot­ton

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