Daycare centre first in Australia to launch bullying program
A CLARENCE Valley day care is the first Family Day Care in Australia to teach children about bullying before they begin school.
Clarence Family Day Care officially launched the Kindness On Purpose program yesterday after recognising one in four students will be bullied at school.
The Kindness on Purpose program is a social learning program that focuses on increasing empathy to reduce bullying, decreasing anxiety and supporting each child's ability to learn.
Each child participates in early learning activities centredon acts of kindness on purpose and identifying the feelings of others.
They also learn steps they can take to learn how to look after their feelings.
Program CEO and founder Katrina Cavanough said the program was created because the rate of bullying was at epidemic proportions.
"Sixty-four per cent of girls from Year 6 to Year 12 will be cyber bullied," Ms Cavanough said.
"From the age of three bullying starts. That's so young."
Federal MP Kevin Hogan, who attended the event, said the program was powerful.
"The government can only do so much, it's the people like you doing the ground work...who we need to support," said Mr Hogan.
Clarence Family Day Care manager Cristie Harris said kindness and empathy were attributes all people could have.
"We are never too young or too old to demonstrate and practise this skill," Ms Harris.
"Whilst we are running the Kindness on Purpose program for our young children, we are hoping that what they learn is also passed on and practised by the people that they come in contact with."
"Kindness doesn't cost money but the long term benefits of being kind is invaluable."
Clarence Family Day Care hopes the program expands to run from kindergarten to Year 12 in the Valley area.