MEMBER for Clarence Chris Gulaptis yesterday announced a one-off funding of $5000 for four community-based preschools in the Clarence Valley to support them in providing children with quality learning experiences.
The pre-schools chosen were some of the most underprivileged in all of NSW and would benefit greatly from the funding.
Standing in front of a group of bright young faces running amok in the Jacaranda Preschool playground, Mr Gulaptis handed over a one-off payment of $5000 to the director of Jacaranda Preschool, Samantha Lee Birch to be used by the preschool to support their pupils.
"The funding is coming from the Department of Education and I understand it is a top-up to those pre-schools that have the most need," Mr Gulaptis said.
"The Jacaranda Preschool is a preschool that has clearly demonstrated that there is a need. That need is based on enrolment data. That enrolment data is channelled into the ABS through the Socio-Economic Index for Areas and those preschools who have a low index are obviously eligible for more funding - this $5000 is a part of that funding."
Ms Birch has decided to use the additional funding to buy nine iPad minis for her students to use in lessons as a tool for observations and to connect their preschool with their home life.
"We wanted something that the children could connect through the pre-school and families," Ms Birch said.
"So iPads are a wonderful way to do that. They have apps now that they can connect with their therapists that they go to and we can also take photos of them and what they do throughout the day and send it to their families to view at night.
"It is an instant link with families, rather than waiting all year to look at their portfolio. Then they can link photos back to us - say of things the children do on weekends like a fishing trip with dad and we revolve around their interest in fishing.
"It allows us to connect with the children in a really holistic way."
The other preschools that received the funding were Copmanhurst Preschool, Iluka Preschool and Coldstream Preschool in Tucabia.