MULLALOO Community Kindergarten is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
In 1972, Mullaloo resident Dale Letch established a playgroup at Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club.
“It was suggested Mullaloo needed a kindergarten and Dale Letch was approached to assist in fundraising,” committee member Jemma Bailey said.
“An agreement was made with the Shire of Wanneroo where the building would be a multipurpose building used by both the kindergarten and local residents.
“The Mullaloo kindy opened its doors mid-1977, as the building works were not completed in time for the start of the school year.”
Lee White was the first teacher from 1977 to 1984, also helping to establish the kindergarten.
“Initially, the kindergarten equipment had to be packed up every Friday so the hall could be used by local residents over the weekend,” Ms Bailey said.
“After a few years, this agreement became untenable and the building was primarily used by the kindy.”
Current teacher Cherilyn Hotchkins has been at the kindergarten for 26 years.
“In my first two years, we ran two kindy classes and a pre-primary class with approximately 60 students,” Ms Hotchkins said.
“Then for eight years we had four kindy groups with approximately 80 students, as children only attended two half days per week.
“The following 16 years the sessions increased to two days a week, then to 2.5 days with between 30 to 40 students as per the new structure that only allowed a maximum of 40 students to be enrolled per year.
“Conservatively, in the last 26 years alone, the kindy has had an impact on the lives of approximately 1240 students and their families.”
This year, there are 37 students attending the kindergarten, which has just received a Lotterywest grant to update its furniture.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the kindergarten is holding an afternoon tea in conjunction with its annual open day on May 20.
Past staff, students and families are invited.