Outdoor play funding for childcare

Centre director Renee Locker with chairperson Anita Catalano and Hillarys MLA Rob Johnson at the centre.
Centre director Renee Locker with chairperson Anita Catalano and Hillarys MLA Rob Johnson at the centre.

Whitfords Occasional Childcare Centre director Renee Locker said management researched different outdoor play equipment versus natural based play settings.

‘In collaboration with Nature Play Solutions and Childscapes, we were able to come up with a design, which provided children with the opportunity to explore the natural environment,’ she said.

‘Some of the things that have been included in our design are stepping logs, decking, tunnels, log balancing beams, sensory gardens, music wall made from natural materials, fruit trees, built in sandpits and secret paths.’

Ms Locker said the centre encouraged an appreciation of the natural environment.

‘As back yards are becoming smaller and parents more nervous about children being out in the community, we need to fill children’s need to challenge themselves, to manage risk, to climb and explore different surfaces and levels and to go into places where there might be ‘secret things’ and living creatures,’ she said.