Tiny opportunities, big skills

For many young children, child care is a time for active learning including counting, writing and reading, as well as creating treasured artworks for their parents or guardians.

And at Ellerman Child Care Centre in Dural, children are also being taught how to garden, compost and cook with fresh fruits and vegetables alongside their accredited early learning program.

They have also been getting their hands dirty, with the centre having its own orange tree and vegetable garden.

Mayor of The Hills Shire, Councillor Yvonne Keane said the children at the centre have been eager to learn and help out with the daily care of the garden.

“The children absolutely love it,” Mayor Keane said.

“They are learning new skills, they are having fun and developing self-confidence as they spend time tending to the plants and growing their own food.

“Plus, they are learning about the Shire’s extensive history. Our beautiful area was once the biggest supplier of oranges in the state, and Bella Vista Farm was once home to a citrus orchard.”

Mayor Keane joined the children on their orange harvest day on Thursday.

She also lent a helping hand to the eager youngsters as they created various healthy meals using the freshly picked oranges.

“Spending time in the kitchen and cooking new recipes helps children to develop a positive connection to all different types of foods including fruits and vegetables,” Mayor Keane said.

“It also provides practical experiences with many essential skills such as reading, following directions and measuring, as well as understanding the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

“I am so proud of Ellerman Child Care Centre and I commend the staff for their commitment to this wonderful program,” Mayor Keane added.

The Dural child care is run by The Hills Shire Council.