Everyone in Australia has been recently impacted by the bushfire crisis, and the children at Community Kids Bargo are no different.
Their centre, on the south coast of New South Wales, faced evacuation due to the firestorm that impacted the nearby town of Balmoral. When the call came to evacuate, the little ones knew exactly what to do – thanks to the forward thinking and planning by centre staff.
As written in the Daily Telegraph:
They had been practising the fire drill for weeks – even making sure they kept their shoes on at naptime.
Emma Whitehead, Centre Director from G8’s Community Kids Bargo, said they worked with the children doing targeted play activities. She said extra practices of fire drills in the weeks before the fires meant on the day, most of the children didn’t realise it was the real thing.
“The kids actually seemed to enjoy it like an excursion because we had practised so many times it wasn’t a shock to them,” she said.
In both the drills and the real-deal evacuation, educators would go into the kitchen, do a roll call and head count before arranging the children to go on the bus. The babies were rolled out in cots, with the older children asked to hold onto a rope to keep them all connected.
Community Kids Bargo was one of five G8 Education centres to be evacuated during the bushfire crisis. A further 22 G8 Education centres were closed temporarily.
Children and educators attending Community Kids early learning centres have since activated several initiatives to support communities from bushfire-ravaged areas. To bolster their efforts, G8 Education has announced it will match all donations dollar for dollar.
The announcement is part of G8’s Bushfire Relief Package aimed to support families, team members and volunteers protecting the communities within which they operate.
G8’s Bushfire Relief Package includes:
- Matching dollar for dollar all donations raised by its national network of centres with proceeds donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
- Free access to early childhood education and care for children of the tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters and Australian Defence Reserve members fighting fires and in need of assistance.
- Counselling support for team members and their families directly impacted by the fire crisis.
- Direct financial support for G8 Education families and team members severely impacted by the bushfires.