New director ready to shake up Gladstone's childcare
GLADSTONE'S green spaces and a return to the not-for-profit childcare sector have Rhonda Kent thrilled with her move to the harbour city.
"I really like the town," she told the Observer.
"I think it's a very natural environment up here - throughout the city centre you get those pockets of green."
The new director of C&K Clinton Community Childcare Centre drives up from Bundaberg every week to manage the centre, which cares for the children of about 60 families.
"Coming to C&K for me was the big buzz because I love the idea of working for a not-for-profit - it's good for the soul," she said.
"The entire company is based around the idea of (producing) the best outcomes possible for children.
"And I did start out my career in childcare with C&K all those years ago."
Ms Kent said the centre's approach focused on being more than just a child-minding service, instead helping children transition from home life into childcare and then from kindergarten into school.
"The new focus is birth to three-year-olds - we try to provide the younger children with as much one-on-one contact as you would get in the home environment," she said.
Weekly trips for the kindergarten kids to local schools are also in the works, with Ms Kent saying it helps children experience a smooth run from childcare into Prep.
"Even if it's just to use the library facilities, or maybe a quick walk-in to say hello to the Prep teachers," she said.
"We would like to introduce that a bit earlier (in the year), even if it is just in those minute little ways so they get very familiar with the idea of heading off to big school."
Ms Kent said she enjoyed letting the kids make use of the centre's spacious grounds - even with the weather in the last week.
"If it's raining, we're out in it," she said.
"We love it when the kids get muddy and dirty and really get into those natural elements."