New babies room a boon for Bangalow centre
A DECADE of fundraising by the Bangalow Community Children's Centre committee was rewarded on Saturday with happy smiling children enjoying the centre's newly completed room for under-twos.
Officially opened by Ballina MP Don Page, the "babies room", as it has become known, will accommodate up to 30 children each year from Bangalow and surrounds.
Committee president Jared Rose said without the hard work of parents, educators and the support of the local community, the $300,000 ultra-modern and practical classroom would not have been built.
"To make this happen there was a lot of community help and many parents who have had children at the centre over the years contributed to the fundraising," he said.
Featuring environmentally friendly products down to the carpet and lighting, the room was constructed by Byron Bay master builder David McDonald.
Designed by Bangalow architect Dominic Finlay-Jones to make use of natural light, the spacious main room and kitchen with disabled access leads out to a deck overlooking a sandpit and playground.
BCCC director Kerry Ellbourn said the room, constructed without the assistance of any government grants, would ease the transition into education for young children.
She said the room was designed with extensive input from educators and parents, including virtual tours by Mr Finlay-Jones, to best accommodate the children's needs.
"The design of the room allows for a variety of activities as it can be reconfigured in many different ways," she said.
"Establishing the room has also allowed us to create more space for the other children and staff."
Mr Page, whose four children went to BCCC, said it was an "amazing effort" for the Bangalow community to raise the $300,000. "It has been shown that the more effort put into early childhood education can achieve huge benefits," he said.