ECEC services band together in Cowra when summer storms strike
As parts of Queensland and New South Wales battle challenging weather events with storms and heavy flooding a story of hope has emerged from the small town of Cowra, where a local community based service stepped in to help out its Goodstart neighbour after a huge summer storm.
The team at Goodstart Cowra were left with enormous challenges after a summer storm tore through the town, damaging the Goodstart building so badly that it was forced to close for six weeks while repairs were conducted.
Coming on the back of two years of COVID-19 related challenges, and against a backdrop of extreme workforce shortages, the flow on effects to the small community had the potential to be devastating.
With a number of families at Goodstart performing essential functions in the small community, the town’s health care, education and retail services were in jeopardy. Thankfully the team at Cowra Early Childhood Services (CECs) were able to support.
Pictured: Children from Goodstart Early Learning Cowra
CECs General Manager Libby Ewing-Jarvie said the service “didn’t hesitate” to reach out to its neighbour and offer support and assistance, setting up a time to meet with Goodstart Cowra Centre Director, Belinda Muldoon, and Assistant Director, Michele McGuiness, to brainstorm solutions.
As a result of the meeting, a number of short term solutions were found, allowing families to continue to access education and care despite the challenges. CECs worked with local Family Day Care providers to ensure that a number of affected families had short term care solutions whilst Goodstart Cowra was being repaired.
“To have the support of another local service was an immediate boost to the comfort levels of staff and families, and the community spirit that developed as a result of our collaboration was very refreshing,” Ms McGuiness said.
From the perspective of CECs, it was simply the neighbourly thing to do.
Pictured: Some of the eager CECs helpers.
“CECs has been supporting communities in Cowra and surrounds for over forty years,” Ms Ewing-Jarvie explained, “and it was instinctual to extend a helping hand to our Goodstart friends. We were so pleased we were able to help in some small way.”
To acknowledge the work undertaken on both sides to support children and families CECs and Goodstart are planning a “Partnership Picnic” where families and educators from both services can come together to build relationships further and embed the recently formed community alliance.
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