Northern Rivers preschoolers impacted by floods head back to face-to-face learning

Northern Rivers preschoolers impacted by floods head back to face-to-face learning

by Freya Lucas

March 29, 2022

Preschoolers in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales impacted by the recent floods have returned to face-to-face learning, with a range of plans put in place to meet their needs, the needs of their school-aged peers, and the extent of damage at their normal place of learning. 


NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the Government’s priority was the health and wellbeing of staff and students, which included access to face-to-face learning and care.


“It is important for mental health and wellbeing that students and staff return to a site as soon as practical, and we have made every effort to keep affected communities together after the events of the past two weeks,” Ms Mitchell said.


The Department is working closely with education communities to support the specific needs of children, mobilising existing partnerships with leading mental health organisations to provide wellbeing support to students, staff and families during the recovery period.


She acknowledged that the recent flooding has been “a very tough time” for our schools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. 


“My visits to impacted schools and services last week and again yesterday has made me acutely aware of the scale of damage,” she said. 


Children and staff have shown incredible resilience, Ms Mitchell continued, saying the Government will continue to support them through their recovery period. 


22 ECEC services that were heavily impacted by the flooding are now offering alternative learning and care options for children to continue face to face learning at different sites. 


While recovery will be a different journey for each school and service, the NSW Government will continue to work with local leadership teams to support staff and students.


A comprehensive schools flood recovery program is being developed, focusing on student and staff wellbeing, continuity of teaching and learning, support for ECEC services and planning for the long-term permanent replacement of school facilities lost in the floods.