To say it has been a busy year at the Flowerdale Kinder would be an understatement!

Early 2009 had seen the building of a new bike path and new shade structure above the sand pit, plans and preparations for a new garden design. All of this was achieved over the summer break in January, just prior to the February 7th when bushfires destroyed the lot! Not to mention many 3 and 4 year old children from Flowerdale started the year very excited to be either returning to kinder or attending for the first time on the 3rd of February just days before the kinder burnt down. Determined not to fall into dismay and more importantly to keep the smiles on the children’s faces; kinder staff, Raylene Eason and Chrissie Grant took on a “nothing-canstand-in-our-way” approach and set up a play space for all aged children in a large army tent on the oval at Spring Valley Recreation Reserve. This was also a chance for all the mums and dads to gather and talk through their experiences; a very important process. It was not long before the group migrated from the tent to the club rooms at the Recreation Reserve. Along the way we had daily visits from the “Save the Children” play bus and other special visitors such as singer Barry Williams who had children smiling and singing as they reunited with their play mates. Towards the end of term one there was yet another move. We were fortunate enough to be offered a space at the Flowerdale Primary School library. With the welfare of our vulnerable children and parents in mind we soldiered on through the term in the very cozy library with a ‘play-focused’ group run by Raylene and Chrissie. Parents were still required to stay for the duration of the sessions so strong friendships were forged and caffeine levels (of the parents) increased dramatically. The children who attended were just happy to have some stability in their days which had to date been turned upside down. With help from the Flowerdale Primary School and the Department of Early Childhood and Education a portable kinder was delivered to the primary school grounds. It was finally ready for occupancy at the start of term two when loud squeals of excitement were heard throughout the school as the children ran in for the first time to explored their new kinder space.

The kinder staff, parents and friends of the kinder have worked tirelessly to have the kinder up and running. We have been extremely fortunate to have received many donations from all over Australia; some new furniture, toys, play equipment and craft stocks have either been donated or purchased with these donated funds. The children have also received many gifts including hand made quilts, hand knitted beanies and teddy bears, sunglasses and new water bottles. Although is has been a difficult year for everyone, we are constantly amazed and enlightened by the resilience of the children who run up the path each day happy to be arriving at their new kinder. After lengthy consultation it has been agreed that the best place for the kinder is to remain on the school grounds. We look forward to welcoming many new children in 2010 as we continue on our next phase of building our brand new kinder. Flowerdale Kinder is currently taking enrolments for both 3 year old and 4 year old kinder for 2010 and we are looking forward to running more successful and exciting programs for the rest of the year and onwards in 2010.

Flowerdale Kinder are currently running a Recovery Raffle in an effort to raise funds for the on-going needs of the kinder. Prizes include: 1. 2. 3. 4. One nights accommodation at Balgownie Estate – Yarra Valley A Akira Bright massage package at Piaf in Healseville A 45 minute massage at Indulge Retreat – Yarra Valley A chocolate and wine hamper

Raffle tickets are available for purchase at Hazeldene general store, Flowerdale Hotel, Flying tarts, Pheasant Creek Fitness or you can contact Flowerdale kinder on 57802020 to purchase tickets/books. Please support us by buying a ticket or 3. We are currently taking enrolments for both 3 and 4 year old kinder for what intends to be a very special year at Flowerdale Kinder. For Enrolments Raylene or Chrissie contact 57802020