A large number of Moree's early childhood education providers and local service organisations have joined forces to promote the importance of early childhood education.
Led by Moree Family Support early childhood education project coordinator Kiely Smith, a committee was formed last year to organise an inaugural early childhood education expo to highlight the benefits of early childhood education.
As part of Ms Smith's role, which involves working with families in social housing to enrol their children into early childhood education, Ms Smith works with a range of different education providers and services in Moree and, as a result, recognised a need to get everyone together in the one place so members of the community can receive all the information they need to give their children the best head-start in life.
"We want to have organisations altogether so the community can find out what they can do to help them," Ms Smith said.
Carmelle McClure from Grace Lutheran Preschool is a part of the committee and said early childhood education is vital for children's development and makes the transition to kindergarten a lot easier.
"Children are at a disadvantage if they don't go to preschool," she said.
"It's important for their social development, as well as educational."
"Not a lot of families understand that," Ms Smith added.
"We're also hoping the community will find out that childcare centres are not babysitting services," Family and Community Services' Barry Swan said.
More than 28 education providers and service organisations - including local preschools, childcare centres, government and non-government agencies - have come on board to take part in the Early Childhood Education Expo, to be held at Moree PCYC from 10am to 3.30pm on Friday, March 8.
Each organisation will have a stall with representatives on hand to provide information about the services they offer and how they can help families access early childhood education.
For example, a representative from NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages will be on hand to promote their digital services and help people access birth certificates, which Ms Smith said is a common barrier preventing people from accessing early childhood education.
Special guests will be Play School presenter Luke Carroll and Aboriginal storyteller Larry Brandy, as well as teaching Indigenous perspectives in the Australian curriculum's Bonnie Cochran.
Local Aboriginal dancers Shae Duncan and Paul Spearim will also perform at the event, while the reptile man and Old Macdonald's Travelling Farm promise to be a hit with all ages.
There will be a giant slide and jumping castle, as well as popcorn and fairy floss machines and a range of fun arts, crafts and sensory activities for children.
The first 200 children through the doors will receive a goody bag and there will also be lucky door prizes for mums, dads and children, donated by Robin's Nest for Children, Beauty Matters and Stagg and Co.
A free, healthy lunch of sandwiches, wraps, fruit salad and veggie sticks will be catered by Any Occasion catering. Fruit and water is being provided by Woolworths Moree.
While the event is funded by Family and Community Services, everyone involved has chipped in.
The event is open to everyone in the Moree community and surrounding areas to attend. Transport is available.
For more information, please contact Moree Family Support on 6752 4536.