More families have been able to access early childhood education in Moree following an extremely successful expo last week.
At least 200 children, and their families, attended the inaugural Early Childhood Education Expo, held at Moree PCYC on Friday.
"We had 200 goody bags for the first 200 children through the doors and they all went," Moree Family Support early childhood education project coordinator Kiely Smith said.
"It was a big success; we're all happy."
As a result of the expo, which aimed to promote the importance of early childhood education and help families understand that childcare centres aren't babysitting services, a number of people have been able to enrol their children into preschool.
Grace Lutheran Preschool has taken enrolments since the expo.
"The main barrier preventing people from enrolling was birth certificates," Grace Lutheran Preschool service leader Megan Fleming said.
"Being able to get birth certificates at the expo has meant they're now able to access early childhood education.
"People have also realised that early childhood educators are not just babysitters."
A representative from NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages was on hand at the expo to help people access their birth certificates. Ms Smith said that stall was so popular, the representative didn't finish up until after 4pm.
The organising committee has received positive feedback from Friday's event, which saw a steady stream of people flow through the doors of the PCYC throughout the day.
"One of the elders said it was good to cater for that age group because they often miss out," committee member Sharon Tighe said.
"It was also good to get all the preschools together and good for the community to network too," Ms Smith added.
People were particularly impressed with the goody bags, worth $50, which included items such as puzzles, flash cards, magic sand, slime, highlighters and pencils, fidget spinners, water bottles and a calendar listing the contact details of all the local preschools and childcare centres.
Attendees also enjoyed the healthy lunch, catered by Any Occassion Catering.
Based on the success and feedback from the community, the committee are looking at continuing the event, possibly every second year.
Funding will be the biggest obstacle, as this event was funded by Family and Community Services Early Childhood Education program. If it was to run again, all service providers would have to chip in.
They would also need to look at a bigger venue, preferably outdoors, to better accommodate everyone.
The committee is now looking at running a number of workshops for parents and providers.
"We want to try to keep the ball rolling," Ms Smith said.
"It's important not to stop advertising and promoting early childhood education," Ms Fleming added.
The committee would like to thank the following organisations/businesses that donated to the expo:
- FACS – Moree Place Project
- Younique Hair Image
- Woolworths Moree
- Beauty Matters
- Robin's Nest for Children
- The Reject Shop
- Miyay Birray
- Thomas Lee
- McGregor Gourlay
- Tait Auto Group