Strong foundations and some new toys are what really count in a brand spanking new childcare centre. At least that’s what the kids think.
Not surprisingly, the children have been weighing in on the new Blackfriars Children’s Centre, which is currently under construction and set to open by 2018.
When asked what else was essential in their new centre, a building “without holes” (windows and doors excepted!), new paintwork, nice gardens and a big kitchen for the chef to prepare wonderful food all made the list and, thankfully, are all in the plan.
As work on site continues to progress – with concrete pours for the building’s foundations well underway – we checked in with the littlest members of our community about the latest activity and, importantly, what they’re learning.
Building the new centre
Not only are the 50 children at the current centre full of advice about what they want but the best way to deliver (project team, take note!).
“We are building the new Blackfriars. It needs walls and a roof,” Idris says as he uses magnetic blocks to demonstrate, while others use the blocks and construction/stacking toys to simulate the various machines on the work site.
A child hones his 'construction' skills
The sandpit is an especially popular spot for the youngsters to engage in play ‘construction’, including Ellery and Aaron, who fill and empty their tip trucks, following the example of the construction workers beyond the fence.
Playing with tip trucks
One day, the kids watch a tip-truck deliver a load of sand to the site via the driveway which runs alongside the playground.
“I can hear the truck reversing.”
“Look, it’s tipping out the load.”
“Let’s race the truck to the front!”
As Centre Director Metta Booth says, “Often it’s the way children play that expresses most clearly their understanding of what is happening.”
The collapse of a ‘wall’ made from recycled plant pots provides the trigger for an important discussion of the basics.
Teacher Sally points out that “we need good foundations first”.
Samuel is curious. “What are foundations?”
“Foundations are what support the building as it gets higher and higher,” explains Sally. “The new Blackfriars has its foundations now.”
Construction workers pour the concrete foundations
Samuel and Joa run to the fence. “Where?”
“Foundations are in the ground, so they are hard to see,” Sally says.
Joa notices the foundations protruding from the ground. “Yep, that’s ready for the walls to be built on the good solid foundation.”
“Yeah, I saw them too,” replies Samuel. “Let’s make sure our building has good foundations so it won’t fall down.”
A great lesson learnt and more on the way as construction steams ahead in the coming months.
Discussing strategies for building a wall from plastic pots
While timelines can be affected by various factors such as weather, this is the current program of works:
- Construction works complete – September 2017
- Licensing of new centre – late 2017
- New centre opens – 2018