CONGRATS KIDS: Following a year heavily impacted by coronavirus, the students at Stuart Street Kindergarten were able to celebrate their graduation with their parents.
CONGRATS KIDS: Following a year heavily impacted by coronavirus, the students at Stuart Street Kindergarten were able to celebrate their graduation with their parents.

CONGRATS KIDS: Dalby kindy celebrates graduation

KINDERGARTEN students in Dalby were able to celebrate the next exciting step of their young lives after a year hindered by coronavirus restrictions.

Dalby children celebrated their graduation at Stuart St Kindy in Dalby last week, with parents in attendance rejoicing after what has been a tough year for childcare across Australia.

Centre manager Angela McWhirter said it was great to finally come together with families following the tough slog of 2020, where attendance numbers dropped dramatically.

Stuart St Kindergarten students on their last day in December, 2020. Picture: Sam Turner
Stuart St Kindergarten students on their last day in December, 2020. Picture: Sam Turner

"We fell in line as the preps did at schools [earlier this year], so we did have restrictions on our attendance," she said.

"We ended up only having not even a handful of children each day, where our usual class would be 20."

Following the COVID outbreak in March, the State Government boosted the child care sector with a $17 million support package, which allowed 22,000 young children to continue to attend kindergarten programs, and options for learning at home

Angela McWhirter and one of her graduating kindergarten students. Picture: Sam Turner
Angela McWhirter and one of her graduating kindergarten students. Picture: Sam Turner

Mrs McWhirter said this was a huge help for the centre, and believed it would've been "very difficult" to operate without it otherwise.

"That was a good help, as it was that clause in their enrolment which still guaranteed them a spot, while not financially impacting the centre," she said.

"That was really good."

Graduating Stuart Street Kindergarten student Lotte MacNellie. Picture: Contributed
Graduating Stuart Street Kindergarten student Lotte MacNellie. Picture: Contributed

As Queensland moves back to a state of normality, kindergartens such as Stuart St were able to hold all the events that seemed unlikely nine months ago.

"We put special guidelines in place, and fulfilled our obligations to make sure everything was COVID-Safe so we could hold things such as the Christmas party, and their graduation," Mrs McWhirter said.

"It would've been terrible if our parents couldn't come in and celebrate with us, so it was good everything could go back to normal."

Stuart Street Kindergarten students Fletcher Dodd and Elsie Whittle on their last day. Picture: Contributed
Stuart Street Kindergarten students Fletcher Dodd and Elsie Whittle on their last day. Picture: Contributed

Speaking about her graduating students, she said it was sad to see them leave, but was comforted by the fact she'll see them around town.

"Dalby is such a small town, so we'll still always see the children at the shops and other places, and we'll always get to say hello," Mrs McWhirter said.


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