For four decades educators at Churches of Christ Care Family Day Care in Maryborough and Hervey Bay have been helping build community by supporting families and nurturing children across the Fraser Coast.
More than 100 people joined in the 40th birthday celebrations held at the Maryborough Family Day Care office.
Attendees enjoying live entertainment and a timeline image gallery, speeches from the service’s first Coordinator, Jeanette Oldfield, and a performance by the Unndennoo community in their traditional language of Butchulla.
Retiring 25 years ago, Ms Oldfield said she was honoured to be a part of the event nd had made the journey from Brisbane for the occassion.
“In our first 12 months we had so much help from the community, hosting playgroups at the Hervey Bay and Maryborough Church of Christ churches, receiving donation from members of the church and local businesses. This is a celebration for the community,” Ms Oldfield said.
The family day care's current Service Manager Rebecca Westendorp said it was a wonderful turn out and a joy to see past, present and future families join the festivities.
“It was wonderful for staff to see the families they have supported over the years," Ms Westendorp said.
Churches of Christ Care was the first family day care scheme in the Wide Bay Region, establishing in January 1979 in Hervey Bay. The service commenced with one coordinator and a handful of educators.
As the needs of the community grew, Churches of Christ Care Family Day Care services became sought after by many across the Wide Bay region. To meet these needs two offices were established in Maryborough and Hervey Bay.
The Family Day Care service continues to play an integral role in the community, providing care to young families from the Sunshine Coast to regional Gayndah and Mundubbera.
It has active partnerships and collaborations with various community groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.
Once a week the Family Day Care service holds a playgroup at Tiaro State School offering an opportunity for all parents, grandparents, carers and children to come together to learn, play and interact, while the Unndennoo community kindergarten meets weekly in the Maryborough office.
The Family Day Care service also provides support for Pathways for early learning and development (PELD), Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY), and Family and Child Connect service.
Children, Youth and Families offer accredited early childhood and family day care programs to over 800 children and families in Cunnamulla, Gin Gin, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Brisbane.