FOUR vegetable patches are a sign of growth for one of the Border’s smallest kindergartens.
Bellbridge Kindergarten’s teachers and parents proudly unveiled their sensory, herb and vegetable gardens yesterday for Towong Shire mayor Mary Fraser.
The kindergarten, its brick building on Craig Drive a far cry from its beginnings in the football club rooms, has gone through ebbs and flows in its 30 years.
Director Christine Cameron said 27 children were enrolled two years ago, and they had 12 enrolments last year.
This year, she said, was one of those ebbs, with only nine children.
But with a recent extension of hours and an abundance of two-year-olds in the town promising to boost numbers, Ms Cameron hoped it would attract parents looking for a small-town alternative.
“It’s a lovely education environment, both inside and outside, and the lower number of children means they get one-to-one time with staff and it’s a close-knit, friendly community,” she said.
The kindergarten used to run two days a week until 2.30pm, on Wednesdays and Fridays, but extended its hours until 4.30pm.
“Long days fit in with parents who could be working,” Ms Cameron said.
Some of those parents were there to show off their work with the vegetable patches.
The small committee cooked barbecues, sold chocolates and spruiked for donations from Peards Nursery and Bunnings to fund the venture to teach children to appreciate food.
“It’s a fantastic effort from a very small committee. That’s what small communities do,” Cr Fraser said.
The kindergarten is now looking for funding to improve landscaping.