After floods and coronavirus postponed the event three times, Beaudesert’s newest childcare centre officially opened on Saturday, May 7. The $5.5 million bushland kindy at 202-216 Brooklands Drive is run by national childcare chain Amaze Early Education.
Already at 80 per cent capacity, having welcomed its first families in late-January, the Beaudesert facility provides an ‘immersive bushland experience’ for local rural children.
The bushland kindy focuses on outdoor play and natural playgrounds. Co-founder Lucy Cook says Amaze’s playgrounds are some of the best in the world and its one of the key reasons parents and carers chose its centres.
“Our vision is to be the best early childhood education provider possible, and we really embed into the communities we serve,” Ms Cook says.
“Amaze Education appreciates how important it is to immerse ourselves in, and be responsive to, our communities and the environment.”
She says it is for this reason all Amaze Early Education centres look different and offer different experiences for children.
Architecturally designed play spaces
The outdoor classrooms are designed by Gold Coast architect Lukas Ritson, who is also an international speaker on play theory.
Mr Ritson won the 2021 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects People’s Choice Award for delivering natural play environments that ignite creativity and curiosity in children.
The Bushland Kindy playground also tells the history of Beaudesert and it’s links to the Muninjali people of the area.
“It’s heart-warming to see this new childcare centre open in Beaudesert,” Scenic Rim councillor Virginia West says. “The Mibbin [Eagle Totem] incorporated in the playground makes it so special for the Muninjali community.”
Award-winning sculptor Mike van Dam created the totem. Mr van Dam won the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Gold Coast Swell Sculpture Festival.
The playground also features a homestead, allotments for growing food, a creek bed with natural huts, and a wishing well. Fort structures — inspired by the region’s silos and grain mills — that include a slide and rope walk also feature. There is a ‘depot’ area incorporating crates and trees, the ‘back paddock’ with a meadow-style garden and the ‘country’ with a focus on relationship with the land.
The search for staff
Ms Cook says she is actively looking for new qualified staff to join her team in Beaudesert.
“We have new children starting every week and are currently looking to employ more locals to help with the demand,” she says.
She says many of the parents enrolling their children had left the cities for a tree change experience and a simpler way of life.
Amaze Education Group also has childcare centres in Mudgeeraba and Gaven on the Gold Coast, in Ipswich and Redbank Plains.