Free program strengthens school readiness

Leisure Networks provides Mini Movers programs for free to children in the Geelong community thanks to support from the Anthony Costa Foundation

Leisure Networks has been out in the community delivering more Mini Movers programs in childcare centres throughout Geelong thanks to support from the Anthony Costa Foundation.

Using sports as a fun way to improve motor skills, the Mini Movers program, designed by Leisure Networks, aligns with the Victorian Early Years Learning Development framework to strengthen school readiness and support a smooth transition to school.

“I think in terms of having a structured activity, rather than free play, the program will help the children as they transition to school,” explained Stacey Mcginness, Kindergarten Leader at St Albans Park Kindergarten. “It definitely helps with the language and social skills they will need for school. Especially learning to take turns.”

Thanks to a generous grant from the Anthony Costa Foundation, Leisure Networks is delivering the Mini Movers 6-week program, every term for a 12-month period at Whittington Family and Childcare, St. Albans Park Kindergarten and Norlane West Kindergarten.

“We were pleased to support the Leisure Networks Mini Mover program through our Small Grants Round earlier this year,” said Cynthia Scherer, Anthony Costa Foundation General Manager. “We understand the importance of ensuring that young children are on track as it relates to their physical health and well-being, social competence and emotional maturity, language and communication skills. Mini Movers is providing local childcare centres with an additional resource to promote these skills through their evidence based program that uses movement and sport as a vehicle to improve the overall well-being of children.”

“Each week, I can see the children have an increased interest and enthusiasm for the Mini Movers program,” continued Ms. Mcginness, “and each week we see an improvement in the children’s ability to remember and recall what they have learnt.”

“For us, at the centre, it’s been good to have access to different equipment and resources than we can usually offer. It gives the families exposure to a range of different sports so they can see what their children might be interested in before they commit to something outside of kinder.

“One of our mums who has twins, a boy and a girl, told me how great she finds having the program here at kinder because the children are both trying out the same sports, and different sports each week. She’s hoping that they find one sport they both love, which they can pursue together.

“We’re very grateful for the funding from the Anthony Costa Foundation which allows us to provide the Mini Movers program for free to the children at St Albans Park Kindergarten.”

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.