Laidley school building a health hub for the community

PARTNERSHIP: Laidley District State School Head of Curriculum Nicci Martin, Principal Chris Muir and clinic nurse Jane Smith.
PARTNERSHIP: Laidley District State School Head of Curriculum Nicci Martin, Principal Chris Muir and clinic nurse Jane Smith. Lachlan McIvor

LAIDLEY District State School believe their recent child health and development initiative will become a hub that the community can lean on for many years to come.

On the second Thursday of each month, the school have introduced the Well Baby Drop-In Clinic to go alongside the Laidley Little Legends Playgroup, which operates every week.

Through negotiations supported by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, West Moreton Health agreed to provide a clinic nurse to support the initiative.

The clinic allows parents to meet with clinic nurse Jane Smith to discuss growth and development, infant feeding and nutrition, sleep and settling and more.

The playgroup, which is supported by community group Together44341 and Accessible Playgroups Queensland, aims to develop social, literacy and numeracy skills for little ones.

Together they allow parents of young children in the community to access vital services as well as build connections with one another.

The school's Head of Curriculum Nicci Martin hoped their project would become a model for other areas to follow.

"It's all about helping families,” Mrs Martin said.

"Any research will tell you, there are greater gains when you invest in the early years. You'll get bang for your buck when you put your money there.

"We're hoping if we can model a successful community hub in this school, it can be replicated in other educational settings.”

Principal Chris Muir said parents didn't need to have kids at the school to access the services.

"Our goal is to make the school a real community hub, so parents that come to this school have a direct link to services and the wider community,” Mr Muir said.

"We've seen there is a need for this for the community and the school.

"Even if they don't have kids at the school, they can still access the services at the school.”

On just her second visit to the clinic earlier this month, clinic nurse Jane Smith was kept very busy with an inundation of bubs.

"I don't think we've partnered with a school on school grounds in my knowledge in the past seven years,” Mrs Smith said.

"This is a first. We do go to community health centres... (but) for us to partnership in a school ground is pretty monumental.”

For more information regarding any of these services, please call the school's office between 8.15am-3.15pm on 5466 8222.

Topics:  health clinic lockyer valley

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