A free pop up playgroup launched this week in Cessnock

ROUND AND ROUND: Early Links early childhood teacher Julie Sutherland with playgroup attendee Summer Hawkins. Picture: Stephen Bisset
ROUND AND ROUND: Early Links early childhood teacher Julie Sutherland with playgroup attendee Summer Hawkins. Picture: Stephen Bisset

The wheels on the Big Yellow Bus rolled right into Cessnock this week with the launch of a free pop-up playgroup at Cessnock West Public School.

The playgroup, the centerpiece of which is a bright yellow bus, is run by Early Links – an organisation that supports children, from Maitland through to Scone, with additional needs, however Early Links early childhood teacher Julie Sutherland said the weekly playgroup was open to all.

“Our aim was to provide families with another playgroup option,” she said. “Not specifically children with additional needs – just a community where we perceived there to be a need and Cessnock is certainly a big place.”

Early Links general manager and eagle-eyed bargain hunter Sue French, found the bus, which  had previously been utilised for a similar purpose on the Central Coast, online.

Ms Sutherland said that the Big Yellow Bus was fitted out with all manner of fun and engaging fine and gross motor skill activities.

“There is a climbing wall, a flying fox, various swings and slides,” she said. “We also have a number of fine motor activities and we also offer traditional playgroup activities such as story time.”

Ms Sutherland added that a qualified teacher and and occupational therapist will always be on site, giving parents the opportunity to raise any concerns or questions.

Cessnock resident Kristal Hawkins, whose daughter Summer attended the debut of the Big Yellow Bus on Wednesday, said that they would definitely become regulars.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. 

“It gives my daughter a safe place to play and have fun and interact with other children.”

The Early Links Big Yellow Bus will be at Cessnock West Public School, every Wednesday during school term, from 9am – 11am.

Fore more information, phone 4934 3773