NSW Miner partners with local school to provide early childhood education
September 26, 2013

A miner is working with parents and teachers at Muswellbrook South Primary School to help pre-school aged kids prepare for school.  

The Warrae Wanni Pathways to School Program (meaning “little children” in the Wannaruah language) offers pre-school aged students an opportunity to access early education, targeting children who do not already attend preschool or any other early childhood learning program.  

The program provides a variety of fun, educational activities to not only prepare children academically and socially for school, but also develop a relationship between the kids, their families and the school community.    

"With a growing number of working families in the Muswellbrook region, and a lack of affordable childcare and early education facilities, some groups such as the Aboriginal community have limited access to childcare services," said Rebecca Langdon, Muswellbrook South Primary School Principal.  



BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal worked with over 100 locals to identify ways to improve education, as it has been shown that a better education in early childhood has a positive impact on health and employment opportunities later in life. With support from the miner, the Warrae Wanni program at Muswellbrook South Primary School has been able to expand, with more students able to attend for more days during the week. 

"Our partnership with Mt Arthur Coal will ensure more children will have access to quality education in the future. Mt Arthur Coal is generously contributing $300,000 over three years, making it possible for the program to run five days a week during the school year," said Rebecca.   


Warrae Wanni Program 648 x 429

The Warrae Wanni students were all smiles after their first public performance at the launch event. 


And most importantly, the kids in Warrae Wanni have shown progress in literacy, numeracy and social skills since the program began in 2012. They’ve also found that parents are increasingly involved in their kids’ education.  

"Recognising that a good education is the basis for a great career, Mt Arthur Coal wants to give local Aboriginal children a better future by helping to enhance their learning capacity, develop their personal and social skills and prepare them for school," said Peter Sharpe, NSW Energy Coal Asset President at Mt Arthur Coal.

"We have planted the seeds and are beginning to reap the benefits of supporting parents and their children by developing strong partnerships with our local Aboriginal community and big business to reduce the gap and make a difference in the lives of young children and their families," said Rebecca. 

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