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Mater Education making the pathway to kindy easier

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As a result of specialist, expert-led training conducted by Mater Education with C&K staff, Tom* is now going to kindy for the first time. 

Tom* has a nasogastric tube (NGT) to carry food to his stomach, however staff at C&K Jinibara Community Kindergarten are now able to safely support him throughout the day.

Centre Director Jodi Herbert said without support agencies like Mater Education, it would have been extremely difficult to transition Tom into the five-day fortnight program. 

“There is a perceived barrier that services won’t enrol children with a disability or with high-care needs but at C&K every child has the right to a quality education,” Jodi said.

Vocational Education & Training Program Coordinator Marie-Clare Ross drew on 23 years of experience as a paediatric nurse to devise a workshop specific to Tom’s medical requirements, trouble shooting, and on helping the other children understand their new classmate’s situation.

“We used social stories, also known as informative stories, available through relevant support organisations,” Marie-Clare said.

“We also attached some simulated NGT’s to some of the dolls in the centre giving all of the children the opportunity to normalise having an NGT, and the use of an NGT through play.” 

Mater Education has a long-standing relationship with C&K to identify gaps in staff training, to ensure universal access for children with epilepsy, asthma, anaphylaxis and type 1 diabetes. 

“As a team it’s a lovely feeling being part of a child’s journey when the journey is not so straightforward,” Jodi said.

*Tom’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.  Please note the image used in the digital banner of this page is for illustrative purposes only.

“To help the other children understand what the NGT is and why Tom* uses it, we used social stories, also known as informative stories, available through relevant support organisations. We attached some simulated NGT’s to some of the dolls in the centre giving all of the children the opportunity to normalise having an NGT and the use of an NGT through play”, said Mater Educator, Marie-Clare.

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