The little preschool that could: Children come back 11 weeks after floods

ABOVE: Coraki CWA Preschool centre manager Suzy Carey with the children on the play equipment. Photos: Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark

Suzy Carey is excited about the children returning to preschool after it was closed because of flood damage 11 weeks ago.

In those weeks, a lot of repairs have been done to make the Coraki CWA Preschool ready for the 3-5 year olds to return to their play and learning.

New turf has been laid in the garden. The mud in the mud pit had to be removed because of possible contaminants from the flood and was replaced with ‘clean’ mud.

The preschool’s bee hotels and frog hotels survived the floodwaters at Coraki.

Inside the preschool was another story.

Damage to the walls, floors and equipment is estimated at about $250,000, centre manager Ms Carey said.

“What the floodwater didn’t get, the mould did,” she said.

There has been a pop-up preschool at Coraki Public School while the repairs and cleaning were done.

Disaster Relief Australia volunteers and the army did a lot of the heavy-lifting, Ms Carey said.

Below are photos of the damage and clean-up at the preschool.

The Northern Rivers Preschool Alliance set up a fundraiser soon after the flood to help the 11 community preschool in the area that were flood damaged.

Ms Carey with staff and community members celebrated with a cake the day before the children were to return.

It will be a different place when the footsteps and laughter of children rush through the door to explore their refitted preschool.

Warren Williams cuts the Welcome Back cake.

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