Families throughout the Bay of Plenty left their mark on an 18m x 2m footprint painting – believed to be the largest artwork of its type in the city of Tauranga.
The free Kid’s Day Out event was held on Saturday 18 February at 150, 17th Avenue, to celebrate the opening of footsteps’ new head office in Tauranga.
Over 500 children, along with around 200 parents and caregivers, headed out for the fun-filled day of free face painting, bouncy castle rides, sausage sizzle, balloon sculpting and learning workshops. A bike and helmet was also raffled off and won by 21 month old William Langdon.
Clyde du Toit, Co-founder and Director of footsteps said “It was such a huge success; we definitely want to make this an annual event for the children in our community.”
Co-founder and CEO of footsteps, Kevin Christie was also encouraged and excited with the support from the community. “It’s important for us to get to know the communities we work in, being able to give something back while meeting our neighbours has been a great experience for our staff.
“Tauranga is a special community to us, because this is where our organisation was born and where our headquarters is located. We are looking forward to proudly displaying this huge footprint canvas in our new office for the time being. We eventually want to gift the artwork to a deserving child-focused charity or community group - anyone interested should get in touch,” Kevin said.
A large part of the Kid’s Day Out was an interactive area, which involved demonstrating creative learning ideas to parents and caregivers of children aged 0-5. This area proved to be very popular with a steady flow of visitors throughout the day. “This enabled the community to get a feel for the type of work footsteps’ early childhood education teachers carry out in homes across the country,” explained Kevin.
footsteps was founded in 2001 in Tauranga and now works with around 1500 caregivers and their children nationwide. It employs over 50 qualified early childhood education teachers who provide the Ministry of Education fully-funded learning programme in homes. Footsteps’ teachers give caregivers support, advice and ideas to ensure babies and children are getting the best educational experiences possible from birth through the age of five.
For more information on footsteps’ fully-funded in-home early learning service for caregivers and their children 0-5, visit footsteps.co.nz or call 0800 FOOTSTEPS.