Tadpoles Early Learning Burnside gets loud for hearing

It costs $10,000 a year to put one child through the Hear and Say program.

The leader in pediatric implantable technologies and listening and spoken language, provides occupational therapy and screening to children, giving them a voice when everything around them is silent.

Every penny counts for the service, and the Tadpoles Early Learning Centre in Burnside – a Lifelong Learning Centre owned and operated by Affinity Education Group – recently raised funds for the vital service by hosting a ‘Loud T-Shirt Day’.

Centre Manager Amy Donnelly said the cause was close to their heart.

“We have a child here whose father is impaired and we need to communicate with him when he comes to pick her up,” Ms Donnelly said.

Mikayla’s mother Sharne Hill knows all too well the struggles children with hearing impairments could face, because her husband Michael had to teach himself to talk, walk and feed himself after a brain injury when he was eight years old.

“Since then he has regained his ability to walk, and feed himself, but taking is his struggle.”
Sharn said Michael, a mechanic, communicates through sign language.

“At 12 months old we started signing with Mikayla, and when we told Tadpoles what we did at home, they started implementing sign language,” Sharn said.

“I broke down, they’re just so supportive.”

Ms Donnelly said the cntre prided itself on inclusiveness.

“Every child should start on the same level playing field,” she said.

All staff at the centre jumped on board to don their ‘Loud Shirts’ for the day, donating funds and taking part in a parade.

Photos and story by Meghan Kidd originally published in Sunshine Coast Daily, 3 November 2016