'It's never too early to educate': Day care raises money for Dolly's Dream

Children and staff at the Annette's Place Day Care Centre took a stand against bullying and cyber-bullying last Friday for Dolly's Day. Photo: Ben Rodin
Children and staff at the Annette's Place Day Care Centre took a stand against bullying and cyber-bullying last Friday for Dolly's Day. Photo: Ben Rodin

Educators at Annette's Place Day Care have stressed the importance of taking a strong stance against bullying after a day of fundraising in support of anti-bullying group Dolly's Dream.

Held last Friday, May 10 - aligned with the national "Dolly's Day" event - the local centre organised a staff morning tea and gold coin donation initiative to raise money, generating more than $450 in total.

Mackeylee Delaney from Annette's Place said that the day care was only too happy to lend their efforts towards an anti-bullying cause.

"Annette's Place is proud to support and raise money for Dolly's Dream," she explained, adding that children at Annette's Place would be taught how to negotiate and understand bullying behaviour.

"We will discuss bullying with the children and how it can affect them and others and what to do if they experience or witness bullying."

Addressing the question of whether a day care environment is one where young children would be familiar of the harshness of bullying, given its common association with adolescent contexts, Delaney said its important that kids learn about bullying sooner rather than later.

"It's never too early to educate children about the importance of being kind to yourself and others," she said.

"We embed this message throughout our curriculum, supporting children to have the courage to speak up and ask for help if needed."

The fundraiser isn't the only project that addresses well-being at the Day Care Centre, with an "R U OK?" tree - referring to the phrase popularised by mental health advocacy group Beyond Blue - situated at the front of the centre.

Educational Leader at Annette's Place, Jackie Osborne praised her staff for setting a positive learning agenda for kids at the centre with the Dolly's Dream initiative.

"We're very proud of our team for getting behind such a wonderful cause and educating our children about the importance of being kind."

Dolly's Dream was formed in memory of 14 year-old Amy "Dolly" Everett, who died by suicide after being the victim of prolonged bullying and cyber-bullying, and works to create meaningful initiatives and policy outcomes Australia-wide.

In 2018 'Dolly's Law', a series of amendments made in the NSW Parliament, was passed, enabling tougher punishment of cyber-bullying.

If you need support, both Lifeline (13 11 14) and the Kids Help Line (1800 551 800) are available 24 hours a day.