An Australind child care facility has marked a major milestone in its history with a celebration more than a generation in the making. The Riverlinks Child Care Centre on Leisure Drive was abuzz with excitement last Tuesday as it marked its 25th anniversary. An afternoon tea was held to commemorate the milestone with children, past and present families, employees and other stakeholders, invited along. Riverlinks management committee chairperson Felicity Holt and Harvey Shire president Paul Gillett were given the honours of opening the newly redeveloped playground. A commemorative plaque was also unveiled. Centre coordinator Robyn Banks said the development has been planned for three years and described it as one of the centre’s best recent achievements. “We have created a nature play space with a riverbed, water pump, climbing walls, rocks and a boat,” she said. “The area has been a huge hit with the children as they get to play with water, sand, rocks, mud and other natural elements. “The playground invites risk-taking, exploration, discovery and a connection with nature.” Riverlinks first opened its doors in 1997, providing all day or part-time care for up to 37 children aged 0-5. It has since expanded its operations to up to 77 children between the ages of 0 and 12, providing a mixture of all day and part-time care alongside pre-Kindy, before and after school care and vacation care. The centre now caters for about 150 families on any given week. Ms Banks said there had also been changes in recent years as the centre focused on the learning benefits associated with outdoor natural play. “It has been wonderful see the change in our outdoor play spaces,” she said. “Gone is all the softfall, replaced by grass, trees, logs, sand and rocks. “Nature play is an important part of our centre philosophy and we have noticed many positive outcomes for children.” The centre hopes to continue upgrades to facilities, including redeveloping the babies playground.