'A Slap In The Face': Early Learning Centre Scraps Mother's Day Celebrations
An inner west Sydney early learning centre has chosen not to celebrate Mother's Day this year out of respect for students from single-parent families.
The Learn and Laugh early childhood centre in Drummoyne emailed parents on Tuesday to let them know that Mother's and Father's Day activities would no longer be going ahead.
"We have spent a lot of time discussing and reflection on this and believe we want to be a more inclusive centre," an email from acting director April Howlin reads.
"We want to include all families here at Learn and Laugh regardless of their family dynamics.
"Instead, we have decided to do family and friends day at different times throughout the year. That way anyone close to the children can come and take part."
The early learning centre in Drummoyne caters for children aged between two and six, and bills itself as a provider of a nurturing environment where kids can learn about anything from STEM subjects to social justice.
10 daily understands these changes have been implemented to avoid children from single-parent families becoming distressed over being unable to take part.
According to ABS data, 15.9 percent of families are one-parent households.
It is also understood the Drummoyne centre is the first to roll out these changes, with plans to implement them at Learn and Laugh's other centres next year -- in Alexandria, Rosebury, Hornsby, Wyoming and Lewisham.
Mum Elsa Geelan, whose son attends Learn and Laugh, told 10 daily she was quite shocked and surprised by the email, but understands these changes comes from a place of kindness.
"It's not like Mother's Day or Father's Day has been cancelled," Geelnan said.
"It it makes a few people happy, it's nicer to be kind than it is to be right. The kids are under five, they don't really understand that much anyway. It's not like we're taking something away that they're going to miss."
But dad Danny Lattouf told 10 daily it's a case of "political correctness gone mad".
"One of the most important things in my life is being a father and embracing that with my child," he told 10 daily.
"[The celebrations] are nothing enormous, it's a very small gesture. I don't believe it alienates anyone. If you're a child from a single-parent household, or if you don't have a father, I can understand that, but we can't go around sheltering children from the reality of everything that goes on in the world."
He added that the news was "a bit of a slap in the face".
Learn and Laugh has been contacted for comment.
It's not the first education centre to more away from celebrations around the Hallmark-created Mother's and Father's Day events.
A primary school in Melbourne tried to introduce an 'International Day of Families' celebration instead two years ago, but reversed the decision after a call from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who is the local member.
"I've spoken to the principal this evening and I understand there will be a Mother's Day stall," Shorten told media.
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