Reptilian sensory experience

SNAKES, lizards and crocodiles would scare most adults away, but not the brave young ones at Norwest Child Care Centre in Bella Vista.

As part of Child Care Week 2012, a reptile handler visited the centre and sang songs and taught the children some facts about reptiles, as well as letting them pat and hold the reptiles.

The centre's director, Ashley Hochstetter, said she got the idea from Victor Meadows, one of the special needs children.

"He is learning and very interested in sensory exploration," Ms Hochstetter said.

"He is learning to touch and feel different things and what better way to learn than with reptiles?"

The Norwest Child Care centre is one of 11 centres across Sydney to work alongside the Special Training and Research Association (STaR), which offers support to childcare centres to help them cater for the additional needs of special needs children.

The STaR program helps with teacher training and family support, with a strong focus on providing inclusive activities for children like Victor.

"We are very proud of the fact that we don't limit our kids with special needs in any way," she said.

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