Early Links Supporting Inclusion

BYB Tour Update

A child sitting at the end of a yellow slide
Grants Writer Jordana Morrison

By Jordana Morrison

Grants Writer


In case you haven’t heard, the Big Yellow Bus is on tour! Our mobile playground has spent term two visiting playgroups across the Hunter Valley, including Cessnock, Muswellbrook, Rutherford, Raymond Terrace, and Port Stephens. We also hope to take the bus to Singleton in term three, so stay tuned! 

The Big Yellow Bus playgroup tour will continue for the remainder of this school term and all of term three.

Where did the project idea come from? 

Communities in the region have been asking us to take the Big Yellow Bus to their playgroups and events for some time, but with the amount of work and funding required to see this a reality, we knew that a coordinated effort would be needed. With this desire to see the bus supporting existing community-run playgroups and events and recognising that the Big Yellow Bus was previously underutilised, the idea for the Big Yellow Bus playgroup tour was born! 

What happens at the playgroups? 

While the Big Yellow Bus is a big hit at all the playgroups we visit, so much more happens at playgroup! We are partnering with existing, community-run playgroups, so each one looks a little different.

Playgroup activities may include playing with toys, pretend play, sensory experiences, reading books, music, play dough, messy play, and art and craft activities. Playgroups provide an important opportunity for children to develop physical, emotional, social, and language skills.

While the children are supervised to take turns on the Big Yellow Bus playground, which includes a rock-climbing tunnel, flying fox, and slide, it is also an opportunity for parents to connect with each other and with staff. This is an important component of playgroups and helps parents build friendships and share experiences. 

Are there therapists at the playgroups to offer support?

When we take the Big Yellow Bus to a playgroup, it is fully staffed with a bus driver, experienced developmental support workers, an allied health professional, and/or an early childhood inclusion support teacher. Allied health professionals include speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and psychologists. We have also had the privilege of having our music therapist join the playgroups tour! 

By having a therapist available at each playgroup, we can support families to build their knowledge and skills to support their child’s long-term development and work through any concerns they may have.

Big Yellow Bus Playgroup

Families at playgroup in Muswellbrook

What was involved in organising the tour? 

Seeing the Big Yellow Bus on the road and impacting the community positively has been amazing, thanks to the mammoth effort of organising the playgroups tour! 

This project has involved coordinating with existing community playgroups, scouting suitable locations for the bus, taking expressions of interest and arranging the bus visits, recruiting a bus driver and allied health staff, rostering staff, training staff on the bus set up and pack down procedures, sourcing and purchasing additional equipment, contingency planning for adverse weather, risk assessments, ensuring the bus was roadworthy with required safety checks, creating flyers and posters, and marketing the playgroups tour on social media and website.

Initially, we hoped to start the tour in term one but had some unexpected delays with the bus requiring repairs, putting the tour on hold! After some extensive searching to secure the part needed for repairs, the bus was finally able to hit the road in week two of term two!  

Who is sponsoring the tour?

We are so grateful to the Department of Regional NSW for funding the tour! The Big Yellow Bus playgroup tour would not have happened without this funding. The Department of Regional NSW has helped to cover the bus driver and allied health professionals’ staffing costs, fuel, and equipment.  

We are also grateful to Glencore Ravensworth for continuing to partner with us to support the Big Yellow Bus visits to Muswellbrook.

Where to next?

Keep an eye on the Big Yellow Bus on Tour page of our website to find out where we’ll be heading in term three!

Get in touch


Contact us


Refer to us

Get in touch

You may also like…

Walking for our wellbeing

Walking for our wellbeing

Senior Leader Growing ConnectionsEarly Links has a range of groups dedicated to helping our clients learn new skills,...

The Early Links Youth Hub

The Early Links Youth Hub

Senior Leader Teens & AdultsEarly Links runs a number of youth groups at our offices and in the community. We have...

Our new continence service

Our new continence service

Clinical Services Training CoordinatorContinence issues are another way of saying incontinence, which is any...