C&K North Mackay Community Kindergarten's Emily Phillips  .
C&K North Mackay Community Kindergarten's Emily Phillips . Nick Wright

How missing guinea pig helped pay for new kindy CCTV

A CLASSROOM guinea pig named Carrots was the key casualty in a host of break-ins at C&K North Mackay Kindergarten.

But having secured more than $8000 for CCTV cameras and a duress alarm, teaching director Emily Phillips said the safety of families under the kindy's care would be reinforced now more than ever.

The kindergarten has been the target of three break-ins in the past two years. Vandalism to the main office caused the worst damage, but the loss of Carrots, snatched during one break-in, really hit home.

While dealing with the fallout was tough, Ms Phillips said explaining it to the children was equally difficult.

"The police were here to take fingerprints, so I told the kids there might have been another family who didn't have a guinea pig and really wanted one," she said. "I told them while it was not the right thing to do, they took our guinea pig and would look after it."

The North Mackay kindergarten was one of four projects in the Mackay region to receive a total of $640,000 from the Federal Government's Safer Communities Fund.

Funding was also announced for C&K Eimeo Road Community Kindergarten.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Dawson MP George Christensen announced the funding at the kindergarten.



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