Nine new early learning centres will welcome families through their doors for the first time as the 2017 kindergarten year begins.
The new centres are:
- Arena Child and Family Centre, Officer
- Butterfield House, Torquay
- Carrum Family and Children's Centre, Carrum
- Darley Early Years Hub, Darley
- Karmai Community Children's Centre, Korumburra
- Mernda South Early Learning Centre, Mernda
- The Assisi Kindergarten, Strathfieldsaye
- Wallan Integrated Community Learning Centre, Wallan
- Wodonga West Primary School Early Learning Centre, Wodonga
A further four new centres will open throughout 2017 and include:
- Ashley Park Child and Family Community Hub, Doreen
- Nhill Integrated Early Years Centre, Nhill
- Omeo Children's Centre, Omeo
- Westall Community Hub, Clayton South
The centres all received major grants through the Victorian Government's Children's Facilities Capital Program.
The program supports the provision of quality early years programs by helping communities upgrade and build new kindergartens and early learning centres where they are needed most.
As the Victorian population continues to grow, demand for kindergartens continues to rise.
The new centres will provide more than 1,100
places for four-year-old kindergarten, and 650 places for three-year-old
kindergarten, as well as employment opportunities for early childhood educators
across the state.
Regional areas such as Wodonga, Bendigo, Torquay and South Gippsland and the growth areas of Officer, Wallan and Mernd will benefit from the flexible, accessible and integrated early childhood education and care services these centres offer.
Children and their families will now have increased access to kindergarten programs, playgroups, and Maternal and Child Health, early childhood intervention and family services.
These centres will also provide spaces for new families with young children to develop supportive social networks — all within modern and high-quality early learning environments.
A crucial part of the Education State is providing early childhood education services which give every child the best start in life.
The Government's investment of $60 million, through the Children's Facilities Capital Program, over four years, supports local governments and other service providers to invest in early childhood infrastructure.
To find out more about the grants program, see: Children's Facilities Capital Program